When was St Wilfrid’s Church built? Could it be Anglo-Saxon?
We don’t know just how old the church in Barrow is. There are however, some suggestions that it might be up to 1200 years old. Not all of it – most of the building came later; but there are
- Stones in the south- east corner where the chancel joins the south-aisle (quoins) were built the way they did in Anglo-Saxon times. (Peter Ryder 2013)
- These “quoins” (stones) are laid in “side alternate fashion” (short and long) which was a typical Anglo-Saxon building technique used before the Norman Conquest of 1066. (see below)
- A church in Barrow is mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 (see Barrow Domesday entry)
- The church was dedicated to St Wilfrid who was an Anglo-Saxon saint who died c. 710 in Oundle, Northamptonshire.
- Churches built after the Norman Conquest were not usually dedicated to Anglo-Saxon saints (Gladwyn Turbutt: 1990)
Detail hidden behind drain-pipe
“The Anglo-Saxons were unique in their use of two masonry devices. At the corners of towers or in the quoins where two walls meet, they liked to use an arrangement where long thin “planks” of stone were laid alternately horizontally and vertically. This is known today as “Long and Short Work” and it was not used in any subsequent architectural period”.
We will never know exactly when the church in Barrow was first built, but the evidence strongly suggests that it was during the Anglo Saxon period (410-1066).
See www.history.org.uk/primary/resource/3865/anglo-saxons-a-brief-history for more about this period.