The roots of Ovington Parish lie in its
Saxon ancestry. The village was one of the chain of settlements
along the valley of the River Itchen; its name, Ofinetune in Anglo-Saxon,
means "the Place above".
In the 10th century King Edgar granted land at Ovington to Byrthclai» Bishop of Winchester, a gift later confirmed by
Charter from King Ethelred. At this period the Word was preached'-from
the Gospel Oak in nearby Hampage Wood.
Doomsday Book 1087 records land in Ovington as held by the Abbess
of St Mary whose convent was the Nunnaminster of Winchester,
founded jointly by King Alfred and his wife Eahlswith. The first
document confirming the existence of a Church is that of 1284 in
which the King gave up the Advowson of the Church to John, Bishop
The site of the small Norman Church can be seen to the North of
the present St. Peter's. The arch of the entrance still stands and has recently been restored: the ancient
Holy Water stoop is in the new porch while a number of memorials and artefacts have also been transferred to
the present building. Attention is particularly drawn to the square font.
The following appears in Margaret Green's "Hampshire
Churches" (1969 Winton Publications) " A representative
collection of Fonts in this (Itchen Valley) area spans the
centuries beginning with the fine Norman example which survives
at Ovington. This is carved in Purbeck stone, its square sides
carved with a shallow arcaded design so typical of many Hampshire
fonts of this period."
The marble top to the font is probably several centuries later..
The Battle of Cheriton in 1664 brought the Civil War almost to
the boundary of the village; a field, to this day called "Butcher's
Close" was reputedly the slaughtering ground for
provisioning the Royalist troops stationed in Alresford
By the 18th Century Ovington had its forge, its bakery, its old
mill. and the Norman church, described as "much buttressed"
continued to serve an agricultural community. The Churchwardens'
accounts record "1740 - paid Daniel Snugs for mending ye
Church and stocks 6s 7d". St. Peter's was rebuilt in 1866 in
Decorated Style incorporating a Bell Tower with four bells. The
cost of £3500 was met by a donation from Mrs, Hewson of Ovington
House. The reredos and pulpit are made of Caen stone. The
hatchment bears the arms of. Sir Thomas Dyer, a. distinguished soldier whose death in 1838 is
recorded on his tomb in the. Churchyard.
In 1922 the Parish of Itchenstoke was united with the Parish of Ovington. St. Mary, Itchen Stoke is now in the care of the
Redundant Churches Fund and St. Peter serves both Parishes.