St Mary's Church, Itchen Stoke, Hampshire
- What's nearby
A jewel inspired by the chapel of French kings
St Mary's was built in 1866, by Henry Conybeare for his brother who was the Rector of the church, and felt the previous church was cold and damp. He himself bore most of the cost, with the parishioners contributing £50 towards the cost of the windows, as a mark of their regard for him.
This dazzling and colourful Victorian jewel of a church overwhelms the senses -it is a truly exhilarating building, tall and imposing, especially as you approach it up a steep path from the road. Its design is clearly inspired by the soaring elegance of the thirteenth-century Sainte Chapelle in Paris, chapel of French kings.
The church is a dazzling kaleidoscopic wonderland of pattern and colour. The roof is richly painted, the font is inlaid with a variety of marble, the floor near the altar is decorated with sparkling tiles laid out in the form of a maze, the pulpit has five panels filled with scrollwork and foliage in cast iron (the same design is repeated on the ends of the pews). Best of all however is the stained glass, especially in the west window. The elegant arched windows contain small pieces of clear red, blue and green glass arranged in geometrical patterns.
Try to visit on a sunny day, when the church is bathed in gloriously coloured light - an unforgettable sight. Two memorial brasses remain from the previous medieval church.
Only a chancel remaining
A Victorian jewel set in the South Downs countryside.
A church with a stormy history on the South Downs
Approached up a steep grass slope (with a rope handrail) through the churchyard. The exterior is stone with a slate roof and the interior is stone with tile and friezes. The aisle is also riled with wooden floors under the pews. The main entrance (130cms wide) is at the west end through double doors and a lobby. A second entrance is through the vestry on the north side via a level access from the churchyard (door 87cms wide). The single aisle (130cms wide) leads to a circular chancel in an apse (up one step). There is no tower or gallery so all is on one level. Wheelchair access is possible via the vestry by arrangement.
Facilities & Hire
Due to the historic nature of our buildings only a small number have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.
The total floor area at St Mary's is 137 sq metres.
6 miles east of Winchester, on B3047; 1.5 miles from Alresford
Nearest railway station: Winchester (5.3 miles). Bus route number 64.
History & Further Information
Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out about this church before you visit? You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this churchHampshire, Sussex & Surrey County Guide
This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches we care for in Hampshire, Sussex & Surrey. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.
All our Hampshire churches are in our West region.
Useful local links: