In the quaint village of Fordingbridge in Hampshire, sits St.Mary’s Church, built in the latter part of the 12th century, out of ironstone and flint, sitting upon a former Saxon building.
The building, once the property of the Templar knights, dressed in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, highly skilled warriors for God. With the arrest of their Grand Master; James de Molay, the order was disbanded by the Pope. Much of their property, past into Hospitaller’s hands, including St.Mary’s Church.
In the early years of the 13th century, the church underwent some major building works, starting with the addition of two aisles to enlarge the nave, followed up with a chapel.
In the 14th century, the church received its finishing touches; north and south porches were added, with a tower giving it that elegant feel, built of ashlar blocks. The tower holds eight bells, dating back to 1654.
A fragment of the initial church build, can be observed over the door, leading to the choir vestry; an ox head carving. A 14th century piscine is located in the east wall of the south aisle, under a trefoil canopy.
The church contains a Purbeck 14th century marble font, decorated with two trefoil panels, standing upon a circular stem.
The 13th century chapel has a 15th century hammer-beam roof, decorated with carved roof bosses, including a Tudor Rose and Green Man. At the end sections of the hammer-beam roof, one can find carved figures holding heraldic shields, complimented with various symbols, including a mitre and crown.
The Chancel Arch is of 13th century, and come the 16th century a brass dedicated to the Bulkley family dated 1568 was fitted. It showed a man and wife kneeling at prayer desks with three sons and five daughters.
Situated above the north door; a wooden coat of arms of King George I.
The tomb of Captain James Seton can be found in the churchyard, the last man to be killed in a duel on English soil.
A reredos was installed in 1820 and the organ in 1887.
(Image) St.Mary’s Church: British Listed Buildings
(Images) Church Tower & Font: Wikipedia