|St John's Marchwood
The building was designed by J.W. Derick and
is built in the shape of a cross. It is almost, in design, like a
small version of a cathedral! It is certainly tall in proportion
to other churches.
A quote from 1930 from Mr. I.R.A. Chick the Headmaster of
Marchwood C.of E. School, "Our Church is worthy of
inspection - is a fine example of its kind and contains many
It is cruciform in shape, with lofty imposing chancel, lofty
nave, north and south transepts, square tower with a tapering
spire - the church presents a commanding appearance. To see the
spire from across the Southampton water gives one a feeling of
The church is built of yellow brick and Caen stone and its height
disproportionate in relation to its other features almost as if
it had been designed to be lower and then stretched upwards.
The tower reaches a height of 132 feet, or 40 metres on a good
The first reference to a choir is around 1860, when a Mr. H.
Richmond who was at school in the village recalled attending
church with the school on Sundays and sitting in the balcony. He
describes "the boys on one side of the gallery and the girls
on the other, separated by a choir of ladies, and the Harmonium
played by Mr. Williams, son of the Headmaster".
The Choir Stalls were first erected in 1890 at the time when the
church was redecorated in Victorian art. In 1973 those original
stalls were replaced by those made from Parana Pine. Later
addition to the stalls culminate in what you see now. During the
late 1950's there were about 10 boys and girls in the choir. 1993
arrives with a thriving choir of about 25 boys, girls, men and
women, sporting blue monastic style choir robes, only replaced in 1992 when the traditional black
cassocks and white surplices fell apart.
The bell, a single 7 cwt specimen was cast by Thomas Mears at the
Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1843. Every
indication is that it came from "stock" and was not
specially cast for Marchwood. The bell is jointly used as the
Church Clock chime, which can be heard ringing out the hour
throughout the village.
The Bell frame stood the test of time up until 1992, when local
parishioners were called upon to replace the 149 year old rotting
timber on the top of the bell frame. At the same time they
assisted the professional Bell Hanger to fit a new clapper and to
replace the rotted headstock.
The clock mechanism
The clock was installed in the 1860's and after being out of
action for some latter years was refurbished locally in 1982
along with the clock face. The 'workings' have more recently been
adapted to electrical winding, still
retaining all of the mechanical drive.
The Army Fire Service
replacing the minute hand
The minute hand of the clock fell off one windy night in 1987 and
the help of the Army Fire Service was enlisted to "tick"
it back on. The bell is regularly rung for services by younger
members of the choir or congregation.