Coming upon Holy Trinity Church, Privett whilst driving down the narrow country lanes of remote north Hampshire is something of a shock.
Here in the middle of of nowhere, with only the old school (latterly a hostel) and a scattering of houses for company, is an enormous Victorian church that wouldn't look out of place in a city centre.
The fact that the interior is in near mint condition just makes the whole thing even more surreal.
It was designed by the Gothic architect Sir Arthur Blomfield, and was built between 1876-78 using the best craftsmen of the day to produce the magnificent stonework, mosaics and stained glass.
It is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and is used as a performance space. Check the CCT site for details of opening times.
The question is - what is such a huge church doing in such a remote location? I was reminded of Christchurch Priory in Dorset. There Ranulf Flambard, William Rufusʼs exceedingly unpleasant right-hand man, built an enormous church for just twenty monks as he thought that by giving the church such a large building he could ensure his place in heaven
Perhaps William Nicholson, owner of nearby Basing Park who paid for Holy Trinity's construction (and for many other buildings in the village), felt a need to atone for making his money by distilling gin.