The Church of St Peter from the rear
WEBMASTERS NOTE: Both
Curdridge and Curbridge can be used
The Foundation Stone, which can be found
outside the South door of the Chancel, was laid by Miss Augusta Burrell of Fairthorne Manor, (now the YMCA National Centre) on
the 29 November 1887.
The Church was built at a cost of £6,000 by George Dobson,
Contractor, of Colchester, to the design of the Ecclesiastical
Architect, Sir Thomas G Jackson, ARA, of London, to replace the
Chapel of Ease .
The building is in the 15th century English Gothic style. The
dimensions are: Nave 64 feet; Chancel 32 feet; span of Chancel 21 feet. The walls are faced outside with flint
and have dressings of box ground stone. The wrought masonry of the inside is of chalk from Betchworth
Quarries, Surrey. The Tower and Bells were added in 1895.
The Church was consecrated on the 6 November 1888 by the Bishop
of Winchester, the Rt. Revd. E H Browne. The Churchwardens were
Paymaster in Chief, Sir J S Moore, RN and Mr E H Liddell, whose
father, the Very Revd. Dr. Henry C Liddell, Dean of Christ Church,
Oxford and Chaplain to Queen Victoria, assisted in the service.
STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
On the North side, the first window above the 1914-1918 Memorial
is of two great English heroes, King Alfred and St. Alban. Note the head and face of Lionel Lee, in whose
memory the window was given, which has been incorporated in the figure of St Alban. Over the 1939-1945
Memorial is the window depicting Jesus, the Good Shepherd and St Peter, the Patron Saint of this Church. The third
window is of St Edward and St George, again two typical English
The great East window shows Christ crowned in glory in the centre,
with St John and St Peter on the left and St Paul and St Mark on the right. The South Sanctuary window is
of St James and St John, brothers and sons of Zebedee, nicknamed
Boanerges - Sons of Thunder. This window is in memory of Admiral
of the Fleet, Sir Nowell Salmon, VC, GCB, who is buried in the
The Chancel window shows the Prophet Isaiah and St Luke.
Behind the Altar is an alabaster marble reredos by Farmer and Grindling.
The Organ, built by Holditch, was installed in the Chapel of Ease
in 1879, but was enlarged and moved to the present Church. In
1944 an electric blower was installed.
The brass Lectern was given at the time of the Conse- cration and
the Bible was purchased in 1922 for £3 18s. 9d.
The Pulpit is of Portland stone below and wainscot oak above,
with linen-pattern panels and open tracery, surmounted by a cornice of running foliage.
The Crucifix above the Pulpit was found in an antique shop and is
thought to have been a wayside cross brought to the country by a
soldier after the Second War, The wool on which it is mounted
came from an old oak beam which had been removed from Botley
The paving stones in front of the Pulpit and Lectern and inside
the main porch door are from the Chapel of Ease.
The roof timbers are of two types: over the Chancel is a strong,
flattened barrel roof: the Nave has an elaborate design with ten frames supported from corbel and wall
posts and braced with long collars. Ample arched braces give a pleasing effect.
The kneelers were started in 1967 and took twenty years to
complete. The designs are the traditional medieval emblems assigned to the saints in the age of chivalry. For their
meaning see 'Saints, Signs and Symbols' (published by SPCK).
The very old Bible in the glass-topped case at the West end by
the screen is a 'Breeches' Bible, so called be- cause in this edition of 1674 in Genesis 3, vs 7, it tells of how
Adam and Eve sewed 'breeches' for themselves, instead of the usual word 'aprons' in all other editions.
Many of the plaques have been given in memory of kind benefactors,
among them are ones to Miss Augusta Burrell and to the Liddell, Cory and Jenkyns families. There are
plaques to two clergymen who have served the parish - Richard Chenevix Trench, Curate of Curd ridge (1835-1842)
and George William Hills (1867-1919), 'who ministered in this
Parish for fifty two years as Curate in Charge and subsequently
as first Vicar'. These can be found in the Chancel. In the Tower vestibule
can be found a plaque to commemorate the sixtieth year in the reign of Queen Victoria.
In 1894 the Tower, which is 84 feet high, was added to the Church
and dedicated in the 9 January 1895. It houses eight of the heaviest bells in South Hampshire. They were
cast by John Taylor & Sons of Loughborough. The ringing
strain is 75 tons. The Winchester Guild of Ringers rang the bells
for the first time in March 1897, two years after they were hung,
when the Architect considered the masonry of the Tower had
The wrought iron pendant coronal ring originally hung from the
Chancel roof. It was moved to light the" Tower vestibule and the glass globes were fitted with electric lights.
Use of this was discontinued and floodlights were installed on the ceiling, but the ornamental fitting has
The West Window depicts Faith, Hope and Charity, the three
theological virtues and was installed in 1901 by J Powell & Sons of
The Tower vestibule has been made into a Choir Vestry. The carved
Font is not now used; a portable Font is placed in the Chancel when required.
|On going outside you will see that there are eight gargoyles on
the Tower, on the four sides and the corners just below the battlements; they are the work of the Architect
and were executed by Farmer & Grindling. On the South side is
Sir Be vis (clad in chain armour, and in the act of drawing his
sword)and at the South west corner is Sir Bevis' favourite horse 'Arundel'. On the west side is
'Josyan' Lady Bevis (Sir Bevis'
wife), at the North west corner is the 'Blood thirsty boar'; on the
North side is 'Sultan Ermyn' (father in law of Sir Bevis) : on the North east corner the giant
'Ascupart' (Sir Bevis'
trusted servant): on the East side, the 'Twins' (son of Sir Bevis); and on the South east corner the
witch 'Kitnox', or 'Kitnocks' as it is now spelt. For more information, see 'Bevis of Hampton' by w S Durrant
the south Porch is of half-timbered oak framing and over the
doorway is some excellent stone carving, including the Royal and
On the left facing the main door is the Royal Arms of England,
having in the first and fourth quarters the Lion of England (introduced by King John in 1200) and in the
second and third quarters, emblems of Scotland and Ireland, all surrounded by the badge of the Order of the
Garter. On the right, the Arms of the Diocese of Winchester, to which the parish then belonged. (Curd ridge was
transferred to the newly-formed Diocese of Portsmouth in 1928.)
The War Memorial was dedicated in October 1920 and in 1949
memorial tablets to those who died in the 1939- 1945 war were
The Lyehgate dates from 1890.
The iron gates leading into the Upper Churchyard are the
originals dating from 1835. The Bier House is on the site of the Porch of the Chapel of Ease and yew trees mark
the two East corners and the site of the Altar.
The Memorial Garden, designed and built by parishioners , was
dedicated in 1973.
The gate opposite the school incorporates the wheel from HMS
Amethyst, the frigate which won fame in fighting her way out of the Yangtse River in 1949 when she had been
shelled and detained by the Chinese forces in the Civil War.
The earliest grave is that of Churchwarden John Fawcett, who was
buried in 1837. Also to be found in the Churchyard are the graves of Admiral of the Fleet, Sir
Nowell Salmon, VC, GCB (who won his VC at
the Second Relief of Lucknow) and those of some of the Church's
generous benefactors: Miss Augusta Burrell, Charles Cory, the
Liddell and Jenkyns families and Miss Violet Cooke. Miss Cooke
bequeathed her estate to the Church and Village Organisations.
Flowers on her grave are provided each month by the local Women's
Institute, following their meeting.
CHAPEL OF EASE
This was built in 1835 and was of brick, coated with Roman cement
in the style of that period. The single entrance was a West door, where there was a spire containing a
bell rung from the gallery. A single aisle ran the length of the Chapel to a painted East Window. The
building possessed few architectural attractions and suspicious cracks could be found in the walls. In 1887 it
became clear that the existing Chapel was too small for the needs of the parish. The Golden Jubilee of
Queen Victoria was a fitting opportunity to erecfc a new and more convenient building than to incur a
considerable outlay on the existing one. An added incentive was
the donation of £1,500 given by Miss Augusta Burrell.
The bell from the Chapel can be seen in the tower on the school
roof. The first Curate in Charge was the Revd. Richard Chenevix Trench (1835-1842). He later became Dean
of Westminster (1856) and then Archbishop of Dublin (1864-1884).
He died in 1886 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. In his writings he laid the foundations of
the 'Concise Oxford Dictionary', based on his book 'On the Study of Words'. His poem 'A walk in the
Churchyard' is reputed to have been written in Curdridge. For more information, read 'The Man of Ten Talents' by
J Bromley (published by SPCK).
It is of interest to know that one of Mr E H Liddell's five
sisters, Alice, was the girl about whom Lewis Carroll wrote his books 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Alice through
the Looking Glass'. Perhaps Alice herself was present at the
Consecration Service, sitting in the front pew?
The Church Architect, Sir Thomas G Jackson (1835-1924) was a
pupil of Sir Gilbert Scott. He built two other churches in Hampshire - All Saints, East Strat ton (consecrated
on the 1 November 1888), and St John the Evangelist, North ing ton (completed in 1889). From 1905 he
helped plan the under-pinning of the East end of Winchester Cathedral.