Holy Rood Church in Crofton

Holy Rood is the larger of the two churches in the parish of Crofton which is located next to Stubbington village centre and has the parish centre attached to it. The majority of services and other meetings take place at Holy Rood.

II Parish church: 1878 by Thomas Goodchild, tower completed 1928, chancel rebuilt 1971, church centre (not of special interest) added 1991.

Materials: Knapped flint with Bath stone dressings and tiled roof

Plan: Six-bay nave with aisles, south porch and north-west tower; rebuilt chancel (now narthex) and vestry to east, connecting to church centre.

Exterior: Early Decorated Gothic style. West window of four-lights with Geometric tracery, flanked by stepped buttresses and with high coped parapet above. Three-stage tower with broad angle buttresses: original lower stage contains a west doorway of two orders flanked by colonettes with a dripstone above; middle stage has single cusped lights with carved panels below; upper stage has louvred belfry openings and battlemented parapet. Aisles have have two-light windows between buttresses. Multifoil circular windows in clerestorey, set between flush stone pilasters. South porch has a flint base and a timber superstructure with decorative barge-boards. Lower walls of old chancel and south vestry survive; rebuilt upper part is tile-hung beneath a latitudinal valley roof.

Interior: Entrance is from the east through rebuilt chancel/narthex, a simple space top-lit by means of rooflight and ceiling louvres. Tall chancel arch beyond now filled with modern organ case. Simple cylindrical columns support moulded nave arcades with carved ornament in the spandrels. Upper walls lined in yellow brick, with moulded string course and pointed-arch openings to clerestorey windows. Arch-braced roof with principals supported on carved corbels below clerestorey level.

Principal Fixtures: Original stone font, octagonal with carved side panels to bowl and marble colonettes to base; now placed beneath a modern hanging cross in the narthex. Other fittings are moveable and post-date the 1968 fire.

Stained Glass: West window of 1887, in memory of Eva Frances Eastman: four main lights representing the Good Shepherd and the Baptism, Resurrection and Ascension of Christ, with various Christological symbols in the smaller lights above. Various C20 windows in aisles, including two containing fragments from the destroyed east windows of 1884 and 1948.

History: The present church was built in 1877-8, superseding the small medieval parish church of Crofton (which still survives and is Grade II* listed) and reflecting the shift in population away from the old village centre during the C19. The architect was Thomas Goodchild, and the local firm of Plummer and Gamblin were employed to carry out the work on a site donated by the local landowner Montagu Foster.

Stained glass was installed in the east and west windows in 1884 and 1887 respectively. The north-west tower, initially left unfinished, was completed to a revised design, omitting the proposed spire, in 1928; the present clock was installed in 1934.

In 1944 a bomb destroyed the original east window glass, and its replacement of 1948 was itself destroyed in 1968 when a fire consumed much of the east end of the church. The chancel was rebuilt in reduced form in 1971, and the present church centre built on behind it in 1991. Finally, in 1996-7, the interior was reordered to face the undamaged west end, with the rebuilt chancel retained as a narthex.

All the above information comes from: https://historicengland.org.uk