Streat Church, Streat
Streat Church (Streat Lane, Streat, BN6 8RU) stands on the greensand ridge just south of the nearby Roman road and was, in its original form, begun soon after the compilation of the Domesday Book, to replace two Saxon churches, and almost certainly on the site of one of them.
Streat Church stands on the greensand ridge just south of the nearby Roman road and was, in its original form, begun soon after the compilation of the Domesday Book, to replace two Saxon churches, and almost certainly on the site of one of them. At first it consisted of the present nave. Two pieces of it remain - the north wall and the core of the west one. It had two Norman doorways, one where the door now is, and the other in the south wall exactly opposite, where the arch to the south aisle now stands.
There was probably a porch to the north door, though not the one which is now there. The chancel was added in the 13th century. Of this the south wall remains. It may have replaced an earlier apse. About the same time it became customary to dedicate churches to saints or aspects of the godhead. For some reason Streat did not follow the fashion.
Since many of the windows in the present church are Victorian, how it was lighted is a matter of conjecture. No doubt there was an east and a west window, and one in the south wall. In addition there was a lancet window where the present window is, in the south wall of the chancel. In the sixteenth century some changes took place. A wooden altar replaced the stone one and a lectern and Bible as well as a pulpit were introduced. Subsequently there were minor additions and alterations.
The first restoration of the Church was commenced between 1840-1850 by the Reverend W.A.FitzHugh, Rector, who lengthened the Chancel and put in East and South windows. In 1854 a thorough restoration of the remainder of the building took place. The West Gallery (approached by external brick stairs) and tumbledown high pews were removed. The South Aisle, North Porch, several windows and new pews were added. In 1882 the burial place or Dormitory of the Dobell and Lane families, on the North of the Chancel of the Church, was connected with the Chancel by an arch and partitioned by a wooden screen for a Vestry.
Some other alterations were likewise made in the body of the Church, namely the Pulpit raised and its position altered, choir seats remodelled and the Font placed on a stone plinth.
When exactly the tower was built is unknown, but the Church had one bell, dated 1520. In 1900, found to be cracked, it was recast and replaced by the present three bells. Of note is the large iron slab in the floor of the nave below the Chancel step which was made in Kent and is the largest in England weighing about one ton. It is a memorial for members of the Gott family.
In recent times, the south aisle has been re-ordered to provide adaptable use of the space primarily for the Children's Church.