St Mary the Less Church, Chilbolton

The Parish Church of St Mary the Less is listed Grade I.  It stands at the east end of the village of Chilbolton, in a large churchyard, beside the water meadows of the River Test.


In order to develop flexible use of the church for a range of social gatherings, it was felt that basic facilites were essential.  Large services, particularly weddings and funerals where visitors come from far afield, also highlighted the need for a lavatory.


The problem faced by the church group was how to develop facilites within the church where all options for siting them seemed to present problems.


The tower base was seen as the most discreet site for a lavatory, but his was an area used as a ringing chamber for three bells. The installation of partitioning (to create an essential separating lobby) in the middle of the ringing chamber presented a challenge. The space, measuring just 2.9 metres square was also home to the tower access ladder, clock weight box and a large quantity of stored material.


The North Aisle was chosen as the site for a range of cupboards, incorporating kitchen facilities and generous storage space.


Seymour and Bainbridge designed new facilites, constructed from good quality materials.  Since completion they have proved a great success.  The church is now able to accommodate a wide variety of functions which have greatly enhanced the standing of the church as a focus in the village.