The present Church at Faccombe was built of
stone and flint in 14th.Century style in 1866. It replaced the
much older but small church of St Michael at Netherton of which
little now remains except the Church Yard and Lych Gate.
Until 1894 the Parishes of Faccombe and Tangley were combined and
the 12th Century Church of St. Michael acted as mother-church to
the Chapelry of Tangley.
By 1864 the Church at Netherton had become "very dilapidated"
and was very inconveniently situated for most of the residents of
the Parish. The nave was demolished in 1865 and the chancel in
1888. However the font and some of the memorial tablets were
brought from the old Church and can now be seen in the present
The Font : This is an outstanding example of 12th
Century stonework. It has sloping sides carved with zig-zag and
two cables. The remains of the iron staples at the top are a most
interesting feature. They are formerly part of the fastening of
the font cover. In the Middle Ages the water for baptisms was
only consecrated once a year, usually on Easter Eve, with holy
oil and solemn ceremony. In the 13th Century it was ordered that
every font must be made of stone or other durable material and
should be covered and kept locked in order
to keep the baptismal water pure and to prevent anyone except the
priest from meddling with it. The consecrated water was
continually being stolen and used for superstitious purposes such
as a talisman against witches or to undo a spell; eyes bathed in
it were thought to be rendered incapable of seeing ghosts.
Therefore for several centuries fonts were supplied with covers
and were kept locked. Few of such staples have survived in such
good condition as these.
On the west wall near the south porch is an incised slate tablet
to Anne Reade, wife of Henry Read , and daughter of Sir Thomas
Wyndebanke, Kt.,"Cleark of the Signet to Queen Elizabeth
& to King James than now is" Her mother was Frances
Dymmocke, daughter of Sir Edward Dymmocke of "Skeerlsey"
the Queen's Champion. She died in 1624 . Over the inscription is
the figure of a lady kneeling at a desk on which lies a book; she
is wearing a Paris bonnet, ruff, and mantle over a tight-fitting
bodice and full skirt. Behind her kneel three daughters similarly
dressed, but without mantles and only one wearing a ruff. At her
side kneel two sons in the dress of the period.
The Queen's Champion or Champion of England is the person whose
office it is to ride up Westminster Hall on Coronation Day, and
to challenge anyone who disputes the right of succession. The
office was established by the Conqueror and given to Marmion and
his descendants with the manor of "Broad Scrivelsby"
here written "Skeersley" and usually so pronounced. Sir
John Dymoke succeeded to the office at the Coronation of Richard
II and it then continued in the Dymoke family although the actual
-riding and challenge was discontinued by Queen Victoia.
On the west wall of the south door is a Tablet to Henry Reade,
who died in 1647. His father petitioned the King for pardon for
supposed simony ( .i.e. the crime of buying or selling
presentation to a benefice, from Simon Magus, who thought ,to
purchase the gift of the Holy Spirit with money: see Acts viii)
To the east of the south door is a Brass Plate with inscription
to Mrs Alice Reade wife of Robert Reade, Gent of Linkenholt, and
daughter and sole heir of Robert Reade, Gent of LInkenholt, and
daughter and sole heir of Francis Pooly Esq. She died in 1598.
Below on a separate plate is a short Latin inscription.
Windows Three of the windows are filled with
modern stained glass. In the east Our Lord in Glory is depicted
surrounded by angels and accompanied by St Michael with sword and
scales ( for weighing soul s ) and St Barnabas holding a book and
scroll - this would be the Gospel of St.'Matthew, the evangelist's
own copy, with which St. Barnabas healed the sick. At his feet
are money-bags There are only thirteen ancient dedications to
this saint. His Feast is kept On June 11th. The inscription in
the window is dedicated to Ann Jane Everett wife of Rev C.H.Everett.
She died in 1901.
On the north side are two other stained glass windows, one
showing a figure of St John the Evangelist holding a chalice, and
with his emblem, the eagle beside him. This window is inscribed
in memory of John Morris M.A. Rector of the Parish, died 1933.
The remaining window is the war Memorial, and represents St.George
standing on the dragon which he has slain with his spear.
The Registers of Baptism, Marriage and Burial date from 1586 and
are now deposited with the County Records Office in Winchester.