Speeding through the South Downs of leafy Hampshire on the fast train to Waterloo from Portsmouth, we spotted a lonely looking church in the middle of a wheatfield. So pretty but it also seemed so isolated and we were intrigued enough to remind ourselves to see if we could catch it again on our return journey. Arriving home we pinpointed it as St. Hubert’s Church in Idsworth and with weddings on our minds, for various reasons, it pitched perfectly for a wedding ceremony and with no further thought on that we decided we were going to investigate this “Little Church In A Field”. But we were in for a huge surprise when we did, the very next day.
St. Hubert’s Chapel is beautiful in its simplicity, rather than its richness. Believed to have been built by Earl Godwin, who died in 1053, this is the date normally given to its origins. The oldest part of the nave was built in the new Norman style which Edward the Confessor was then introducing into England. An early English Chancel, a bell turret and the porch were all added later. On the north end of the Chancel is a mural discovered in 1864 and dated at circa 1330. Generally recognised as important, they have been the subject of much research. A new fresco in the 14th century style was commissioned and painted in 2000 to celebrate the Millennium by Fleur Kelly who trianed in fresco techniques by the Italian restoration expert, Leonetto Tintori.
Unfortunately the organ itself is over a hundred years old and requires a great deal of expertise and patience to play, to the frustration of its organist he can only reach four octaves!
On a glorious summer day when we visited this lovely site, that has so much more to offer on investigation, we drew up to find, to our delight, a bridal party walking down from the church! Having congratulated the bridal pair we walked on and into the church which was beautifully decorated with wedding flowers. Talking to the very informative organist we learned the groom’s mother was none other than the present
Priest-in-Charge who had just married the happy couple. Weren’t we lucky?
If ever in Hampshire and in the area of Chalton please go and find this little gem.