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

102.                 THE SUSSEX COAST
were for defence, possibly for drainage. The low tower dates from about a century after the Con­quest : lancets are pierced through the central pilaster buttresses with zigzag all round—the parapet rests on simple corbels; in the west wall is an ornate door, trefoiled under a round arch with zigzag and dog-tooth; on each side is a mysterious little hole, a diamond ornament over one, a circle over the other. By a later inserted arch this tower opens into the south transept of the fine cross-shaped Early English church, whose nave has a south aisle. It is supposed to have been built by John of Climping, who was in 1254 elected by the Chapter Bishop of Chichester to succeed St. Richard, when King and Pope for once not interfering they were able to choose a local man. If it was his work the architectural details make it likely that he built it early in life, some years before he was bishop. The arcade has round pillars with well-moulded caps and arches; there are plain foot-ornaments, and the tool marks are very distinct; the transept arches are nearly round. The elaborately moulded chancel arch rests on corbels with little corner shafts to the jambs; the eastern triplet has quatrefoils in the spandrels, and is a beautiful composition; there are two aumbries in the east wall, and these, as well as the inner faces of the side lancets, have segmental arches. There is a chest contemporary with the church having trefoil arcading and circles with slightly Saracenic-looking ornament. Its original purpose was probably to collect money for the Crusades; boxes for this object were ordered to be placed in all churches by Pope Innocent III. There are also some early fifteenth-century benches with buttresses and trefoiled panels, and in the
Previous Contents Next