Hampshire churches 8 – St Nicholas, Boarhunt

According to the church booklet, it’s in South Boarhunt . But almost everyone calls it plain Boarhunt (pronounced ‘borrunt’) now, as opposed to North Boarhunt. Anyway, it has a marvellous Saxon church that will thrill any church explorer. As is so often the case, the church is located in almost complete isolation, with no nearby dwellings other than one solid flint house, occupied by the verger and his wife, and a farm across the road.

The church is very simple and hugely atmospheric. More than in any previous church I’ve visited I felt myself in the presence of something much bigger than myself, and I was quite affected. Then after about ten minutes I heard the door open and in came a middle-aged woman. She was the verger’s wife, from the adjoining house. She asked me if I’d heard the bell. I hadn’t. She had, and wondered if it was children mucking about. I’d heard nothing. It made me wonder. The spell was broken and I set about my photography.

The church has few windows, and they are tiny, so it is rather dark unless strong sunlight is entering from the south side or the electric lights are on. The next two pictures show the sanctuary in natural light and then illuminated by electric light.

The exterior is typically Saxon in its modest simplicity. Note the filled in priest’s door at the western end of the chancel where it meets the nave. There have been various changes in the congregation’s entrance doors down the centuries, and some of the earlier doorways are still visible though long since blocked up.

This tiny Saxon window, now blocked up, is believed to have been the only window in the original church.

There are some additional pictures in my web album here.


One thought on “Hampshire churches 8 – St Nicholas, Boarhunt

  1. You are quite right Stephen, St Nicolas is the most beautiful church I have ever seen.
    Unpretentious and quite unique. I wonder why people had to go away from the simple and atmospheric architecture of the very old original Churches.

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