The church of ST. PETER, formerly dedicated to the honour of St. Augustine, consists of a chancel 31¾ ft. by 17¾ ft. with north and south chapels, making a total width of 46 ft., a modern nave and a west tower, the total length of the church being 79 ft. The measurements are internal.
None of the existing work in the church is of earlier date than the 15th century, to which period belong the chancel and the west tower. The chancel chapels were added in the early years of the 16th century by Ralph Nevill of Thornton Bridge. The mediaeval nave was entirely removed in 1831 and the present structure built in its place, and the church has been restored in more modern times.
The chancel has a 15th-century east window of four lights and is separated on either side from the chapels by arcades of two bays. The chapels are conterminous with the chancel and are faced with ashlar. They were apparently built at the same time (the early 16th century) and are of similar character. The north chapel has a three-light east window and a two-light window in the north wall. On the east wall externally is an inscription in Gothic letters reading ‘Soli deo gloria.’ The south chapel has likewise a three-light east window and two three-light windows in the south wall. The parapet is embattled and below it on the south wall is the inscription ‘Orate [pro] a[nim]a Radulfi Nevvell fundatoris istius c?cellarii.’ Below are three carved shields and the further words ‘et gloria soli deo honor et . . .’ The shields are those of Ralph Nevill, his wife (who was daughter and heir of Sir Christopher Ward), and his daughter Katharine wife of Sir Walter Strickland of Sizergh. As Katharine, who died in 1527, was aged twenty-three in 1522, the date of the chapel may be fixed within a few years. The chapels have good parclose screens of oak, which with the reading desk were erected by the Coates family. The nave is an unfortunate example of the age in which it was built and is entirely without interest. The earlier building, destroyed in 1831, had an aisle only on the north side, into which it opened by an arcade of two bays. A plan of the church before the alteration is preserved amongst the churchwardens’ accounts of that period. The 15th-century tower at the west end is three stages high and supported by diagonal buttresses. It has an embattled parapet and a three-light west window. The axis of the tower makes a considerable deviation to the north from that of the rest of the church. From: ‘Parishes: Brafferton’, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2 (1923), pp. 98-103. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?co... Date accessed: 14 September 2009.