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St Mary the less, Chilbolton

This medieval church has a 13th century chancel and nave with two early 14th century arcades. The distinctive low tower and weather-boarded bellcote are Victorian. Each image is linked to a larger version; to see the larger version it may be necessary to allow 'pop-ups'.

Chilbolton church from

Most of the graffiti found was on the S arcade pillar nearest the S doorway, which seems to be a common occurrence in Hampshire churches, suggesting that people wished to make their mark as soon as they entered the church. A number of crosses were carefully inscribed into this octagonal pillar, made of clunch which offers a soft surface for inscribing graffiti. There was also a group of three interlocking circles, and some concentric circles. Most of the stone in the porch has been replaced, so no graffiti was found here, which is where it is also often found.

Cross on south arcade pillar   Concentric circles   Interlocking circles   Initials
Example of cross   Concentric circles   Interlocking circles   Examples of initials

In the N arcade is a possible reused stone, with the initials IE and part of a date beginning 16. Behind the pulpit is an early 17th century brass memorial to Thomas Tutt. Two quarters of its shield have been lost, but in the upper LH quarter, W Tredgold carefully inscribed his name and the date 1794. Research into the parish records show that the Tredgold family were involved with this church in the late 18th and early 19th century, mainly as church wardens and as witnesses to churchwardens’ disbursements. However,  the only 2 Williams recorded both died before 1794.

Tutt family brass   Tredgold name  
Tutt family brass   W Tredgold graffito  

There was little graffiti found on the exterior of the church. One block on the NW corner of the nave had a number of diagonal lines and dotted patterns on it. Some faint shapes were also identified on the area of plaster beneath the E window.

exterior graffito   Exterior graffiti east window  
Exterior graffiti north west corner of nave   Example below east window  

The graffiti survey took place on 26th August 2018.