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St Katherine, Exbury, Hampshire

(50°48′2″N, 1°23′43″W)
SU 427 003
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Hampshire
now Hampshire
  • Ron Baxter
  • Ron Baxter
02 July 2014

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Feature Sets

Exbury is a village on the SE edge of the New Forest, on a peninsula formed by the Beaulieu River estuary to the W and Southampton Water to the E. The village clusters around a bend in a broad lane that runs from Dibden and Beaulieu to the coast, a mile S of the village centre. The present church of St Katherine was built by J. Oldrid Scott and Son in 1907, and consists of a nave and chancel in one with a S doorway under a stone porch and a short tower at the W end of the nave on the N side. The interior is dominated by the 2-bay Forster Chapel on the ground floor of the tower, commemorating John and Alfred Forster who were killed in the Great War. The chapel contains a bronze soldier’s effigy on a tomb chest. The chancel is flanked to the N by an organ loft and to the S by a vestry.

VCH (1908) describes a different building on the same site – a rectangular yellow brick church of no known dedication, built by William Mitford and consecrated in 1827. The medieval church, demolished in 1827, was a mile to the S at Lower Exbury, where the Beaulieu River runs into the Solent. The only Romanesque feature is the Purbeck font, transferred from the medieval church via Mitford’s church to the present one.


2 hides in Exbury were held by Bolla and Wulfgeat in 1066, but it was all taken into the New Forest by William I. Thereafter ther is no record of holders of land in Exbury before 1244, when Richard Foliot was holding land there as a minor. The church was a chapelry of Fawley until 1863, and is first mentioned in 1291 when Fawley church and the chapel of Exbury were held by Master Nicholas of Audeby. It is said to have been served by Cistercian monks from Bealieu Abbey,





VCH suggests that the font has been cut down and dates it c.1200 (accepted here). The EH List Description offers a 13thc date, while Pevsner and Lloyd do not commit themselves.


English Heritage Listed Building 143408

N. Pevsner and D. Lloyd, The Buildings of England. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Harmondsworth 1967, 216-17.

Victoria County History: Hampshire. III (1908), 290-91.