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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Surrey

by Peter Kessler, 1 July 2020

Waverley Part 1: Churches of Dunsford, Hascombe & Farnham

St Mary & All Saints Church, Dunsford, Surrey

St Mary & All Saints Church, Dunsford, is at the south-western outside edge of Church Road, well to the west of Dunsford itself. The entire church building is dated to between 1270 and 1290, making it somewhat remarkable for being practically all in one style. The rather small and stumpy timber-framed tower and spire were added in the fifteenth century, a little after the end of the great phase of tower-building in stone. Inside, the pews date to between 1409 and 1441.

St Mary & All Saints Church, Dunsford, Surrey

The walls are constructed of Bargate stone rubble, which can be a bright yellow in places, with dressings of the same stone. Despite the generally ancient and original nature of the building's structure, work on the mortar joints on the walls may date from a more recent restoration. Its cruciform plan follows a favourite local type, one used by several regional church buildings. Sited above a tributary of the River Arun with a Holy Well close by, the well's water is used for baptisms.

St Peter's Church, Hascombe, Surrey

St Peter's Church, Hascombe, is on the western side of Church Road, a touch over a hundred metres north of the Godalming Road junction. A medieval church of about AD 1200 stood on this site until 1863-1864. It was a similarly small structure to the present building, but was plastered externally. The new building was designed and built by Henry Woodyer (a pupil of Butterfield). The interior is claimed to have an unusually complete mid-Victorian scheme of decoration.

St Peter's Church, Hascombe, Surrey

Also inside, the rood screen dates from the 1400s, but was heavily restored during the rebuild. The mock-thirteenth century-style building is of Bargate stone with Bath stone dressings. It is small, but well finished and detailed. It consists of a nave, small western tower with shingled spire, chancel with polygonal apse, south chapel, and south porch (both visible here). Sir John Betjeman, in his Guide to English Parish Churches, called it 'a Tractarian work of art'.

St Andrew's Church, Farnham, Surrey

St Andrew's Church, Farnham, is on the western side of Church Lane, with the River Wey on its south flank. It dates originally to the 1100s, replacing a Saxon church on the same site. In November 1128, a small company of Cistercian monks arrived on the outskirts of Farnham to take possession of twenty-four hectares of land donated by the lord of the manor, William Giffard, bishop of Winchester. This was the beginning of Waverley Abbey and also the present church.

St Andrew's Church, Farnham, Surrey

Its chancel was originally vaulted (the west vaulting shafts remaining), but this ceiling had been replaced by the end of the fourteenth century when the chancel was also extended, forming what is now the sanctuary (St James' Chapel). It is suggested that the chapels to north and south of the chancel were added only shortly after the church's construction. The nave was rebuilt in the 1400s and the north aisle added. The solid pinnacled west tower was added in the 1500s.

Four photos on this page kindly contributed by Roy Reed and two by Graham Dash, all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.



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