Hampshire Churches Treasures No 7: Hartley Mauditt

Some of the more intriguing treasures in Hampshire churches take some discovering

Rare Medieval Fish Tiles, St Leonards Church Hartley Mauditt
Rare Medieval Fish Tiles, St Leonards Church Hartley Mauditt

Churches are full of intriguing artefacts, some of them tucked away in hidden corners…..
Here is number 7 in a series of short posts, on the out of the ordinary artifacts and objects that can be found in Hampshire churches.

The Cinderella church of St Leonard’s, Hartley Mauditt, has a very interesting history. Hidden away inside, is an intriguing Hampshire churches treasure. It is not an not an obvious treasure but unique in Hampshire and for that reason fascinating to gaze upon. St Leonard’s is a church under threat. It sits in an isolated position and suffers from water penetration, with parts of the church hidden under a shroud of plastic. To therefore find a treasure that cannot be found in any other of our wonderful Hampshire churches becomes significant. St Leonard’s, like many other Hampshire churches, has some interesting Medieval paving tiles. Many of them have the conventional designs of foliage and birds but there are two decorated with two different types of fish. Apparently there are a few other churches in England that also have fish but they are rare beasts on Medieval tiles. Across the country can be found a multitude of different designs. They are susceptible to damage, being underfoot and also to damp and salts that can erode their surface.

Find out more about how these tiles were originally made and how they can be conserved and replicated if need be.

Discover more about the church and the history of Hartley Mauditt and if you’re in the area, just a few miles up the road is Selborne. Selborne is a village overflowing with historical intrigue and the site of another Hampshire churches treasure the crusader headstones.

Look at more Hampshire Churches Treasure posts to find more little gems tucked away in Hampshire churches.

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