St George's church - Lower Brailes, Warwickshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 03.069 W 001° 32.507
30U E 599990 N 5767730
Quick Description: A rather marvelous exact replica of St George's church, Lower Brailes, constructed from matchsticks.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/11/2021 12:54:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM13MYP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Bear and Ragged
Views: 0

Long Description:
A rather marvelous exact replica of St George's church, Lower Brailes, constructed from matchsticks. It consists of around 250 000 matchsticks, and has been completed in exquisite detail, including churchyard, lychgate, and the war memorial a little outside the church grounds.
It was completed in 1979 and displayed in St George’s through the generosity of its maker – Mr Fred Hall of Shipston on Stour.

"St George’s is popularly known as ‘The Cathedral of the Feldon’ (the Feldon being the ‘field-land’ south of the River Avon). It can reasonably claim to be one of the grandest and most beautiful churches in the area. Its size reflects the mediaeval prosperity of Brailes which was probably the third largest town in Warwickshire, at a time when Birmingham was just a hamlet.

A few stones indicate the presence of a late Saxon or early Norman church, and the earliest part of the present church dates from the twelfth century. The first recorded incumbent, in 1120, was a priest named Thomas. Since then there have been 54 incumbents, the most recent of whom, Nicholas Morgan, retired in October 2016 having served the parish for 37 years (the fourth longest).

Most of what we now know as St George’s was built between 1325 and 1375 in the decorated style which gives it its graceful proportions and light, airy atmosphere. There is some evidence that building was interrupted by the Black Death in 1349 and another plague in 1360. The varied carvings which support the roof trusses, the pattern-book font and the magnificent east window, with its five trefoiled lights and net tracery, also date from the fourteenth century.

During the fifteenth century the 120ft (40m) west tower was added. It is an important local landmark and a Christian beacon. It houses a clock, a carillon and six bells. The clock mechanism can be dated fairly accurately at 1710; it was in working order until 1957 when it was replaced by an electric movement. The carillon mechanism (which plays hymn tunes four times a day) is of the same date and is now electrically driven. The bells are the second heaviest peal of six bells in the world. The largest, the tenor bell, weighs nearly 1.5 tons! Between 1953 and 1956, Canon Kemp arranged for the bells to be removed from the tower, refurbished and reinstalled.

The Parish Registers begin in 1570 and apart from a few defective pages are complete to the present day. They are kept by the Warwickshire County Records Office.

Royalist troops were quartered in Brailes in 1643 and it’s likely that St George’s suffered considerable damage during the Civil War. Much of the extensive restoration undertaken in 1649 was replaced in the restoration of the 1870s. It was in this latter period that the three-decker pulpit and box pews were removed and the current seating installed. The ancient plasterwork was stripped away, revealing the honey-coloured stone beneath, and Victorian stained glass was added to the east window. ‘An ugly gallery painted black and with a partition of lath and plaster’ which blocked the western arch of the tower was removed at this time and, as was the fashion in those days, an organ installed in the chancel. It was completely overhauled in 1996 and again in 2001.

The heating system was installed in 1879. Originally coal-fired but now fuelled by oil, it is a good example of Victorian engineering, which has given over 130 years of service."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Where is original located?: Lower Brailes

Where is this replica located?: St George's church, Lower Brailes

Who created the original?: Mr Fred Hall of Shipston on Stour

Internet Link about Original: https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/warks/vol5/pp17-26#h3-0003

Year Original was Created (approx. ok): 1979

Visit Instructions:
Post at least one photo of the replica.
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