The third church in our series exploring the small churches of Herefordshire was one we knew not for its architecture but rather unusually for its unique hedge! We knew of this church because the village, Brampton Bryan, because it is home to a huge used book shop situated in an old barn. It has thousands upon thousands of titles filling so many shelves that cover the walls of many rambling rooms and passage ways. The book barn goes under the name of Aardvark Books and it houses a coffee shop which serves very tasty coffee and cakes. Coffee, cakes and lots of books! How good is that!
St Barnabus was well hidden among tall Yew trees and secreted away behind a stone wall topped with a wonderfully eccentric wobbly hedge. It curved sinuously around the churchyard and it seemed to us that the volunteer gardener who cut it must have loved this task and the freedom of imagination he put into his work. It was simply stunning! Some of the best “cloud pruning” we have ever seen!
When we opened the door we were aware of how dark, cold, damp and unwelcoming it felt compared to the other churches we had visited earlier on. There was no sign of community involvement here at all.
But we did find some artifacts to interest us and above our heads we noticed its dark wood “Hammer Beam” structured ceiling.
We wandered around the outside of the church building to search for points of interest and found a mixed bag of things to interest my camera.
Before saying our goodbyes to St Barnabus we could not leave without another look at its most interesting feature, the crinkly hedge.