The Domesday Book of 1086 mentions a Saxon
church at Nursling perhaps on the site of the present day
church. This was demolished about 1240, and the existing chancel
and south chapel, now the vestry, were built, and a large south
aisle added. This aisle and its arcade were pulled down about
1330, the nave lengthened and widened, and the tower and shingle
spire built, this being largely the church we see to-day.
PORCH. Here is a rough-hewn Fourteenth Century
ladder leading to the belfry housing the one remaining bell from
a set of three, cast in 1769 by Robert Wells of Aldbourne,
Wiltshire. The tablet commemorates the Church's dedication to St.
Boniface, his bishopric at Mainz and his martyrdom at Dokkum. The
former gable opening, now fixed to the floor is of the Thirteenth Century and
was found during restoration in 1881.
NAVE. Overhead, the great oak tie-beams date
from the Fourteenth Century, and the old beam over the door bears
the names of the Church-wardens of 1675, being possibly the old
rood-beam. The stone brackets which supported this rood-beam and
its crucifix in pre-Reformation days can be seen one on either
side of the Fourteenth Century chancel arch.
PARISH CHEST AND PULPIT. The former with its
three locks dates from the time of Henry VIII, and the pulpit is
a good example of late Elizabethan work.
WALL-PAINTINGS. There were formerly traces of
wall-paintings on the splay of the window opposite the door.
Hanging on the west wall are an old hatchment and a Royal coat-of-arms;
between them is the altar and triptych preserved from the former
nearby chapel of Lee now converted to the Mountbatten Art Gallery.
CHANCEL. This chancel was restored in 1881
revealing under wooden panelling the Fourteenth Century sedilia
in the south wall. The choir stalls bear the archiepiscopal arms
VESTRY. The descent of over 2 feet from the east
door to floor level gives an indication of the great age of the
site, being perhaps the floor level of the original Saxon church.
The south window is of the Fifteenth Century. The monument on the
west wall is to Sir Richard Mill 1613 and his wife Mary 1622, of
Grove Place, which is now Northcliffe School. The Mill family's
descendants still have associations with the village and church
to-day. Their names are the first in the new Visitors' Book
together with the foreword which the late Lord Mountbatten was
prevented from making by his tragic death in August 1979.
A few remaining original floor tiles of the Fourteenth Century
have been set into the north wall. Alongside is the gravestone of
Andrew Mundy, bearing three brasses, one a chronogram of the date
of his death 1632 (found by adding the values of those letters
which are Roman numerals), the others a play upon his name "Lux Mundi" 'light of the
CHURCHYARD. The beautiful cedar tree to the
north was planted by the Bishop of Winchester in 1847 when
consecrating an enlarged church-yard.
The adjacent Church Hall was built in 1897 commemorating the
Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
The former rectory, of 1788, opposite the church is now privately
THE STORY OF ST BONIFACE