Members' Events - 2011
This year's outing: Saturday 5 June 2011, New Forest
Our outing this year was to the New Forest. Some 25 members and friends met at The High Corner Inn, Linwood for lunch. This delightful pub is off the beaten track and can only be reached after negotiating a rather challenging unmade road and it took some of us longer than others to reach our lunch venue! However, after an excellent lunch we felt revived and set off to visit St Mary and All Saints, Ellingham.
St Mary and All Saints Ellingham
This church is situated about four miles south of Fordingbridge, just west of the A338 which passes along the valley of the River Avon to Ringwood. Between Fordingbridge and Ringwood there are five churches, which is surprising, as there is no evidence of significant population in the area at any time. It may be that the churches were built at the crossings of the river where hermit cells were already established.
St Mary and All Saints is a picturesque church approached along a path across the churchyard to the south porch. Near the church, to the right of the porch, is the tomb of Alice Lisle, who was beheaded in Winchester in 1685 for harbouring two fugitives from the Battle of Sedgemoor. The porch is Georgian in style, of red stone and brick, and dates from 1720. Over the door is an attractive sundial, painted blue and gilded. This was catching the sunlight as we approached and gave a welcoming and inviting feel to this very attractive church. We were welcomed to the Church by Mike Burridge, who gave us an interesting and comprehensive history of the church. Inside, the church has no chancel arch; instead it has a 15th century screen and on top of this are two plastered partitions which extend to the roof and shut the 13th century chancel off as a separate space. This tympanum is covered in biblical texts which includethe Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Creed. Other interesting features include a Jacobean pulpit, an hourglass stand dating from 1650, with a replacement glass of a later date, and a canopied pew dated 1712. The 20th century embroideries were also admired; these include altar frontals and pew runners, all beautifully designed and executed.
All Saints Harbridge
The second church we visited, All Saints, Harbridge, is some two miles north of Ellingham. Columba Cooke is the Inspecting Architect; Jenny Schillig, his assistant, met us at the church, showed us around and gave us a history of the building. There has been a church on the site since the 15th century, but due to its state of disrepair it was pulled down, apart from the tower, and rebuilt in 1838. The present church is in the Gothic style. Of particular note are the stained glass windows which contain 24 sepia oval medallions dating from the 17th century and are of Dutch origin. We noted repairs to the church stonework which had been undertaken with the help of a grant from the Trust in 2009.
St Martin's, Ibsley
Our final church to be visited was St Martin’s, Ibsley, which was a very short distance south of Harbridge, on the east side of the A338. The church was built in 1832 and still contains artefacts, including a fine memorial to Sir John Constable. The church is now closed for public worship and is an art gallery and shop, and more importantly for us visitors, sells tea and cake. This was especially appreciated as we sat in the churchyard on a hot sunny, summer afternoon.
Lady Joan thanked the Venerable Adrian Harbidge for his excellent organisation of an interesting and very good lunch and enjoyable afternoon of church visits.