Parish Churches

St Peter’s Church, Hayling Island, Hampshire & A Russian Princess

On a visit to Hayling Island in June, 2017, we visited this ancient 12th century church, which had a lovely sign with the magical words…..Church Open…..that makes me so happy.  St Peter’s is the oldest church on the island and is situated in the north.  Built in 1140 and is a grade 1 listed building.

The font, like the church, dates back to the 12th century.

A little history for you……..The church was originally built in about 1140 by the monks of Jumièges Abbey not as a parish church but as a chapel of ease, Northwode Chapel, to serve the people of North Hayling for whom going to their parish church of All Saints in the south of the island was not convenient. The original building probably occupied most of what is now the nave, and was apparently built without foundations; the central pillars rested on large sarsen stones (boulders probably deposited by glaciers during the Ice Ages). Buttresses were added later to help support the walls. In the early 13th century the building was expanded to its present dimensions, with the porch being added later. It is believed that St Peter’s three bells are one of the oldest peals in England, on suspended wooden axles and half wheels. The tenor bell has been dated by the Whitechapel Foundry as from about 1350.

 

The church is partially surrounded by a ditch, and has a substantial graveyard. Among those buried there is Princess Yourievsky (1878-1959), a natural daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia who was legitimised by her parents’ marriage and who spent the last 27 years of her life on Hayling Island, dying in relative poverty.

 

 

St George, St Andrew’s Church, Holt, Norfolk

While visiting St Andrew’s Church in Holt, Norfolk, I found this splendid St George stained glass window.  At the bottom of the window you can see a little of the dragon, with a couple of claws, or maybe teeth.

A nice one for my St George Series.

St Lukes’s Church, Broughton Sulney, Nottinghamshire & Belvoir Angels

In May 2015, we were travelling through Nottinghamshire, I can’t remember why, the reason is now lost in the mist of time, when I suddenly shouted stop, now I do remember that.  I had seem a wonderful honey golden ironstone church, St Luke’s the parish church for Broughton Sulney, the time was late but, when would we ever pass this way again.  Of course husband stopped and out I jumped, I knew it would be closed, but some exterior photos would be ok.  Before I even got to the door of the church I stopped in amazement, there were ‘Belvoir’ angel headstones everywhere.  

I love coming across these headstones and took my photos quickly before the light faded.  

A little history ………The Belvoir Angel is a motif local to the Vale of Belvoir (Beever) and the Framland, in the East Midlands, carved in slate in the late 1600’s and first part of the 18th century. Usually found immaculately preserved on small slate headstones, it speaks of the blessing of God at the time of passing from the earthly to the heavenly state, with a protective angelic covering.  A typical Belvoir Angel design is a winged angel face on a Swithland slate headstone found in the district, named after the Vale of Belvoir, in the East Midlands.

 

 

 

After the angel photo shot, I did try the door, just in case, but it was closed, although I’m glad I entered the porch, because I found a wonderful fragment of a tympanum, but it wasn’t until I did a little research, I found out it could be Norman.

 I have added a little history about the church, although not much, as it is being researched at the moment.

Luke’s is a small village church built of brown ironstone and has a heavily weathered appearance. There is no mention in Domesday Book of a church here but there is evidence in the porch for a Norman building in the form of a fragmentary tympanum with a crude figure in the right-hand corner.  There were originally two aisles but the south was demolished when the porch was constructed in 1733. However, one bay of this aisle survives, built into the wall, giving a date of c1200. The north arcade is of the 13th century though the rest of the aisle was rebuilt in 1855, as was the chancel. The west tower is also of the 13th century. There is a 14th century font with some carved tracery. In the churchyard are many fine 18th century slate head stones, typical of the ‘Belvoir’ school of carving.

May 2015

St Leonards Church, Bursledon, Hampshire

Today 13.09.17, in the South of France, it was another beautiful hot day.  We went along the coast to Nice and Monaco, visited a few places on the coast and then popped over to Italy, and then made our way up into the French Alps.  Found a lovely Alpine Town with a wonderful church, which I will post about when the laptop is better.  So, as I can’t post about the lovely churches I have visited in France, I found an English one that I can.

St Leonards Church is in Bursledon, a village in Hampshire, on the south coast of England.  We were visiting Hampshire back in July and on the way home stopped for something to eat in Bursledon, when I noticed the church.  It was about 7.00 pm, so I knew it would be locked, but it’s such a pretty church I took photos anyway, as goodness knows when we will be passing again.  

A little history…..

The church in Bursledon can trace its history back to the last half of the twelfth century.

All churches can be given a ‘date’ by the styles of architecture they contain: St. Leonard’s has features that seem to confirm that it was indeed founded in the later twelfth century. The simple elegance of the Chancel Arch, dividing the nave from the raised area at the east end of the church, is of early English style and can be dated to 1190-1300. The font is perhaps earlier and, although unfinished and retooled in places, it is of transitional style dateable to 1160-1190.

The blocked doorways in the nave, presumably once the main access points for monks and congregation before the Victorian extension, date to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The small lancet window in the chancel, although restored in 1888-9 is of a thirteenth-century design.

In the 1830′s St. Leonard’s had two transepts added, making a cross-shaped church in plan. However, these proved unsatisfactory and in 1888-9 the church was extensively re-modelled. There is a brass plaque in the nave detailing the work that the architect, John Sedding, carried out. It seems that Sedding kept what was best about the old church and sensitively extended the nave and replaced the transepts, to accommodate the growing population of Bursledon.

 

 

 

A Postcard from Hayling Island, Hampshire, England

At the moment we are in France, but my laptop has decided it will not down load any new photos, so old photos will have to do.  The weather is an assortment of sunshine and rain……well we are use to that in the UK, but it is going to get hotter the further south we go…..hopefully.  We are in Epernay which is in Champagne region and of course we had to have a taster, which was very nice.  We have also visited ‘The Notre-Dame Church’ not that old, but still very beautiful with some wonderful gargoyles.  

Returning to the photos, we visited Hayling Island in July, 2017, the island is somewhere that my mother use to take my brother and I, for lots of seaside visits, and then my daughter when she was small.  We lived in Portsmouth, which is on another island, Portsea Island, although no one calls it that anymore.  The beach, Southsea on Portsea, is pebbles, but on Hayling Island, which is the next island along, there use to be sand dues and thats why my mother took us on the short boat trip to visit them.  The photo of the long road bridge is the only way onto the island by car and the view you see from the beach is another island, the Isle of Wight.  

There use to be a railway bridge onto the island, but as you can see from the photo this is all that is left of it now.  I have add an old railway map of Hayling and Portsea, so you can see how close they are, but Portsea is now connected, I think, by five bridges, although I can remember when it was only one.

All Saints Church & The Dukes Tower, Inveraray, Scotland

On holiday in Scotland 2016, we visited Inveraray, Scotland, and that one thing you can see from quite a distance, is the Dukes Tower, which was added to, All Saints Church, built in 1886.  The freestanding tower was added between 1923 and 1931. This was built as a war memorial and accommodates a ring of 10 bells, reputedly the second heaviest peal in the world. 

The church was for some reason closed, although the sign side it was open, but thats nothing unusual, or its just that I have go use to them being closed.  So next time we are passing I will try again.  It is not as old as some of the churches I visit, but it is in one of the most beautiful locations for a church, so worth a visit next time.

A little history ……..Gothic-style church built 1885 in local red granite, designed by Wardrop and Anderson of Edinburgh. Many of the interior furnishings given by Niell Dairmid, 10th Duke of Argyll. Belltower, in Gothic revivial by Hoare & Wheeler, built 1923-31 as a Memorial to Campbell dead of First World War and previous wars. Peal of ten bells by John Taylor of Loughborough, 1926. 

 

Kilmartin Church & Large Cross, Scotland

This is the last post on Kilmartin, Scotland 2016, for this year, hopefully we will return next year to visit the sites of a much earlier period than the stone crosses and churchyard of Kilmartin Church.   I have saved the best to last, well I think so, ‘The Large Cross’.  One of the most magnificent medieval stone crosses in the West Highlands.  Carved about 1200, on side is the robed Christ sitting with arms raised to show his wounds.  On the other side is the crucified Christ with a winged lion, symbol of St Mark, to his left, and angel for St Matthew above and a winged bull for St Luke below.

 

 

Taken from one of the notice boards……..This cross is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent of the great crosses carved in the Western Highlands in the Middle Ages.  Its form is unusual for the area, and the quadrant brackets which originally helped to support the widely projecting arms must have given it something of the appearance of a wheel-headed cross.  Until recent years only the shaft and side arm were known to survive, but in 1973 the upper arm was found built into a culvert.  The three pieces have been secured together in what is thought to have their correct relationship, with out attempting to replace the missing parts for which there is no evidence.

The cross originally stood 400 metres away, but was later moved to the Kilmartin graveyard.  The arm which was found in the culvert, was fixed back when the cross was brought inside.

The following photos are from a display inside the church.

The shaft and arm of the cross in the graveyard of Kilmartin Church.

The top arm of the cross replaced back onto the shaft.

The reserve side of the cross, once the top arm was fixed back to the shaft.

A little history on Kilmartin Parish Church………..On the site of earlier churches, the present building opened in 1835. The architect was James Gordon Davis. The church is Gothic in style with nave, aisles and a square tower. Three interesting memorial panels from the 18th and 19th centuries to members of the family of Campbell of Duntroon. The church has two outstanding early Christian crosses, with explanatory panels provided by Historic Scotland. The kirkyard contains the mausoleum of Bishop Neil Campbell and medieval tomb slabs. Extensive views over Bronze Age burial cairns, a photo shows one at the bottom of the page.