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Colmworth Church Architecture

Colmworth church seen from the east Mar 2007
Colmworth church seen from the east March 2007

The church of Saint Denys is entirely Perpendicular in style and was built around 1430, though an earlier church had existed as the list of known rectors goes back to 1219. Evidence of an earlier building is also to be found in the south wall of the chancel which has a Purbeck slab with an inscribed copper plate to Alianora Braybrook, who died in 1389. She was wife of Sir Gerard Braybrook and daughter of Almaric de Saint-Amand.

Chancel north wall window August 2009
Chancel north wall window August 2009

The arches to both the tower and the chancel are similar, showing that the building was all constructed at the same time. The church has some fragments of 15th century stained glass which may be original with the current building. The best of this glass is an angel which now adorns the window in the north wall of the chancel.


Chancel north wall window detail August 2009
Chancel north wall window detail August 2009

The chancel is built of cobblestones, the rest of the building being constructed with coursed freestone rubble. The whole building is dressed with ashlar.

The interior looking east from the gallery August 2009
The interior looking east from the gallery August 2009

Overall the church comprises a simple plan of chancel, nave, south porch, north vestry and west tower with a spire, which serves as a landmark for some miles around. Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, not known for his praise of Bedfordshire churches, describes the interior as "beautifully airy".

The font August 2009
The font August 2009

The font, which stands at the west end is 14th century and may be contemporary with the buildings. The font is octagonal and beneath the bowl there are alternating shields and rosettes.

North-west nave roof support August 2009
North-west nave roof support August 2009

The roof was restored in 1893 but the original 15th century bosses, carved braces and figures of angels were retained. The angels hold shields and the emblems of the Passion of Jesus.