St John the Baptist, Findon, Sussex

Feature Sets (3)

Description

The church comprises a W tower, a nave jointly roofed with an early 13thc. N aisle (sometimes mistakenly referred to as a twin nave), a transept and a square chancel.

History

A church of 'Findune' is mentioned in the Domesday Book. About 1155 it was served by a secular clerk but by 1210 there was a rector. It was restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1867-68.

Features

Interior Features

Arches

Tower/Transept arches

S transept arch

A wide, pointed, unchamfered arch in the E bay of the nave opened into the S transept (not entered). The impost blocks are carved with Romanesque motifs, but on each side only a small fragment of original late 12thc. carving survives; these are identifiable by traces of whitewash or plaster on their surfaces, which are less regular and smooth than those of the replacements.

Dimensions
W impost:
h. 0.145m
l. (original section) 0.11m
E impost:
h. 0.14m
l. (original section) 0.145m
E impost

The profile of this comprises an upright with a half-roll, and a sloping lower surface, also with a roll. Above the lower roll cusps alternate with triangular forms; beneath it, on a surface flush with the wall plane, are shallow cusps.

W impost

The profile is unusual, comprising an upright curving into a sloping lower surface without clear definition. The lower surface is carved with triangulated foliage motifs with cusped edges. Triangles of fluted leaf forms interlock with triangles of lobed leaf forms.

Furnishings

Fonts

The font is located at the W end of the N aisle. It has a very worn, unlined, octagonal, Sussex marble bowl, with a smooth capital on the angles to NE, NW, SE and SW. The angle colonnettes do not survive, and the bowl is supported only by the fat central column. The base is also very worn, but is clearly moulded to receive four angle shafts as well as the central shaft.

Dimensions
circumference 2.35 m
diam. (external ) 0.73 m
diam. (internal) 0.56 m
h. 0.84 m

Comments/Opinions

The S transept was not entered, but apparently contains a blocked 12thc. arch with carved decoration. Although the VCH claims that the font was replaced by a replica in 1867, it appears to date fromc.1200.

Bibliography

  • Victoria County History: Sussex. 6, Pt 1 (Bramber Rape - S Part), 1980, 31-33.
  • J. Morris and J. Mothersill (ed.), Domesday Book: Sussex. Chichester 1976, 13.11.
  • A. H. Peat and L. C. Halsted, Churches and Other Antiquities of West Sussex. Chichester 1912, 83-85.
  • I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 222-23.
  • A. K. Walker, An Introduction to the Study of English Fonts with Details of those in Sussex. London 1908, 96-97.

Location

Site Location
Findon
National Grid Reference
TQ 116 085 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: West Sussex
Diocese
medieval: Chichester
now: Chichester
Dedication
now: St John the Baptist
medieval: St John the Baptist (1261)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison