Ellisfield - St. Martin's

St Martins Church

Ellisfield 

It is thought that St Martin’s was built during the second half of the 13th century, possibly around 1280.  There is a record of Rectors and Patrons since 1284 at the back of the church.

The church comprises a chancel (altar area), nave (central part), south porch and west tower.  The chancel is lit by Gothic Revival lancet windows in the north and south walls and three light Gothic windows dominating the east wall.  Parts of the nave are probably 13th century while the inside semi-circular arch is said to be 14thcentury.  The chancel roof is of scissor beam construction and the nave is of hammer beam style.  The vestry was once the south doorway.  On the wall leading to the vestry are four Crusader Cross scratchings, possibly put there by crusaders praying for a safe return.  At the north east end of the nave above the pulpit is a lancet window which may date back to the original church.

The Gothic Revival tower was built in 1884 and resembles the one at St Andrew’s, Farleigh Wallop.  The tower houses five bells which are believed to be Spanish and may have come from the Church of the Holy Ghost in Basingstoke.  In 2008 they were restored and are rung during the year.

Furniture in the church includes a prayer desk made in New Zealand, brought back to Ellisfield from Melanesia by a previous Rector and bears a Greek inscription “A bishop to a priest; a colleague to a colleague; a fellow soldier to a fellow soldier”.  The Coat of Arms of George III hanging on the south wall reflects the Coat of Arms of the Monarch in the Church.  The font is early English.

In the millennium year all the kneelers by the altar and choir stalls were replaced with tapestry kneelers depicting the year 2000, created by many individuals in the village.  At the same time new altar furniture and vestments were commissioned, the design picking out the carvings on the pulpit and other parts of the church.

Externally, the avenue of pleached limes was planted in 1897, Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.  It reflects a French vogue and is unusual in Hampshire.  The church yard rails, renewed in 2010, continued an ancient custom whereby each family in the village supports a portion of the fence.  There is a record in the church, as there is in the 1585 church register.

Rector: The Rev’d David Chattell, The Rectory, Alresford Road, Preston Candover,

RG25 2EE  davidchattell172@btinternet.com

Associate Rector: The Rev’d Stephen Mourant, The Rectory, Ellisfield,

RG25 2QR   stevemourant@btinternet.com                                          

Church Warden: Bernard Cazenove, Brocas, Ellisfield, RG25 2QS     bernard@brocaz.com  

Belfry Captain: Peter Willis 01256 472505    Choir Director: Theresa Lunn