*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Here be dragons

27 June 2014

BELIEVE it or not, close to this ancient church in Hereford diocese is the spot marked by a stone (right) where St George killed the dragon. It is said that the dragon lived in a well there, making a nuisance of itself until St George came to deal with it.

Be that as it may, St George's, Brinsop, also has a lot of other interest. The present building dates from 1300-50, although there was presumably an earlier church, for it has a tympanum of George and the dragon clearly identifiable as the work of the Herefordshire school of Norman sculptors, two centuries previously. There are early wall-paintings, and a coffin lid, and -from more recent times - Comper windows.

The immediate restoration concern for its worshippers is the bells; they are some of the most ancient in the country, and were cast in Worcester in the mid-15th century. One is badly cracked, and they all need to be rehung. An appeal has gone out, and what is remarkable is that the family who probably sponsored them as long ago as 1440 have responded.

They heard the church featured on the radio last year, and members of the Dansey family, now living in New Zealand, made contact. For about 500 years, the Danseys owned neighbouring Brinsop Court, a 14th-century manor house, until it was sold in 1815. Reinforcing the probability that John and Margaret Dansey sponsored the bells, the churchwarden Katrina Morris says, is the Latin dedication of two to St Margaret and St John. They have not been rung since 1974, she says.

"This is a big project for our small church and congregation, but, despite the costs, we feel we must restore them. The cost of the work will be around £20,000. Since October 2013, parishes have been able to claim back the VAT on work on bells, which saves us a lot of money. But we still need all the help we can get."

Church Times: about us

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)