The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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The little tree-shaded building consists of a late Norman nave and chancel with very thick walls to which a south aisle was added in the early thirteenth century. The little splayed east window remains, but the actual opening is enlarged, a fate that has overtaken the two other original windows that survive. The chancel arch has shafts and grotesque eagles' beaks; loosened by slight settlements, it was tightened up by the driving in of a new keystone in the eighteenth century. The round font has an arcade with alternate shafts and pendent ornaments. The aisle arcade of two arches has a round pillar with foot-ornaments ; the original south door, with shafts and zigzag having little bunches of grapes in the angles, is reset in the aisle wall, which is modern. The pulpit is Jacobean.
A little to the south, on the river, is the scat­tered village of Ford, whose small church, con­sisting of nave and chancel, with a white bell-cot of wood very similar to that of Tortington, appears at first sight greatly to resemble its neighbour, except that it stands in open fields instead of being overshadowed by trees. But, instead of being uniform, it turns out on investigation to have been the work of no less than six different periods, as is shown by P. M. Johnston's careful plan published in S.A.C. The west and north walls of the nave he believes to be Saxon, built about 1040 ; the arch and side walls of the chancel Early Norman of about 1100; while some eighty years later Transition Norman windows were inserted in the north wall of the nave. During the Early English period, about 1250, the south door and two lancets in the chancel were inserted ; during the Decorated the chancel was lengthened
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