You won’t find this remote village church in any of the big Church gazetteers; but you will find it in any self-respecting book about Anglo-Saxon architecture. Melbury Bubb’s c10 Anglo-Saxon font makes it the epitome of what I call the “single treasure church”.
The church’s lack of pretension is extraordinary. It is still lit by oil lamps and heated by a coal fired stove in the nave!
There is little documented about this church. We know the perpendicular style south tower was added in 1474 but the rest was rebuilt in 1854. The tower is curiously disproportionate to the size of the rest of the church.
You might surmise that there was a church in Anglo-Saxon times and you could be right; but it would certainly have been made of wood and all vestiges have gone. The “Bubb” in the placename might refer to a local Anglo-Saxon lord named “Bubba” but, again, nobody knows.
Don’t be fooled by the presence of the Anglo-Saxon font. It is a wonderful piece of sculpture but it seems to have been carved out of the upturned base of an Anglo-Saxon cross. It is quite likely, therefore, there was originally a preaching cross here rather than an Anglo-Saxon church.
The design around it is a frieze of animals: a stag, a wolf, a lion, and a