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The misericords and history of St Burian.

St Buryan church has four, 15th century misericords.


Corpus of misericords

All four misericords, placed 2 on the north and 2 on the south of the chancel are Plain shields

Please click on the thumbnails for larger images.

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St Buryan

History of St Buryan, Cornwall.

St Buryan church as a long and involved history, founded in 932 AD by the Saxon King Athelstan, who having stayed overnight at the local oratory, whilst on his way to conquer the Isles of Scilly, made a vow that he would found a church here if his mission was successful.

That church was demolished and replaced by a larger church in 1238.  Due, at least in part, to the church having been founded by Athelstan, the crown claimed St Buryan as a Royal Peculiar, this was disputed in the courts, by the bishops, however the court upheld the crown’s claim.  It was not until 1850 that the Prebends were abolished, by an act of parliament that restored the church to the diocese.

The tower dates from the late 14th century.  The 13th century church was in such a parlous state by 1473,  that it was decided to demolish it and rebuild from fresh, therefore the new nave was built to butt up against the 14th century tower.  Some architects are better than others - this one did not manage to get the nave and tower to line up properly!  The chancel, built at the same time as the nave (late 15th early 16th century) may retain in its north wall, some parts of the original tenth century masonry.

Blame for heavy handed restoration is usually, and in this case unfairly, heaped at the Victorians, however, blame for St Buryan’s restoration must be attributed to the Georgians!  In 1814 the “restoration” included ripping out the benches, with their beautifully carved ends, thankfully two of the bench ends survived, and an now incorporated in the litany desk.  The screen was decimated.  Thankfully, as the misericords are part of the four Prebendal seats, and the Prebends were only disbanded in 1850, they survived, however, of the four misericords, three are fixed down - so if you want to see them, bring a mirror and a torch!

St Buryan does not appear to have an official website, however you may find the West Penwith Resource site useful.

Click here for more local Misericords

Click here for more 15th century misericords


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 St Buryan Church st burian Cornwall 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats Misericords St Burian1.jpg
St Burian1.jpg
 St Buryan Church st burian Cornwall 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats Misericord St Burian2.jpg
St Burian2.jpg
 St Buryan Church st burian Cornwall 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats Misericord St Burian3.jpg
St Burian3.jpg
 St Buryan Church st burian Cornwall 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats Misericord St Burian4.jpg
St Burian4.jpg
 St Buryan Church st burian Cornwall 15th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls Woodcarving woodwork mercy seats pity seats Misericords St Burian5.jpg
St Burian5.jpg


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