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Description: Parish Church of St Peter
Date Listed: 18 October 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 141542
OS Grid Reference: SU5409305785
OS Grid Coordinates: 454093, 105785
Latitude/Longitude: 50.8491, -1.2330
899/6/426 CHURCH PLACE
PARISH CHURCH OF ST PETER
Anglo-Saxon origins, perhaps C8, evident in base of W tower and nave. C12 W door, C13 chancel remodelling, nave and upper stages of W tower. C14 S chapel, addition of spire probably C15 also chancel remodelling, and N aisle. Victorian restoration of 1866-7 including replacement of earlier S aisle, 1905 S vestry, 1989 chapter rooms and vestry in S aisle.
Materials: Multi-period work including stone, coursed rubble with ashlar dressings; also some tile banding and flintwork. Roofs of both tile and slate.
Plan: Large parish church. W tower with spire, nave, E chancel, N and S aisles (parish offices and vestries over two storeys at W end of S aisle), S chapel.
W elevation: Coursed rubble W tower, early Anglo-Saxon to lower levels with round-arched Saxon W door containing iron gates from Funtley Ironworks of C17 date. Tile banding above the door, of re-used Roman tiles, this returns to the south and north. Also some flintwork. Small round-headed belfry window. Polygonal splayed-foot spire. Clock on W side facing Church Street. Steep profile of Saxon roof-line visible either side of tower. External stairs to N of tower provide access to its first floor. Lean-to rubble N aisle with Perpendicular C15 W window. To S, coursed stone Neo-Decorated S aisle of 1866-7 with pitched roof, also Edwardian stone vestry with pitched tiled roof and modern W door.
S elevation: Edwardian former vestry, of two storeys with two-light pointed-arched windows to both stories, full dormers to upper floors. Coursed stone, partly snecked, S aisle and pair of windows in Neo-Decorated style. Rubble and flint C14 S chapel with pitched tiled roof parallel with the nave. Paired slender ogee-headed lights and a simple S door. Stepped buttresses support the S wall.
E elevation: large three-light E window to S chapel of C14. Larger late C19 five-light window to chancel within earlier C15 Perpendicular surround. Stepped angle-buttresses. Large segmental headed five-light Perpendicular window to N aisle.
N elevation: three C15 Perpendicular N windows to chancel. Four large Perpendicular three-light windows to N aisle.
High quality C12 Norman W nave doorway of three orders: shafted jambs with capitals crisply carved with foliate and zoomorphic forms; chevron moulding to the arch. Nave retains its Saxon proportions but little of its fabric other than its W end given the addition of N and S aisles. Saxon window arch high in the W tower. N aisle arcade of C15 with slender shafts made up of four columns. S aisle arcade is three-bay and C19 Neo-Decorated. Modern two-storey vestry and offices at W end of S aisle not of special interest. Original Saxon chancel replaced and remodelled although some early fabric survives either side of the simple chancel arch. Present chancel C13 although the arch reuses C12 responds. Further arcade between the chancel and S chapel is early C14 with grotesque winged figures and foliage to the capitals. Adjoining S door, known as the Priest's Door, of C13 date. Two sedilias with piscinas: one of C13 in the chancel S wall although heavily restored; the other C14 with ogee-heads in the S chapel S wall. Chancel remodelled in the C15 Perpendicular style although a later phase of work than the N aisle Perpendicular. Encaustic floor tiles date to the Victorian restoration, 1866-7.
S Chapel: Wriothesley Monument: impressive memorial in marble and alabaster to the first Earl and Countess of Southampton and also the Second Earl, specified in the will of the latter. By the Flemish refugee, Gerard Johnson. The contract of 1594 survives. Rectangular two-tiered monument with obelisks at the corners. An arcade supports the effigy of Jane Countess of Southampton (d1551); below are her husband the first Earl (d1551), also the second Earl, their son, shown in plate armour. Other smaller kneeling family members and heraldic beasts adorn the monument. Also: mortuary helmet of the second Earl.; S wall monument to Lady Mary Wriothesley who died 1615 aged 4, unusually depicted with child-like features; N wall handsome marble memorial to members of the Hornby Family with an accomplished figure of a dead youth by Sir Francis Chantrey (signed),1836.
Pews, chancel stalls, and encaustic floor tiles all of 1866-7 restoration. Stained glass also largely Victorian, by Clayton and Bell other than the three Chancel N windows which are by Weiles. W window of the N aisle is post-1956, by Francis Skeat and shows a ploughman and horse. Chancel arch screen, 1916 by Norman Atkins. Handsome carved octagonal stone font by Charles Upton, a pupil of Eric Gill, 1951, carved alternately with figurative and symbolic scenes: a memorial to the troops who passed through Titchfield in 1944 to take part in the D-day invasion of Normandy. Mural above west door depicting the Miraculous Draught of Fishes, originally 1888 but reworked in 1951-2 by students of Portsmouth School of Art in a Folk Art style. Triptych of the Crucifixion above the chancel arch by C E Kempe, 1889.
St Peter's Church is Anglo-Saxon in origin and the surviving Saxon fabric is the oldest Saxon work in Hampshire. There is no surviving reference to a church here before 982 when a charter of King Ethelred refers to the members of a religious establishment in Titchfield. It is believed to have functioned as a minster church and to have been built soon after Hampshire was converted to Christianity in the late C7. The base of the tower and elements of the nave at either end are of Saxon date. It is difficult to date precisely but the Roman tile banding and megalithic quoins would suggest early rather than late Saxon, and the existence of a W porch leading to an aisle-less nave can also be seen at the late C7 Monkwearmouth Church in Co Durham. The steep pitch of the Saxon roof-line is still discernable immediately adjoining the tower to its N and S. The west nave door is C12 when the S aisle was also added. This was replaced by the present S aisle in 1867 to the designs of the Reverend Turner. The chancel was rebuilt in the C13 when the Saxon porch was also heightened to a tower, although the spire is later, probably C15. In 1231 Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, gifted St Peter's Church to his newly founded St Mary's Abbey to the north of the town. The canons were allowed, from 1283, to appoint one of themselves as vicar of St Peter's and this relationship continued until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537. At this time Henry VIII gave the abbey to Thomas Wriothesley who was to become Earl of Southampton. The S chapel is a C14 addition but is known as the Southampton Chapel following the Dissolution as it became the mausoleum of the Earls of Southampton. In the late C18 to early C19 more room for an expanding congregation was created by the addition of galleries to the S aisle, also a choir gallery at the west end of the nave, all of which were removed in the Victorian restoration of 1866-7. In the mid C19 to early C20 the very large parish of Titchfield was subdivided into Sarisbury with Swanwick, Crofton, Hook with Warsash, Lock's Heath and Lee-on-the-Solent and Titchfield although the mother parish remains the largest of the group.
A south vestry replaced a late Victorian one in 1905 and the south aisle was part-converted into Chapter Rooms with an added upper floor housing vestries in 1989.
Hare, M, St Peter's Church, Titchfield: A Guide to the History of Church and Parish (1990), St Peter's Church guide.
Pevsner, N & Lloyd, D, Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (1967), p662-625
Victoria County History, A History of the County of Hampshire Vol 3 (1908), 220 ¿ 233 (available at http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41958&strquery=titchfield )(accessed 4 Oct 2010)
St Peter's website with church and parish history at http://www.stpetertitchfield.org.uk
(accessed 25 June 2010)
Reasons for Designation:
St Peter's Church, the parish church of Titchfield, is listed at Grade I for the following principal reasons:
* Early origins: a church which is of early Saxon origin, with Saxon fabric to the west tower and nave, and thus a nationally rare survival;
* Architectural quality: most of the church fabric is medieval; particular aspects of note include the crisp C12 carving of the nave W door, the S chancel arcade of early C14 and the elegant Perpendicular C15 N aisle;
* Fixtures and Fittings: for its high quality fixture and fittings, particularly the outstanding monument of the 1590s to the Earls of Southampton.
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.