Hartley Mauditt, St Leonard (13K)

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Hartley Mauditt: St Leonard — Information

The texts below are taken from:—


From — Some Ancient Churches in North East Hampshire

Two miles north of Oakhanger lies St Leonard's Church, Hartley Mauditt, which having lost its village stands isolated beside the village pond.
This was essentially a manor church, built between 1100 and 1125 by one of William the Conqueror's knights, William de Mauditt, in a clearing in the forest. He would also have built the manor house and cleared the land for growing crops and grazing his animals, and his family and servants would have worshipped in the church.
The building is a simple nave and chancel, although originally it probably would have had an apsidal east end. The porch protects a beautifully decorated Early English doorway. Inside is the 15th century font, and in the south wall is a Norman window. The chancel arch is an early Norman horseshoe arch, and the east chancel window is Early English, the same period as the present east end which replaced the apse.
Beneath the chancel is a crypt, probably the Stuart family vault, which is entered by a doorway (now bricked up) which lies behind the pulpit.
After the de Mauditt's, the manor passed by various families to John of Gaunt and remained Crown property until 1603. The Stuart family bought the manor in 1614 and held it for many years. Their monuments, several with colourful heraldry, are in the chancel.
In 1798 the owner preferred to live in London, but his wife wished to remain in Hartley Mauditt, so he demolished the manor house, thus forcing her to follow him. She is buried in the churchyard, so her heart at least did in the end return.
The destruction of the manor meant loss of employment, and the village was abandoned. The church was restored in 1854 and 1904, the last when the bell turret was renewed. Today the church is well preserved and beautifully maintained.