Wickham church and school
St Nicholas Church
The church stands on an almost circular mound, which was probably sacred long before Christianity reached the Meon Valley. It is dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of (among others) children, sailors and pawnbrokers.
The present church was built in 1120, in the reign of Henry I. On the left of the Norman doorway with its carved zigzag pattern, is a capital bearing the emblem of King Stephen (1135–1154): a centaur with a bow and arrow (Sagittarius). It may have been carved to indicate allegiance to King Stephen during the civil war (1139–1154) with Matilda .
Changes to the church from the 13th century onwards reflect its association with the Uvedale family. A wall tablet in the Lady Chapel commemorates William Uvedale (died 1569), and there is a fine alabaster and marble monument in the South Transept to his son Sir William Uvedale (died 8 January 1615), his wife Mary, and their nine children.
In 1646/7, at the height of the English Civil War, a silver communion set was commissioned for St Nicholas Church. It was sold by auction in 1974, raising £7500 towards the cost of a new church room.It is probably the earliest surviving complete communion set in England, and is now displayed in Westbury Manor Museum in Fareham.
In 1768, the church was given a peal of five bells, and the tower had to be modified to house them. The bells were restored and re-hung in 1890, and a sixth (treble) bell was added.
Between 1847 and 1862 the church was virtually rebuilt. The Norman doorway was moved and fitted into the new tower, which had a shingle spire added, and the exterior wall was clad in flint.
Please cross the road and look round our lovely church.
The Church of England school stood on the opposite corner to the church, on the Glebe (church field).It was built in 1869 at a cost of £1520, replacing an earlier school on Bridge Street. In 1876, the infant school was enlarged at a cost of £100. School log books show that children were often absent at harvest times, but also to visit the circus in Fareham!
In 1968, a new school was opened on the other side of the village at a cost of £75,000.The site of the old school buildings was eventually sold for private housing, now known as Glebe Corner.