On my way to work each morning by train I pass a church in Lockerley. It is one of those churches that stands out in the countryside and as it had a graveyard I was definitely interested. I had tried many times to get a photograph of it from the train but most of my attempts were lousy. I especially wanted one of those misty shots so beloved of horror movie makers, and this is probably the best I was able to do.
The church is almost halfway between the stations of Mottisfont & Dunbridge and Dean on the way to Salisbury, although it is a shorter distance from the former. The station is a typical country station, with a level crossing and very few people waiting to catch trains.
With hindsite I should have taken more pics around the station, but I was more intent on getting to my destination. I had quite a dodgy walk along a country lane with no pavements, in constant fear of being run over by a passing vehicle. I do not always know why I do these things, but I will keep at it anyway. I also had the weather to contend with, and as I left Southampton it started to drizzle, but had cleared by the time I reached Romsey.
20 Minutes later my goal was in sight, and it was hard to believe this was the same church that I passed every morning and afternoon. It was even better up close and personal.
The foundation was laid in 1889, and this church replaces an older Saxon era church that occupied an area where the churchyard is today. The slightly sunken area is where that older church once stood.
I was told that the local “Lord of the Manor” wanted a more picturesque church to look out on, and the present church is the result. The church has an extensive graveyard, and surprisingly enough there were four CWGC headstones, which made this trip worth while making.
The churchyard is still in use too, and an additional area has been consecrated next to the church to cater for new burials. Unfortunately there is no crypt to explore (much to my dismay). Most of the headstones in the older area of the churchyard are illegible. Time, moss and materials have rendered many of them beyond recovery, but there is a map of the layout of the churchyard, so it is possible that somewhere a list of names exists too.
There is one tantalising item in the churchyard which may have been the altar of the former Saxon church, and there is an engraving of sorts, but most of it is missing.
I was fortunate that during my visit the church was open, and I did manage to have a look around inside. It is not an elaborate building inside, but it is a good solid building, with not too much ornamentation, and it does have a good feel about it.
I was hoping that there was at least a war memorial inside the church but thus time around I was disappointed, the closest was a small framed list of names.
The spire houses a working set of bells, and I heard them chime on my way back to the station, although I was not able to access the belfry.
The carving behind the altar was magnificent. almost out of character with the rest of the church, and it was surmounted by a beautiful stained glass window. I also found a modest brass plaque, attesting to the origins of the church.
And with that it was time for me to go home. I had a train to catch at 11H14, and it was already 10H55, would I make it?
I got to the station as the train pulled into the platform, and was fortunate enough that I did make it in time, but no photographs of the station were possible. See, I should have taken them when I arrived.
It was a great mornings outing, and I was very impressed with what I saw this morning. I really enjoy finds like this, they make it all worth while.
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 14/04/2016