THE HISTORY OF ST ANDREW'S
TIMSBURY


St Andrews's Church

THE DOOMSDAY BOOK TELLS us that the Abbey of St. Mary in Winchester held TIMMBREDERTE and had always held it. The name makes it clear there was an early Saxon village here. This would probably have consisted of a clearing in the forest, containing manor, wooden church and the huts of the villagers, surrounded by a wooden stockade and ditch as protection against wolves, animals and humans.

By 1212 the church had become a prebend of St. Laurence within Romsey Abbey. At the close of the 12th Century there was a wave of church building in Hampshire, due to the munificence of Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester and brother of King Stephen. It was at this time that a new church was built here, almost certainly on the site of its Saxon predecessor. 200 years later, in the time of William ofWykeham (or possibly as a memorial to him) a restoration took place.

Very largely the church today is as it was then. Because it is a private little building in the sense that it is slightly off the beaten track, it seems to have escaped both despoliation and the worst excesses of later restoration. Plainly there is some Georgian work to be seen in the interior, but that gives the building much of its charm. There is Victorian work - for instance the floor of the Sanctuary - but not enough to affect the general character of the building.

CHURCH INTERIOR
In the case near the screen is a nice copy of a beautiful 17th Century Chained Bible (1613) - with the chain by which it was secured when books were rare and precious commodities.The nave is divided from the sanctuary by a wrought iron communion rail. The 1559 Prayer Book instituted wooden communion tables in place of altars, and in 1560 Elizabeth I ordered the display of The Lord's Prayer, The Ten Commandments and the Apostles' Creed in all churches. These appear on three panels on the reredos behind the communion table.

The Pre-Reformation Chancel Screen is approximately 500 years old, one of only ten to be found in Hampshire. A chair in the chancel is 17th century and the wide oak armchair facing it is Elizabethan, and is carved on the back with flowers and foliage.

 
Also in the church is a large 13th Century pin-hinged chest.   Inside can be found on of the only two sets of 14th century pews in the county

The great wooden lock on the South door is thought to be 15th Century. There are some pieces of 15th Century glass in the North and South windows of the chancel

 

The Pulpit

  The carved oak pulpit with its admonitory text to the preacher, is thought to have been cut down from a two-decker, but Pevsner says only the back panel is 17th Century.
'Wo is unto me if I preach not ye gospel'.

To the right of the Communion Table in the South wall, is a pillar-piscina, approximately 500 years old.

West of the South door is an inscribed oak cupboard containing the library of theological books bequeathed to the church by one of its rectors, Timothy Goodacre, in 1713. They are of no great value, and it would be a stout-hearted man who set out to read them now, but they are preserved as they were at the time of the gift, the cupboard is believed to have been made by a local villager. The inscription reads:

Given by
M TIMO
THY GooD
ACKER
MINISTER
OF THIS P
1713
(note the letter D in Good is not in the panel like the rest of the text)

 

The plate of the church, which is not on view, consists of two patterns of the early 18th Century and an unmarked chalice thought to be of the 17th.

There are a few mediaeval tiles embedded in the windowsill near the pulpit. One, found among the beams of the church, bears William of Wykeham's motto and is 11th century; the others were probably made at Beaulieu Abbey.There is a piscina that is also around 500 years old.

Except for those in current use, the registers, dating from before the Spanish Armada, are now in the care of the County Archivist at St. Thomas' Church, Southgate Street, Winchester, where they may be inspected by bona-fide enquirers.

The one noticeably more modem piece of work is the East Window of quiterecent date the work of William Morris Ltd., i.e. the firm which bears his name, not William Moms himself.There is a small scroll at the top which reads:"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain

In 1999, a considerable project of repair and reordering took place. The bell turret was strengthened; the west wall, which had been moving for some years, was stabilised. The nave was lengthened to the west wall, and the font moved to the west end. A new heating system was installed and the church redecorated. Most prominently, the beautiful West Window, in memory of William Watkinson, a much loved churchwarden and regular member of the church for over sixty years, was installed and dedicated by the Archdeacon of Bournemouth in February 2000.

 
Recently workmen removing a plaque from above the door discovered part of a wall painting which is also mediaeval and is believed to cover the whole wall, it seems to be a village scene.
The old school house which is now a private residence
 
Above the font are the arms of George III, who was king when the church was built, as required by law7 after the Restoration in 1660.   The Font and its cover date from 1681.
 
The church interior   The Altar with the stained glass window

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH
n the churchyard some of the lichened stones are fascinating. The bell-cote and the beautiful timbered porch date from the William ofWykeham restoration..It is possible to see an ancient mass dial on the South-East comer of the church.

The large house which is on the corner of the car park that leads to the church was once the village schoolhouse, but is now a private residence and called Church House.

By the side of the porch is a huge stone basin, unearthed nearby and containing flowers.
Some think it is a domestic mortar from the manor farm; others that it is the original font  from the church

 

The exterior of St Andrew's


 

 

The Porch to the church

 

 

The War memorial
To the glory of God and in honoured
memory of the men of Timsbury
who fell in the  Great War 1914-1918

Lcpl Henry Geo. Vear
Pte Wm Geo. Pearce
Pte John Beecham
-oOOo-
Sgt R. Pratt
1939 - 1945
THEY ARE IN PEACE
There is a corner of some foreign field
that is forever England


 

 
Sacred to the memory of Ann Sharp widow of Samuel Sharp. of Romsey Infra. who died
8 Sep 1861. Aged 95 years
Charles John Hall of Standbridge And Catherine Hall his wife who died 15 Jan 1875
aged 71 years
 

Here lies the Body of WILLIAM DEALE HUNT
late of Popham in ye County of Southampton Esqur
who Died ye 24. day of June in ye Year of of our Lord 1756 Aged 46 years

 

 
As can be seen many of the oak pews (probably 15th Century) have been hand-hewn with the adze. Originally they would have been placed against the walls for the use of the old, sick and handicapped. This gives us the origin of the phrase 'go to the wall'.   The beams that support the roof