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The building consists of a nave, chancel, and small aisle, with a gallery on the north side, used by the boys of the Sunday-school, and a porch with vestry over it on the south side. The walls, which are partly of granite and partly of hard glazed dark bricks, are remarkably thick and substantial, especially the west wall, which supports a bell-turret, designed from one at the church of Leigh Delamere in Wiltshire. This little turret terminates in a slender spire, with a metal cross on the
top of it.
About the year 1855, a painted east window, which cost £100, was presented to Ampfield Church by the Rev. Robert Francis Wilson, the first incumbent, and about the same time, Sir William and Lady Heathcote and Mrs. R. F. Wilson joined together to present, at a still greater cost, a magnificent west window.
This window, which has three large lights, (the middle one being longer and wider than the other two,) contains sixteen medallions with figures, descriptive of the last Judgment, again reminding us of the west windows at Fairford.
In the lowest part of the middle light is a representation of the General Resurrection ; above that are two Angels with trumpets, calling the dead from their graves; and next come two Angels bearing a cross. Then there is a representation of the blessed being called into Heaven, with the inscription BENEDICTI; and the damned being driven away to Hell, with the word MALEDICTI, and the gate of Heaven closed against them. Above this our Lord is represented seated on a rainbow for the execution of Judgment, with His right hand upheld in the act of benediction, and His left hand stretched out to reject the accursed. In the top of this light is represented the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a Dove, together with six of the Heavenly Host. In the uppermost medallion of each side-light the Holy Apostles of our Lord are represented. The four lower groups on the south side represent Acts of Faith, and the State of the Blessed, in the following order from the bottom :-David slaying Goliath ; Job with his wife and three Friends; the Good Samaritan; 'the Souls of the Faithful in Abraham's Bosom. The corresponding groups on the north side are representations of evil actions, and the damnation of the accursed, which occur in the following order :- Cain slaying Abel; Ananias and Sapphira; the Rich Man faring sumptuously, and neglecting Lazarus, whose sores the dogs are licking; and lastly, the Devil dragging the Accursed into the Flames of Hell with a rope. The whole forms a very effective and instructive specimen of a “Doom" window, and reminds us of the words of the Poet quoted above in the description of the great west window at Fairford.
In the middle of the upper six-lobed compartment of the east window is a representation of a Lamb with a nimbus, bearing a cross with a banner b.
Below this, on either side, is a small quatrefoil filled with richly coloured grisaille.
The principal part of the window consists of four large lights, the tops of which are occupied by two Angels in each. Immediately below these are represented four acts of our Blessed Lord's Exaltation; namely, His Transfiguration, Resurrection, Sitting in Glory, and Ascension, with the inscription,
b See “Calendar of Anglican Church,” p. 322.
WHEREFORE GOD HATH HIGHLY EXALTED, AND GIVEN HIM A NAME
ABOVE EVERY NAME.
In contrast to these groups, just below them, are depicted four acts of Christ's Humiliation, namely, His Agony in the Garden, Crucifixion, Burial, and Bearing the Cross, with the words
HE HUMBLED HIMSELF AND BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, EVEN THE
DEATH OF THE CROSS.
Rich grisaille fills up the intermediate and the lower portions of the window.
The window nearest to the pulpit has been recently filled with stained glass as a memorial to Mr. KEBLE. It contains figures of St. John and St. Mark, with medallions below each figure, representing these two Evangelists engaged in writing, accompanied by their emblems-St. Mark with a winged Lion, and St. John with an Eagle. In the lowest medallion there is also a representation of the vision (described in Rev. i.) of the seven candlesticks, and "One like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot,” having “in His right hand seven stars,” and “a sharp two-edged sword” coming out of His mouth. The following inscription is at the bottom of the window :
IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF THE REV. JOHN KEBLE, M.A., BORN ON ST. MARK'S
DAY, 1792, CALLED TO REST 29 MARCH, 1866, THURSDAY IN HOLY-WEEK.
The cost of the window was £33, which was raised by subscrip
tion, chiefly amongst the parishioners. The design was furnished gratuitously by W. Butterfield, Esq., and the work was executed by Mr. Wailes, who made the two other painted windows, and who most liberally handed over to the Keble Memorial College fund £25 out of the small sum which he charged for this very rich window. The window was erected on the eve of the first anniversary of Mr. KEBLE's death, viz. March 28, 1867. (See woodcut.)
The visitor will be particularly delighted with the churchyard at Ampfield, which is generally considered to be one of the prettiest in England. The varied surface of the ground, and the abundance of wood almost surrounding it, give it a natural beauty, and shew the taste displayed in the selection of the site. It is well sheltered on the north and east, but much more open towards the south and south-west. It was considerably enlarged by Sir William Heathcote in 1862 by an additional grant of land on the north side, which was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester on the 29th of March in that year. Here, indeed, is “God's acre”—a peaceful place of repose for the dead-abounding with evergreens of the choicest varieties, which flourish in much luxuriance, while the rhododendrons grow to great size, and adorn the place with their beautiful flowers in the months of May and June.
Longfellow says very appropriately of such a spot as this :
"I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls
The burial-ground 'God's Acre.' It is just;
And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust.