Welcome to the Brierley Village Web site

Pronounced as "bry"-"early"

Introducing the work of Brierley and its people in photographs (Baipip)

Brierley is a small village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire England

This web site is kindly hosted by me-too. net and is intended for your enjoyment. However if you find any article offensive please email and it will be removed at once

Please email your comments on this web site and any requests to Gary (see email link below)

Introduction to this website

View the statistics for this website

Your contribution

 Local links

Old newspaper cuttings

Search the Brierley Village website

Email this website

Local news stories

Home page
Ask Richard
Facts about Brierley
Photographs on line
Index to the Baipip photograph archives
Your Email
People Search
Where R U Now
Local Services
Local Organisations
Local History Archives









 John Steele 2007

Written for the Brierley Village web site







Photography by Baipip



Part 2

     During the 11th century, it was a common and well-known and established practise that churches and parishes belonged to the local lord or seigneur as he was the person who sanctioned its building on his land. He also controlled the appointment of the priest and any endowments to the church but did not necessary pass on the tithes and/or endowments to his priest thus these gifts went to a layman and not to the church. This system was not founded by legislation and was aimed at maintaining a balance between the government of the bishops and the dominium of the seigneur - a sort of ‘you scratch my back and I ill scratch yours’ - quid pro quo.

     In the late 11th century or very early 12th century a new Bishop of Rome was selected whose aim was to re-establish the authority of the bishop in place of the seigneur in all parishes and in 1123 the lateral council decreed “that the priests are to be instituted in parish churches by bishops” thus setting the priests office on a proper spiritual basis whereby the relationship between the priest the seigneur, the bishop and people became immediately recognisable as a holy one. As a result of this reform a large number of the laity began to give their churches to religious bodies that were not included in the new reform and so enjoyed the same privileges as the seigneurs. Those who endowed the monasteries with churches and lands were perhaps motivated by piety and also financial gain.



     What have the last two paragraphs got to do with St Peter’s? You may ask: Simply this: About the same time that a new bishop of Rome was being elected a former Hermitage at Nostell was granted Priory status to monks of the Augustinian Order who carried out much parochial work. Alric meanwhile had died and was succeeded by his son Swein as the owner of Felkirche and its lands. Prompted by the actions of other seigneurs, Swein granted Felkirche together with lands, tithes and other appurtenances to the Priory and convent of St Oswald, Nostell about 1121 AD. This gift of the church and land can be confirmed by an entry in the Chartularies of Nostell by Swein’s son, which was made in 1153/54 following his father’s death. I reproduce it here. “Notification by Adam son of Swein to William archbishop of York and the chapter of St Peter that he has confirmed the alms which his father, Swein son of Alric, made to the regular cannons of Nostell by the hands of archbishop Thurston, namely the church of Hoderode with a carucate of land and all pertaining to the church, half the church of Mekesburg with all pertaining to it, similarly, the church of Addewic, Winterset with 2 carucates of land and everything pertaining to the Vill in wood and plain and 8 bovates of land in Crofton. Adam has granted 3 bovates of land in Brampton for the soul of Matilda, his wife. The Alms of his father, mother and himself should be held free from all secular service in order that their souls shall, by the mercy of God, be free from all the power of the Devil and from all the pains and torments of Gehenna”.


Carucate = approx 120 acres

Borate = 1/8 of a carucate approx 15 acres

Gehenna = Derived from Hebrew, a place of torture and human sacrifice to Baal and Moloch.


     Note the reference to Hoderode, now Hodroyd, which was a small Anglo Saxon settlement close by probably founded some two or three hundred years earlier by one named Hoda.

     So here we have an example of what became known at the time of Martin Luther as an indulgence – a payment or an expensive gift to the church in order that the donors ancestors and descendants etc would be prayed for regularly so that their souls would be received in heaven and not despatched to the power of the devil. This self-same charter was still being confirmed by the heirs and descendants of Swein and Adam well into the 13th century, and as the church was now the responsibility of Nostell Priory the canons had the legal right to its upkeep and the appointment of a rector. With this in mind we arrive at the point in the late 13th century where the enlarging of the church first began but not forgetting that repairs must have been carried out in the previous 150 years.


Back to Top of Page