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Brief History

In the 9th Century The Church was built to serve a Saxon settlement 
on this ancient site

1053 Earl Godwin dies and King Harold inherits Idsworth as part of Chalton Manor 

1066 After defeating Harold at the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror awards 
the Manor of Chalton and the Parish of Idsworth to the Earls of Shrewsbury

1102 Following Robert de Belleme’s Revolt, Chalton Manor is confiscated and 
Idsworth is established as a separate manor

During the 12-13th Century the church is re-built

1330 The Wall Paintings are added to the Chancel

1349 - 50 Many villagers are amongst the 1.5 million who die from the Pneumonic Plague. The village is wiped out in the course of successive plague epidemics

16th Century The extension to the Nave is built

1651 Cromwell expels clergy and Parliament awards him the Manor of Chalton

19th Century The church is re-dedicated to St Hubert following the discovery of the wall paintings believed to depict the saint's conversion 

1914 The Lord of the Manor employs Goodhart Rendell to restore the church 
but the work is cut short by World War 1


Full History

Timeline involving the Lords of the Manor

From the creation of the Manor of Idsworth in 1102, the church would have served as an occasional family chapel which was open initially to the village and then, when the community was re-established further afield, to the wider agricultural parish. The early Lords of the Manor may have looked on the manor more as an investment and source of income rather than their main home.  Nevertheless, by the 18th century, the 300 foot well, ice room and nearby foundries  showed the house had developed as a family home and business centre over its long life.  The Lords of the Manor had responsibility for maintaining the church and its present layout and condition reflect their interest and its importance to the community.

c.9th Century  Church  (re-)built on an ancient site to serve a Saxon community.  Roman and Saxon remains reveal the area was cultivated in ancient times and already developed in Saxon and Viking times.

1053  Death of Earl Godwin.  King Harold inherits Idsworth as part of Chalton Manor.

1066 The Conqueror awards the Manor of Chalton including the Parish of Idsworth to William Fitz-Osbern who later gives it to Roger de Montgomerie, Earl of Shrewsbury

1102 Third Earl of Shrewsbury's ( de Bellême) Revolt - Chalton  Manor  forfeit.  Henry I creates the new Manor of Idsworth for a fellow Norman; William de Ferrers (brother of Robert, later 1st Earl of Derby)

1204. King John ordered the Sheriff of Hampshire to deliver up to Henry Hoese the land of Idsworth which had belonged to William de Ferrers, together with the stock of that land and seed to sow it. The corn, however, he was to retain to the king's use. Henry Hoese held the manor for about eighteen years.

1205. King Henry III grants the manor to Brito, a cross-bowman and personal guard.   Henry Hoese is ordered to surrender it to him. This he did not do immediately, whereupon the sheriff of Hampshire was ordered to force Henry to give up the manor to Brito with all the profits therefrom. Brito held it till 1226, when the king ordered the sheriff to cause Reynold de Bernevall to have full possession of the land of Idsworth, saving, however, to Brito all his chattels found in that land. Brito died less than a year afterwards, and the sheriff was commanded to give up to his widow Edelina all the corn, which he had caused to be sown in Idsworth, in order to support her and her sons.

1227. The manor is granted to the king's messenger William Blome, who holds it for nearly thirty years.  

c.1260. On the death of William Blome's widow Alda, the king grants  the reversion of the manor, valued at £16 a year, to his yeoman Herman de Budbergh as a reward for his services.  In the grant it is specially stipulated that Herman and his heirs should not alienate the land to any but the king without his special consent.  

c.1270.  de Budbergh grants  the manor to Queen Eleanor, who, in her turn, with the consent of her husband, grants it " in free alms to Tarrant Nunnery (co. Dors.)", a house to which she was so great a benefactress that it was sometimes styled in records 'Locus benedictus reginae' or 'Locus reginae super Tarent.'  Her gift is confirmed by Henry III in 1271, and re-conformed by Edward I in 1280.

1281.  Iseult, the Abbess of Tarrant, grants the Manor of Idsworth to Henry de Bonynges and Isabel his wife for the rent of a penny. This was to be paid at Christmas. From this time, the abbess and her successors were overlords of the Manor of Idsworth. The connection continued when the abbey was sold by Thomas Cromwell; as late as 1606, the manor was said to be held of Sir John Portman "as of the site of his abbey of Tarrant".

1316. John Romyn takes over the manor from de Bonynges.

1330. Wall-paintings are added to the Chancel walls.

1348-50. The first widely recorded outbreak of Plague (The Black Death) decimates Europe. Villagers amongst 1.5 million dead in England .  Idsworth village probably dies in the course of this and successive epidemics.

1419. Thomas de Wintershull , a distant kinsman and heir of the Romyn family, takes on Idsworth in addition to his manor at Wintershull  in Bramley (Surrey) however, he dies without  issue in October the following year leaving the manor to two sisters and co-heirs: Joan, the wife of William Catton, and Agnes, the wife of William Basset, who hold the manor for a decade.

1431. Nicholas Banester and Isabel his wife, the widow of a John Romyn who died in 1419, takes on the manor which remains in the family of Banester for over two centuries, passing into the family of Dormer by the marriage of Mary daughter of Edward Banester with Robert Dormer, third son of Sir Robert Dormer first Lord Dormer of Wyng. Their grandson, Charles, fifth Lord Dormer of Wyng, was seized of it in 1723, and it was held successively by the Rev. Charles Dormer, sixth Lord Dormer, who died in 1761, John, seventh Lord Dormer, who died in 1785, and Charles, eighth Lord Dormer, who sells the manor.

1520. The church is ordered to keep a record of births, marriages and deaths. This is slow to take effect and the details of remote parishes are not generally available before 1550.  The family history associated with Idsworth Church is under investigation

1600s The Nave is widened and two new windows added to the new South wall. The interior is remodelled.

1651. Cromwell expels clergy across the country.  Parliament awards him the Manor of Chalton.

1780s. Lord Dormer remodels the manor in a new park and repairs Idsworth Church.

1789.  Jervoise ClarkeJervoise who already owns the Chalton estate, buys the manor and the Clarke Jervoise family retain it until the Great War.  

1830s. More repairs are carried out to the church.

1840s. A direct railway to Portsmouth is routed through the Idsworth valley and is the reason the manor house is demolished and rebuilt (1852) further from the line and closer to Horndean.

1864. The 14thC. Wall-paintings are re-discovered during repairs and the church is re-dedicated to St Hubert. It is probable the external walls were left untouched under the influence of the Ecclesiologists’ War on Stucco.

1913. Lord Clarke-Jervoise engages H.S. Goodhart Rendel to supervise a major refurbishment of the church. This includes the removal of a stove in the Nave to a new Vestry on the South side of the Chancel for which the exterior door has also to be moved. Further exterior work is limited to installing a new window on the South side of the chancel and repairing and re-setting both windows on the South side of the Nave. The work is curtailed by the war.

1970s. Repairs are carried out after a fire in the Vestry. It is likely the repairs are extended to include a cement-render on the Chancel exterior walls. The North Nave wall on the point of collapse is also repaired and continues to receive frequent piecemeal attention. The West wall is believed to have been under-pinned about this time.

1975.  The roof is re-tiled and the fleche roof and side-panelling replaced.

2000 Millennium wall-painting added.

2013.  The South and West walls are repaired and rendered.  Temporary repairs are carried out to the East Window.

2017. The Friends Trust provided a grant of £3,000 towards the replacement of guttering for the
North Wall.

2018. The Friends Trust commissioned work by Mr Tobit Curteis of the Courtauld Institute to inspect
the church environment and advise on the condition of the 14 th Century wall paintings.

2018. The Friends Trust commissioned a set of bespoke pew cushions.

2019. A significant repair project was carried out in July-October 2019

The building and repair work for the East wall and window commenced on 8th July, 2019 and was completed in early October.

The removal of the East window was the most challenging part of the work and was supervised by Peter Martindale, wall paintings conservator. The original glass, including the stained glass roundel depicting the conversion of St Hubert, was carefully removed, retained and cleaned before the old frame was taken out. The window opening was then shuttered and the cement render was removed from the outer East wall. This was a challenging process as the architect had specified that only non- impact tools could be used in the process.

With the old render stripped back, an interesting feature of the wall was discovered by the architect:
set at regular intervals in two layers across the wall were sets of sandstone blocks in an inverted ‘v’ formation. These were ‘puglestones’ and were the original supports for the wooden scaffold poles when the wall was built dating back to at least the 14 th Century wall paintings. The outer wall was then rendered, given three coats of limewash and the glass installed before the final pointing around the window frame, inside and out, was applied by the conservator.
While some internal work remained to be done on the wall paintings in the East window reveals, the building project overall was completed to budget and to time helped by excellent weather conditions during the course of repairs.

A service of rededication was held on 13 th October. At this service a plaque was unveiled, listing the donors who had so generously funded the project. The sum raised by the Friends Trust was £54,000: East Hampshire District Council: £49,999, Section 106 Developer Contributions. The Headley Trust: £4,000 for the new window frame. The Hampshire and Islands Historic Churches Trust gave £3,500 to the PCC for preparatory work by the architect. The Friends Trust and the PCC committed a further £10,000, ensuring the lime-washing of the South and West walls together with conservation work could be completed.

2021. ‘Touching Out’ of the East window reveals in June 2021 Peter Martindale, wall paintings conservator, returned to St Hubert’s for the purpose of conserving the wall paintings in the East window reveals. This painstaking process of ‘touching out’ meant that the conservator was able to secure, stabilise and preserve the paintings depicting St Peter and St Paul, whilst giving increased clarity to many areas. The 5-day project was commissioned by the Friends Trust with a supporting grant from County Councillor Marge Harvey.

2021. Completion of the Shared Identity Project with South Downs National Park. This involved: clearance of roadside frontage, new post and rail fencing, field gate and pedestrian access gate; an access gate for the disabled adjacent to the ‘kissing gate’ entrance at the top of the field; an Interpretation Panel giving a nutshell history of the Church and the Idsworth Valley; new tour guide leaflet of the church; an activity trail leaflet for children; a walks leaflet.



Family history will be available shortly. 


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