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St Lawrence Church

During the Civil War, the Royalist town of Alton was threatened by a nearby Parliamentarian army but a Royalist regiment arrived to protect the area, with the church being the command point. However, the Roundheads managed to launch a surprise attack and the majority of the Cavaliers retreated towards Winchester, leaving only a small group behind to try and delay the enemy advance. In charge of the Cavaliers was Colonel John Boles and he and his men were eventually cornered in the church. Once their ammunition had dwindled, the Roundheads burst in and most of the Cavaliers were killed, including Boles who took a stand close by the pulpit, killing six of the Parliamentarian forces before he too was cut down. The ghosts of Boles and his men are said to re-enact the battle in the churchyard, and shouts and cursing have been heard, as have the clashing of swords and muskets being fired. The smell of gunpowder has also been reported.

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