St Bartholomew's, Haslemere, Surrey

It took me ages to get a chance to pop inside our local church when we lived in Haslemere, but eventually I managed it.

The original church in Haslemere was a chapel of Chiddingfold and first mentioned in 1180 during the reign of Henry II. At this time the building was known as Piperham chapel, after a well-to-do family. It wasn't until sometime in the late 15th century that it became St Bartholomew's. It's interesting to note that during the 15th century quite a few churches were dedicated to St Bart - I don't know why!

The church was enlarged in 1640 because of an increase in population owing to the prosperity of the local iron industry. At this time petition was made for the church to be seperated from Chiddingfold but this did not happen for another 200 years.

In 1868, after the death of the incumbent priest (Revd James Legrew Hesse), Haslemere finally became severed from Chiddingfold. Two years later the church was massively rebuilt. All that remains of the ancient church is the tower.

The most famous thing in St Bart's is the Tennyson window (below). This stained glass window is from a design taken from a Pre-Raphaelite painting by Burne-Jones - it is the last in a series about the Holy Grail. Tennyson lived in nearby Aldworth from 1868 to his death in 1892.

But there is so much more than just this window. There are some glass panels of probably Netherland origin from around 1600. They depict biblical celebrities such as St Matthew, Mary, St Joseph and St John, to name but a few. There are also two windows showing the story of Adam & Eve and Noah's Ark.

Around the chancel is a set of kneelers depicting the centuries since the birth of Christ. Here we have the Bayeux tapestry indicating the period 1066 - 1200.

In the churchyard, there's many old graves including the tabletop one below with it's end of skull and cross bones on top of a skeleton. It may be a bit hard to see, but it's there.

main church page