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Description of St. Mary's Church, Old Basing, Hampshire in 1843.
Originally published in Collectanea Topographica

O L D      B A S I N G
A Church Note for Hampshire

This Church, dedicated to St. Mary, consists of a Nave, Chancel, North and South Aisles, and North and South Chapels.

CHANCEL: The east window is of five lights cinquefoiled, with a heading of eight double-foliated trefoils.

The separation from the north chapel is by two raised tombs under canopied arches, with panelled compartments in the soffit, and having between them a low pointed-arched doorway. Immediately above this door is a canopied niche supported by a bracket resting on a head, and having its side shafts supported by blank shields.

The spandrels of the arch of the tomb nearest to the nave have blank shields and foliage. Immediately above this arch is a large shield, bearing, Quarterly:

Arms of Paulet1. Barry of six, a bend; crescent for difference, Poynings. 2. On a chief two mullets, St. John. 3. Three water bougets, Roos. 4. Two lions passant guardant, Delamere. 5. Three bars ermine, Hussey. 6. A fess between three fleurs de lys, Skelton. 7. Fretty, with a canton, Ireby. 8. Two lions passant guardant. On an escutcheon of pretence, three swords, points conjoined in pile, Paulet.

The whole surmounted by a helmet with the crest of St. John, viz. a falcon rising ducally gorged, adopted by this branch or the Paulet family.

The inscription along the frieze below is "Qui obierunt mense...."

See these coats noticed on the monument of Sir George Paulet at Crondal. He was son of Sir John and Alice Paulet hereafter mentioned.

Arms of DenbaudAt the point of the arch is the figure of an angel holding a shield, Quarterly of eight, as before, with the escutcheon of pretence, and impaling Quarterly, 1 and 4, Paulet, 2 and 3, On a chief a demi lion rampant, Denbaud.

As these monuments, although combined and forming a sort of open screen between the chancel and the two chapels, are in fact distinct from each other, it will be necessary to consider them as if they were isolated. The north side of this monument, therefore, which would otherwise be considered in connection with the north chapel, must here be noticed; and so of the others. It has on its north side a shield similar to that on the south side, and surmounted by the helmet and crest; and the beginning of the inscription along the frieze from left to right is, "Hic jacet Johes Poulet, miles, et Alicia ux. ej." continuing, "qui obierunt," & co. as before described. The shields in the spandrels are blank.

He was son of John Paulet and Eleanor his wife, hereafter mentioned. His wife, Alice, was daughter to Sir William Paulet, of Hinton St. George, by Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Denbaud, of Hinton St. George.

Arms of RoosThe other monument on this side of the Chancel, and nearest to the communion rails, has on each of its sides a shield bearing the same coats as on the preceding monument, excepting that the third quartering is that of Paulet in place of Roos; and that there is no escutcheon of pretence. It is surmounted by a helmet and crest. The side facing the north chapel is similar; the shields in the spandrels being also blank. The inscription along the frieze, beginning on the north side, is "Hic jacet Johes Poulet, armig, et Elenor uxr ej." and then continued on the south side, "qui obierunt mese Septembris, anno Dni 1488. I.H."

Arms of De La MareHe was son of Sir John Paulet and Constance Poynings. His wife Eleanor was daughter and heir of Robert Roos, of Skelton. His grandfather, William Paulet, married the heiress of Delamare, of Nunney.

The spandrels of the door, on both its sides, have, on the left a shield bearing Paulet, and on the right the Poynings' badge, viz. a key suspended within a knotted cord ring. This door has above it a niche on the north, as on the south side.

Arms of CapelThe separation between the chancel and the south chapel is similar. The door has two shields in the spandrels, one bearing Paulet, with a crescent for difference; the other bearing a lion rampant between three cross-crosslets fitchy, Capel. For Sir William Paulet, son of Sir John and Alice Paulet, was created Marquess of Winchester. lie built Basing. His first wife was Alice, daughter of Sir William Capel, Lord Mayor of London.

In place of the niche above is a large shield, of later date, within a garter (the whole being inclosed by a square frame-work), bearing, Quarterly, 1. Paulet. 2. Roos. 3. Poynings. 4. St. John. 5. Delamare. 6. Hussey. 7. Skelton. 8. Ireby. 9. Six martlets, 3, 2, and 1, Walshe. [Some commentators give these arms as Delamore.]

Arms of St. JohnThese coats are not very correctly marshalled. They should be placed thus 1. Paulet. 2. Delamare, bringing in 3. Hussey. 4. Poynings, bringing in 5. St. John. 6. Roos, bringing in 7. Skelton. 8. Ireby; and 9. Walshe.

The supporters are, two hinds semée of estoiles; and the motto, "Aymes loyaulté." The whole is surmounted by a helmet and crest.

The same coat is also over the door on the south side.

Arms of PoyningsThe spandrels of the doorway on the side facing the south chapel have two shields; one charged with the badge of Poynings, the other bearing, a chevron between three roundels, on a chief a fret between two roses: an old coat of Capel.

The monument on the chancel side, and nearest to the east end, is surmounted by the same coat quarterly within a garter, but without supporters. In the spandrels of the arch are shields. That to the east has the same coats within a garter, and surmounted by a coronet: that to the west bears, Quarterly, 1 and 4, Capel, 2 and 3, Capel ancient; also surmounted by a coronet.

The corresponding monument on the western side is surmounted by a shield bearing the same ten coats quarterly, but without the garter. The shields in the spandrels are blank. A debased cornice, in the Italian style, runs along the upper part of the wall immediately over these two monumental arches. The south sides of these monuments are, in every respect, correspondent to the sides next the chancel. The doors on either side of the chancel have small openings through the jambs nearest to the communion table, as if intended for confession.

Badge of PoyningsNORTH CHAPEL: The east window is pointed, and of five lights cinquefoiled, but closed up [and since restored]. On the north side are four windows of three cinquefoiled lights each, with headings of quatrefoils and trefoils. The ceiling has been replastered, but there are figures of six angels forming the corbels of the old raftered roofing, each bearing a shield. Three of these shields are charged with the Poynings' badge; the fourth bears the coat of Skelton; the fifth, a peacock in its pride, the crest of Roos; the sixth, three lions rampant, Fitzpiers.

The royal arms are placed against the east window of this chapel, and are inscribed, "1660, C. R." [but now housed in the South Aisle.] The church was repaired in 1839, when the old communion rails were removed to this chapel. They have a carved inscription as follows: "This don by Francis Dickenson 1714."

SOUTH CHAPEL: The east window is similar to that in the north chapel, and closed up [but since restored]. Erected against it [though now on the south wall] is a modern monument of white marble, with a good bust of the deceased, and a female figure mourning below. The motto, "Aymez loyaulté." On the right, the coat of Paulet: on the left the crest of that family, with the coronet.

Below is inscribed:

"The most noble Prince
Premier Marquess of England, Earl of Wiltshire,
Baron Basing of Basing, Baron St. John of Basing.
Died 25th December 1794.

His excellent understanding, and firm persevering disinterested attachment to the liberty of his country, procured him respect; from the genuine goodness of his heart, which was manifest in every action of his life, lie died lamented, as lie lived beloved. This public testimony of his disconsolate widow's affection, is raised by her to the memory of the fondest of husbands and fathers, and best of men."

It remembers the last Duke of Bolton. His widow was Catharine, daughter of James, Earl of Lonsdale. She died in 1809.

At this end are suspended several funeral helmets, coronets, gauntlets, & co. and the shield of Paulet within the ribband and motto of the Order of the Bath. There is also another helmet suspended over the door between the two canopied monuments. [All now adorn the south and west walls of the chapel.]

The south side has four windows of three lights, each cinquefoiled. Against this wall are two achievements:

1. Quarterly, 1. Paulet. 2. Poynings. 3. St. John. 4. Azure, a bend within a bordure or, Scrope. The whole encircled by a garter. The impaled coat is, Quarterly, 1 and 4, Gules, three bezants, two and one, a chief or, Beswick. 2 and 3, Argent, on a bend gules cotised dancetté three garbs. Supporters, crest, and coronet. For Lavinia Beswick (Polly Peachum) wife of Charles third Duke of Bolton, K.G. The coat given is that of Beswick of Kent. [This hatchment has long since disappeared.]

2. Paulet, single, with the crest.

Arms of Orde-PauletAgainst the north wall [but now on the south wall] is another achievement, bearing, Paulet, with a canton argent thereon a shield azure, charged with a fish hauriant argent; impaling Paulet, within a bordure or. Supporters, an antelope ducally gorged and semée of estoiles or, and a Cornish chough proper. Crest of Paulet; with a Baron's coronet. It is the achievement of the late Lord Bolton, who died in 1807, having assumed the name and arms of Paulet, on succeeding to the estates of Charles fifth Duke of Bolton, whose natural daughter he had married.

On slabs: "In memory of JOHN BRASIER, Senr. Steward to the late Duke of Bolton, who departed this life April 22nd, 1805, aged 73 years. Also JANE BRASIER, wife to the above John Brasier, who departed this life February 5th, 1801, aged 74 years."

"Underneath rest the remains of THOMAS LANE, of Totnes, in the county of Devon, Gentleman, &,co. Died 29th Day of December 1789, in ye 63rd year of his age."

The floor of these two chapels and of the chance is higher than that of the nave and aisles, with which they communicate by four stone steps.

NAVE: Separated from the chancel by a high pointed arch, but which was altered to that form in 1839. The tower rests on this and on three other arches. That to the north is a low circular arch on Norman columns, one having a fan capital. There were, no doubt, similar columns on the south side, but the arch only remains, resting on plain supports. It is separated front the north and south aisles by three pointed arches resting on octagonal columns, the west end arch on the south side being closed up to form a vestry [where the present organ stands]. There are eight figures of angels holding shields, forming the corbels of the raftered roofing of the nave. At the west end is a paltry singing gallery (but which is shortly to be pulled down and altered [This is exactly what has subsequently happened.]), with its small organ [also now gone]. This end has a window of four lights cinquefoiled, with a quatrefoil heading. On the floor is a diamond slab, inscribed, "SARAH ORMSBY, died March 13th, 1831, aged 88."

NORTH AISLE: Has three pointed windows of two cinquefoiled lights each, with trefoil headings. It has also a west window, pointed, and of three cinquefoil lights, with a heading of three cinquefoil lights. The roof is raftered, having the figures of eight angels holding shields for corbels. The Font is at the west end. It is of stone, and octagonal, with two pointed arches in relief on each pannel. It rests on an octagonal column, elevated on two steps [and now stands in the South Aisle]. At the west end is a mural monument of white marble, inscribed:

"Sacred to the memory of ANNE MARY BURLEY, Wife of William. Burley, of Montagu Square, London, Esq. and second daughter of William Apletree, of Goldings, in the county of Southampton, Esq. Departed this life the 22d September 1831, aged 23 years," & co.

On the north side, another mural monument of white marble:

"Sacred to the memory of FRANCES, Wife of WILLIAM APLETREE, Esq. of Goldings, & co. Died 16th Day of October 1832, in the 51st year of her age." & co.

Another mural slab of marble:

"Sacred to the memory of
Long and honourably occupied in the business and revenues of His Majesty's Duchy of Lancaster,
and as Solicitor to the Board of Control for the affairs of India.
His character and virtues in his private station,
and his professional talents and exertions in the public service,
rendered his life dear to his family and friends, and useful to his country.
His death sincerely lamented by all.
This eulogy is only just, but what can be greater?"
He died 1st September 1795, aged 55 years."

On a sarcophagus below:

"Also ANNE RUSSELL, widow of the above named Francis Russell, and daughter of the late Revd Samuel Kirshaw, D.D. Vicar of Leeds and Rector of Ripley in the county of York. In her character were united great personal beauty, a rectitude of mind, an improved understanding, and elegance of manner, and, what is now of more avail, a strict performance of all the duties of a Christian. She died 5th October 1803, aged 51 years."

On the floor are slabs covering the remains of Francis and Ann Russell: and also, "Lucy RUSSEL, daughter of the late John Russel, of Basingstoke, Gent. and sister of the above mentioned Francis Russel, who died February 7th, 1797, aged 72 years."

On a stone slab: "Here lyeth buried the body of CHRISTOPHER THORNTON, servant to the most noble Charles Lord Marquess of Winchester." Then follow some doggerel lines, but no date.

Against the wall are three achievements:

Arms of Apletree1. Paly of six, sable and or, on a chief of the second two pallets of the first, on an inescutcheon ermine, two bars gules, Burley, impaling, Argent, on a fess gules three lozenges or, Apletree.

2. Quarterly, 1 and 4, Argent, on a fess gules three lozenges (painted by mistake, checky), Apletree. 2 and 3, Argent, a lion rampant gules, on a chief sable three escallops argent, Russell, impaling Quarterly, 1 and 4, Sable, on a bend argent three lozenges gules, each charged with a plate. 2. Argent, a lion rampant azure. 3. Azure, six annulets or, 3, 2, and 1.

Arms of Russell3. Russell. On an escutcheon of pretence, Quarterly, 1 and 4, Gules, a cross pattée fitchy, entwined by a knotted cord ring argent, on a chief or two martlets argent. 2. Argent, a chevron sable between three fountains. 3. Per bend sable and or, a lion rampant counterchanged. Crest, of Russell, viz. a goat passant argent. [This hatchment has long disappeared.]

Over the entrance to the north chapel is inscribed:

"Ad laudem Xpi et MARIAE matris sue per JOH'EM POULET, milite, hec erecta concistul, Ano. Dni 1519."

Against the north wall is a Table of Benefactions collected in 1839, for repairing and beautifying the Church, & co.

The Lord Bishop of Winchester £10
The Parish £123
Magd. College, Oxford £100
The Lord Bolton £50
Mrs. Sophia Shepherd £50
Mrs. Waldo £20
Rev. James Blatch, Vicar £20
W. Lutley Sclater, Esq. of Hoddington House £10
Society for promoting and repairing of Churches £50
Richard Booth, Esq. of this parish £10
Edward Covey, Esq. £5
W. L. W. Chute, Esq. M.P. for Norfolk £5
Mrs. Chute of the Vine £5
Rev. T. May, of Leigh Vicarage, Clerk £5
Diocesan Society for increasing Church accommodation £30


"This Church was repaired in 1839; forty sittings in addition to 352 formerly provided, of which 200 were free."

SOUTH AISLE: Has two pointed windows of two cinquefoiled lights, each with trefoiled headings. A third window over the door is closed up [but since restored]. The rafters of the roofing are supported by angels as before, one of which, in place of holding a shield, has a musical instrument, and another a book. At the entrance close to the south door, is a stone slab, which had formerly brasses of a man and his wife with an inscription. [Family tradition assigns a brass of the May family to this church. It was removed & sold by the vicar].

Against the wall is a list of Benefactions, all of which are recorded in the Reports of the Commissioners on Charities.

The organ was given in 1834, and the clock in 1835, by the Revd. James Blatch, Vicar.

The Register commences in 1655; but there is no Baptism before 1671. The present number of bells is two; one has recently been recast. The other is inscribed, "Henry Moore, George Michell, C. W. 1676."

It would seem almost a matter of certainty, from the size of the tower, & co., that there was originally a peal of bells, and the incumbent, the Revd. S. Davies, states, that the traditions of the place specify particular churches in the neighbourhood as being the recipients of the old bells, dispersed during the Civil War.

EXTERIOR: The south door is plain, having a porch of brick with stone copings [since taken down]. Its date is subsequent to the south aisle, a window of which is obscured by it. The whole church is of brick, with stone copings, and is tiled; the nave, chancel, chapels, and aisles, having, all distinct roofings.

Arms of HusseyThe south aisle has stone buttresses of two stages, and a stone cornice enriched with gargoyles, grotesque heads, and shields, of which latter there are four: bearing, 1. the Poynings' badge. 2. Three coats, viz. Paulet, Roos, and Poynings. 3. St. John, Delamare, and Hussey. 4. Skelton, Ireby, and Walshe.

The dripstones of the windows terminate in shields, bearing, 1. The Poynings' badge. 2. Some coat obliterated, probably Paulet. 3. Roos. 4. Poynings. 5. St. John. 6. Delamare. 7. Hussey, and 8. Skelton.

Arms of IrebyThe dripstone of the east window of this south chapel also terminates in shields bearing, 1. Ireby. and 2. Walshe.

The dripstone of the east window of the chancel has plain terminations.

The east window of the north chapel has a dripstone terminating in shields, bearing, 1. Three lions rampant. 2. An eagle displayed. The first may be for FitzPiers, and the second for Albany, both coats quartered by Paulet.

Arms of Fitz PiersAbove this window is a shield charged with the badge of Poynings.

On the left, on the cornice, is a large gargoyle, and a shield bearing the coat of Roos. On the right, a half human figure and a shield bearing the coat of Walshe.

The north side of this chapel has also a cornice enriched with. gargoyles, grotesque heads, and shields. There are four of the latter, bearing, 1. St. John. 2. Paulet. 3. Ireby. 4. Skelton.

Arms of SkeltonThe dripstones of these four windows also terminate in shields: 1. Hussey, and the Poynings' badge. 2. Paulet, and the same. 3. Ireby, and the same. 4. Delamare, and the same.

The pipes are dated 1766, and bear the three swords of Paulet.

There is a pointed-arched door, with small columns, to the north aisle. That to the north chapel is modern. The cornice, with its gargoyles, is continued all round the church.

Arms of Walshe (or De La More)The west door is of a late period, viz. about the time of James the First. Over the west window, in a rich canopied niche, are stone figures of the Virgin and Child, and immediately under them is an angel holding a shield, bearing, Quarterly, 1. Three lions rampant, two and one, Fitz Piers. 2. Delamare. 3. Roos. 4. Hussey. 5. Walshe. 6. Skelton. 7. Ireby. 8. (mutilated.) On an escutcheon of pretence, Paulet.

The Tower is large and square, and of brick, divided into stages by stone tablets, ornamented with. heads. It is embattled, and has embattled pinnacles of stone surmounted by balls and vanes. It is lighted by four square windows of two plain lights each with a label dripstone. The whole church is of brick partially coated with cement, and is large and striking.

Internal Tour of Old Basing Church
External Tour of Old Basing Church
History of Old Basing Church
Where is Old Basing Church?


David Ford grew up in North-East Hampshire and has always been fascinated by the history of the local area. Old Basing Church holds a special interest as many of his ancestors are buried in the adjoining churchyard.

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