St. Brelade's Church

Jersey, United Kingdom

The date of the present St. Brelade's is unknown, but it is mentioned in deeds of patronage. In AD 1035, Robert of Normandy confirmed the patronage of the church to the monastery of Montivilliers, which shows that the church was here before 1035. The chancel is the oldest part of the building. The original building extended some six feet into the nave. It was then only a small monastic chapel. Early in the 12th century St. Brelade's became a parish church and in the 14th–15th centuries, the roof was raised some two-and-a-half feet higher to a Gothic pitch. The roof of the Fishermen's Chapel was raised at the same time.

The church of the 12th century was cruciform in structure, consisting of a chancel, a nave (built in two periods) and two transepts—the latter forming the two arms. At a later date, perhaps a century later, the chancel aisle was built, and after that the nave aisle. The date of the tower is uncertain. It is, however, older than the chancel.

The font disappeared during the Reformation and was found on the slopes near the church, hidden in bracken and gorse, in 1840 and restored to the church. An ornate wooden cover for the font was provided in memory of H. G. Shepard, long-time warden at the church. A processional cross dating from the 13th century is to be seen in the Lady Chapel; this was found buried in the church. The stained glass is the work of Henry Thomas Bosdet and replaced plain glass windows dating from the Reformation iconoclasm.

Before the restoration of Balleine in the 1890s, the whole of the interior stone work was covered in plaster which was whitewashed; the plaster was removed to show the granite, and the whole re-pointed with cement. Balleine's restoration also saw Art Nouveau woodwork in the choir stalls and pulpit and modern paving in the chancel; it is made of five different types of Jersey granite and represents the waves breaking on the sea-shore.

The legend has the site of the church being placed in the centre of St Brelade's Bay and moved by night by fairy folk from their sacred site to where it now stands, until the workmen got the message and left it where it now stands.

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Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sarah Sands (6 months ago)
Beautiful tranquil place. A fine place to meet with God in prayer and reflection.
Dan Hare (17 months ago)
Beautiful location, don't miss the fishermen's chapel
Adam Spurr (2 years ago)
The most beautiful, peaceful and spiritual Church you could want for. Filed with local history, and with a true community spirit led by the Rector.
Jay Craig (2 years ago)
This is a delightful little church, restored with the stonework exposed. Well worth a visit, but as it is a working church avoid service times unless you want to attend the service. The Fisherman's Chapel, next to it, has some wonderful frescoes from the middle ages.
Paula Skillin (2 years ago)
Beautiful ancient church with the early Norman Fisherman's Chapel alongside overlooking a spectacular bay. Lovely to visit, interesting to history buffs, and breathtaking scenery
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