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St. Mary's -
Andover - Hampshire - UK
for additional photos of St. Mary's Church Andover
is a beautiful 19th century
Victorian Gothic building, the third church on this site where
God has been worshipped for over a thousand years. At
Andover, in AD 994 King Ethelred the Unready met with the Viking
leader Olaf Tryggvason who converted to Christianity here.
Witnessed by the King and his “earldormen”, Olaf was confirmed
by Alphege Bishop of Winchester. He became Norway’s first
Christian King, and never invaded England again. St. Alphege,
later Archbishop of Canterbury, was martyred by the Danes. He
is commemorated in the Chapel of our Church Centre.
After the Norman conquest, the church was granted to the Abbey
of St. Florent prés Saumur, which sent a Prior and two monks to
look after its interests and minister to the spiritual needs of
the townsfolk. The town, including the church, was burnt down
early in the 12th century.
The new church was built at a lower level than the present St.
Mary’s, the west door being on Marlborough Street. Its square
tower held a peal of bells, and the church had a clock by 1470.
The interior was very dark, and according to Churchwardens’
records was whitewashed and painted.
In the 1840s, Dr William Stanley Goddard, retired Headmaster of
Winchester College, who lived in Andover, gave the town this
beautiful church designed by architect Augustus Livesay. Old
St. Mary’s was demolished, the nave and aisles of the present
church being constructed above the old chancel, which is now the
crypt. The new chancel and apse were built on ground at the back
of the old church, and the flight of steps covered the old
nave. New St. Mary’s was dedicated in 1844, and the tower was
completed in 1846.
The church has received many gifts of 19th and
20th century stained
glass. The 21st century
Millennium windows depict the beauty of God’s Creation, the
Cross, and the River and Tree of Life. Memorials from old St.
Mary’s commemorating local families have been installed in the
present building. The plaque to Henry Hulton in the lobby and
his gravestone in the crypt particularly interest American
visitors. He was born in Chester in 1730 and died in Andover in
1790. He held a number of Crown appointments, his last being
First Commissioner of Customs in America from1767-1775. He did
not always agree with the taxes which Parliament obliged him to
impose upon the colonists, who eventually revolted forcing
himself and his family to return home with few possessions.
Most recently in 2011 two beautiful new stained glass windows
were added depicting the importance of Pentecost.