It’s an odd place is Breedon. When it says “on the hill” that’s exactly what it means. You can see from a long way off and it really does just sit on top of a hill. It’s an odd-looking place too. The picture on the left has not been distorted: it really is very short and squat. This is because what you see today is the original chancel and crossing tower. It doesn’t look very interesting either: a few Early English lancet windows at the east end and the usual hotchpotch of gothic windows and naff faux-battlement and a too-large clerestory. The colour of the stonework doesn’t do much for it either. If the unpromising exterior persuaded you to give it a miss, however, you would be making a big, big mistake!
Breedon, like so many places, traces a history back to the c7 political and religious upheavals. A monastery was founded here in AD676 as an outpost of Medehamstead (modern Peterborough) by King Aethelbert of Mercia, son of the pagan King Penda. Penda and his offspring appear many times on these pages.
Did I say back to 676? Well, in fact, it is now believed that the church stands within the precincts of an Iron-Age fort and there is speculation that a pagan shrine stood here.
The Vikings rampaged through this area and caused the monastery to decline. After the Norman Conquest Breedon was given to the