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[ Historical Architecture ] - [ Bradwell Priory ]

The niche at Bradwell Priory

[ Priory ] - [ Niche ] - [ Chapel ] - [ Wall paintings ]

The niche built into the church wall

When the church nave of Bradwell Priory was widened to have a north side-aisle (c1285), a niche was built into its outside west wall in which to place the statue of the Virgin Mary, which had acquired a reputation for being a miraculous healing shrine.

The niche has an ogie construction (double-curving arch) and above it is an 'inverted V' hood mould whose purpose was to deflect the rain which ran down the outside of the church wall.

At each of the lower ends of the ogie arch there is a beast. The one on the left has been partly covered by the wall of the chapel, clearly showing that the chapel was constructed after the niche.

The above photograph shows a drawing of the Virgin Mary in the niche -- the original statue was probably destroyed c1548 in the reign of Edward VI when there was the first major purge on religious icons.

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