The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

acter, and His particular sanctity is marked by His great size, as high in each case as was pos­sible within the limits of the work. The fragments were discovered in 1829, and they have been recon­structed against the south wall of the quire aisle. Nothing is known of their origin, but the subjects, at any rate, are the most suitable possible for a church frequented by nuns. It seems probable, however, that they are of post-Conquest date and belonged to the original cathedral.
This building was begun in 1088 by Bishop Ralph Luffa (whose coffin-slab may be seen just outside the Lady Chapel) and continued for about a century, interrupted by a fire in 1114, when the nave was being added to quire and transepts consecrated in 1108; the four west bays of the nave are slightly different from and later than the four east bays. The Norman church thus completed and finally consecrated in 1184 was of a not unusual plan—nave of eight bays with aisles and west towers, central tower, transepts with eastern apses, quire of three bays with apse and ambulatory, the latter leading to an apsidal Lady Chapel and, as Professor Willis showed, flanked by round chapels similar to those still existing at Norwich. Severe and impressive, the church was remarkable even among Norman buildings for its lack of ornament. The earlier portions are of rough Quarr Abbey stone from the Isle of Wight; Caen stone was used later. The age of different sections can be identified by tool marks, the earliest showing traces of the pick-axe, it is a subject on which a flood of light has been thrown by the researches of Edward Prior. The capitals are of different kinds of marble and hard stone, some of them perhaps chipped from boulders. The
Previous Contents Next