Bramley, St James, Hampshire, *

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Corhampton, Hampshire, *

“An unaltered Saxon chapel. It is unusual in having no dedication. It never had one…The chancel has extensive 12th- or early 13th century wall paintings on its west wall, including drapery, as if to imitate wall hangings…The yew tree is extremely old, the girth suggesting a date at least as old as the church.”

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Winchester, St Cross, Hampshire, ****

“Forget the M3 and its tributaries. Forget booming Winchester, its college and wrecked city centre. Wander downstream beside the River Itchen to the water meadows beneath St Catherine’s Hill. Here lies England’s oldest and most perfect almshouse…St Cross is a Norman cathedral in miniature. These are the lofty vaults, heavy piers and rounded windows of the Angevin kings, monarchs of thick forests and desperate civil wars.”

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Headbourne Worthy, St Swithun, Hampshire, *

“This is principally an entry for ghosts. The Worthy (or ‘enclosure’) churches crowded the banks of the River Itchen. They were intended less for parishioners than for pilgrims approaching the shrine of St Swithun at Winchester, or leaving it along the Pilgrims’ Way to St Thomas’s Shrine at Canterbury. These were the spiritual motorway service stations of their day.”

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