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Church of St Thomas, Havant

Description: Church of St Thomas

Grade: II
Date Listed: 16 May 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 135318

OS Grid Reference: SU7025306420
OS Grid Coordinates: 470253, 106420
Latitude/Longitude: 50.8530, -1.0033

Location: Bidbury Lane, Havant, Hampshire PO9 3JG

Locality: Havant
Local Authority: Havant Borough Council
County: Hampshire
Country: England
Postcode: PO9 3JG

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Listing Text


16-MAY-52 Bedhampton
Church of St Thomas

(Formerly listed as:
(Formerly listed as:

Parish church. C12, extended in C14. Chancel restored and N vestry added 1869-70 by Edward Augustus Gruning (1837-1908). Nave restored and N aisle added 1878, again under Gruning. Vestry extended 1993.

MATERIALS: Flint and rubble with ashlar quoins. Red tile roofs.

PLAN: Nave with a N aisle and S porch; chancel; vestry infilling the NE angle between aisle and chancel

EXTERIOR: The W window is of early C14 style, with three cinquefoiled lights; possibly re-set. The S elevation of the nave has late-C14 moulded arch to doorway; to W and E of this are contemporary windows of two and three-lights respectively, each with trefoiled lights and tracery. At E end of S wall is a round-headed low side window with a segmental rear-arch, which would have lit an altar in the nave. Above this is a narrow square-head window which would have lit the rood-loft. N aisle has reused late C14 two-light window, similar to W window on S side of nave. The chancel has E window of three trefoiled lights, with two quatrefoils in the head, c1370, and N and S windows of the same date, with square heads and two-light trefoiled tracery. S wall also has a square-headed window of two shouldered lights, probably of C13 date. To W of this is a square-headed low side window. A Mass clock, or scratch dial, one of three originally on the S elevation, is still visible on the face of the buttress between the nave and chancel, a medieval form of sundial to mark out Mass times. In the N vestry there is a re-used trefoiled C14 light.

W bellcote of 1878 which replaced a wooden belfry, corbelled base on the E face seems older. It contains one bell by Clement Tosier, 1688. There are diagonal buttresses to nave and chancel.

INTERIOR: The nave roof has plain tie-beams and trussed rafters. There is a three-bay arcade of 1878. There are no traces of the S nave altar, but the remains of a C15 niche on the N of the chancel arch mark the site of a corresponding N altar of the nave. In the wall above the W jamb of the S doorway is a stone corbel, which may have carried a beam supporting a W gallery (removed 1869-70). The font, near the S door, is part of the 1869 restoration and was designed and presented by a Mr Cox of Warblington House. With a square bowl and a central and four angle pillars of C12 style, the angle pillars being of yellow marble, it incorporates a Norman bowl and stem, found in the rectory garden.

The church's most significant feature is the semi-circular, slightly depressed c1140 chancel arch, of square section except for a thick roll-moulding on the W side, and two outer bands of flat relief decoration, one in double lozenge pattern, the other with two bands of sawtooth pattern. The responds have on the W angles inset shafts with scalloped capitals. The abacus has a hollow chamfer below, and is continued as a string on the W face, and on the E face of the S respond are parts of a string of different section, perhaps not in situ. In the SE angle of the chancel is a C15 cinquefoiled piscina with a stone shelf. A wall monument to the Rev St John Alder, who died in 1864, shows two angels in relief, holding an unfurled banner with the inscription, all in a moulded trefoiled recess. There are two attractive tablets of c1780 and c1800 high on the west chancel wall, above the arch, with pediments and urns.

HISTORY: Although there are no accurate records of the church's original dedication, it is traditionally thought to have been 1132. The oldest parts are the chancel arch of c1140; the lower parts of the S and W walls may be of the same date. The chancel seems to have been rebuilt in the C13, and probably lengthened about 1360-70. The line of the N wall, however, has probably not been altered, and the wall may contain older masonry in its W portion.

SOURCES: accessed 08 July 2009 accessed 08 July 2009 accessed 08 July 2009
Pevsner, Nikolaus & Lloyd, David, 1967, The Buildings of England: Hampshire & the Isle of Wight, pp 98-99

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Church of St Thomas, Bedhampton is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is of special architectural and historic interest for its C12 and later medieval fabric, including a number of C14 traceried windows
* The interior is notable for the C12 chancel arch

Listing NGR: SU7022406381

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.