The oldest church in the New Forest, Brockenhurst church, the church of St Nicholas, has a beautifully mellow look, as though it has occupied this position for ever.
And it nearly has. Like several other Hampshire churches, St Nicholas is positioned on a mound, a sign that this position has been held sacred maybe since pre-Christian times.
A church is recorded at Brockenhurst in Domesday but the original Christian church was quite possibly established by Augustinians who established the priory at Christchurch.
The late Norman south doorway is a wonderful example of a decorated Norman arch and as you step into the church the C12th font reminds us yet again of it’s ancient past.
As is the case in so many churches, the architectural periods overlap each other and the chancel arch, broad with a more flattened top, suggests a later period possibly C16th or more probably C17th. Small hints of it’s Anglo Saxon past in some herring bone masonry and a wonderful example of a Tudor stained glass window.
Beautiful stained glass windows
The Tudor window is an unusual find in Hampshire but in the chancel the C13th windows hold wonderful glass windows from the C19th, with a wonderful Arts and Crafts feel but is so unexpected in this ancient church. Finally C20th glass and the map of Africa commemorating Commander G.K Gandy, is an unusual and exciting piece of work.
This is such a special place. The New Zealand Cemetery is here with the graves of over a hundred who lost their lives in WWI. However the whole church-yard has many wonderfully carved monuments and is worthy of some time to sit and ponder..