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A church full of surprises

Bryan Woods
By Bryan Woods

The tower of Holy Trinity Church is a local landmark in the East Hampshire countryside.

At 160 feet high it can be seen from miles away. Situated in the village of Privett, the Holy Trinity Church also contains several unusual features.

Constructed between 1876-78, it was built on the site of an earlier chapel that dated from 1391. Costing some £20,000, Holy Trinity Church was paid for by local landowner and MP, William Nicholson.

Nicholson was a member of the wealthy family of gin distillers, J & W Nicholson & Co. In 1863, he purchased the estate of Basing Park near Privett. Several cottages in the village were built to house the estate workers. When it came to Holy Trinity Church, William Nicholson hired the renowned church architect Sir Arthur Blomfield to design it.

Blomfield settled on a Gothic Revival (Early English) design for Holy Trinity Church. The exterior flint and stonework is surmounted by the impressive tower – complete with buttresses and gargoyles. The interior contains a four-bay nave, a clerestory, transepts and a chancel.

The materials used in the construction of Holy Trinity Church included Ham Hill stone and Bath stone. The colours in these give the church a welcoming feeling of warmth. In addition there are Italian marble mosaic floors and a font made from Mansfield stone. There are also some impressive stained glass windows.

Dwindling congregation numbers meant that Holy Trinity Church became redundant in the 1970s. But thankfully in 1980 it came into the care of The Churches Conservation Trust, who now look after it.

The Holy Trinity and other churches are an integral feature of our rural landscape. Historic, and often set in beautiful locations, they also sometimes contain unexpected treasures – as Holy Trinity Church amply demonstrates. They are surely worth preserving for both our own and future generations.

For further information about the church and planning a visit, take a look at the Visit Churches webpage.


Bryan Woods