St Mary Bourne Revisited



The Chapels and Mr. John Page


Among the papers of the late Mr. John Page, of St. Mary Bourne, were found some notices relating to floods and small-pox in the village in 1797; and it is in justice to a useful and consistent man to make a few remarks at this point on his life. He died in 1884, at an advanced age, and was a very old inhabitant. He was one of the earliest of the Primitive Methodists who preached in the surrounding villages over half a century ago, a time when, the mission being young, some moral courage was requisite; Mr. Page having himself informed me that it was not unusual for him, when preaching, to be assailed with stones. The first place of meeting of the society was Mr. Farr's kitchen in Binley. Mr. Page's house was at all times open for the reception of preachers, and he entertained among others Mr. Hugh Bourne, the founder of the connection. He also entertained Mr. Joseph Arch on his visit to the village in the cause of the labourers. He was a pioneer of temperance, he having signed the pledge in 1838. At the introduction of a school board Mr. Page became a member of it, and continued to sit at the board till the time of his death.

I am indebted to Mr. John Page for the following information respecting the chapels in the parish of St. Mary Bourne.


The chapel was formally a barn, and was called the "Old Black Barn.” The property was originally purchased at an auction by a Mr. Freeman of Whitchurch, about the year 1824; and the barn was fitted up, and used as a chapel till 1844, when a new building was erected to seat 160 people, the cost being about £180. A considerable portion of the outlay was furnished by the Baptists Association. The chapel fell down in the spring of 1879, and the present building was erected in the autumn of the same year. A new speaking platform, which had been put up at the south end only a short time previous to the destruction of the building, was crushed in when the walls fell. The small graveyard attached contains the body of Edward Cook, who preached here for some time, together with the body of his wife.

Baptist families were summerbees, whose name is retained in that of the cottages opposite the pound, and some at Stoke, and Purvers. (Dr Joseph Stevens)


The ground now occupied by the old and new chapels formerly belonged to the parish, and two cottages stood on it. It was sold by auction by the parochial officers at the Plough Inn early in the year 1838. The late Mr. John Page, and a few others, having surveyed the property by moonlight, instructed a stranger to bid for it, as the tide of opposition against Nonconformists at that time ran high in the village, when it was bought for £54. The old chapel was then erected at the outlay of £100, the money being furnished by the rent of one of the cottages, and by voluntary subscriptions. The building was opened on "Bourne Revel Sunday" July 18th. 1838

The other cottage was removed in 1859, and the new chapel erected on the site at a cost of £170, which was also liquidated by subscriptions. The building is adapted to seat 200 people.

In the little burial ground of the old chapel, Mr. Page says, " I have a little brother buried, his name was John Page, he was the first; and John Farr of Binley, and Elizabeth his wife, are buried just outside; and Sophia, wife of Solomon Goodyear, and four children; also William and Mary Parker. In the new ground are my father, mother, and sister, John Kercher and wife, William Collins and wife; and three children in one grave that died in one night belonging to Charles and Emily Davis." (Dr. Joseph Stevens)

John Page, who Dr. Stevens spoke of, is also buried here along with his wife Maria, who predeceased him. Judging from the inscription on her tombstone, she was a worthy partner. It runs:-

Here lies she who in the cause of God

Never feared nor flattered man.


The primitive Methodist Chapel at Stoke was built in the year 1864; it seats 80 people; and the charge for building it was about £100, which has all been paid.

Binley Mission Room (un-sectarian) was erected in 1882, on land given by Miss Longman daughter of the late Mr. John Longman of Warwick. It furnishes room for nearly 100 people. (Dr. Joseph Stevens)


The old chapel was not connectional; but was built for Mr. Samuel Webb about the year 1835. It was afterwards mortgaged to Mr. William Day, who at his death left the sum of £40 to the Wesleyan body to purchase the building of his executors. It is now taken down, and a new building erected on land given by the Earl of Portsmouth. The memorial stone of the new building was laid on August the 23rd.1886. It was completed and opened on October the 26th; the cost of its erection being £190; and it provides sittings for about 100 people. The Wesleyans also hold meetings in a cottage at Dunley.

The "Old Book Chapel", or what is now called the St. Mary Bourne Band of Hope Mission Room, seats 100 people. It was fitted up in 1866 at a cost of £25; and was used as a chapel by the Primitive Methodists for sixteen years. The Salvation Army now hold meetings there, and in the buildings behind it known as the "workman's hall".

Mr. Page writes that the St. Mary Bourne Band of Hope was established in November 1872. "It has been", he says," the means of reclaiming lots of drunkards and of bringing up children in the path of sobriety." Public meetings are held every fortnight in this room during the months of winter. (Dr. Joseph Stevens)

The Salvation Army was established in St. Mary Bourne as an outpost from Whitchurch in the 1880’ met first in the evenings in a barn behind the blacksmith’s forge, and in the mornings a smaller group met in a small thatched chapel nearer the road. Both were burnt in the Great fire of 1900.

In March, 1900 it moved to the Baptist Chapel, and in that month a baby was “dedicated” there, who (in 1946) is still in the parish and attached to the Army – Mrs. Ash, of Stoke.

In the 1920’s the outpost became an independent depot with one or two resident officers. There is a Band, which is the centre of meetings in the Summerhaugh on Sunday afternoons, and goes around carol playing at Christmas. (Kathleen Innes)

The Hampshire Advertiser April 4 th 1900.

Shocking accident at Andover

On Monday evening a sad accident occurred to Mr John Page, of St. Mary Bourne. He had come into Andover with a timber carriage drawn by two horses (tandem), and was proceeding down New Street, on his way home. A van was standing outside Mr Goddard’s premises, and in passing, the wheel of the timber carriage caught the van, and the horse bolted both wheels of the timber carriage passing over Mr Page’s head. The spectacle was very shocking, and he was almost immediately attended by Dr Farr, and was taken to the cottage hospital, but the doctor says it is impossible that he can recover..