The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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STEYNING                             147
in Cuthman's Chapel (858 A.D.), though his body was afterwards moved to Winchester. By Edward the Confessor Steyning was granted to the great Norman Abbey of Fecamp, and by that famous house the present church seems to have been built. It was apparently a great cruciform building, with central tower, and the oldest parts are the west tower arch, the arches that opened from nave aisles to transepts and parts of the side walls. These arches rest each on three shafts on either side, except that on the north some miscalculation has reduced the three to one; the caps are scal­loped or carved, and one has a strange sort of bull. In the south-east corner a beginning has been
made to build the wall of wide jointed ashlar, which was perhaps discontinued from the difficulty of getting stone. Rather late Norman work are the magnificent arcades and tall-shafted clearstory above, very massive round pillars support capitals and arches that display rich Norman mouldings of various kinds, and the dog-tooth also appears, a very early instance of its use. But the chief interest of this superb work is the strong Saracenic influence it shows, besides the palm-leaf ornament, which occurs elsewhere in Sussex (for instance, on a detached corbel at Burpham), there is on a capital of the north arcade what closely resembles a common Saracenic ornament, usually called
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