Friends Of Crofton Old Church
A group dedicated to the upkeep and maintenance of . .

CROFTON OLD CHURCH

St Edmund's window

HISTORY

The original church of Crofton was built in the late 9th or early lOth Century. It is referred to in the Domesday Book of 1087 as the "Crofton Church of the Holy Rood". At this time Crofton belonged to Count Alan of Brittany, a follower of William the Conqueror. Later the Premonstratension Abbey at Titchfield in 1232 claimed that the Bishop of Winchester had given it the parish church of Titchfield with its chapel of Crofton.

The chapel remained in the possession of the abbey until its surrender to Henry VIII in 1537.

A 16th Century document records "Now the Croftoners is a Chapel of Ease and Titchfield is its Mother Church".

This association with Titchfield Church continued until 14th January 1871 when Crofton with Stubbington became a separate ecclesiastical parish. A new parish church of the Holy Rood was built in 1878 in Stubbington at a cost of 4000 to accomodate 550 people.

The old church, now known as St Edmund's, is used for regular weekly services every Sunday, Patronal services, harvest festivals, weddings etc.

In 1980 the PCC considered closing St Edmund's due to the lack of funds for its upkeep, This was obviated by a successful appeal which culminated in the formation of the Friends of Crofton Old Church (FOCOC) who now have the responsibility for the maintenance of the church's fabric.

FABRIC

The chancel and its arch, the little south chapel with its east window, the stumpy north transept and its curvilinear window of three lights are all mainly 14th Century.
The wide nave and its square headed windows are probably l5th Century. The attractive queen post roof with its massive cross beams is probably of the same century but does not have the detail by which its date can be confirmed.

The boarded turret contains one bell dated 1710 cast by Clement Tosier. The west wall is of Georgian brick.

The south transept with its Gothic windows was added in the mid 18th Century. The small vestry off the north transept was added in Victorian times.

The oldest window glass is the early 18th Century red and gold stained glass in the east window of the north transept. The latest is the St Edmund's window that was installed in 1988 in the previously boarded-up aperture above the west window. The stained glass shows St Edmund's saintliness and martyrdom and was funded by an anonymous donation.

A feature visible in the north transept is a leper's squint.

FURNITURE

The simple lead lined font is probably l5th Century.The oak panelled pulpit is late 17th Century.

At either side of the east window are wooden panels lettered in gold with the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer. Above them is a rare example of a tetragrammaton, a small panel with "JeHoVaH" written on it in four Hebrew letters.

The beautifully carved altar table and brass cross were given by Miss May in memory of the Reverend Hugh Percival Metcalfe who became vicar in 1926.

The large bible was given in 1865 by Thomas Thresher and beautifully restored by Mr Hentges in 1982.

The pews are relatively modern, some coming from the "new" parish church in Stubbington.

In 1986 a scheme was started to provide the church with 180 new hassocks. These beautiful hassocks depict many aspects of the life and people of the parish, many being dedicated to family occasions and to the memory of loved ones.

MONUMENTS

There are a number of interesting monuments, the most ornate being that to Thomas Missing who provided the money for building the south transept. He was MP for Southampton and the merchant and contractor for victualling Gibraltar; he died in 1753.

The church's association with the Royal Navy is well represented. The memorials of the O'Bryen family by the west window include one to Rear Admiral Edward O'Bryen who played a distinguished part in the famous battle of Camperdown.
On the north side of the nave is a memorial to Admiral Lord Henry Poulet.

The stained glass window over the north vestry door is in memory of Thomas Naghten's daughter; other Naghten family memorials are located on either side of this door.

The small brass memorial in the south chapel to Ernest and Edith Reed contains the first line of the famous hymn "We love the place O God". This hymn was written by William Bullock who resigned from the Royal Navy to become a missionary in Newfoundland.

If you would like to feel more closely associated with it may we
invite you to become a Friend of Crofton Old Church ?
Application forms are available in the Church