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THE LICH-GATE AT HURSLEY.
T the time of the rebuilding of the church, a small portion of land adjoining the north-east corner of the churchyard
was presented to the living by the Patron, by a deed dated October 23, 1848. Upon this plot of ground Mr. KEBLE erected a tasteful cottage, and united to it an ornamental lich-gate, with substantial oak posts, and a sharp-pitched roof covered with tiles in ornamental patterns, corresponding with those upon the roof of the church.
When he built this pretty cottage and lich-gate the Poet may probably have been thinking of his own words in the Lyra Innocentium, p. 256 :
“ This is the portal of the dead.
This is the holy resting-place,
Like one who bears a hidden seal
The boys' school-room at Hursley, which is near the south end of the village, at some little distance from the church, is a spacious and convenient room, which had formerly been a portion of the buildings belonging to the Home Farm of Hursley Park. After the removal of the farmyard, and the erection of new buildings at the north-west corner of the park, the old stables were fitted up by the Baronet as a schoolroom, with a good class-room (used also as a village library and readingroom) at the north end of it. There is also an excellent and tasteful residence for the schoolmaster close by.
The girls' school-rooms are adjoining the churchyard on the north side, near to the private entrance to Hursley Park, which has been constantly used, by permission, in consideration of a nominal rent, as the entrance to the Vicarage.
Nearly opposite to the girls' school-room is the principal village Inn, which has often been honoured with distinguished guests, whom the fame of the Poet attracted to Hursley. Its title, “The King's Head,” reminds us of the former republican character of the village, when the inhabitants probably sided with the Cromwells, and despised the martyred King. In this convenient hostelry the visitor will find all needful comforts. There are two lanes in the parish of Hursley, each called “King's Lane," in allusion not to Charles I., but to William Rufus, whose body seems to have been (according to tradition) conveyed through this parish, when taken to be buried in Winchester Cathedral, after the fatal accident
in the New Forest a.
The visitor will be pleased with the neat and clean appearance of
See Milner's “History of Winchester,” vol. i. p. 149.
the houses in Hursley street, which betokens a place much cared for and well looked after by the owner, and by the Vicar. There is no look of poverty, but an air of civilization and comfort throughout the village. It seems as if religion had taken good effect here even upon the social condition of the people.
“Tis ever thus in holy things,
The more we seek the sacred springs,
(The Cathedral, p. 110.)