Sussex – Churches


High street, Bosham, West Sussex, PO18-8LY. O/S map 181 ref SU 804 039


Tel Vicar 01243 573228 e-mail on church web-site



Holy Communion – 0800 hrs 35 minutes.

Parish Eucharist – 0930 hrs I hr.


Holy communion with prayers for healing – 1830 hrs 40 minutes.


Holy Communion – 0800hrs 25 minutes.


Holy Communion – 0800 hrs 25 minutes.


Bosham church, which is of interest both historically and architecturally, stands picturesquelly beside one the of the water channels leading to the harbour `a leet to the old mills which then goes on into the harbour`, Chichester is about 4 miles west from Bosham. The area is rich in Roman remains, not far away towards Chichester off the A259 is a Roman palace in Fishbourne.
The church now shows no fabric earlier than the 11th century, although the church appears in church history from the7th century onwards. Bede records that when Wilfrid came to preach the Gospel to the South Saxons in 681 A. D. at this time he had been evicted from Northumbria, he found there was Celtic monks already here `among them a certain monk of the Scottish nation whose name was Dical who had a very small monastery at the place called Boshanham, encompassed with the sea and woods, and in it five or six brothers who served the Lord in poverty and humility; but none of the natives cared either to follow their course of life or to hear their preaching`, (this being said what must be borne in mind is the different approaches to Christ`s word, Dical would have asked King Ethelwalch for a piece of land and would then have just got on with it and by their success or failure, people would have seen with their own eyes faith put into practice, it is a very quiet approach to Christ`s word, as it is about the awakening within oneself, whereas Wilfrid as seen at the Synod of Whitby was a very arrogant man who used the word for his own gain, this was the slow approach of the Church of Rome, as it slowly broke away from the Catholic church `Orthodoxy` to eventually from the Roman Catholic Church, fundamentally different from the Catholic Church set up in the 4th century by St. Constantine.)
Wilfrid having visited Rome after his expulsion from his bishopric in Northumbria, returned to England, but was in turn forced to leave Northumbria, Mercia and Wessex, Ethelwalch, King of the South Saxons, had recently been baptized in Mercia, and therefore welcomed Wilfrid`s offer to help in the conversion of the kingdom would have wanted the removal of Dical and the Celtic church which he represents, in recording Wilfrid`s success in his mission, Bede mentions not only his preaching, but his practical good sense in teaching the people how to relieve a famine, by instructing them in the art of fishing which they had not formerly known.
A stylized representation of the church appears in the Bayeux tapestry, with Earl Harold setting out on the journey which placed him in William`s power, conveniently forgetting it was the witan who sort and gave the most able man to be the King of the English. It is also reckoned that here was the place where King Canute was placed on the shore and tried to turn back the tide, knowing he did not have this power, and to let his subjects know a king does not have divine power.
Back to the church fabric the ground plans show, even for Anglo-Saxon workmanship, a remarkable disregard for the right angle; but the church itself has been of good quality, for almost the whole Anglo-Saxon fabric has remained to this day, which consists of a west tower, nave and chancel, which was first enlarged in Norman times when they lengthened the chancel, in the Early English Period the chancel was again lengthened, and the nave widened by adding a north and south aisles, the latter with a crypt beneath the eastern end, the Anglo-Saxon chancel appears to be insignificant to the grand Anglo-Saxon nave it may have been in an apsidal form destroyed by the later builders.



Use Bosham car-park will need a ticket, but not far from the church.


Bosham station is on the south coast line, running from Brighton, Portsmouth onto Southampton. Southern Trains.

Waterloo. South West Trains. may need a change at Chichester.

Both have regular services.


Chichester bus station No 56 Mon – Sat. no evening service.

Regular hourly service to Bosham car-park.

Stagecoach No 700 coastliner Brighton to Portsmouth/Southsea.

Regular seven day service, will need to alight bus at Bosham roundabout on the A259, could pick up the No 56 at Chichester bus station.


Baileys Tea Rooms
In Bosham walk art & craft centre.
Tel – 07760 485282
Open 7 days a week Summer 1000 hrs – 1730 hrs
Winter 1000 hrs – 1700 hrs.

Millstream Hotel & restuarant
Bosham lane, Bosham.
Tel – 01243 572234

The Anchor Blue
High street, Bosham.
Tel – 01243 573956




The street, Arlington, East Sussex, BN26-6SE. O/S map 183 ref TQ 543 075

Tel Vicar 01323 870512

The small village of Arlington, beside the river Cuckmere, shortly before it cuts its way into the South Downs, leading to the sea near Beachy Head, the church is small consisting of an aisleless chancel with north chapel, a nave with north aisle and south porch.
Evidence of Anglo-Saxon work is in the nave with high thin walls characteristic of their techniques of building, plus long-and-short quoining and a double splayed window high up on the south wall, with many other A/S features around the church.



Bishopstone road, Bishopstone, East Sussex, BN25-2UD.   O/S map  183 ref TQ 472 010

Tel Vicar 01323 723739 no e-mail

Parking by the church.

Pub in Seaford

Bus Service Seaford too Newhaven.

Railway station  Bishopstone station

Although then church now serves a tiny village, in a quiet valley close to the sea, which in the Anglo-Saxon period was a river valley, allowing boats to come up to below the church, why no doubt in the Domesday Book was of considerable importance, as the Bishop of Chichester had a seat there, also an excavation of the Glebe during a 3 year period, a the foundation of a wooden bell tower, together with other buildings of a pre-Conquest/Crusade date.
The pre-Conquest/Crusade church probably consisted of the existing nave and south chapel, or porticus, together with a small square chancel to the east and possibly a north porticus to balance that on the south, it is probable that at the time the south chapel had no outer doorway, and that the principle or only entry into the church was a western doorway, there is an Anglo-Saxon sundial above the eastern door.



off the A272, Cowfield road, Bolney, West Sussex.   O/S map 182 ref TQ 261 226.

Tel vicar 01403 865945   e-mail on the church web-site

Parking is at the end of the road by the church.

Bolney is about 12 miles north of Brighton, beside the London road `A23`.
There is a preserved the head of a doorway which shows distinct Anglo-Saxon influence, the main fabric of the church is French-Norman, rather than Anglo-Saxon.



Annington road, Botolphs, West Sussex, BN44-3WB. O/S map 182 ref TQ 810 092

Tel Vicar 01903 810265   e-mail on church web-site

Parking is by the church

The parish church of St. Botolphs is now represented only by a few scattered houses along a narrow by-road, which leads from Steyning in the north to Shoreham-by-pass `A27`.
In Roman times and thereafter, there appears to be a thriving village here, with a bridge which crosses the river Ardur, flowing down to the coast on the east side to Shoreham-by-Sea, there appears also to have been a small seaport here.
The church, of plastered flints, now consists of an aiseless nave and chancel, with a later square west tower. The fabric of the nave seems, in the main to be late-Saxon, and the chancel-arch although much altered is late-Saxon, there is much 14th century work in the church.



North Street, Chichester,  Sussex, O/S map 181,  ref  SU 862-048

The church of St Olave, now a bookshop in North Street, Chichester, it was somewhat drastically restored in 1852, when a number of interesting features which came to light were fully described by the Rev P. Freeman. The opening then discovered in the east wall was regarded by Freeman as clear evidence of pre-conquest date, but was unfortunately destroyed. The tall narrow doorway in the south wall has survived, but is heavily plastered and is inaccessible from outside so it is not possible to confirm whether it is pre-conquest.



Chithurst lane, Chithurst, West Sussex, GU31-5EU.      O/S map 181,  ref  SU 842-230

Tel  01730 821576

Bus Service     Worthing / South street  too Midhurst / bus station  &  Guilford too Bognor Regis passes through Midhurst.  There is a bus service to Chithurst but cannot be found.

Railway station   Pulborough for Worthing bus service  &  Chichester/Guildford  for Guildford bus service.

About mid-way between Petersfield and Midhurst, and a mile/1.6km north of the main road, Chithurst church is most attractively situated beside the River Rother in a raised churchyard, near to a very fine house. Apart from the insertion of larger windows, and the provision of a small porch over the west door, the church stands now much as it was built about thousand years ago, its walls are lightly plastered over the main fabric of stone rubble which is laid roughly in courses but with some herring-bone work: and all sis quoins are of large stones lain in side-alternate fashion. The church is one of the smallest described on this web-site consisting simply of an almost square chancel, a tall, rectangular nave, with western bell-cote, and a later, half-timbered, west porch.



Underhill lane, Clayton, West Sussex, BN6-9PJ.    O/S map 182,  ref  TQ 298-139

Tel   01273 875894

pub in Hassocks.

Bus service  Brighton to Hayward’s Heath.

Railway station   Hassocks on the London too Brighton line.

After crossing the Downs, about 6 miles/9.6km north of Brighton, the road to Hayward’s Heath drops steeply into Clayton where the interesting church of St John stands close beside the foot of the Downs. In spite  of changes both in the Middle Ages and more recently  the church does not now look very different from the aisleless nave and chancel which were built about a thousand years ago. The chancel has been lengthened, but the original, massive quoin-stones seems to have been re-used; side chapels were later added to the nave, but these have disappeared, and their former existence is now indicated only by the blocked arches which used to open to them, and a large modern south vestry is hidden from view if the churchyard is entered by the main gate to the north.



off north at crossroads in centre of Elsted road, Elsted, West Sussex, GU29-0JY.   O/S map 181,  ref  SU 816-197

Tel  01730 825428

Pub in the village.

Bus service   Petersfield too Midhurst

Railway station  Petersfield on London to Portsmouth line.

In 1848 this pleasant little church about 5 miles/8km  east-south-east of Petersfield, together with the churches of the neighbouring parishes of Treyford and Didling, was abandoned in favour of a new structure which had been built midway between Elsted and Treyford as a ‘cathedral of the Downs’. By the early years of the twentieth century, the nave of Elsted church had become a roofless ruin in which only the east and north walls, and parts of the west and south walls remained; while the chancel was in use for occasional services. Towards the close of the Second World War it was found that the pretentious church erected a century earlier was almost beyond repair, and the sensible decisions was taken to bring the ancient parish churches back into use once more.

At Elsted the work of repair was carried out between 1952 and 1957, and the church now consists of the restored nave and chancel, with a modern porch and vestry flanking the nave on the south. The original north and east walls of the nave, and the early parts of the west wall, are of distinctive, herring-bone construction of chalk rubble. The north wall is only 2ft 4in/0.7m thick, but contains two simple round-headed French-Norman arches which are now blocked but formerly opened to the north aisle.



London road, Hardham, West Sussex, RH20-1LE.   O/S map 182,  ref  TQ 038-176

Tel  01708 839057

Pubs in Pulborough and surrounding area.

Bus service  Worthing to Alford  &  Chichester to Storrington, both call at Pulborough railway station. ‘Compass travel 2019’

Railway station   Pulborough.

About a mile/1.6km south-west of Pulborough the church of St Botolph is now perfectly set back from the busy main road A283, on a loop of the old road which has been abandoned in favour of a more direct route. The church built mainly of local sandstone and ironstone rubble, with some Roman bricks in the chancel, has large blocks of sandstone, set in side-alternate fashion for its quoins, it has preserved its original form almost unchanged except for the addition of a porch to protect the north door; and it still consists of the original aisles square-ended chancel, and aisles rectangular nave. There is a small bell-cote on the eastern gable of the nave.

The church is difficult to date with certainty because, although a number of features have survived, yet these are all of the type, that could belong either to the late Anglo-Saxon period or to the early French-Normans.

In 1862 an amazing discovery was found of wall paintings being found from the early 12th century being painted by a group called the Lewes Group shortly after 1100s. Today their rich colours have faded, but the extent of the paintings, covering almost every part of the church means they are among the most important wall paintings in the county. The paintings include the Annunciation scenes from the nativity and the apostles, a depiction of St George. Most notable, however, are the group of paintings in the chancel depicting scenes from the story of Adam and Eve.



Church lane, Jevington, East Sussex, BN26-5QE.      O/S map 183,  ref  TQ 561-015

Tel  01232 870376.

Pub  Eight Bells,   Tel  01232  484442.

Bus service  –  Eastbourne, Bildredge rd, stop G.  Cuckmore Bus services, Jevington, Eastbourne.

Railway station –  Eastbourne

The church has a beautiful setting in the heart of the South Downs, about 4 miles/6.4km north-west of Eastbourne; but, it has unfortunately suffered so heavily at the hands of nineteenth-century restorers that its Anglo-Saxon features are almost unrecognizable. The fabric of the tower is mainly flint with dressed-stone quoins and facings; while the nave, north aisle and aisles chancel are of coursed, roughly dressed stone and flint.



1 Abinger Place, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7-2QA.    O/S map 183,  ref  TQ 414-1QA

Tel   01273 474377

Pub plenty in Lewes.

Railway station    Lewes.

An unexpected and interesting relic of the past has been preserved in the otherwise drab nineteenth-century flint and brick church of  St John-sub-Castro, on the northern slopes of the Castle Hill at Lewes, close beside the banks of the River Ouse. The church stands in St John’s Terrace and the Anglo-Saxon doorway is built into the east wall of an organ chamber on the north side of the chancel, only the outer face of the doorway has been preserved, its arched round head is built of thirteen stones of very varying size and shape, cut with markedly non-radial joints.



3 The Paddock, Lyminster, West Sussex, BN17-7QH.    O/S map 181,  ref  TQ 023-047

Tel  01903 882724

Pub   plenty in Littlehampton.

Bus service   Littlehampton to Arundel.

Railway station   Littlehampton.

About a mile/1.6km north of Littlehampton, the church of St Mary Magdaline stands on a tongue of higher land in otherwise flat meadows, beside the lower reaches of the Arun, once practically an arm of the sea and the Portus de Arundel of Anglo-Saxon times. A few hundred yards/m to the north of the church is a knucker-hole a deep fissure in the chalk, with never failing water; this has been associated locally with a dragon legend, and the ribbed twelfth-century coffin slab near the porch is traditionally described as that of the ‘Knight who slew the dragon’.

The history of the parish begins with the will of Alfred the Great, who left it to his nephew Osferd, in 901 A.D., its name then was Lullyngminster, and it can be found in the Domesday Book. There was probably a church on the present site in King Alfred’s day and there was also a Benedictine Nunnery, al least a hundred years before the French-Norman Conquest/Crusade. This stood where the farmyard now is, to the south of the church but there are no signs of it left. After the Conquest/Crusade, the Nunnery was re-founded.

The present church walls of the church date from about 1040. The nave or main part of the church was the Parish church, and the chancel where the choir stalls are, was originally the Nun’s church, separated from the nave by a high solid wooden partition. The north aisle, where you now come into the church was added in about 1170 when the chancel was still the Nun’s church, and the east end of it where the Font now is, was a little chapel. The early history of the church explains why the chancel is so long, in proportion to the nave.



O/S map 181,  ref  SZ 894-983



Anglo-Saxon Architecture Volumes I, II & III.  Authors H.M. Taylor & Joan Taylor.

scroll to (new links 2015-16)

by Michael George Shapland (click here) a large pdf of 50mb for all the volumes of above.

For information on train and bus services :- https://www.the trainline. com/