Fantastic finds with Hampshire Field Club

Published Wednesday 16 September 2009

Exciting discoveries were made in historic New Forest churches when the New Forest National Park’s archaeological officer Frank Green and colleagues led a fascinating tour last weekend.

Members of the Historic Buildings section of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society went to churches at Boldre, St Nicholas in Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst and Minstead during the Heritage Open Day weekend on 12 September.

A great bonus on the day was the presence of experts involved with revising the Pevsner Architectural Guide for Hampshire, who provided their encyclopaedic knowledge and helped identify some architectural treasures which previously have gone unnoticed.

The group visited St Nicholas at Brockenhurst where 18 and 19 century alterations were outlined. A rare 16 century window in the south aisle dating from the reign of Queen Mary between 1553 and 1558 suggests the church may have been refurbished at that time.

Frank said: ‘The timber doorframe to the belfry may also date from the same period. This has possibly not previously been recognised, as it contains 18 century doors that match the panelling inside the tower.’

Close examination of the church at Minstead also revealed possible unrecognised or documented features.

Frank said: ‘It is possible that a pew-end, now part of the clerk’s desk next to the steps to the chancel, probably dates from the 14 century and is possibly similar to only two others in Hampshire.

‘The day’s visit was really worthwhile, indicating that in nearly every case our historic New Forest churches have many more secrets and architectural treasures and details to be located and most importantly recorded.’

Chairman of the Field Club’s historic buildings section Bill Fergie would like to thank all for organising the day and the churches for providing access.

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Media Contact:
Hilary Makin
Head of Communications
New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646650
Email: press@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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