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Corhampton Church

Corhampton Church - south view Photo 1 - Corhampton Church from the south.

Corhampton church is one of the four churches of the Meon Bridge Benefice and is unusual in having no dedication. It is a typically Saxon building constructed of stone from the Isle of Wight and flint being erected about 1020 on an artificial mound. Many Saxon features remain including the original Chancel arch (see photo 2 below), windows, a blocked North doorway, sundial and long-and -short work quoins. A Saxon altar stone has been re-erected in the Sanctuary. The stone chair in this area is probably medieval and the altar rails were added in the 17th century.

Corhampton - Saxon chancel arch Photo 2

In the Chancel there are some extremely rare wall paintings of around 1125-1175 illustrating the life of St. Swithun above a lozenged frieze depicting drapery and heraldry (Photos. 3 & 4).

Corhampton, wall painting 1   Corhampton, wall painting 2
Photo 3   Photo 4

The graffiti that was discovered included several compass-drawn crosses of an unusually large size (43cm diameter) (Fig. 5). Three of these are located on the north wall of the nave, with another on the south wall of the chancel. These almost certainly indicate the location of consecration crosses. Also found on the north wall of the nave was a mesh pattern (Fig. 6).

Corhampton, compass drawn consecration cross   Corhampton, mesh pattern graffiti
Photo 5   Photo 6

Also recorded were six incised consecration crosses on the Saxon altar stone (Photo. 7) and graffiti on the tops of the altar rail posts (Photo. 8).

Corhampton, consecration cross on the Saxon altar stone   Corhampton, graffiti on the tops of the altar rails
Photo 7   Photo 8

 

Survey date: A team from Southampton Archaeology Society visited the church on 5th August 2019.

Surveyors: The team consisted of Gill & Roger James, Sue & Derek Stewart, and Joan & Brian Webb