| ST MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS
At the time of the Domesday Book (1086) Lyndhurst belonged to the Abbey at Amesbury in Wiltshire, and it is likely that there would then have been a church on the present site. Before 1279 the Village was almost certainly a separate ecclesiastical parish. From that year until .1928 the Rector.s of Minstead (3 miles away) were Rectors of Minstead Church with the ancient chapelry of Lyndhurst. In 1928 the parishes were separated by an Order in Council. Emery Down became a separate ecclesiastical parish .in 1864, but was joined with Lyndhurst as a United Benefice in 1973.
There have been three Vicars of Lyndhurst since 1928.
Rev. Frank Cooksley, instituted 21 July 1928
Rev. Thomas McArdle, instituted 28 October 1961
Rev. Hamilton Lloyd, instituted 25 March 1971.
Edward ] spent much time at Lyndhurst from 1278 to 1289, and his Queen, Eleanor, spent most of her time here during his absence on his Welsh Campaigns. The Queens House, now owned by the Fore.stry Commission, stands on the site of the Manor House in which Queen Eleanor lived. There is to this day a gateway into the churchyard from the Queens House, no doubt originally used by the Royal Household.
Of the previous churches on the site of the present church, the last was built by George II m 1741; there is an earlier reference to the church on the same site before this. The 1741 church was of severe Georgian design, and had a gallery at the back. To quote a journal of the day, It held many finely-dressed church-goers in former times. The village was then styled as the most aristocratic m England, and it was a common sight to see five or six handsomely appointed carriages at the door on a Sunday, all the congregation punctilious on points of procedure and ceremony.
By 1790 it was thought that the church was too small to accommodate the increasing inhabitants with proper seats. The church was, however, to last for another 69 years, during which time the churchyard was twice extended.
In 1796 H.R.H. The Duke of Gloucester, the Lord Warden of the New Forest, granted land for the churchyard to be extended to the west (towards the Queens House). A further grant was made in 1841 to extend the churchyard to the east, taking in the whole of the present churchyard. The cost of this scheme was £52.17.0, a sum which was covered by the levying of a rate of 4d. in the pound.
The eighteenth century church had no organ, but there was a string and woodwind orchestra to accompany the singing.
THE BUILDING OF THE PRESENT CHURCH
In 1857 plans began to be made to enlarge the church. Designs were invited. That of Sir George Gilbert Scott was rejected as being too costly. The design accepted was by one of his pupils, William White, F.S.A., whose style was close to that of William Butterfield, the architect of Keble College, Oxford, All Saints, Margaret Street, London, and Emery Down Church. William White was born in 1825, the son of a clergyman and great nephew of the writer and naturalist, Gilbert White of Selborne. The Bishop of Winchester wrote in November 1857, If I were about to build a church myself, I should certainly apply to William White for taste, for solidity of workmanship and for economy. In the latter particularly he seems to be unrivalled. William White built many churches in this area, including those at Freemantle and Woolston in Southampton. Lyndhur.st Church, however, has been called his Major Work.
The Vestry applied for a Faculty to alter and enlarge the church, but the Bishop pointed out that what was in fact proposed was the substitution of a new church for the old church. A Faculty was eventually given in 1859 for altering and enlarging the church. It cost £417.3.2 in legal fees to obtain this Faculty. It was agreed to demolish part of the chapel and that the cost would be borne .by the inhabitants of the Village at large, instead of by certain wealthy families. The fact that the new church was somewhat larger than the old meant that the foundations had to be extended and several gravestones moved; this caused some local opposition for a time.
In his Appeal to the Parishioners of Lyndhurst, issued in 1859, Rev. John Compton said that the object was to get a very handsome church with a beautiful spire and a complete set of bells. The scheme is to pull down the old part of the present church (the south aisle had been added in 1817), so as to leave nothing but the faculty part (the south aisle) and the vestry remaining, and to erect a new nave and north aisle in place of it. The building will then contain sittings for 670 persons of which 269 will be free.
The Vestry set the wheels in motion as soon as they had the Bishops blessing on the project, and very detailed tenders were sent to five firms in May 1858. It was agreed that work. would progress in a certain sequence .and that it should be carried out as the funds allow. The tender of John and Mark Hillary of Longparish was accepted, and a contract was signed for £2,126, but there were to be many additional expenses.
First the old part of the church was demolished, and there was the removing of 15 marble tablets from inside the church and removing gravestones and vaults and about 30 bodies and other remains disturbed by the foundations and the base of the tower. Many of these old tablets can still be seen in the present church. William White assisted with the calculation of the materials required and made arrangements for the stone carving inside the church. He arranged that two artists interested in obtaining the contract for the stone carving should each do a carving on a pillar. When one had finished, his work was covered up, and the other man did his carving. The contract was given to William Seale, who worked for Thomas Earp of London.
The carvings on the pillars and arches were carried out by Mr. Searle and the Lewis brothers. They worked 10 hours a day for a combined wage of 7 shillings a day, the younger Lewis getting 6d. per day less than the elder. The initial cost of the carving was £192.6.6, and this was paid for by public subscription. Individuals paid the cost of an angel (£1) or a corbel (£1), capitals (£6) and the bands with the texts (£2).
In April 1862, thanks to a gift of £400 from Walter Williams, an application was made for a Faculty to take down and rebuild the south aisle. There had been provision f«r this in the original plans. Walter Williams is commemorated by a simple plaque on the wall of the south aisle In memory of a dear brother. The Faculty was granted by the Bishop on 23 January 1863. This aisle was to contain the seats of the gentry. Each pew had its own door.
Between 1859 and December 1867 £5,894.13.3 had been subscribed for the building of the church.
In 1868 Rev. John Compton made another Appeal to the parishioners. The purpose of this was to complete the Tower as far as the top of the Belfry (77 feet from the ground) and to add the Spire, which will be 64 feet more ...The estimated cost of completing the Tower is £950, and the Spire about £600 more. Again the parishioners of Lyndhurst and the surrounding area accepted the challenge, and the money was raised.
The church has two main entrances, the North Door and the West Door. There is a porch in front of the North Door, and it is interesting to see that the carving over the outer door is unfinished. The pencil sketches can still be seen, as they have withstood the elements for over 100 years. The inner door is in memory of Sir Charles Burrard, who lived at Hoimfield. On the right of the door is the quatrefoil with the monogram CB 1870 surrounded by the words in memory of; on the left is a shield with his coat of arms.The West Door was the entrance used by royalty coming from the Queens House. It was given by Chevalier de Chatelain in memory of his wife, Clara, who is buried nearby in a grave marked by a stone cross with two angels. His coat of arms and crest can be seen on either side of the door. Chevalier de Chatelain is known to literary scholars from his translations of the works of Shakespeare into French; he and his wife spent part of their time in Lyndhurst for many years.
The decoration of the door is as follows: the capitals of the granite columns supporting the arch are carved with foliage. The architrave is designed to symbolise the Old and New Testaments. On the left is a blindfolded figure leaning on a broken reed with the tables of the law turned upside down; this symbolises the Mosaic Law as superseded by Christ. On the opposite side is a joyous figure bearing a chalice and carrying a crozier the figure of the Good Shepherd. In the apex of the arch is a Dove, which represents the Holy Spirit; on one side of the arch is a leafless tree, and on the other side a tree full of life and vigour. On the soffit are four niches, in which are figures representing the Prophets and Evangelists, each with his own symbol. There is Isaiah with his saw, Ezekiel with his scroll, Jeremiah in chains, and Daniel in an attitude of prayer with a lion at his side. The Evangelists are writing their Gospels, St. Matthew being distinguished by an angel, St. Mark by a lion, St. Luke by a bull and St. John by an eagle.
Halfway between the floor and the capitals of each pillar are zone mouldings which bind the pillar and its slate columns. On each zone moulding is a text:
Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out
My house shall be called a house of prayer
Sanctify them through thy truth. Thy word is truth
We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
While ye have light, believe in the light
We must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ
On the corbel stones above the pillars and supporting the principals of the wooden roof are carved the heads of Reformers and Martyrs. There are Bishops Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Lalimer who were burned to death in Oxford during the Marian persecution of 1554; there is Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, also martyred at that time; there are John Wycliffe and John Bradford, and there is Philip Melanchthcn, the German supporter of Martin Luther. On the other corbel stones there are the lion of St. Mark, the eagle of St. John, the bull of St. Luke and the angel of St. Matthew. There are also two symbols of Our Saviour, the Lamb, and the pelican feeding her young with her own blood.
The wooden screen which divides the nave from the chancel is in memory of Revd. W. Sykes, who was Hon. Chaplain to Queen Victoria, and of his wife Mary. The cross above the screen is so delicately made as to .be almost unnoticeable against the East Window. If one looks through this cross towards the East Window, one gets the point that it is through the Cross that one comes to the New Jerusalem, the subject of the East Window. The chancel arch springs from columns of Purbeck marble; the zone mouldings are carved They shall call his name Jesus behind the pulpit, and Christ who is our Life behind the lectern. The capitals depict the wheat and the vine.
The pulpit is richly decorated with stone carvings of five angels. There is the Angel of Life with the Lamb of God, the Angel of Death with the casket, St. Michael with the dragon, the Recording Angel with the book, and the Angel of Judgement with the sword.
The font used to be in the centre of the church, but is now in a beautiful baptistry at the west end of the church. The font itself is of white marble, and stands on two plinths of light and dark brown marble. The baptistry window, in memory of Anne Alexander, shows Jesus the shepherd with a lamb and a child. But the most striking feature of this part of the church is the beautiful recumbent figure in white marble of Anne Cockerel! who died in 1880 at the age of 23. Her husband, Samuel Pepys Cockerell, designed the memorial and its background.
The oak screen at the North Door commemorates the Coronation of King George VI and was completed in 1939. In the running design flowers and foliage (roses, thistles, shamrocks and daffodil) are picked out in colour, as are the coronation emblems, which include the Crown, Orb, ceptre, Ring, Anointing Spoon, Spurs and Swords. he artist visited the Tower of London in order to ensure that very detail was correct. The coats of arms are those of King George VI and of Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Opposite the screen, on the wall of the south aisle, is a gesso panel which depicts St. Martin of Tours dividing his cloak with a beggar. According to legend Martin later saw a vision of Christ dressed in the half of the cloak which he ad given to the beggar. The panel was given by Miss Ellen Dora English, who used to help poor children from the East End of London to have holidays in the country, in memory of her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Pinckney-Martin. The panel is 15th century, and was restored by Miss Horton in the late 19th century. Gesso is a technique, fashionable in the 15th century, of painting on wood instead of canvas, but imposing a layer of plaster of Paris to prevent the grain of the wood showing through. In this case the plaster is embedded with stones.
The 1914-18 War Memorial is a panel of Hopton Wood stone in a frame of alabaster; it is inscribed with the namesof 57 Lyndhurst men who were killed in the war. It was given by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ellery in memory of their son Peter. The designer was Mr. Ingleton Sanders, F.R.I.B.A., cf Southampton. In front of the memorial is the Book of Remembrance.
In the South Transept is a painting of the Madonna and Child by Mrs. Glover, a friend of Burne Jones and the Pre-Raphaelites. At one time the painting hung in St. Peters Church, Cambridge. The angel to the right of the picture is said to depict Ellen Terry, the great actress who was also a friend of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The picture was given to the church in 1973 by Mr. L. C. Cogman.The present pews are not those placed in the church in 1860. Since 1928 the church has been completely re-seated with oak pews, many of them given in memory of former worshippers. The first of the new pews were dedicated in 1928.
THE LADY CHAPEL AND THE CHANCEL
The Lady Chapel has been substantially altered and adapted recently. The new stonework was given in memory of Mr. H. Douglas Bessemer, F.C.A., and the altar frontal by Captain and Mrs. J. A. Clarkson. There is a plaque in memory of Rev. Frank Cooksley, Vicar of Lyndhurst 1928-1961. The sanctuary lamp and bracket were given in memory of Mr. Edward Vernon, and set into the wall is the Aumbry, which was given in memory of Mr. Wilfrid Hugh Payton and is used for the Reserved Sacrament. Nearby is the beautiful statue of the Madonna and Child by Mr. Ron Lane of Dibden Purlieu. The statue is in memory of Mr. Wilfrid Hambly and was dedicated in November 1971. Mr. Lane gave a talk about his work in this church in 1972; he seeks in his work to bring out the patterns already present in the grain of the wood, and does not try to impose his wishes on the wood; the piece of wood has to be exactly right for the job. In his talk he said I didnt do it alone; somebody else was working through me. It was all there before I touched it.
The brass standards in the chancel have recently been restored and wired for electric lighting. A new computer-designed organ, replacing the pipe organ of 1874, was built by Wyvern Organ Studios and installed in 1976. It has two manuals and pedals, five independent tone generator sources and 18 speakers, requires no tuning and has proved to be a very versatile organ, both in service accompaniment and as a solo instrument.
The sanctuary arch, level with the altar rail, has capitals of Caen stone which spring from double columns of Purbeck marble decorated with the lily, convolvulus, daffodil and rose. The soffit has the ball-flower motif. Other columns have the thorn and passion flower in their design.
The fresco on the wall beneath the East Window is the work of Lord (then Mr.) Frederick Leighton, P.P.A. He made no charge for his work, but asked the Vestry to pay for the materials. He offered to paint the fresco in 1862 when he was staying with his friend Captain Hamilton Aide, the poet and novelist, who lived near the church, next to Hill House. Leighton was the first painter to be raised to the Peerage; he took the title of Lord Leighton of Stretton.
The Bishop of Winchester, Bishop Clinton, was not in favour of the fresco. In a letter to Revd. John Compton dated 9th February, 1862, he pointed out that After the Reformation such ornaments were ordered to be taken away, and, that if any remained, they were ordered to be defaced. He went on It seems to me very inadvisable to run the risk of offending, or to set the example in other places of reviving a practice which would be altogether new to this generation, and was condemned by a past . . . During such time (when the fresco would be painted) the interior of the church must be turned into an artists studio, with all the materials of his work which to say the least of it, is not seemly.
Revd. John Compton, in reply, pointed out that the matter had been much talked about in the Parish, and a request was made to the churchwardens to call a Vestry toconsider it. The requisition was signed by gentlemen of all opinions.
There seemed to be no party spirit at all in the matter. The eventual outcome of the matter was that the Vestry unanimously agreed to accept Mr. Leightons offer with thanks and applied for a Faculty to carry out his design. This was eventually granted, but not without some difficulty, as it emerges from the correspondence that Lyndhurst was the first English church since the Reformation to have a fresco. A fresco is a painting painted directly on to the plaster of a wall. The art of fresco painting had arisen in Italy, but had not been successful in this country because of the damp climate. The artist Thomas Gambler Parry had not long before this time invented a spirit for use on a fresco. The spirit was made up of resin, oil of lavender and rectified splits of turpentine. Mr. Leighton used this spirit which became known as spirit fresco. The spirit gave the effect of a true fresco, but was able to withstand the damp English climate.
During the painting of the fresco, the area was kept covered with curtains when it was not being worked on.Everybody seems pleased . . . particularly the Parson, wrote Leighton. The subject of the fresco is the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25). The fresco is 24 ft. long and 8 ft. high, and contains 15 life size figures. In the central arch is the Saviour as the Bridegroom, bearing in his hand a lily. He .is accompanied by joyous angels with their musical instruments. On the left of the fresco are the five wise virgins with their lamps burning brightly. A group of doves can be .seen near a playing fountain and a fruit-laden orange grove. On the extreme left is an angel with the text Vigila, exhorting us to watchfulness. On the Bridegrooms right are the foolish virgins, excluded from the festivities by an angel with outstretched arms; their lamps have gone out and they look most dejected. There is an owl, a symbol of sloth, and also a broken wall and a broken tree. The angel on the extreme right has the text 0ra, exhorting us to prayer.The fresco was restored by Mr. Cox in 1962.
On the south wall of the sanctuary, to the right of the fresco, .is a Tree of Jesse, showing the pedigree of Our Lord.
This is the work of John Hungerford Pollen, a cousin of S. P. Cockerell, whose work is in the Baptistry. Lord Leighton recommended Pollen to Revd. John Compton and wrote in all practical matters Pollen is a far better authority than I am, having had much more experience. The reference to Pollens experience no doubt refers to the use of the spirit fresco. Pollen began his work in 1868. This fresco was also restored by Mr. Cox, who used Mr. Gilbert, the verger, as model for one face that had become very faded.
Perhaps Lyndhursts greatest claim to fame is its magnificent collection of Pre-Raphaelite windows. The Pre-raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in 1848 by a group of painters who belonged to The Hogarth Club. The founder of the group was William Holman Hunt. The most prominent members were Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sir Edward Burne Jones and Ford Maddox Brown. Their aim was to present en canvas what they saw in nature, and they did so with meticulous care. It was through Lord Leighton that these artists came to work for Lyndhurst church. Writing to his mother in 1863, Lord Leighton described the East Window as executed at my desire from Burne Jones designs. In a talk on the Lyndhurst windows in February 1972, John Gordon-Christian said that the Lyndhurst windows are the finest examples of Burne Jones early work for the firm cf Morris and Webb.
The EAST WINDOW represents The New Jersusalem (Revelation 21). It was designed by Edward Burne Jones, with the exception of a few details by Philip Webb and Ford Maddox Brown; all three were partners in a firm formed by William Morris. In the window three of the gates of the heavenly city can be seen. The lower part of the window consists of three large lights, the central panel of which shows a group of saints; the others show angels with musical instruments, and there are angels leading mortals to the Heavenly Presence. More angel musicians fill the upper trefoils. The colours of the window are fresh but subdued; deep reds and blues, greens and yellows offset large patches of white. The whole window blends with the fresco below. According to Burne Jones account book, he designed the East Window between August and December, 1862. He was paid f£l for each of the trefoil angels, and from £3.10.0 to £5 for each of the figures in the lower lights.
The East Window is in memory of Vice Admiral Robert Aitchison and his wife Lucretia Catherine, who lived at Shrubbs Hill House (now demolished).
The SOUTH TRANSEPT WINDOW is in memory of Elizabeth Evelyn, widow of John Pulteney of Northerwood House. The window was designed by Burne Jones in 1863; the two figures of censing angels in the upper tracery are by D. G. Rossetti, who was Burne Jones tutor. The main part of the window is divided into four lights which show four Answers to Prayer, two from the Old Testament and two from the New. On the left Joshua at the Battle of Ajalon commands the sun to stand still and wins a great victory because the enemy retreat in fear (Joshua 10); Elijah on Mount Carmel prays for and obtains fire from heaven, and defeats the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18); St. Stephen is stoned (Acts 7), and on the right St. Peter is delivered from prison (Acts 12). The cartoons (original drawings) of the window are now in the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery. There are entries relating to the window in Burne Jones account bock for August and November 1863; £10 was charged for each of the main lights. Morris & Co. charged £231.5.0 for installing the window.
The NORTH TRANSEPT WINDOW is by .R. J. Clayton and A. Bell; it is called the Te Deum window because it illustrates four lines in the canticle of that name: The glorious company of the Apostles praise Thee; The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee; The noble army of martyrs praise Thee; The holy church throughout the world doth acknowledge Thee. The first line of the canticle We praise Thee, 0 God finds its reference in the Rose, where God is seated in majesty, surrounded by angels. All the four groups portrayed in the lower lights praise God in their different ways;
Three are the Apostles, the Prophets, the Martyrs and Holy Church. Among the Apostles St. Peter can be seen with his keys, and St. Luke with the serpent that symbolises healing. Among the Prophets there is Jacob with the ladder, Daniel with the lion and Jonah with the whale. Among the martyrs there is St. Catherine with her wheel, and St. Stephen being stoned. Holy Church is represented by Cardinals, Bishops and Clergy. Discreetly inserted in the window is the coat of arms of the Most Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass, who kindly gave a donation for the restoration of this and the Mothers window; the coat of arms was designed by Mr. Lawrence Lee, A.R.C.A., Upper Warden of the Company.
The WEST WINDOW, which is in memory of the Aitchison family, was designed by Charles Kemp in 1903.
Kemps 'signature' a wheatsheaf can be seen in a triangular window below the Rose. The main lights depict the four archangels, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Uriel.
There are also several smaller windows in the church. In the north sanctuary window the subjects are Birth and Baptism, and in the south sanctuary window the .Resur- rection and Ascension. In the south sanctuary window can be seen three ancient symbols of the church; IJTS (the first three letters of Jesus in Greek); XP (Chi-Rho, the first two letters of Christ in Greek) and Alpha and Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet).
The Lady Chapel has three windows. That over the small altar shows Mary Magdalene meeting the Risen Christ, while those on the side show Christ the Shepherd, and Simon Peter meeting Our Lord after the Resurrection. These windows are the work of H. J. Powell of Whitefriars, London. In the south aisle are six delicate windows, also by Powell, each depicting an angel. The first has a lily, the second an olive branch, the third a cross with a vine entwined around the feet; the fourth holds a crown of thorns with roses; the fifth has a palm leaf with daffodils, and the final angel has a trumpet. Above them are three sexfoils depicting Faith, Hope and Charity. These windows are in memory of Colonel Alexander Macleay, C.B. At the back of the Ladies Vestry at the end of the aisle is a window depicting the Sermon on the Mount. The windows m the north aisle are again by Powell and are similar in colouring to those in the south aisle. These are called The Mothers Window and show Hannah, Rachael, The Virgin Mary, St. Elizabeth, St. Anne and St. Monica.
All the windows were removed, reloaded and replaced in 1972-4. This work was necessary because of revere fatigue in the leadwork, and was carried out by Messrs. Moreton & Sons of Winchester, glaziers to the cathedral. The windows were taken out piece by piece and, because of their value, were housed in Winchester under three separate roofs for insurance and security reasons.
The Vicar called representatives of various organisations to meet him at one of the Lyndhurst hotels, and a Village Committee was formed under the chairmanship of Mr.Keith Buckett. The total sum involved in the work or restoring the windows was £9,856.24. A gift of £1,000 was received from the Radcliffe Trust via the Council for Places of Worship, and £500 from the Historic Churches Preservation Trust at the instigation of Sir John BetJeman who is one of their Trustees. The balance was the result of various functions which were arranged to help bring in funds, and generous donations received from the inhabitants of Lyndhurst, irrespective of denomination. This .shows that the people of Lyndhurst realise the value of the treasures in their possession, and their duty as a Village to save them. It was through the initiative shown by the Village in its determination to save the windows for future generations that the other organisation came forward with their generous gifts. Deo Gratias.
THE TOWER, THE SPIRE AND THE CLOCK
In 1868-9, after the main part of the church had been built, the parishioners set about completing the tower and spire. The tower had been built to a height of 36 ft. 6 ins., i.e. to the horizontal rib just above the windows which give light to .the bell-ringing chamber. Messrs. Hillary of Longparish tendered for the job, and quoted £950 for the rest of the tower and £600 more for the spire. After .some correspon- dence, the figures of £935.10.0 for the tower and £542.9.0 for the spire were agreed. Of course, there were the usual additional items, and the final account came to £1,130.14.0 for the tower and £621.2.2 for the spire, plus £40 to William White for the designs and drawings, and £11.10.0 for the detailed estimate of materials. The spire was completed in 1869, and the 141 foot landmark can be seen from as far away as the Isle of Wight.
In 1864 Mr. C. Castleman, who owned Glasshayes (now the Lyndhurst Park Hotel) offered to purchase a clock for the tower in exchange for the closing of Love Lane, which ran at the back of his residence. After some debate his offer was accepted. The clock was made by T. Cooke & Sons of York and installed in 1868.
Mr. T. R. Robinson, the Secretary of the Horological Society, recently wrote Cooke was one of the finest clockmakers who ever lived, and I would add that your Lyndhurst clock is about the best Cooke clock of all I have seen . .Your clock, with its most unusual feature of both a gravity escapement and a remontoire, is so outstanding as to be practically a national horological treasure.
The clock is an eight day turret clock, and has three dials, each 7 feet in diameter. The dials were repainted in 1924 at a cost of £29; they were painted again in 1939 and in 1974, by which time the cost had risen to £327. It is hoped that it will soon be possible to have the clock electrically wound in such a way as to retain the clock as a clock and not a frequency meter; this is to save a stalwart member of the congregation having to go each week to wind it. This is a long way from 1836, when Mr. Kendall came from .Ringwood every Thursday not only to wind the then clock, but also to maintain it, for £2.2.0 per year.The tower had in 1868 three bells, the present 3rd, 4th and 7th. The quarter hours were struck on 4 and 7, while the hours were struck on 3. The hours are now struck on the Tenor. Three more bells were added in .1874, the present 5th, 6th and 8th (Tenor).
In 1939 the old oak frame holding the six bells was found to be unsafe owing to the ravages of the death watch beetle.
It was replaced by a steel frame capable of taking 8 bells. The six bells were re-dedicated by Dr. Garbett on 6 December 1939. Then came the silence during the war. Two more bells were added in 1948 to complete the octave, the 1st (Treble) and the 2nd, the latter being in commemoration of the Victory of the Allied Forces in World War II.
"ALICE IN WONDERLAND IN LYNDHURST"
The Hargreaves family, who lived at Cuffnells (now demolished) were great benefactors to the Village. The most famous member of the family is Mrs. Reginald Hargreaves, better known as Alice in Lewis Carroll's books Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass. On 15 September, 1880, she was married in Westminster Abbey to Reginald Gervais Hargreaves and came to Jive at Lyndhurst in a beautiful Georgian house in its 160 acre estate. Mr. and Mrs. Hargreaves took a great interest in local affairs. He was a magistrate, and a keen golfer and cricketer. She was the first President of the Emery Down Womens Institute. They had three sons, Alan, Leopold and Caryl, the first two of whom were killed on the Somme during the First World War. A plaque to their memory can be seen near the Baptistery. Mr. Hargreaves died in 1926. Mrs. Hargreaves died on 16 November 1934, in Westerham, Kent. Her ashes were brought back to Lyndhurst to be buried in the family vault, which is in the churchyard on the south side of the church, level with the south transept window. The vault has a low curb with just the family name Hargreaves on it. A commemorative tablet has recently been placed beside it. it is hoped that one day the six remaining plain lights in the north aisle next to the Baptistery will be replaced with painted glass windows commemorating Mrs. Reginald Hargreaves and her philanthropic work in the Village. In the sanctuary of the church is a beautiful tomb to the memory of Mr. John Hargreaves and his wife Anna Maria. The tomb was designed by Mr. G. E. Street, R.A. It is in hard Mansfield stone with cylindrical columns of Alpine Green and Rouge Royal marble carrying the principal arches. The capitals are of softer Caen stone, and are decorated with foliage in the Early English style. The acutely pointed arches on either side are filled with the square diaper pattern, the head being charged with the Hargreaves arms.
The churchyard is now closed except for the interment of ashes. There are over 200 gravestones, many of them now illegible. There is the grave of the gallant soldier, John Frederick Breton: Lt. Breton serving in Capt. Mercers troop at the Battle of Waterloo and had three horses shot from under him but escaped himself with only a few bruiser. There is also the grave of the. humble servant George Ray: This stone was erected by Henry Compton of the Manor House, Minstead, a mark of respect for one who lived in his family for 27 years.