The Candovers, Hampshire

Two churches, St Mary's and St Peters caught my attention as we drove through the tiny villages of Brown Candover and Preston Candover last Saturday

Both churches are Victorian and look very striking from the road. St Peter's has a huge stretch of green in front of it, from the roadside to a low mound upon which the churchyard stands. It gives the church a great air of importance, presiding over a village of about 4 houses. The views from the mound are very impressive, looking over fields beyond the single row of houses across the road opposite.

The church inside is very plain with only a wooden organ (looked fairly new) giving any relief to the bare white walls. There are not many memorials and of those that are, not very interesting. I say that from MY perspective of course! I'm sure the remembered feel very differently.

On the outside, however, there are these little heads at the corner of each window looking out like gargoyles. protecting the church from evil spirits, I guess. Not that they are nasty beasts and goblins. No, they represent ordinary people. Each one is different. Below is an example of one of the windows.

St Mary's, Preston Candover is a lovely church and looks like something out of a fairy tale from the road. A walk along the path, through the lychgate is lovely in autumn, the rich reds and yellows of the leaves hanging over the path give it a Tolkein-esque feel. The graves are all very strictly laid out in the tiny churchyard.

Inside the church looks nothing if not Scandanvian with it's red bricks and painted ceiling. A bit odd in the middle of the Hampshire countryside. I thought it also had a bit of the Victorian industrial look about it given their fetish for red bricks, but Mirinda disagreed.

They have had problems with woodpeckers getting over enthusiastic with their steeple as it's clad with cedar shingles. Looks nice but is obviously heaven to a woodpecker!

main church page