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St. James' Bix Brand, June 2008

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batroy

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St. James' Church, Bix Brand is the ruin of a mediaeval church in a valley in the Chiltern hills. It was abandoned in 1875 when a new church was built in Bix village, a mile to the south, and now the structure is in an extremely dilapidated state.


It was not a large church, having only a single nave and chancel, no tower. Its construction is the flint that is typical of this area of the county. As can be seen above the graveyard is rather overgrown. There are no standing headstones but a couple of grave markers rest against the north wall. The main entrance is where you might expect it on the south wall.


Inside the church the aisle is littered with debris and the undergrowth has started to take hold. Standing towards the rear of the building the small size of the structure becomes apparent. It almost feels as tough you can touch each wall standing in the aisle, if you are used to larger village churches this one will feel like a side chapel by comparison. The chancel screen and its rounded Romanesque arch provide clues to the age of the building.


Through the arch, and the chancel is rather cramped. The east window dominates it with a view across the valley.


Streetmap.co.uk link: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?G2M?X=472620&Y=186925&A=Y&Z=3

This is a straightforward explore, if a rather unusual one. Sorry to disappoint if you expect a mystic or supernatural angle to a ruined church, it's just a parish church so there is none.

More pictures and words on my www site, plus a link to some pictures of the site taken in the 1890s and held by English Heritage.
 

Foxylady

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On one hand it's quite sad that it's been left to get so dilapidated, but on the other I find it rather lovely, the way it seems to be melting into the undergrowth. Such a beautiful little church. Really enjoyed reading about it too. :)
 

batroy

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I too find it rather sad that a building like this could be let go almost within living memory. However maybe it's better this way than finding it converted into yet another bolthole for a City bonus type with a BMW parked on the crunchy gravel drive laid over the graves of generations of local people.

Age? 13th century (as far as my research could tell me). Or at least the original structure, like so many rural churches it would have evolved along the way.
 

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