The Holy Trinity Church

Church of the Holy Trinity

Taken from "Froxfield & Privett: A Taste of History" (Author Unknown)

The present building was built at the instigation of William Nicholson, who bore most of the cost of 23,000, and was consecrated on April 25th, 1878 by the Bishop of Winchester.

The spire is a magnificent local landmark rising to a height of 180 ft. The style of the building is early English, simple outside but treated with great richness internally. It consists of a nave with aisles and a clerestory, chancel, north and south transepts, tower with porch at the north side. The walls are flint and the dressings, DoultIng (a Somerset stone). Over the west door is a figure of the Good Shepherd and on the north face of the tower is a statue meant to represent the Bishop of Winchester. Above the north porch is a vesica containing a carved representation of Christ in glory.

On entering the west door one is immediately struck by the grand proportions of the building. The dimensions are: Nave, length 61 ft. 6 ins., width, 22 ft. 6 ins., with aisles, 38 ft. Height to the ridge, 52 ft. Chancel length, 33 ft. 6 ins., width, 21 ft.

The walls are lined internally with Ham Hill stone banded with Bath stone. A dado of Corsehill stone 4 ft. 6 ins. in height runs round the church. The columns of
the chancel are relieved by shafts of Purbeck marble. The floor throughout the church is of marble mosaic and is particularly fine in the chancel area. The roofs are of pitch pine throughout, those of the nave and aisles open and the chancel and transepts are boarded polygonal ceilings with moulded ribs.

Windows are of various tinted cathedral glass. The stained glass lights in the chancel were the gift of the Misses Nicholson of Putney Heath, sisters of the founder.

The altar is raised above the nave by 7 steps of black Belgian marble. The reredos behind it is a splendid work of art. It extends over the whole east wall and is composed of a deeply moulded Early English arcading. The centre compartment contains a representation, in Caen stone, of the Supper at Emmaus and a choir of angels with musical instruments occupy the side panels. An arcade of intersecting arches runs found the sacrarium embracing, on the south side, sedilia, credence table and piscina. On the north side is a recess in which is fixed a brass plate with the following inscription:-

To the glory of God and as a thanks offering for many mercies,
this church of the Holy Trinity was built 1876-1878 and
consecrated on the feast of St. Mark by Edward Harold,
Lord Bishop of the Diocese.

The font of red and yellow Mansfield stone, with Purbeck shafts and base, was the gift of J. Waddington Esq. of Langrish House.

The architect for the church was Sir A. W. Blomfield and the contractors were Messrs. Dove of Islington. The mosaic pavements and marble steps were provided by Messrs. Bourke ofNewman Street, London and the carvings were done by Messrs. Farmer and Brindley. The stained glass windows were executed by Messrs. Heaton Butler & Baynes and the fine peal of 8 bells by Messrs. & Stainbank ofWhitechapel.

In the early 1970's, the need for major structural repair, particularly to the roof, became urgent but, sadly, the necessary funds could not be found from within the
parish. The church was declared redundant, and the Diocese tried to find an alternative use for it. When no other use could be found, the church was adopted by the Redundant Churches Fund, who now maintain it. It is- no longer a licensed church and can only be used for parish worship on a maximum of three occasions each year.

Privett Church History
Many interesting notes appear in the church registers, for example, on the 20th October, 1727, a young tree was planted by the curate, Sawbridge Woods, at the right hand of the church porch. (It would be interesting to know which of the two existing old yews this is). The curates at Privett lived in a small house on the site of the present Old Vicarage. Few appear to have stayed very long but one or two settled for longer because they married local young ladies. In some cases, judging from the remarks placed alongside baptisms, they were stern unbending men. For instance, the curate, for whom the word 'illegitimate' was insufficient, scrawled 'base born* against the word. The term 'born in fornication' is also used.

A lot of repair work was done to the old church in 1790, 1810 and in 1821. The earliest repairs were paid for by the Beckfords of Basing although some of the work was carried out with money raised from the parishioners. A Vestry meeting was held yearly where the wardens were elected and parish business discussed. These meetings were, for the most part, held in the old Sun Inn at Filmore Hill, now a private residence.

No record of the old church at Privett exists apart from the painting now in the chapel. It shows a west tower, said to contain five bells, a porch leading into a nave which has three pairs of lancet windows. The chancel appears to be at a lower level than the nave and is lit by a single pair of lancets.

Vicars of Privett
1873 ...John Frederick Falwasser
1890.... William Maule
1898.... William Arthur Thomas
1914. ...Arthur Ernest Edge
1927 ....Charles Henry Conybeare
1928.... William Pearce Putt
1933 ....Francis Peter Synge

1941.....Charles Arthur Page
1943 ....Algernon Edgar Worsley

1947. ...Bryan Bernard Carter
1952 ....Edmund Mackay Ellis
1972....John CuthbertDay
1978 ....Bennet Forster