Saxon Church, Corhampton
Corhampton Church, unusually undedicated, stands on a mound adjacent to the River Meon beside an ancient yew tree, which almost certainly predates it. Less than half a mile away from St Andrew’s, it has stood witness to Christian worship since 1020 and is a rare example of a Saxon Church, with its Saxon font, original stone side altar, 12th century frescoes, sanctuary chair and Saxon ‘sundial’. A major restoration in 1999 and later the formation of a Friends of Corhampton Church charity has ensured that it has remained, along with its churchyard, now closed, in good order. Grade 1 listed, its spiritual ambience encourages peaceful worship and makes it an archaeological and tourist attraction. It can seat up to 100 people.
St Wilfred originally brought Christianity to many Saxon villages all along the Meon valley. In recent years a flourishing ‘Saxons in the Meon Valley Community Heritage Programme’ has been formed, supported by the Friends. Various enactments and events by the group have centred on the church, and have included volunteers and representatives from Winchester Museum archaeologists and the Sustainability Centre in East Meon. A Wassail procession from Corhampton church and celebration in St Andrew’s Church, Meonstoke is enjoyed at Christmas time.
In 2014 the Saxon Programme, in conjunction with the Friends of Corhampton Church and other support groups, produced a DVD with historical commentary, filmed by drone cameras, featuring all the churches along the Meon Valley. The creation and content of the DVD forms part of an educational being introduced widely to schools in Hampshire. Profits from the local sales of the DVD have been donated to our Churches.