Johns Church, Farley Chamberlayne
St John's Church, Farley
Chamberlayne stands in one of the most lovely parts of
Hampshire. Surrounded by farmland, it has views that
stretch south over the Downs towards the Isle of Wight.
which actually becomes visible on a clear day.
The present church is of Norman foundation, and
was probably built between 1130 and 1160. However, there may well have
been an earlier Saxon place of worship on the same site, as the entry
in Domesday Book makes it clear that there was a settlement at Farley
in Anglo-Saxon days.
|The nave of the church is Norman, with a
chancel of later date. The fine king-post oak roof contains most
of its original timbers.
|The Norman arch over the
south door, with its strange carved terminals can be dated not
later than 1160. Traces of a mass dial and a consecration cross
may be found on its pillars.
The Windows - Note a small early English trevoil window, with a
characteristic hood-mold. Otherwise all the windows are more modern
insertions, probably 18th century, in place of the original Norman
The Altar Rails are Jacobean, as is also the screen which separates
the small vestry from the body of the church, and the tester on the
pulpit. The pulpit, prayer desk, lectern and the oak panelling inside
the altar rails were all special gifts made on the restoration of the
Church in 1910. Before this date the church had deal "sheep pen" pews,
and a gallery at the west end.
The tomb of William St John
The monuments in the church present an interesting story in
themselves. The tomb under the canopy is that of William St
John, who was born at Farley in 1538, and buried there in 1609. His
descent can be traced through successive Lords sof the Manor, as far
back as the reign of Edward III, when the property had changed
hands. One of his most interesting ancestors was Sir John St John, who
was knighted by his cousin Henry VII in 1487, for having brought
to the King's aid in the Lambert Simnel rebellion. He was later made
Chamberlain to Margaret, Countess of Richmond, the King's mother, and
was named in her will as one of her executors. Sir John was related to
Henry through his grandmother, who married first Oliver St John, and
after his death John Beaufort Duke of Somerset. Their daughter was
Margaret, mother of Henry VII.
This link with the Tudor dynasty is commemorated on one of the black
marble tombstones in the chancel, which bears the name of Oliver St
John who died in 1689.
The St John family were Lords of the Manor for nearly two hundred
years, and their manor house, all trace of which has vanished,
stood on the ground to the north of the church. It was probably built
between 1524 and 1538. The manor house sheltered succeeding
generations till the property passed to the distaff side on the death
of the last male St John in 1699. His heirs, however, added the name
of St John to their own of Midmay, and held the property until
eventually it was sold to the Heathcote family of Hursley, and the old
manor house was pulled
down early in the 19th century.
|There are several St John tombstones on the floor of the sanctuary,
beneath which lies the family vault. There is also a pathetic
monument on the wall, which records the untimely death of a young
couple and their new born babe, all of whom "changes this life for a
better" within the space of twelve months 1627/8. The basket-work crib
is worthy of note.
Here lyeth the body of Oliver St
Descended From Sr Oliver St John
& Margaret Beauchamp of Bletsoe
in Bedford Shire who ws Granmother
to Henry The 7th King of England
He Dyed ye 26th day of Augst
And Dni 1689
In ye 48th year of his age
The two hatchments at the end of the church are
of a later date, but they both belong to the St John family. That with
the chevron ermine and the two hedgehogs is of Jane, last wife of Sir
Paulet St John (1703 -1780) while the other is that of Sir Paulet St
John (2nd baronet) who died
in 1784 aged 44.
|In the vestry may be seen the remains of stocks, which formerly stood
outside the church, and also a cresset beacon which may possibly
date from the reign of Edward III. It was certainly used at the time
of the Armada.
There is a roof tile, not on show, inscribed "Aprill ye 16 1400" which
was found when the church was restored.
There are three bells, one of medieval date with a Gothic inscription,
a treble bell which is late fifteenth century while the last is dated
1603. The first two must have rung in the general rejoicing at the
defeat of the Armada.
The Registers begin in 1593 (Baptisms)a, 1612 ( Burials) and 1645
(Marriages). There is a Churchwardens' Book which begins in 1770.
The Church Plate consists of a silver chalice inscribed "Farley 1672",
a large silver paten inscribed "Ex domo Robert London Armigeri", given
about 1696, and a pewter flagon and plate inscribed "Farley 1831".
showing the oak roof timbers
||One of the gas
lamps in the church
in the vesry
Sacred to the Memory of Thrift
Wife of James Wmith, Farley.
and youngest daughter of
John Hedderick Esq Plebohole
Fifeshire North Britain,
Who departed this life
the 2nd of January 1815,
aged 27 years
In memory of
Hugh Prior, the beloved son of
The Rev W.H., and Jane Woodham
of this parish
Who died at Albany W. Australia,
on his return from Service
with the S.A/ Imperial Bushmen
July 22nd 1501 aged 23 years
The Pretty memorial
The new font which commemorates the millenium walk
from Winchester to Canterbury
The Royal Coat of Arms above the vestry door