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CHURCH OF ST MARY AND ST HARDULF

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  BREEDON PRIORY
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Mainly 13th century church incorporating remains of Mediaeval priory church of Breedon Priory. Many 8th and 10th century Saxon sculptured stones. Identified as a minster from documentary evidence, the minster being founded between 675-691. Circa 1109-22, the church was granted to Nostell Priory as an Augustinian Canonical Cell. The existing church formed the canon's quire in the Middle Ages, but there is no evidence to suggest that the Priors ever held the cure of souls of the parish, indicating that the church was retained for parochial use. The West tower formed the West end of a 12th century church, and the present church is coterminus with that building. Soon after 1150 a parochial nave was added to the West of the 12th century church, the Western part of the latter being adapted as the Canon's quire. The quire was rebuilt in the 13th century on a cruciform plan with an aisled quire of four bays, the 12th century aisleless nave surviving the enlargement. The parochial nave was rebuilt in the 15th century, although the North wall was retained so as not to disturb the claustral buildings to the North. Following the Dissoution, the North transept and parochial nave were demolished, and the South transept retained as a South porch. Plan of nave with aisle, and West tower. The Priory was extant from before 1122 until dissolved in 1539.

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