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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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The Brockhampton Church Embroideries

 

Nestled in Herefordshire on the west boundary of England, up against Wales, and situated near the Wye River, is the little village of Brockhampton. In the little village of Brockhampton, there is a church – the church of All Saints. And inside the church of All Saints are some interesting textile-related items.

Today, thanks to Jac, who recently visited the church and took pictures, we get to travel to Brockhampton vicariously. Come along – let’s look at this pretty little church and its interior treasures!

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

The church of All Saints in Brockhampton is of interesting note for a number of reasons. The church was the last major work designed by William Lethaby, architect of the late 1800’s – early 1900’s, during the Arts & Crafts Movement in England. The little church, in its design, layout, and situation, stands as a kind of transitional bridge between the historic and modern, typical of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries

The church, built by one Alice Foster and dedicated to her parents, was finished and consecrated in 1902.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

Inside the church are numerous carved wooden panels that depict various wildflowers in England.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

These wood panels lead us to some of the embroidered items we’ll be looking at today.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

What happened was this: some time in the 1950’s, an anonymous embroiderer who appreciated the numerous wood carvings of English wildflowers throughout the church, and who also appreciated the fact that the church was left open for visitors, created a number of embroidered items based on the wildflower theme presented in the wooden carvings and donated these embroidered items to the church, where they are still in use.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

On the back wall inside the church, two samplers of embroidered wildflowers are framed and on display.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

Embroidered cushions adorn the pews in the church. The cushions feature, again, wildflowers, as well as biblical quotes.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

The embroidery is simple, but beautiful – very colorful, very clear…

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

… and very abundant. They reflect a great amount of time, and a great amount of love. The church must have been quite dear to the person who stitched these!

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

The biblical quotes come from the gospel according to St. Matthew, Chapter 6, towards the end of the chapter, probably from around verse 26-28 onwards. The words are suitable for the embroidery and the setting: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin…”

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

The colors on the embroideries are still so vivid!

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

And the embroiderer – well, she was certainly quite busy. All the hymnals have individual embroidered covers as well!

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

Another beautiful example of embroidery in the church can be found on the altar frontal.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

The altar frontal is worked in gold and metal threads and appliqué.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

The dimension achieved on these grapes is amazing!

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

Here, you can get a clearer idea of the threads and the leather appliqué used to create the grapes.

Brockhampton Church Embroideries - Church of All Saints

If you look behind the altar here, off to the left, you’ll see another textile treasure that the church of All Saints holds. There are two tapestries set in the back wall, flanking the altar. These tapestries were designed by Edward Burne-Jones and executed by the William Morris Company. They are gorgeous! I’ve provided some links below, where you can see clear photos of the tapestries.

In doing a bit of digging to find out a little more about the church of All Saints, I came across the following video on YouTube, showing some of the embroideries and so forth.

I thought it was a nice little video! (Newsletter subscribers, please visit the website to view the video)

The charm of the church of All Saints in Brockhampton is undeniable – and in fact, it is considered such an idyllic setting that the church has been recreated in Japan, in a skyscraper! Apparently, the point was to provide couples with that serene “English village setting” for their nuptials, without their having to travel all the way to England.

You can read a little more about the church of All Saints in Brockhampton by visiting their website. You can also visit this Brockhampton, All Saints Church collection of photos on Flickr, where you can see some nice images of the Burne-Jones tapestries and the stained glass windows.

I’ve added the church of All Saints to my “Some Day” list. I find myself twitterpated by it! Thanks, Jac, for the photos.

Hope you all enjoyed our little vicarious vacation!

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(16) Comments

  1. G’day Mary,
    All this is so beautifully amazing. When I wake up (just checking you out as well, on a night excursion to make sure the bathroom’s not lonely!) I’ll look into the links. It’s all very special and appealing.
    My wonderful little lucky needle ID cards came yesterday. Am thrilled and very pleased with myself to be be in possession of such handy dainties. Thank you.
    Cheers, Kath (Yawwwn)

    4
  2. Absolutely Beautiful. Thank you so much for allowing us to see this truly wonderful church. The love that went into the embroidery work is really amazing and dedicated.

    5
  3. How could anyone sit on that? Ever? O.o I can’t watch the vid right now -the baby is sleeping next to me- is there a possibility that the donor was More than one person?

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  4. It is so wonderful to see the “work of her hands” enriching the lives of everyone around them. They all look so clean and well cared for. I wonder how many people worked on these and how long it took.
    Beautiful, beautiful work.

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  5. That was a lovely visit. I loved the poppies and the individual covers for the hymnals. What a treasure!

    8
  6. Thank you Mary,
    Your gift today was out of this world .
    Those embroideries are to be visited over and over again, they are so beautiful, especially in the church setting. I’m saving this email of yours. Thank you again.

    9
  7. Thank You Mary & Jac! What a delight!! While I’ve seen my share of treasures in unassuming churches, this one takes the cake!!! Thanks for sharing.

    10
  8. Great news bit today! But do people really SIT on the pew cushions with at ll that embroidery on them??
    wow, your right, someone loved that church!

    12
  9. So lovely! I’m impressed with how large the floral motifs are, they really make a statement. Can you imagine how long it took to make this gift to the church? Staggering! Thanks for sharing.

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  10. The person who did the All Saint’s furnishings did a wonderful job! I am so impressed with the ideas and execution….and to think this was all done shortly after WWII when supplies would have been scarce ….bless them for blessing us with their work.

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  11. Thank you, Mary, for this trip. 🙂 Very nice, I love old England,… countryside and buildings…

    I find sitting on embroidered things irreverent though… I wouldn’t dare

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