I never thought I would say this, but I do occasionally get a little fatigued with writing about mediaeval churches. So as “an antidote to melancholy” I decided to write about something completely different: a church built in 1902 and owing all of its design and materials to the Arts & Crafts movement.
Brockhampton is a beguiling mixture of ancient and modern. It might not look that way at first glance but when you look carefully you can discern that the ground plan is that of a Norman cruciform church with a square central tower and two very shallow transepts. It is surely a calculated nod towards the survival of so many Norman churches in the Herefordshire area.
When all is said and done, the Arts & Crafts movement was one that believed in the use of traditional craft in commercial endeavours: this was not art for art’s sake. Brockhampton Church was, therefore, commissioned not by the Church of England but by Alice Foster, a Bostonian, who had married the Halifax mill owner, Arthur Foster. Alice’s own parents had paid for the refurbishment of Brockhampton Court for Alice and her husband. Alice, in turn, decided to commission the church in their memory.
W.R.Lethaby (1857-1931) was employed to design the church. He was a follower of William Morris, the doyen of the Arts & Crafts movement. Morris himself was believer in the “spirit of the middle ages” and this must surely