St Thomas Church

St Thomas Church

The church of St Thomas the Apostle stands west of the High Street and marks the transition from the High Street to St Thomas Street. A chapel at Lymington, dependent on the church at Boldre, is first mentioned about 1140 but the earliest surviving part of the present church dates to around 1200. This makes it the oldest building in Lymington. Until 1542 it was only a chapel of the Priory of Christchurch and was dependent on the ‘mother church’ at Boldre. It was not until 1869 that the chapelry of Lymington was separated from the Vicarage of Boldre and from that point the church had its own vicar. The tower was added in 1670 and the cupola which surmounts it and houses the eight bells may be early 18th century. The church bells were rung to celebrate battles and other important occasions and the ringers were sometimes paid in beer. Remarkable coloured wooden bosses from the ceiling of the former nave, now displayed in a glass case on the stairs, are 17th century or earlier. The present layout of the church interior with galleries all around the nave is the result of Georgian alterations.

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