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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Hampshire

by Peter Kessler, 24 July 2020

New Forest Part 2: Churches of Dibden to Hyde

All Saints Church, Dibden, New Forest, Hampshire

All Saints Church, Dibden, lies at the northern end of a lane off the north side of Main Road, around four hundred metres east of the A326 roundabout. It was built in the thirteenth century, with Tudor windows being added in the fifteenth century, some of which still survive. The building underwent restoration in 1884, with the west tower receiving particular attention. A south aisle was also added to the church, but this was lost following a devastating fire suffered in 1940.

All Saints Church, Dibden, New Forest, Hampshire

That fire was the result of an enemy bombing raid on nearby Marchwood military port at the start of the Second World War - the first mainland British church to be so honoured. The church's eight bells came crashing down into the tower base where they shattered the magnificent thirteenth century font below. Rebuilding began in 1954-1955, but the south aisle could not be saved. Some relics of the lost aisle can still be seen in the restored nave, while the bells were replaced.

The Parish Church of St Katharine, Exbury, New Forest, Hampshire

The Parish Church of St Katharine, Exbury, is on the eastern side of Summer Lane, about thirty metres south of the entrance to the Exbury Estate. Dedicated to St Katharine of Alexandria, this church succeeded a small medieval stone chapel, situated at Lower Exbury. That was demolished in 1827, with some of its stone being incorporated into the present building - part of William Mitford's plan to create a new model village at Upper Exbury. It was fully redesigned in 1907.

Parish Church of St Paul, East Boldre, New Forest, Hampshire

The Parish Church of St Paul, East Boldre, is at the south-west corner of the Cripple Gate Lane and Church Lane junction. It was built to give a local place of worship to parishioners who had the long walk to Boldre's parish church (see below). The church was completed and dedicated on 5 December 1839. It was classed as an early Victorian red brick structure of no great architectural distinction. A chancel was added in 1891 as it had already become too small.

Church of St John the Baptist, Boldre, New Forest, Hampshire

The Church of St John the Baptist, Boldre, is on the northern side of Church Lane, about two hundred metres north-west of the Thistle Lane junction. 'Boldra' church is referred to in a charter of about 1100, although it is thought to have replaced a Saxon building. It gained independence from Christchurch Priory following the Reformation. Elements of the Norman building survive, but it was greatly expanded between 1220-1240 and the tower was added in the 1300s.

Holy Ascension Church, Hyde, New Forest, Hampshire

Holy Ascension Church, Hyde, stands at the western end of the lane which connects to Pentons Hill and Hern Lane at their junction. Between 1845-1850 the Reverend Warren, curate at Ibsley, promoted the building of this new church within the parish of Fordingbridge. The foundation stone was laid on 8 June 1854. Hyde gained its own parish in 1855 and the consecration of the new church, with its modest nave and small chancel, took place on 26 October 1855.

Photos on this page kindly contributed by Karen White, Douglas Law, and Sam Weller, all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and one by the Benefice of Boldre & South Baddesley.



Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.