|Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St_Laurence%27s_Church.JPG|
The space inside, containing three rooms linked by surprisingly narrow archways, is not large but it is high with small windows. It gives the stone-built chapel a distinctive feel, not showy but not humble either. The walls may have once been plastered and painted, perhaps also draped with hangings. In Saxon times, surrounded by timber buildings, a stone building of this size in a small town must have been pretty grand in itself.
Fragments of Saxon carved stone are dotted throughout. There are two carved angels high up on one wall, which may well have once been part of a larger sculptural frieze:
|Image from http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getimage.php?id=321|
'A charter of King Æthelred granted Bradford to the nuns of Shaftesbury in 1001, and the church’s architecture suggests it was built for the nuns early in the eleventh century. St Laurence’s is a characteristic Anglo-Saxon building: tall and narrow with small windows. The extent and richness of its decoration, however, are rare, perhaps suggesting it was designed partly for the relics of Æthelred’s brother Edward the Martyr, which were housed with the nuns at Shaftesbury.'
In 2012, the sculptor John Maine installed a three-part piece in the chapel above the altar. I think that it looks perfect in the setting and complements it well. At the top is a ring of Doulting stone carved by Maine. Below that is a piece of fossilised tree trunk thought to be about 150 million years old and below that is a fragment from a Saxon carved cross.
Bradford-on-Avon has several other interesting buildings, including a tithe barn and an interesting old town bridge with a building on it that was used as a cell for a while. Unfortunately I couldn't get photos of them during my visit but it's nice to be able to share this one with you.