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Churches of Hampshire


Hartley Wintney
St. Mary's Church


St. Mary's stands on a hill some way out of the town-cum-village of Hartley Wintney - the antique-hunter's Mecca of Northern Hampshire. Its core is 13th century, as shown by the medieval wall paintings which have been revealed on the walls of the nave and chancel. St. George killing the Dragon is easily picked out. It has been suggested that the building was originally built by for the nuns of nearby Wintney Priory. The chancel has a so-called 'leper-window' - traditionally, though doubtfully, said to allow lepers to see the high altar without entering the church.

In 1834, the prominent brick transepts were added and the inside was fitted out with the box pews and triple galleries still to be seen today. The flint tower was built in 1842, but it is the atmospheric interior which is the rare survival. In 1870, a new church was built in the centre of the town and St. Mary's has remained exactly as it stood at that date.

There are some colourful hatchments, two to the Hawleys of West Green House. The infamous General 'Hangman Hawley' lies in the vault below your feet. There large churchyard has interesting monuments, one to a 'male midwife,' and more famous celebrities: the architect, Lethaby, and Viscount Alanbrooke.

The Church is owned and opened to the public by the Churches Conservation Trust. Admission free, but donations welcome.





  

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