St Swithin's Churches, Thorley

From Wightpedia

Old St Swithin's Church

St Swithins old church, Thorley, Isle of Wight
St Swithin's old church, Thorley

The old church of St Swithin at Thorley dates from the 13th century and was originally a manorial chapel to Thorley Manor.

By the mid 19th century it had fallen into disrepair and it was decided to build a new church some distance to the east, to be nearer Thorley village.

The final service took place in the old church on 12 March 1871; until the new church was complete, services were to be held in Thorley Schoolroom. [1]

The ruins of the old church was then converted into a mortuary chapel for the neighbourhood.

St Swithin's Mortuary Chapel plaque, Thorley, Isle of Wight
St Swithin's Mortuary Chapel plaque, Thorley

Today (2023) the remains of the Mortuary Chapel is at the end of footpath 4, and is Grade II* listed.[2]

New St Swithin's Church

St Swithin's (new) Church, Thorley, Isle of Wight
St Swithin's (new) Church, Thorley

The new St Swithin's church was built in 1871 on about half-an-acre, to include the churchyard, gifted by the lord of the manor (Lord Heyesbury). The church was designed by William Tucker Stratton, architect, of Newport, and built by W. Buckett & Sons, of Ningwood. The bells and font of the old church were incorporated into the new church.

The new church was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester on 9 December 1871. [3]

The Vicar of Thorley, the Rev. A. Peat, reported in May 1872 that the cost of the new church had been £1124 9s 2d, while the collections, donation and grants amounted to £1110 10s 10d, leaving a small deficit; there was also the need for an organ for the church (costing between £50 and £60). The Vicar appealed to 'wealthy and sympathising friends ... to help this little country parish...' [4]

Today (2023), St Swithin's Church is Grade II listed.[5]

  1. Hampshire Independent, 15 March 1871
  2. British Listed Buildings, Church of St Swithin (Old)
  3. Hampshire Independent, 13 December 1871
  4. Hampshire Advertiser, 18 May 1872
  5. British Listed Buildings, Church of St Swithin