Alton,  Hampshire  -  St Lawrence Church
C.1100 and 15th century

Click on photos to enlarge.
Notes in italics from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd (1967)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

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A Perp town church built round a Norman crossing tower (see interior below). ... The exterior is C15 throughout, except for the Victorian broach-spire. Three-light windows with panel tracery under segmental arches. W window of four lights and below it a doorway still with C14 mouldings (third picture).

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Different views of Norman crossing tower: West arch viewed from south aisle (old Norman nave), north arch, east arch. and capitals of the crossing tower. ... all four Norman arches are still there. Their big decorated capitals and their arches with one step and one thick roll are emphatically Early Norman, say about 1100. The tower now stands in the S aisle; for in the C15 a new nave and chancel were built N of the previous church. At the same time the former nave was rebuilt.

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First picture shows east end of south aisle (position of former Norman chancel). Next three pictures taken from nave show arcade dividing it from south aisle, i.e. former Norman nave. Last picture is of arcade from south aisle.
In the former chancel alterations were also made, and a new S vestry and N chapel built. ... The church is essentially a parallepiped. The S aisle is as wide as the nave. The arcades are the same all the way: octagonal piers, hollow-chamfered arches. Lively busts to support the roof.

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The original church had a S arcade added to it c.1140. There are faint traces of this arcade inside, i.e. the remains of imposts with a band of ornament.
On the N face of the second pier from the W three C15 paintings of saints. 

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The font at west end of the south aisle is possibly Saxon, that within the crossing tower is Victorian.
Pulpit. An outstanding mid C17 piece. The panels with simple geometrical arrangements, but in addition detached ornamented columns, carrying arches.



Alton Town

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