King's Somborne is a typical large
Hampshire village. It was formerly of greater importance as a
local centre: the Hundred of Somborne stretched along the Test
Valley from Wherwell to Timsbury and Sherfield, and until 1842
the parishes of the Hundred formed the Deanery of Somborne. From
1307 to 1832, on and off, Somborne returned a member of
Parliament. For the last century or so, however, most of the
small semi-rural industries that used to flourish have
disappeared, leaving a residential and farming community.
All Saints, Little Somborne, has always been a Chapel of Ease,
attached to the Mother Church of King's Somborne, while at one
time there was also a chapel at Compton, and the curacy of St.
Peter's, Stockbridge was annexed to the parish till 1843. In 1923
the benefice was united with its neighbour, St. Mary's, Ashley.
All Saints was declared redundant in 1972, and St. Mary's in 1977.
The Roman road from Winchester to Old Sarum runs through the
parish: the area was certainly cultivated in Roman times.
Christianity had a toe-hold in England during the Roman
occupation but was overwhelmed by the heathen invaders, Angles,
Saxons, and Jutes: the latter had settlements in the southern
part of the county, and the Saxons in this area. Missionaries
then came from Gaul and Ireland, and by the mid-seventh century
the country was Christian, in name anyway, a wild country of
small scattered communities, dividing their time between farming
and feuding: only the Church provided any kind of unity, or laid
any stress on the gentler virtues. Some time during these
confused years, the settlement of Somborne appeared: recent
excavations in the churchyard and school grounds have produced 5th
to 6th century ceramic evidence, as well as some Roman remains.
The name may mean "Swines Brook" or "Summer Bourne".
In the ninth century all that had been achieved in the way of
unity or civilisation was again threatened, this time by the
Danes and Norsemen, who by 873 had conquered the whole of England
except the Kingdom of Wessex, as well as parts of the continent:
Normandy, in France, owes its name to them. The genius of Alfred
the Great, however, halted and tamed the invaders: he set up
fortified burghs, among them his capital, Winchester, organised
the defence of the realm, and encouraged the administration of
Justice. During the next century the Shire and Hundred Courts
gradually developed: in some circumstances cases were tried in
the Hundred Courts using a sort of Jury. It is of interest that
the Abbess of Romsey had jurisdiction over criminals in her own
The wise rule of Alfred was followed by further years of strife,
when the Danes harried the land, possibly passing through the
village on their way to their ships with loot from Berkshire.
Canute, a Dane and a converted heathen, became king of both
Denmark and England, and was buried in Winchester in 1035; the
union did not survive him. Finally, with the Norman conquest of
1066, the tale of invasion came to an end.
By the time of the later Saxon kings, Somborne was a place of
some importance. There are traces of large stone buildings south
of the churchyard. which it is thought formed part of a royal
palace possibly comparable to Clarendon near Salisbury - hence
the name King's Somborne. It is probable that a stone church had
been built on the present site by then (though the palace would
have contained its own chapel) but nothing visible remains.
The Norman King, William, replaced the existing Saxon aristocracy
by his Norman followers, and imposed severe taxes, but he brought
strong government, peace, and prosperity. In 1082, in order to
establish his tax base and ascertain the ownership of land
William ordered a survey to be made of the country south of the
Tees, even employing a second body of Commissioners to check the
findings of the first. In this remarkable document, the Domesday
Book, are listed several manors 'At Sumburne', one of them the
royal manor which had belonged to Edward the Confessor, the
largest establishment: 'The King holds Sumburne in demesne (lordship)
.... Land for 10 ploughs. In the demesne there are 3 ploughs, 25
villagers and 8 smallholders with 8 ploughs. Two serfs; 3 mills
at 15 shillings, 7 freedmen; meadow, 20 acres; pasture at 17s;
from grazing 10d. The jurisdiction of two Hundreds belongs to
this manor. Two churches, to which 1/2 hide belongs in alms.' The
book also records that the count of Mortain (half brother of the
King) 'holds 1 manor which 3 thegnes held of King Edward ...' The
Count appears to have had an extra patch of land: he held it, but
the jurors of the Hundred asserted that it ought to belong to the
King. William de Ow (later to rebel against William Rufus) held
land stretching from Stockbridge - hence perhaps 'How' Park.
Little Somborne was held by Bernard Pauncefoot ('Fat-faced' or 'Fat-bellied')
- hence Pauncefoot Hill - and Compton by William the Archer. (Waleran
the Hunter also held some land). Thus the entire district passed
under Norman control.
The Normans were tremendous builders. For defensive reasons they
made themselves castles, first in wood and then in stone, and in
due course when the times allowed, splendid churches (though
their more ambitious towers usually collapsed, as in Winchester
Cathedral). They therefore rebuilt the church in King's Somborne
fairly soon after the Conquest. Their structure would probably
have been in the shape of a cross, and have had three altars, at
the East end and in each side arm. All that remains today is the
Purbeck marble font, and even on it the little marble pillars are
replacements from the 1886 restoration.
Little Somborne church, which was built in the first half of the
eleventh century, is unusual in having retained its Saxon form
and masonry, though it was altered towards the end of the twelfth
The mediaeval churches have shaped our perceptions of beauty and
worship; these buildings themselves were shaped by the needs and
ideas of their time. It is extraordinarily difficult for us to
understand mediaeval life, with its extremes of saintliness and
corruption, superstition and sophistication, and its web of
obligations and responsibilities. Our present separation of
sacred and secular life did not exist: the monasteries were the
centres of learning of all kinds, and at first the Church
supplied most of the administration, the King's officials: two at
least of the Rectors of this parish, Martin Pateshull (c 1220)
and William de Ralegh (1230-39, when he became Bishop of Norwich),
were distinguished judges. Both were possessed of other benefices
as well as King's Somborne, and their parish work would have been
done by chaplains. The theoretical model of a parson in his
parsonage, collecting tithes to be split four ways, between him,
the care of the church, the poor, and the diocese, was rarely if
ever found in practice: the tithes went to a rector who was not
necessarily even in Holy Orders, or to a religious house, or a
statesman; the churches were then served by vicars or chaplains
salaried by the rector, or by priests attached to a monastery.
The parish priests were usually simple men like those among whom
they worked: though celibacy was always the ideal, a domestic
union recognised as marriage was common among the lower clergy,
particularly before the Conquest. Most people's lives were spent
within a day's walk of their homes, yet the King and Court
travelled incessantly and the dignitaries of the Church were in
constant touch with Rome and the Continent. Because of the
universal use of Latin for all important matters, there was less
of a language barrier than there is today. These ages could take
on the astonishing adventure of the Crusades: the troops are said
to have celebrated Mass at Little Somborne on their way to set
sail in 1196.
In 1190 the Manor of King's Somborne was granted to William
Briwere, a loyal servant of the Plantaganet kings, who made him
one of the most powerful men in the realm, and rewarded him
handsomely. Among other offices he was at various times sheriff
of Hampshire and of other counties, (including Nottingham while
Richard Coeur-de Lion was on a Crusade: this makes him Robin Hood's
notorious adversary). He also signed Magna Carta. Though much
disliked and an extortioner, his family married well: one of his
descendants married Henry of Lancaster: their daughter, Blanche,
who inherited the Manor in 1362, married John of Gaunt; the Manor
then passed to their son, Henry Bolingbroke, who in 1399 became
King Henry IV. The Manor remained a royal possession till the
time of Charles I.
In 1200 William Brewer received from King John a licence to
fortify a castle at
Ashley: Ashley church had stood for over half a century already,
so William's bailey was built around it. Subsequently the King
stayed there to hunt in the Forest of Bere. In 1201 Brewer
founded a Priory of Augustinian Canons at Mottisfont; his son
gave them the church of King's Somborne: from 1207 till the
dissolution of the Monastery the Priory appointed the vicars of
King's Somborne, and no doubt the priests to serve at the altars
and chantry. His brother John presented Little Somborne to the
Priory, and there is unreliable evidence that a third brother,
Peter de Rivaulx, was a monk there of some sanctity, known as 'the
Monk in the Wall'.
Because of the increase in the size and importance of the area at
that time, a north aisle of two bays was added to the church in
about 1205, followed by enlargement of the chancel and then the
addition of a south aisle in about 1225. Of this Early English
work, the first bay of the nave from the east end and the arch of
the second bay remain, having been rebuilt in 1886. On the first
column of the south aisle are two most interesting graffiti,
small drawings incised in the stone, which were recognised as 13C
work by the late Canon Theophilus. They may have been preliminary
sketches, or the artists may have scratched the outline of their
pictures on the stone before colouring them. One depicts the
Crucifixion: it faces the nave, 32 inches from the ground and 9
inches high. The other, even more difficult to see, faces the
south aisle on the fifth stone from the ground and shows the
Virgin, crowned, and Child. Also, near the ground, there are
little crusader's crosses incised by kneeling pilgrims
Two interesting records survive from those days: in about 1236
William de Ralegh, lawyer and rector of the parish, in the course
of litigation to arrange the affairs of William Briwere's
daughter Margery de la Ferte, agreed that the church had the
right to keep, with the beasts of the Lord of the Manor: 12
bullocks, 2 cows and a bull, 100 sheep and a ram, 30 pigs and a
boar; and there were also rights to gather wood for fuel. Then in
1241 a licence of the Pope himself, Gregory IX, confirmed the
priory of King's Somborne, provided they paid a vicar.
The 13th C. saw the development of the Nave as a place for the
people to assemble and take part in services (it would have been
used for meetings and probably festivities as well), while the
chancel might give sanctuary to fugitives. The 14th C. saw the
development of the Chancel for the use of the clergy, and the
screening of the chancel and chapels from the nave: the screen
would have been surmounted by a crucifix (rood). Following the
death of William de Brestowe (or Brestolle, i.e. of Bristol),
vicar from 1305-27, the chancel was doubled in length, in order
to make room for his monument on the north side of the Chancel,
consisting of a niche with a very bold septfoiled ogeeshaped head,
containing the figure of a priest clad in eucharistic vestments,
carved in low relief. An inscription in Norman French (instead of
the more usual Latin) runs round the slab, "Williem de
Brestowe gist ici de so alme eyt merci." (William de
Brestowe lies here, God have mercy on his soul).
It is likely that on Maundy Thursday the Sacrament was placed on
the Brestowe monument, representing the Lord's tomb, and guarded
by a priest till Easter morning.
In 1321 the Prior of Mottisfont had to explain to Rigaud Bishop
of Winchester that William had been instituted during a (lengthy)
vacancy in the See, and subsequently, but through no fault of his
own, a fire in the Vicarage had destroyed all his papers; a
proper enquiry, with evidence given on oath had shown that
everything was in order.
These improvements were followed by the lengthening of the north
and south side-chapels, the cutting of arches between the Chapels
and Chancel, and the insertion of the present Chancel windows;
the congregation were helped by the provision of bigger windows
in the south aisle. Corbal stones for the images of SS Peter and
Paul can be seen on each side of the East window, and there is an
aumbry behind the altar: from the 7C on, the Bread and Wine
consecrated at Holy Communion were placed in a vessel called a
Pyx which was kept in a cupboard - armarium or aumbry - together
with the sacred vessels and any relics the church might have
After this, no further expansion of the church took place for a
very long time: the Black Death in the middle of the 14th C
reduced the population drastically, while the relative importance
of the area declined as London replaced Winchester as the capital.
John of Gaunt 1340-99, fourth son of Edward III and father of
Henry IV was prominent in English affairs during his lifetime.
Through his marriage to Blanche of Lancaster he acquired with the
manor of King's Somborne a deer park to the West of the village,
of which part of the enclosing banks and the yew trees on these
may still be seen. William Brewer had been given the right to
chase hare, fox, cat and wolf there in 1200; in 1552 the pale was
broken and there were no deer, by 1591 it had been mended and
there were 215; there are still deer there today.
The two brasses of about 1380 on the chancel floor are thought to
be father and son and to have been John of Gaunt's stewards. They
are the third oldest in Hampshire, and. belong to the finest
period of the craft. The Church in his time, with its wall
paintings and figures must have been very splendid, a symbol of
the self-confidence and temporal power of the Church. With
neither pews nor pulpit it would seem strange as well as garish
These were the times of the rise of the English archers: local
legend has it that the mound just to the south of the churchyard
is the remains of archery butts; certainly there was a muster at
Michelmersh before Henry V sailed to victory at Agincourt in 1415,
and 100 years later in March 1523 the Hundred of Somborne could
muster 58 archers and 116 billmen against the possibility of war
In 1543 an Archdeacon's Visitation ordered the repair of the
windows. By that time the Church was preoccupied by the
Reformation with all its passion and confusion. The Priory of
Mottisfont was dissolved in 1537, amicably, the Prior receiving a
pension: the patronage of the parish passed to the new owner of
Mottisfont, Lord Sandys of the Vyne. The Bible went from Latin to
English, to Latin again in the reign of Mary Tudor, and finally
to English under Elizabeth. The Rood images and all Popish relics,
even the head of Brestowe's effigy, were destroyed. The incumbent
of Ashley was deprived of his living for refusing to take the
oath of supremacy when Elizabeth ascended the throne. Both sides
persecuted their opponents with horrifying intensity: a relation
of the Giffards who then owned King's Somborne manor was burned
at the stake in Winchester.
In 1536 Thomas Cromwell ordered parishes to keep a record of
births, marriages, and deaths, an order that was widely
disregarded; in 1597 it was enacted that earlier entries should
be transcribed into parchment books. In this parish the entries
go back to November 1567, all the entries till 1597 being made at
one time. There are 24 entries for 1568: from then until 1600 the
number fluctuates between 22 and 24 with a marked preponderance
of births, except in 1587, when there were 10 baptisms, 2
marriages, and 10 burials, five of them in one week in May.
Whether famine, pestilence, or chance accounted for this is a
matter for speculation. Some names, such as Ewence, occur that
are still well known in the village. A note in the register book
says that on October 23rd, 1620, Alice Higgins Sturt of London,
born in this village, gave the sum of £4 to the church for the
poor of the parish. This first register ends in 1631; its
successors are missing so there is no record of whether the
village was struck by the plague that afflicted Winchester but
touched the surrounding villages lightly.
After 1552, the law was that all persons were to attend Divine
service every Sunday and holyday. In the Consistory Court
proceedings of the Archdeacon's Visitation of 1607 three men from
Somborne were summonsed for refusing to attend Church: presumably
they were Roman Catholics (the decision of the court was
excommunication) while a Stockbridge butcher was summonsed for
keeping his shop open at the time of the service, and the
innkeeper for keeping ordinary company and playing at that time.
The intimate association of the church with agriculture continued,
in 1619 there is a reference to the custom of giving a general
summons in church to those tenants who had rights to wood from
Parnholt Forest in return for services rendered and in 1632 were
reserved to the Vicar of Somborne 3 sheep, 3 fleece of wool and 3
lambs yearly out of Little Somborne.
The charming Jacobean altar rails date from this period: they
were designed to enclose all four sides of the Holy Table, to
keep dogs and children from spoiling it. After various wanderings,
they are now sited in the South aisle round replicas of the
chancel brasses, suitable for making rubbings without damage to
In 1603 King James I stayed with Richard Gifford at the Manor;
Richard was knighted for the occasion. In the Civil War, however,
Richard Gifford and Sir John Mills, who was then the patron, were
known Parliamentarians, and would have supported the Puritan
changes. There is a span of 47 years between the appointment of
William Barlow as vicar in 1611 and his successor in 1658.
During the Civil War many clergy were deprived of their livings,
including the incumbents of Houghton, Michelmersh, and Leckford
in this area: it is likely that Barlow died about 1640; the new
man was appointed in 1658 during the Commonwealth and would have
used the 'Directory of Public Worship' in place of the Prayer
Book which had been made illegal in 1644.
The Restoration brought a new Vicar and an end to religious
turmoil: indeed, by 1685 the church required a major restoration.
The Chancel arch was removed and the church given a new bell
tower and roof with a barrel vault running the full length of the
church: there is a tradition that the timbers for the new roof
came from the old Palace, pulled down around that time, and also
the Jacobean moulded tie beams with their dentils and ornamental
pendants which are now in the nave.
In about 1736 the Sanctuary acquired its black and white marble
floor and a memorial on the left of the altar, both commemorating
the Needham family, who probably built the Old Vicarage: father
and son in turn were Vicar from 1690 to 1733. The nave was also
filled with box pews and galleries added at the back (for the
organ) and over the South aisle. At the same time the Dissenting
movement arose and John Wesley's work led to the rise of
Methodism: a Dissenter's meeting house was licensed in King's
Somborne in 1797, and the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was opened in
1832, though the present Church was not built till 1871.
Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 - to prevent clandestine
marriages - started the registration of marriages in specially
printed books. Again, village names still current are to be found,
and for anyone interested in the spread of literacy these books
provide valuable information.
In spite of the opening of the Canal in the 1790's, the beginning
of the 19th C found the area in a very depressed state: the
population is given as 778 in 1801: by 1838 it is given as about
1,000 (incidentally with a rental value of £3,700) so the
figures may not be comparable. At this later date, there were
three Non-conformist chapels, and Stockbridge is described as a
hamlet of the parish.
In 1842 a constant preoccupation of the parish since earliest
times was finally ended when the tithes were commuted for £767
per annum. Also in 1842 the parish acquired its most
distinguished incumbent of modern times, Richard Dawes, later
Dean of Hereford. He played a prominent part in the Church's
efforts to provide universal education, and in 1846 he set up a
village school, still flourishing today. In it he could apply his
own ideas, and it was widely acclaimed as a model: he insisted
that everyone should pay fees according to their means,
maintaining that what appears 'free' is correspondingly
undervalued, and he regarded natural history and practical
studies as an essential part of every child's education.
In 1843 Stockbridge became a separate parish and acquired a new
church: the great wave of Victorian church building was getting
under way. The Oxford Movement, with its high view of the role of
the clergy and desire for services full of movement and splendour
was spreading its influence through the land, and was soon to
transform the parish church. For in 1882 Charles Nicholls, Vicar
from 1851 and known as the Hunting Parson, was followed by a
young man, William Blackley, who set to work to 'restore' the
church. This was done in 1886, using funds raised by a levy of
one shilling in the pound on the parish rates. Somewhat oddly,
the faculty is for enlarging the capacity of the church from 352
places to 298. Though the work was done with more discretion than
in some places, the effect was to rob the church of character.
Gone are the box pews and galleries, and the entire roof was
removed, together with the walls of the West and the North arcade.
All that could be seen of the original nave and aisles were
skeletal parts of walling and the south-east pier of the chancel
(behind the pulpit) the core of which must still contain some of
the work of the Norman builders of the church. The vicar is
reputed to have commented that, 'The Norman pillars go down like
a pack of cards.'
In the rebuilt church both aisles were extended to the full
length of the nave with arcades of three bays and a fourth bay at
the West end with smaller arches and strengthened piers to
support the new belfry. The chancel arch was replaced, slightly
off-centre, and the north arcade built, both in thirteenth
century style. The two original arches in the south side were
rebuilt, and one new arch and column to match added. The west end
was completely rebuilt with a large window corresponding to the
east window of the chancel, increased in height and stiffened
with buttresses, and the redesigned belfrey added. The Porch was
moved from the south, facing the palace, to the north side,
reflecting the reorientation of the village as railway had
followed canal, and a turnpike road had been built to Romsey on a
causeway over the low-lying flood plain. In all this work as much
of the old material as possible was used: in the porch can be
found the odd incised stone, upside-down, and the ornamented
Jacobean beams were reinserted in the nave, though with no
The nave and aisles were then filled with the pews we have now,
which also occupied the spaces which are now vestries. Compton
Manor pew took up part of the north aisle, the east end of which
(where the organ is) was used as a vestry
In 1892 it was the turn of Little Somborne to be repaired and
restored to its original state, but no structural changes were
made to the very simple building.
In 1900 the church acquired a new organ, and Bible, 16 suspension
lamps, and brass communion rails (recently replaced in wood), and
also surplices and cassocks for a choir of 22 men and boys. The
vestry was moved from the north aisle to its present position at
the back of the church, with a choir vestry on the other side. As
the Vicar, A.J.B. Creighton, was disinclined to bother with
formalities, an acrimonious correspondence with the Diocesan
Since then, the church and its government have been gradually
modernised: in 1923 the Parochial Church Council was set up, a
stage in the process which has taken the Church back to synodical
government in attempting to find a form of organisation
appropriate to our times. In 1923 the benefice was united with
its neighbour, St. Mary's Ashley.
In 1926 electric light was installed by a local contractor,
Arthur Page, at 100 volts D.C., the cost defrayed by Mrs. Milmer
of Compton Manor, and in 1936 Central Heating was installed. In
1939 the charming side chapel in the north aisle was constructed
by local craftsmen.
In 1972/3 Mrs. Coates, wife of the Vicar, designed and made the
wrought iron chandeliers in the nave, while the comfort and
beauty of the kneelers were made by the congregation, inspired by
Mrs. Ida Walford and Mrs. Irene Pigott. The conversion of the
North vestry to a kitchen and store was the work of Col. Ian
To commemorate the centenary of the Victorian restoration, an
appeal was made: with the proceeds the tower has been reshingled,
the organ overhauled, and the interior colourwashed.
And so we see the church continuing to be the centre of the
village, its fabric altered according to the needs and ideas of
the time, but always witnessing to the best of man's ability to
the faith of the congregation and the truth of the Gospel.
The graveyard round the church itself was closed in 1913, and
taken over by the Parish Council in 1940. Twenty years later the
kerbstones and mounds were removed, but happily the stones remain.
The churchyard must be more populated than the scattered stones
suggest, and the raised, box-like memorials are in fact small
family vaults. The grass-mound to the south just outside the
churchyard may be the remains of archery butts, used in the days
when compulsory practice with the longbow gave English archers
their pre-eminence in battle. In 1852 a site was acquired in
Stockbridge Road, which is now used as the parish cemetery, and
this was extended in 1998.
In the 1930s the church was reminded by the churchwardens, Mr.
Smith and Mr. C.B. Scott, of a link with the distant past. Like
many families, the church possessed a peat hole on the floor of
the valley near Stockbridge - an area of nearly an acre in extent
from which the Church had the right to dig peat for fuel. The
hole had, of course, filled with water, and was let to Mr.
Herbert Johnson of Marsh Court for fishing. When the Marsh Court
Estate was sold, the hole was included in the land for sale. With
great presence of mind, the Churchwardens noticed and pointed out
the error to the vendors, with the result that the church was
able to sell the hole for a modest, but useful sum.
There is a mass dial on the joint of the south-west window. This
is a small sundial incised on a stone: the style is missing. This
unsophisticated timepiece was sufficient for village activities
in early times.
There is a fine peal of 6 bells: the oldest of 1495 in honour of
the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of 1626 inscribed 'Praise the Lorde',
one of 1686 saying 'I will give eade into the Lord. Henry
Anderson vikar', and a fourth from 1810. These were all recast in
1887, when a fifth bell was added:
Victoria et I 1837
Wm Lewery Blackley Vicar
T.B.Woodham M.D. Ringer
In 1927 the sixth bell was added, costing £80 raised by public
The church has a pair of silver chalices of 1802, a plated flagon,
and a silver chalice of 1703 with an older cover dated 1624.
Following the Reformation much silver was melted down and recast
in accordance with the intolerant anti-papalism of the time so
really old plate is rare. In 1996 a Ciborium was presented to the
Church by the Pepperell family and in 1997 a Chalice, Ciborium,
and two silver cruets were presented to the church by Mrs. Olive
Coates in memory of her husband, Raymond Coates, Vicar of this
In 1996 the new West Window was dedicated to the memory of Sir
Thomas Sopwith, who died at Compton Manor, aged 101, in 1989.
There is a parish bier in the museum in Winchester and the Parish
registers are in the County archives.
The large oak candlesticks in the chancel were placed there in
1952 to commemorate fifty years of service as Churchwarden by Mr.
Cyril Scott of Up Somborne Manor; in 1973 he completed sixty
years in office. Five years before he was appointed, his
grandfather had resigned after 39 years in the same office a
total for one family that must be exceptional.
From Mottisfont Priory the patronage of the church passed at the
Reformation to Lord Sandys; for many years it was in the hands of
the Barker-Mills family. and as lay rectors they owned the
chancel. Since 1982 the Patron has been the Bishop of Winchester.
THE CHURCH NEEDLEWORK
Quilted Draught Curtains:
Hanging at the Main Door these curtains were designed and worked
by a number of people. The quilting on the main part of the
curtain was sewn by hand, whilst the red borders were machine
stitched. They were completed in 1992.
Kneelers in Pews:
The making of these began almost 20 years ago and they are still
being made. There are approximately 170, mostly commissioned in
memory of a loved one or other significant event. They have been
designed and worked by many people.
Choir Stall Cushions:
At present there are two in position. One commemorating the
Flower Festival held in the Church in 1992 showing a selection of
garden flowers, from left to right - pansy, poppy, arum lily,
rose, iris, cornflower, and honeysuckle. The second depicts some
of the most common wild flowers of the Test Valley, from left to
right - marsh marigold, bluebell, cow parsley, dog rose, mallow,
violet, primrose, bindweed and foxglove. These were both designed
by Mrs. Pat Bird and worked by many different hands.
Three Wedding Kneelers:
These can be found in the Lady Chapel. The blue one, worked about
ten years ago, was found to be too small for both the bride and
groom to kneel on. In 1994 the two white kneelers were made to
give more comfort for brides with very full skirts.
Priest's Door Curtains:
The intricate embroidery was completed by three parishioners.
They depict St. Peter, holding the keys, and St. Paul. The
embroidery was mounted and ivy leaves embroidered by a number of
people, all of whose names have been embroidered on a piece of
fabric and stitched on the back of the work. They were on display
at the knitting and Stitching Exhibition at Alexandra Palace in
Altar Rail Cushions:
These were especially commissioned by the family of the late Ida
Walford. The three six foot cushions depict Ida's faith and her
life in the village. It was worked by about twenty of Ida's
friends and her sister chose and worked the text. The initials of
all concerned appear on the back.
Vicar's Stall Kneeler:
This was designed and worked by a parishioner, the box being made
by one of the churchwardens. It was made to commemorate the
ministry of the Rev. Raymond Coates who was Vicar of the parish
from 1969 to 1981.
The Wedding Embroidery:
Commissioned by the P.C.C. in 1994, the design and content was
decided by members of the parish. The embroidered squares of
material come from the brides' dresses. The couples' initials are
worked in the colours of the bridesmaids' dresses and the flowers.
The work is edged with embroidered orange blossom flowers. Many
hands have helped with the work and when, in 1998, there was no
more room left on the original roll of material, a new roll was
Kneelers Depicting Favourite Hymns:
These kneelers can be found in the Lady Chapel. They were
especially designed for the Knitting and Stitching Exhibition
Competition in 1995. Five members of the congregation worked them
and the hymns chosen were:
Make me a Channel of Your Peace
God be in my Head and Understanding
The Old Rugged Cross
Father Lord of all Creation
A Boy Gave to Jesus Five Loaves and Two Fish
A sixth one has been worked to complete the set and this features
the modern hymn, The Servant King.
VICARS OF KING'S SOMBORNE
1220 Martin Pateshall )
1230-39 William de Ralegh ) Judges, held other benefices
1243-40 Bishop of Winchester )
1283 William de Hothone
? Hugh de Hanslop
1305 William de Bristowe or Bristolls
1327 John Everard
1334 William de Bromore
1370 John Coule
1388 John Clerc
1394 John Payn
1400 Thomas Norton or Flemying
(Exchanged with Rector of Collingbourne Ducis)
1406 Henry Romayn
1447 Thomas Bayly
1451 Richard Heth, Canon of Mottisfont
1454 John Wynchestre, Canon
1459 Thomas Fenvois or Fairwise, he had been a monk at Burscough
Priory in Lancashire, but transferred to Mottisfont because of a
scandal involving black magic. 1471 appointed Prior of Mottisfont
1485 Henry Lake
1485 Richard Halsall
1512 William Parkhouse, A.M.
1519 Barnard Holden
1521 Robert Hutton
1557 William Rowarde
1569 Edward Hayden
1573 Thomas Burbanck
1590 Sir Jones
1611 William Barlowe - Possibly grandson of William Barlowe
Bishop of Chichester (d. ?1569) and son of William who became
inter alia chaplain to King James I's son Henry, wrote about the
lodestone and ship's compass, and had five sisters who all
1658 George Jones
1663 Edward Moreing
1666 Henry Anderson - Author of a pamphlet, 'A loyal tear dropt
on the vault of the High & Mighty Prince, Charles II' 1685
1690 Peter Needham
1721 Peter Needham Jnr.
1733 Richard Edmonds
1747 Charles Mill
1792 Richard Taylor
1830 Anthony Crowdy
1831 Sir John Barker Mill
1836 Richard Dawes, M.A. (Preferred to the Deanery of Hereford)
1851 Charles Nicoll, M.A. 'Once upon a time when it was necessary
to notify the village whether the parson was at home or gone
hunting, the bell was rung on Sunday at 9 o'clock.'
1882 William Lewery Blackley, B.A (Exchanged with Vicar of St.
James the Less Westminster) Hon Canon of Winchester
1889 George David William Dickson
1894 John Henry David Creighton (exchanged with Rector of
1914 Evelyn Howard Morton, M.A.
1915 George Edmund Harries Theophilus, M.A. (preferred to the
Rectory of Faccombe-with-Combe) Hon Canon of Winchester
1935 Charles Sidney Chapman, M.A.
1941 John Hedley Dobbs, M.A.
1947 John George Russell Blackwall
1962 Leonard Francis Wright (exchanged with Vicar of Shepshed,
1969 Raymond Frederick William Coates A.K.C., H.C.F.
1982 Joseph Robin Cardwell M.A. Dip.Th.
1990 Jeffrey Llewellyn Phillips
1993 Michael James Murfin Norton