We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St John the Baptist, Boldre, Hampshire

(50°47′32″N, 1°32′30″W)
SZ 324 993
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Hampshire
now Hampshire
  • Ron Baxter
05 April 2006

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=4942.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

Boldre is in the southern New Forest in SW Hampshire, 2 mile s N of the centre of Lymington in the valley of the Lymington river. St John’s is half a mile N of the village centre, on the edge of the woodland. The church has an extremely long nave with N and S aisles, a S porch and a N vestry, and a chancel with a S chapel and a tower above it. On the N side of the chancel is a small modern vestry. The church presumably began as a two-cell building with a nave approximately half its present length and perhaps an apsidal E end. A three-bay S aisle was added in the 12thc, and in the mid-13thc a three-bay N aisle was added. Later in the 13thc the nave was lengthened westwards by three more bays, with an aisle on the S only continuing the line of the old S aisle to the W. The chancel was lengthened c 1300, but was rebuilt entirely in 1855. The present S chapel was added in the 14thc. The upper storey of this, forming the tower, is of brick and dates from 1697. A vestry was added alongside the N wall of the nave, W of the aisle, in the 19thc and extended to the line of the W front in the 20thc. The S porch is 14thc, but the nave and S aisle now share a single roof that descends very low so that the aisle windows and the porch rise well above the eaves and have dormer roofs. The W wall of the nave was rebuilt in 1996 after it was found to be cracking and falling outwards. Construction is generally of ashlar and rubble with flints, said to come from the Isle of Wight as there is no local source. The only Romanesque feature recorded here is the E section of the S nave arcade.


In the Domesday Survey Boldre was the centre of a Hundred. Pain held two manors here before the Conquest, assessed at 2 hides, but in 1079 it was all taken into the king’s forest, except for 6 acres of meadow held in 1086 by Hugh de St Quentin. In c1140-50 the church of Boldre, and its chapels at Brockenhurst and Lymington, were granted to the Priory of Austin Canons at Christchurch Twyneham by Baldwin de Redvers. It remained in the hands of Christchurch Priory until the Dissolution in 1539.


Interior Features



Pevsner (and the present author) date the arcade to c.1175 on the bases of the chamfered piers and arches, although Perkins (and Macaire’s revised guide) prefer an 11thc date.


F. Perkins, Boldre. The Parish, the Church and the Inhabitants. Lymington 1927.

W. F. Perkins, A Guide to Boldre Church, New Forest. 1938. 7th ed. (revised by T. Macaire). Lymington 1997.

N. Pevsner and D. Lloyd, The Buildings of England. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Harmondsworth 1967, 113-14.

Victoria County History: Hampshire. IV (1911), 616-23.

Victoria County History: Hampshire. II (1973), 152-60 (on Christchurch Priory).