THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY ASCENSION
HYDE(Fordingbridge)


 

 
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY ASCENSION

The following notes on the history of the Church are substantially taken from the booklet “THE PARISH THAT BROKE AWAY” by HAROLD GEACH.


1845-1850 - Between these dates, the Revd. R.P. Warren, curate of Ibsley
Church, took action to promote the building of a new church in the parish of
Fordingbridge.


1852 - A letter from the Deputy Surveyor of the New Forest to the Bishop of Winchester asked if the Commissioners would subscribe towards a new church. Land at Hyde was offered by Eyre Coote Esq., Lord of the Manor of Bickton and Hyde, who lived at West Park, Rockbourne. The gift comprised three acres of wasteland for the church building and churchyard, with a 40ft. access from Cox’s Lane. Also about five acres for a parsonage house and glebe.
Subscriptions towards the new church began to come in, the Revd. Warren providing the original sum of £1400 (a very considerable sum at the time) and he more than doubled this amount in succeeding years as the need grew.


1853-1854 - A Guildford architect, Mr. Woodyer, produced plans in 1853 and on 22 May, 1854 a composite contract was signed by Messrs. George Witt of Ringwood, Builder, James Knott of Wimborne, Stonemason and James Etheridge of Ringwood, Plumber. The contract stated the whole building was not to cost more than £1365, including £65 apportioned to the vestry and £50 for a porch. All work to be completed by the last day of May, 1855. One 8th June, 1854 the foundation stone was laid. A large number of clergy, gentry and inhabitants of Fordingbridge and surrounding neighbourhood attended, as well as a band and choir. A collection of £29.13.7d was made towards providing a bell and communion plate for the new church. The old people were given tea in Mr. Skinner’s barn in Hyde Lane.

 

The Reredos carved from Caen Stone

 

The Last Supper

 

The oak Alms Chest was a gift from Mr. J. Hannen jun. There are two bells with ropes, the larger weighs 3 cwt.241bs. and the smaller 2cwt.2qrs.3Ibs.

 

The Interior of the church


1855 - Hyde district left Fordingbridge parish and became the new parish of Hyde and the consecration of the church took place on 26 October, 1855. The Bishop of Winchester preached a sermon and officiated at communion after evening prayer. A collection of £92.2.IOd was made for the building fund, and this included £50 from the Bishop. A valuable ring was among the offerings in the alms dish. The Bishop then consecrated the churchyard. “The weather was most tempestuous, the rain descending in torrents”. The Revd. Richard P. Warren became the first incumbent at Hyde and remained for thirty years.
1864 - The patronage was transferred to Keble College, Oxford and this still stands.


EXTERIOR CHANGES SINCE 1855.
1967 - The great iron cross was pronounced to be endangering the bell tower and so was removed and now stands by the porch.

1971 - A church room was added, with direct access through the north wall of the church. This project was organised by Mary Parmiter, who did much of the fundraising.

A VICARAGE was built in 1859 at a cost of and the Revd. Warren and his wife lived there until his death in 1885. He is buried in the churchyard. This Vicarage was sold in the early 1980’s and is now known as Hyde House.


THE INTERIOR
The stained glass window in the East Wall, representing the Ascension, was given by the Revd. Richard Warren in 1876. He also gave the small window over the Vicar’s stall. The original altar table was solid oak, but a new altar was given by Canon Cooper in 1955. Behind is a reredos of Caen stone.

The font is carved out of a single block of Caen stone and the cover is made of grained oak. The cover was the gift of Mr. J. Cottman of Fordingbridge. The Royal Arms of the Stuart dynasty over the south door were the gift of Mr. J. Reeves. Painted, carved and gilt, they formerly belonged to Bath Abbey.

The organ was installed in 1898. Large frescoes were painted onto the west wall by Benjamin Sheppard in 1895. They were unique in their kind and lasted for more than seventy years before damp destroyed them. In 1930 electric light was installed as a memorial to the late T.N. Pearce, former Vicar of the parish. In 1933 a memorial tablet was dedicated by the Bishop of Winchester arid in 1952 a further plaque for those who died in the 1939-45 War was added. In 1965 a new pulpit was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson of Gorley Firs and it was made by Mr. Angel of Woodgreen. In 1966 new pews replaced the old worm-infested ones and were paid for by private donation.

In 1999 a stained glass window was installed on the north wall above the door to the church room depicting the forest to celebrate the Millennium paid for from the legacy of Miss Annie Wyatt, the glass work was by John Taylor and was dedicated by Rt.Rev. Dr. Gordon Rowe on Asension Day, 1999 when the children from Hyde School joined the congregation. Also in 1999 the path was relaid in brick from a donation by Mrs. Lucille Burnham in memory of her husband Charles and the handrail was paid for by a donation by Captain Nigel Austen.