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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Hampshire

by Peter Kessler, 24 July 2020

New Forest Part 3: Churches of Ellingham, Harbridge & Damersham

St Mary's Church, Ellingham, New Forest, Hampshire

St Mary's Church, Ellingham, sits at the northern end of a lane leading from Ellingham Drive, a little over four hundred metres west of the Salisbury Road junction. The building was founded as the Priory Chapel of St Mary & All Saints, and appears to have been built largely in the late thirteenth century. Following the Reformation the nave became the parish church for Ellingham. A rood-loft stair turret was added over the western end of the nave in the fifteenth century.

St Mary's Church, Ellingham, New Forest, Hampshire

The south porch and west end of the nave are of red brick and stone, with both being rebuilt in 1720 and 1747 respectively, which may be when the church lost the addition of All Saints in its dedication. The organ bay is a modern addition, while the one bell was cast by Clement Tosier of Salisbury in 1712. The west door is boarded up, while high above it is a round stone plaque giving the date of the rebuilding. Capping this end of the church is the shingled spire of 1884.

Ellingham Priory, New Forest, Hampshire

The lost Ellingham Priory was formed by a collection of buildings close to the present St Mary's Church (see above), and close to Ellingham House, seen here. The priory was founded as a cell to the Benedictine Abbey of St Sauveur-le-Vicomte in 1160. The charter specifies the foundation of the priory chapel which survived the Reformation as the parish church. The priory, though, did not, and its structure seems very quickly to have been removed, with nothing surviving.

All Saints Church, Harbridge, New Forest, Hampshire

All Saints Church, Harbridge, is on the eastern side of Churchfield Lane, about seventy metres south of the junction with Kent Lane. It is unclear precisely when the original building was constructed on this site. A tower was added in the fifteenth century but this appears to be the oldest surviving element of the present building. Most of it was rebuilt in 1838-1840 by G Evans, including much of the tower, although only here were older parts of masonry preserved.

All Saints Church, Harbridge, New Forest, Hampshire

The church is a Purbeck stone, ashlar-faced building which consists of a small chancel, a four-bay nave, and the west tower. That rebuilt tower copies the style of the original, and retains a north-east octagonal stair-tower (seen above the tower here). Entry is through an early eighteenth century brick porch, with a large blue and gold sundial. Inside, the church has a fifteenth century barrel roof and screen, above which is a plaster tympanum, while the pulpit is Jacobean.

Church of St George, Damersham, New Forest, Hampshire

The Church of St George, Damersham, is on the southern side of Church Lane, about forty metres east of the River Allen. It was built in the twelfth century, with a south transeptual tower, north aisle and north chapel. A south chapel and aisle were added in the following century and the tower was rebuilt. In the 1400s the chapels were demolished and the rendered chancel and north aisle rebuilt, with the south porch being added. The tower was rebuilt in the seventeenth century.

Photos on this page kindly contributed by Alwyn Ladell, Karen White, 'Martin', and Sam Weller, all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and one photo copyright © Mike Faherty, and reused under a cc licence. Additional information by Alwyn Ladell and Karen White.



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