St Michaels Church, Brimpsfield
Brimpsfield is mentioned in the Domesday Book as belonging to Osbern Giffard, one of William the Conqueror’s “proven companions” who fought with him at Hastings. The Giffards were a maverick family who chose the wrong side at the battle of Boroughbridge in 1322, after which their castle at Brimpsfield was demolished on the orders of Edward II, although its impressive earthworks remain visible close to the church (on private land).
It was a Giffard who began building Brimpsfield Church and gave it the Abbot of a Benedictine Convent at Fontenay in Normandy, who established a small priory here. As an alien priory, it was frequently seized by the King in time of war with France and eventually was bestowed on Eton College, which remains one of the Church’s patrons to this day. By 1474 the Church was owned by the Duchess of York, mother of Edward IV, who we believe built the small bell tower and left the church pretty much as it is seen today (other than the 19th Century addition of a vestry).
Brimpsfield Church is located on the edge of a promontory and reached by means of a long footpath across a field. Like many others in lofty locations it is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels. It seats around 80 and has a cosy, comforting and peaceful ambience. We have six bells, recently rehung and extended.
A complete history of the building and the parish it serves is available in pamphlet form in the Church.