The Medieval Church

Built by the Normans

This church is Norman in origin. England’s manorial villages, mostly under ecclesiastical ownership, became more strongly established in Norman times. New churches were built, signifying this new-found prominence.

The Norman nave and chancel still form the core of the building. At the north and south doors, original arches with zigzag carving date from about 1150.

Original Norman arch at south door

Photograph by Ivor Coleman

Possible layout of the Norman Church

Illustration by Michael Collins

The Christian way of life

The Catholic Church was the most powerful institution in Medieval life, led by the Pope in Rome through his Cardinals across Europe. People’s thoughts and deeds were deeply affected by church teaching.

Peter Rusciniol of Drochoneford was a member of this ecclesiastical hierarchy. In a Papal Register of 1231, his is the first reference to a rector at Droxford’s church.

Pope Boniface VIII (1294 - 1303) and his cardinals

© British Library Board Add. 23923 f. 2 CAS-1056324-D4J3

Extending influence

The authority of the church in Medieval times was reflected in the rapid expansion of this building. By the 14th century, north and south aisles and chapels had been added, establishing the layout of today. John de Drokenesford, this church’s most illustrious clergyman, consecrated the Lady Chapel in 1316.

The extended church of the 14th century

Illustration by Michael Collins

Making their mark

People left their unique imprint on this building in various Medieval markings and graffiti still visible today.

Names etched in a wall corner to the left of Lady Chapel arch

Photograph: Hampshire Medieval Graffiti Project

Mass dial in the porch

Photograph: Hampshire Medieval Graffiti Project

Stone mason’s hexfoil mark on the corner of a pillar to the right rear of the nave

Photograph: Hampshire Medieval Graffiti Project

Written by Ivor Coleman, Designed by David Goodman