Astoft

 

Stoke Charity,  Hampshire  -  St Mary and St Michael
12th 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 tranquil church in a lovely setting and with a fascinating interior



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Flint; nave and chancel; short bell-turret. What there is of medieval windows is Dec (west and south sides) and Perp (north and east sides).

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The church (which is uncommonly well restored and kept) contains to one's surprise a mighty Early Norman N arcade of two bays. The pier is octagonal but of monstrous girth, and has, like the responds, a capital of many biggish scallops. The arches are rounded and unmoulded. But what can the small arch mean which opens from the E end of the N aisle to the E? It has one slight chamfer. Is it re-set, or can it be contemporary with the so much more elaborate chancel arch with its zigzag at r. angles to the wall, i.e. can it be Late Norman? (Simon Jenkins in "England's Thousand Best Churches" states that it appears to be Saxon). The chancel arch is round, and its section is just a single step. The capitals have reeded foliage. ... 

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Nave from north aisle - Nave from chancel - Arch from chancel to north chapel - North chapel

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In the chapel, Mass of St Gregory; late C15. It is rare that in England a stone-carved scene of this kind remained undamaged. ... Originally painted, just a few traces left. Wall Painting. Large mid C13 fragment on the N chapel S wall, with much colour preserved and for once not restored. Shows parts of two figures.

Under the arch between the chancel and north chapel plain tomb chest, but on the lid brasses of Thomas Hampton, died 1483, his wife and children. ... He is in swagger armour. The children on a panel below (two sons and six daughters, two of these being unmarried as indicated by loose hair), a panel of the trinity at the top.


 
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Also in the chapel tomb-chest with back wall and shallow four-centred arch, all panelled. Cresting on top. This is to John Waller, died 1526.

Again in the chapel a plain Jacobean tomb-chest, to Sir Thomas Phelipps, died 1626. Daughter below in front.
In the N aisle at its W end Sir James Phelypps, died 1652. Very elementary tomb-chest and back wall only partially preserved. No figures survive.


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In the nave on the S side brass to Thomas Wayte died 1482. The figure, 2 ft 2 in. long, is almost identical with Thomas Hampton. There was certainly no craving for originality among suppliers of funerary monuments or their customers about 1480. But then, was there about 1780? 

The font, in the north aisle, is 12th century.

 

More information about the church and its memorials at Southern Life website

 
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