94. St Andrew's Mottisfont
This historic 12th century church with its red tiled roof and squat bell tower lies close to the walls of Mottisfont Abbey. Enter by the west door and descend three steps into a rather gloomy interior. Above, six ancient timbers support the tower, which contains a peal of five 17th century bells. Almost under the tower stands a rare 17th century clock with no face and no pendulum, similar to a larger one to be seen in Salisbury Cathedral. It is in working order.
In the south wall of the nave is a 1931 window based on the theme 'consider the Lilies' and beyond, a plaque commemorating Daniel Meinertzhagen (1875-98) and also a stone from St Michaels church in Bremen in Germany built in 1693 by another Daniel Meinertzhagen and presented 'to his English descendants' in 1898. Above is a stained glass window showing the prophet Daniel and St John, placed there in his memory.
The chancel is approached by a magnificent Norman arch with three orders of zig-zag patterns. The 15th century east window shows a crucifixion scene. On either side are St Peter and St Andrew with angels at prayer above. The north east side window has fragments of medieval glass showing the Blessed Virgin, the blazing sun of Christ and the sign IHS. On the south side of the altar is an imposing Renaissance style monument dated 1584 showing a couple kneeling at prayer with three somewhat mutilated children behind.
In the floor of the chancel is a 17th century brass commemorating William Sandys (1628) and including the family crest. Two large marble floor slabs can also be seen in memory of Francis Gofton (1684) and Henry Cole, Gent, (1695). Near the organ a window contains fragments of stained glass, dating from 1320, showing the face of Christ.
The window in the north wall of the nave shows St Peter and Daniel placed there in memory of yet another Daniel Meinertzhagen who died in 1910. The village war memorial can be seen on the north wall as well as a memorial to Captain William Barker-Mill of the Rifle Brigade 'killed gallantly leading his men in the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916 aged 42'. Nearer the font at the back a wooden memorial lists all the men from the village who served in the First World War. The medieval square font stands on a circular base. High over the west door is a round plain glass window which lets in some much needed light. The nave roof has fine timber work.
Certainly a church full of atmosphere which should certainly be visited by the many visitors to the famous abbey nearby.
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