The History and Architecture of St. Andrew's Church
The History of St Andrew's Church
The exact date when the Parish Church was consecrated is not known, but we do know that there was a ruined Saxon Church here, with a tithe worth ten shillings, when the Domesday Survey was made in 1086, but it is more than likely this was a sacred site long before that. The present Church was built around the year 1170, although it has been enlarged and altered much since then.
Before 1228 the Church was granted to Wherwell Abbey and although the Abbey did not appropriate the revenues, the Abbesses drew a pension of £8 per annum from the Church. The early dedication of the Church was to St Mary, but by 1786 had been changed to St Andrew.
The building is of flint and rubble with stone dressings. It consists of the chancel with a North vestry and organ chamber, an aisled nave with South porch and a West tower.
In the early 13th century there was an aisled nave with arcades of three bays in transitional style (Norman to early English) and presumably a chancel. The chancel was enlarged or rebuilt later in the century and new windows were put into the aisles early in the 14th century. The tower arch may be late 14th century and the oblong plan of the tower suggests an earlier date than the 15th century, at which time it was rebuilt. A distinctive feature of the tower is a large dovecote within the middle stage, with nesting boxes lining the four walls. A square aperture outside has an alighting and taking off platform.
The south doorway of the Church and the window to its East were renewed in the 16th century.
The chancel was rebuilt on a narrower plan in 1856 by the Revd William Collings Lukis, when he became Rector. The North vestry was added at the same time. The architect was GE Street. In 1877 with Sir Arthur Blomfield as architect the nave and aisles were thoroughly restored and re-roofed, at the same time a new porch was built to replace one of brick dated 1791. Also the chancel arch was renewed and an organ chamber added.
The West window depicting the little children being blessed by Jesus, designed by Ward and Hughes, was inserted in 1887 by John Mackrell to commemorate his ancestors. He also made a bequest of £200 to maintain the window.
Situated just inside the Church door is a Norman font, with oak lid and brass fittings.
The Tower was restored in 1902 with money from the Charles Francis charity.