Located south west of Basingstoke and just off the M3, the pretty village of Dummer is home to a church rich in interest and full of character.
Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, the present building dates from around 1200, albeit with additions throughout the mediaeval period. Entered through a pretty 15th Century west porch, the first impression is one of gloom, thanks to the large 17th century gallery dominating the west end, which also contains the massive timber framing for the bell turret. The 13th century chancel arch is framed on the north by a fine 14th century niche, thought once to have been the reredos of a nave altar. On the south is a restored squint, rounded headed on the east side but decorated with cinquefoil cusps to the west. The chancel has three lancets in the east wall, filled with stained glass by Kempe, and a cusped piscina. Most impressive, however, is the 15th century rood beam and canopy above the chancel arch. This is a rare survival, and well preserved: it has twelve panels, decorated with bosses picked out in gold.
The church has furnishings rich enough to match the architecture. Pride of place goes to the early pulpit, dated to 1380 and with traceried panels. It is one of the oldest in England. Famous preachers who have used it include George Whitfield (1714-1770), who founded the Calvanistic Methodists, and Charles Wesley. The communion rails are 17th century, and Royal Coat of Arms in the chancel are those of Charles II (dated 1672).
There are numerous small brasses, including one to William Moore, alias Dummer (d. 1508) and his wife, Katherine Brydges. Oddly, the space left for the date of his death was never filled in. In the nave, another brass records William Moore (alias Dummer) and his wife Ellen (d. 1427), in rhyming Latin verse. The nave has the remains of a 14th century tomb recess and also, beneath the gallery, a rare 16th century hinged palimpsest brass, recording different memorials on each side: on the rear, it commemorates Robert Clerk, priest, who dies c. 1500; on the front it recall Allys (Alice) Magewyk (d. 1591).
The church is in the benefice of Farleigh, Candovers and Wield, which contains 9 churches, and details of activities and service times.
All Saints, Farleigh Lane, Dummer, RG25 2AF