There has been a place of worship in Milford for over a thousand years and there was probably a wooden church before the current stone church was built.
The ancient parish of Milford cum Hordle was much larger than today but had fewer people. It was originally managed through Christchurch Priory but following the break with Rome 1533-1537 and the dissolution of the monasteries the right to appoint the vicar, called the advowson, lay with the monarch. This situation continued until 1626 when Charles I gave the advowson to Queen’s College Oxford which held it for the next 250 years.
In 1815-1816 the congregation was split by the radical preaching of the curate who left the Established Church and formed the Baptist Church in Barnes Lane.
Between 1800 and 1851 sixteen new places of worship were created in the district. By 1851 the Religious Census recorded that in the district, the churches of the Established Church were half full while the Non-conformist chapels were over two thirds full.
The tradition of non-conformism in the district was emphasised further by the founding of the commune in Hordle for the Shakers.
‘Parishes: Milford’, in A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5, ed. William Page (London, 1912), pp. 115-124. Also available at British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/hants/vol5/pp115-124.
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