The Church of St Michael was built in the 12th century. It is a grade I listed building
William of Normandy gave Duns' manor to Walter de Longueville (near Dieppe) plus some others for services rendered during the Battle of Hastings. His nickname was Giffard, from the Norman/French word "giffles" meaning "fat cheeks", By the time of the Domesday Book, 1086, he had given Brimpsfield to his son Osbern.
The Giffards had a very independent spirit and were rogues. In spite of this they were pious in their own way and built the stone church, dedicated to St Michael, outside the castle moat in the old Saxon churchyard. To the North side there was a priory or cell given, with the church, by a Giffard Baron in the early part of the 12th century to the Benedictines of Fonteray in Normandy. In the 14th century the piscina in the church and the porch with the stone benches were added probably by John 2. The priory finally came into the King's hands in 1414. The large tombstone with its cross, looking like a sword, is thought to belong to an early Giffard, who went on a crusade.
The churchyard, which is 800 feet above sea level, is not just a place to bury or commemorate those who have lived in or are connected with the parish, it is a reflection of the village; a place which is peaceful and quiet yet full of character, maybe a temporary sanctuary for those who visit and certainly for much of the wildlife that is found in this area. In late winter there are mounds of snowdrops. These are quickly followed by violets and primroses and on through the year by a wide range of seasonal plants and flowers.
There are some magnificent yew hedges clipped into arches, old dry-stone walls supporting banks of ivy which in turn harbour many varieties of insects and butterflies. Many small mammals find a home here - foxes appear in the evening and deer have been spotted in the surrounding fields. The racous noise of the rookery dominates the earl morning and late afternoon and throughout the day the calls of many other birds can be heard the most evocative of which is the mewing of the local buzzards.
The church has six bells in the central tower at the present time, but prior to 1904 there were only three.
THIS COMES FROM A ROMAN CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEST. CHILDREN WERE ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ABOUT THE BIBLE WERE WRITTEN BY CHILDREN. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN RETOUCHED OR CORRECTED, INCORRECT SPELLING HAS BEEN LEFT IN.
1. IN THE FIRST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, GUINESSIS. GOD GOT TIRED OF CREATING THE WORLD SO HE TOOK THE SABBATH OFF.
2. ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED FROM AN APPLE TREE. NOAH'S WIFE WAS JOAN OF ARK. NOAH BUILT AND ARK AND THE ANIMALS CAME ON IN PEARS.
3. LOTS WIFE WAS A PILLAR OF SALT DURING THE DAY, BUT A BALL OF FIRE DURING THE NIGHT.
4. THE JEWS WERE A PROUD PEOPLE AND THROUGHOUT HISTORY THEY HAD TROUBLE WITH UNSYMPATHETIC GENITALS.
5. SAMPSON WAS A STRONGMAN WHO LET HIMSELF BE LED ASTRAY BY AJEZEBEL LIKE DELILAH.
6. SAMSON SLAYED THE PHILISTINES WITH THE AXE OF THE APOSTLES.
7. MOSES LED THE JEWS TO THE RED SEA WHERE THEY MADE UNLEAVENED BREAD WHICH IS BREAD WITHOUT ANY INGREDIENTS.
8. THE EGYPTIANS WERE ALL DROWNED IN THE DESSERT. AFTER WARDS, MOSES WENT UP TO MOUNT CYANIDE TO GET THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
9. THE FIRST COMMANDMENTS WAS WHEN EVE TOLD ADAM TO EAT THE APPLE.
10. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT IS THOU SHALT NOT ADMIT ADULTERY.
11. MOSES DIED BEFORE HE EVER REACHED CANADA. THEN JOSHUA LED THE HEBREWS IN THE BATTLE OF GERITOL.
12. THE GREATEST MIRICLE IN THE BIBLE IS WHEN JOSHUA TOLD HIS SON TO STAND STILL AND HE OBEYED HIM.
13. DAVID WAS A HEBREW KING WHO WAS SKILLED AT PLAYING THE LIAR. HE FOUGHT THE FINKELSTEINS, A RACE OF PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN BIBLICAL TIMES.
14. SOLOMON, ONE OF DAVIDS SONS, HAD 300 WIVES AND 700 PORCUPINES.
15. WHEN MARY HEARD SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF JESUS, SHE SANG THE MAGNA CARTA.
16. WHEN THE THREE WISE GUYS FROM THE EAST SIDE ARRIVED THEY FOUND JESUS IN THE MANAGER.
17. JESUS WAS BORN BECAUSE MARY HAD AN IMMACULATE CONTRAPTION.
18. ST. JOHN THE BLACKSMITH DUMPED WATER ON HIS HEAD.
19. JESUS ENUNCIATED THE GOLDEN RULE, WHICH SAYS TO DO UNTO OTHERS BEFORE THEY DO ONE TO YOU. HE ALSO EXPLAINED A MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY SWEAT ALONE.
20. IT WAS A MIRICLE WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND MANAGED TO GET THE TOMBSTONE OFF THE ENTRANCE.
21. THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED THE LORD WERE CALLED THE 12 DECIBELS.
22. THE EPISTELS WERE THE WIVES OF THE APOSTLES.
23. ONE OF THE OPPOSSUMS WAS ST. MATTHEW WHO WAS ALSO A TAXIMAN.
24. ST. PAUL CAVORTED TO CHRISTIANITY, HE PREACHED HOLY ACRIMONY WHICH IS ANOTHER NAME FOR MARRAIGE.
25. CHRISTIANS HAVE ONLY ONE SPOUSE THIS IS CALLED MONOTONY.
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