A Beacon of light in the Dark Ages
Built in 680, the church of St Peter in Titchfield has been a place of worship for over 1300 years although for a time Titchfield Abbey, built in 1232, was of greater importance. Henry VI chose the Abbey for his wedding, and it was visited by Richard II, and by Henry V on his way back from Agincourt.
Sign of Permanence in the Reformation
The church suffered some depredation during the reformation.
Empty niches show where statues of saints once stood, and some stained glass was removed.
The Abbey was made into a stately home by the first Earl of Southampton, who named it Place House.
It welcomed a number of royal visitors – Edward VI, Elizabeth I, Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria.
A focal point in the 21st Century
St Peter’s survives as the jewel in Titchfield’s crown and is one of the oldest buildings in the country in daily use.
The lower portion of the tower and the southwest corner is Saxon, probably the oldest piece of ecclesiastical masonry remaining in Hampshire
The original Saxon church was extended in Norman times, and the Norman doorway is a fine example from the latter part of the 12th century.
The Southampton Chapel contains the magnificent monument to the Earls of Southampton.
St Peter’s was further extended during the Elizabethan era, in Victorian times and at the end of the 20th century.
It is a place of piety and joy where worshippers and visitors alike enjoy the sense of peace engendered by the countless hosts of people who have celebrated their Christian Faith here.