731/9/6 BROWNSOVER LANE
11-OCT-1949 CHURCH OF SAINT MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS
A small Anglican church, originally a chapel of ease, dedicated to St Michael and All Angels. The building dates from the C13, and was largely rebuilt in 1876-7 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in a sympathetic Early English style.
MATERIALS: The church is built from cream coloured coursed stone rubble with reddish-brown freestone dressings. The roof is covered in plain clay tiles and has pierced ridge tiles. There are decorated cast iron rainwater goods of the C19.
PLAN: The plan is a simple nave and chancel, with a small, later lean-to in the north east corner between nave and chancel; the church is entered from the west.
EXTERIOR: The building is a high single storey, the nave having diagonal buttresses to the west end, a moulded plinth and string course. The west end has two high-set, single light windows with cinquefoil heads, and a gabled bracket for the bell set high in the gable. The only entrance is through a small, pointed arched moulded doorway with drip mould, housing a C19 door with elaborate hinges. This is flanked by two-light pointed arched windows with simple Y-tracery without cusping. They each have drip moulds with male and female heads as stops. The windows to the north and south sides of the nave are similar, those to the north apparently dating from the C13; there is also an early lancet in the east wall of the nave. The chancel has diagonal buttresses, sprocketted eaves and paired lancets to the north and south, and a single C13 lancet to the south. The east window is of three cusped lights and a triangular head, dating from the C15.
INTERIOR: The interior is largely plastered and whitewashed. The chancel arch appears to date from the C13 or C14; it is two-centred, with a half-round moulding to one side and a chamfer to the other. There is some further internal stone work surviving from the medieval phase of the building. The south wall has a small shallow piscina with its bowl and drain intact. The nave and chancel have C19 polychrome floor tiles. The roof structure dates from the C19, springing from wooden corbels, and has cambered tie beams, curved braces to a collar beam, and king posts. The east window has stained glass dating from the early C20, dedicated to Lawrence Sheriff, the founder of Rugby School. All the other windows have plain glass. The circular font dates from the C13; it has a small tub bowl with a recessed concave moulding, tall banded stem and moulded base. There is a variety of timber fittings throughout the church, of various dates and origins. There is a fine rectangular screen, made up of elements dating from the C15 and later. The pulpit is Flemish and dates from the C18; it has C17 wall panelling to the rear, set on the east wall of the nave. The German organ is housed in a richly decorated case dating from the Restoration period, which was brought to the church from St John's College, Cambridge in the late C19.
HISTORY: St Michael and All Angels was constructed in the C13 as a chapel of ease to the nearby parish of Clifton upon Dunsmore, and its plan has not been altered significantly since. Additional windows were added to the west end later in the C13, and others in the C14 and C15. Buttressing and a west porch were added after the Reformation, and the church was comprehensively restored in 1876-7 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, for Allesley Boughton-Leigh of nearby Brownsover Hall. New stained glass was inserted in the east window in the early C20. The church is now redundant and vested in the Churches Conservation Trust; it is still consecrated and used for occasional worship.
Victoria County History: A History of the County of Warwick, Volume 6: Knightlow hundred (1951) 65-72
Christopher Dalton: Church of St Michael and All Angles, Brownsover, Warwickshire: Churches Conservation Trust Guide, 1996
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:
The Anglican church of St Michael and All Angels at Brownsover is listed at Grade II*, for the following principal reasons:
* The building is a former chapel of ease retaining fabric of the C13, C14 and C15
* The church was unusually sympathetically restored in the 1870s by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, using high quality materials and craftsmanship, in a matching Early English style and retaining the original plan form and a significant proportion of the early fabric
* The survival of significant medieval fabric, the high quality of the C19 work and the church's eclectic collection of historic fittings combine to make it of more than special architectural interest