St Mary De Haura, New Shoreham (now Shoreham-by-Sea), Sussex

Feature Sets (4)

Description

This unusually large parish church comprises an aisled choir, crossing tower, transept, and one nave bay, the remainder of the nave having collapsed in the early 18thc. The church was founded in the late 1120s or 1130s (see History, below), and the crossing tower (except for the upper bell-stage), transepts and nave date from the mid-12thc., as does the font. The first chancel had an apsidal termination, and a campaign to add aisles to its sides was undertaken - but possibly not completed - around 1160. The chancel was rebuilt as a fully-fledged choir, complete with aisles and galleries, in the late 12thc. and early 13thc. At the same time an additional bell-stage was added to the tower. The footings of the nave walls, which had collapsed by 1720, can be seen in the graveyard to the W of the church.

History

St Mary de Haura is first recorded between 1093 and 1139, when Philip de Braose (or Briouze), son of William de Braose, granted it to St Florent, near Saumur, on the Loire (Woodcock 1992, 91-92). Although this grant is traditionally thought to have been made between 1096 and 1103, a notification of 1144 indicates that it can be dated to the episcopacy of Seffrid I, who became Bishop of Chichester in 1125. A foundation date ofc.1125-39 would agree with the style of the earliest surviving parts of the building, which appear to have been erected in the 1140s.

Mid-12thc. documents refer to the church as a chapel, which received all tithes pertaining to the port and all rents in tithe and so it must have accrued considerable wealth. By the 1170s, however, St Mary de Haura had become a parish church in its own right. It was in the late 12thc., when the port of New Shoreham was at its peak, that the rebuilding of the chancel was undertaken, and although this work has been associated with the baronage of William de Braose III, who fell from royal favour in 1212, there is no evidence of his direct involvement. The church was appropriated to the priory of St Peter at Sele, a cell of St Florent, in 1396. From 1459 until 1948 it was held by Magdalene College, Oxford, and in 1948 it was transferred to the See of Chichester.

The nave fell into disrepair in the 17thc., and by 1720 its eastern bay, deprived of its aisles, had been converted into a W porch (B.L. Add. MS. 5673, f.43). Otherwise, only a section of the W wall remained above ground.

The church was thoroughly restored in 1876 by Arthur Loader; it is worth noting that some of the stonework replaced at that time is now in a very poor condition. In 1915 the choir was excavated by Walter Marshall, revealing that the original chancel was narrower than the present structure, and had an apsidal termination. Scarring on the E faces of the transepts led Marshall to postulate apsidal chapels in these positions, but when the areas to the E of the transepts were excavated in 1949, only straight walls were uncovered. Rather than representing apsidal chapels, these were probably the remnants of aisles which would have been added to the original chancel, work which would have involved the demolition of any transept chapels standing prior to that time (Woodcock 1992, 93-94).

The Sele Cartulary, Nd, refers to the dedication to St Mary De Haura.

Features

Exterior Features

Doorways

Nave, W Doorway

This doorway has been reset in the W wall of the truncated nave, and may have been the original W doorway. In its present position it has a pointed arch, but was probably round-headed originally. It has a plain, continuous inner order. The main order comprises en delit columns with worn capitals; the bases are below present ground level. The impost blocks are also very worn. The arch is carved with beak-head, but very few voussoirs retain surface detail. The heads grasp an angle roll in their beaks. The label was carved with spheres or pellet, and is again extremely worn: very few entire spheres survive, and even some which appear to have been renewed are now very worn. The springers of the label were carved with figural or foliage motifs, now too worn to be deciphered.

Dimensions
aperture
h. 2.43 m
w. 1.52 m

Windows

Choir aisles

The windows of the choir aisles are all neo-Norman, with the possible - but unlikely - exception of the E window of the S aisle.

Crossing tower, lower bell stage

There are two twin bell openings on each side of the tower at this level. The openings are paired under a round-headed arch with a roll moulding carried by carved capitals.

E side, N arch

S capital: worn.

C capital: worn.

N capital: worn.

E side, S arch

S capital: Double scallop with hollow shields, worn.

C capital: Triple scallop, renewed.

N capital: worn.

N side, E. arch

E capital: worn.

C capital: triple scallop, renewed

W capital: double scallop, worn.

N side, W. arch

E capital: worn.

C capital: chamfered, triangular face, renewed.

W capital: scallop? Worn.

S side, E arch

W capital: U shape and pellet, very worn, on each face.

C capital: chamfered, with triangle containing shield on face, renewed.

E capital: worn.

S side, W arch

W capital: triple scallop.

C capital: chamfered, renewed.

E capital: worn.

W side, N arch

N capital: triple scallop with hollow shields.

C capital: triple scallop, renewed.

S capital: worn.

W side, S. arch

N capital: worn.

C capital: triple scallop, damaged, renewed.

S capital: scallop? worn.

Crossing tower, upper bell stage

Each side of the upper stage of the bell tower contains two triple openings. Each opening is surmounted by a round-headed arch, within a pointed arch. The inner arch is plain, while the outer arch has a roll moulding. The labels and impost blocks are plain. There is a circular clock face in the centre of each side, and a blocked sound hole (?) in each spandrel. A corbel table runs along the top (see below).

E side, N arch

S capital: worn.

SC capital: worn.

NC capital: chamfered, renewed.

N capital: worn.

E side, S arch

S capital: double scallop.

SC capital: volute capital, renewed (?)

NC capital: chamfered, renewed.

N capital: worn.

N side, E arch

E capital: chamfered, renewed.

EC capital: chamfered.

WC capital: chamfered

W capital: worn.

N side, W arch

E capital: worn.

EC capital: chamfered, renewed.

WC capital: worn.

W. capital: worn.

S side, W arch

W capital: chamfered.

WC capital: volute capital.

EC capital: swallowing mask (?)

E capital: chamfered.

W capital: chamfered.

WC capital: worn.

EC capital: worn.

E capital: worn.

W side, N arch

N capital: worn.

NC capital: worn.

SC capital: chamfered, renewed.

S capital: worn.

W side, S arch

N. capital: worn.

NC capital: chamfered, renewed.

SC capital: worn.

S capital: worn.

Nave clerestorey.

One round-headed clerestorey window survives on either side of the E nave bay. They have continuous sill and impost bands.

N Window

Internally and externally this window comprises engaged nook shafts with attic bases and carved capitals supporting an arch carved with a plain roll. Internally, the E capital is a double scallop with sheaths, and may have been replaced. Only a small part of the W capital is visible. Externally, the capitals are very worn.

S Window

The exterior of this window has been completely rebuilt. Internally, only the E jamb survives, complete with an engaged nook shaft and carved (fluted?) capital.

N Transept clerestorey

Two clerestorey windows survive on the E, N and W walls of the N transept. In each case, inside and out, these have en delit shafts with carved capitals carrying a roll archivolt. The labels are shallow. There are continuous impost and sill bands.

E window, N wall.

Externally this windows has been completely renewed. Internally, the E. capital is a triple scallop, while the W. capital has a central shield flanked by volute-like projections.

N window, E wall.

Externally, both capitals are carved with a central shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop). The internal capitals, are of the same type.

N window, W wall

Externally, the N capital is carved with a central shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop); the S capital appears to have scallops (?). Internally, both capitals are double scallops.

S window, E wall.

Externally, the S capital is a double scallop, the N capital a cushion (?). Internally, double scallops.

S window, W wall

Externally the N capital appears to be a cushion, while the S capital is carved with a central shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop). Internally, both are of the latter type.

W window, N wall.

Externally this window has been completely renewed. Internally the E. capital has a central shield flanked by volute-like projections; the W. capital is a double scallop.

S Transept clerestorey

Two clerestorey windows survive on the E, S and W walls of the S transept. In each case, inside and out, these have en delit shafts with carved capitals carrying a roll (or chevron, where indicated) archivolt. The labels are shallow. There are continuous impost and sill bands.

E window, S wall

Externally, both capitals are damaged; that on the E may be carved with scallops. Internally, the arch of this window is carved with chevron. The capitals have a central shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop).

N window, E wall

Externally, the capitals are both worn. Internally, the N capital appears to be a double scallop with vertical striations in the centre of the face. The S capital has a central shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop).

N window, W wall

Externally both capitals are carved with a shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil capital), but the N capital may have been replaced. Internally, the arch of this window is decorated with chevron. Both capitals have a central shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop).

S window, E wall

Externally, the capitals are both worn but seem to have had scallops. Internally, both capitals have a central shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop).

S window, W wall

Externally, both capitals have been replaced. The N capital is a cushion, while the other replacement is broken. Internally, the S capital appears to be a plain cushion, while the N capital may be a double scallop.

W window, S wall

Externally the W capital is carved with a shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop). The E capital is a double scallop with sheaths. Internally, the arch of this window is carved with chevron. Each capital has a central shield flanked by volute-like projections (cf: trefoil scallop).

S Transept, gable triplet

The roof of the S transept has been replaced by one with a lower pitch, as demonstrated by the scar of the earlier roof against the S wall of the crossing tower. In lowering the pitch of the roof, the triplet in the S gable was largely destroyed. What survives are the jambs of the central arch, and the inner jambs of those flanking it. These have en delit shafts with worn attic bases and scallop capitals. The plain arch of the central arch survives. This triplet may have contained windows, or may have been blind.

Exterior Decoration

String courses

Crossing tower

The string course at sill level on the lower bell stage is carved with triangular (or chevron) motifs on face and soffit.

Corbel tables, corbels

Crossing tower

None of these corbels appears to be Romanesque, although some are so worn it is impossible to be certain from ground level. Some are clearly post-Romanesque.

Miscellaneous

Crossing tower

Columns on angles of lower bell stage of crossing tower. These columns are engaged nook shafts with volute capitals.

Interior Features

Arches

Tower/Transept arches

Crossing arches

The W crossing arch is higher than those to E, S and N. The W arch has three orders on each side, while the others have three to the crossing and two on the outer side, facing the choir or transepts. The W side of the W arch is carved, while all of the others have a squared profile and are quite plain. The arches are carried by half columns rather than nook shafts. Some of the shallow attic bases have been cut back, others have been replaced, and a few have spurs.

Crossing, E arch

Inner order, shared

The N capital is a triple scallop with hollow shields and cusped V-shaped sheaths. The S capital is a plainer, slightly bulbous triple scallop with V-shaped sheaths and simple shields.

Second order, E side:

The N capital is a double scallop capital with hollow shields and cusped V-shaped sheaths. The S capital is a triple scallop composed of two superimposed blocks. The upper block is carved with semi-circular rosettes with beaded bands, and the lower block with cones with V-shaped sheaths. The two blocks are misaligned.

Second order, W side:

The S base has a spur. The N capital is a double scallop with hollow shields and cusped V-shaped sheaths. The S capital is carved with a dragon on both faces, with a shared head at the top of the angle. The faces are filled with irregular interlace created by the dragons' tails.

Third order, W side:

The S base has a spur. The N capital is a double scallop with hollow shields and cusped V-shaped sheaths. It may be a replacement. The S capital is very worn. The lower part is carved with a row of roundels with drilled frames, interlaced with a drilled semi-circle above the necking.

Crossing, N arch

Inner order, shared

The E capital is carved with two tiers of shields, arranged to create a scale pattern. The lower row of shields are hollowed. On each angle is an upright roll with a cusped tip. The cones of the W capital have fluted sheaths. The NE angle is broken, while the SE angle has a volute.

Second order, N side.

The E capital is a double scallop with hollow shields and cusped V-shaped sheaths. The W capital is carved with three or four tiers of hollowed shields arranged in a scale pattern, although some of the shields are within larger shields. The impost is damaged.

Second order, S side.

The E capital is a double scallop with hollow shields and cusped V-shaped sheaths. The triple scallop W capital has V-shaped sheaths. Its impost block is damaged.

Third order, S side.

The E capital is a double scallop with hollow shields and cusped V-shaped sheaths. The W capital has three shallow scallops with hollow shields, and incomplete V-shaped sheaths. The angle and impost are damaged.

Crossing, S arch

Inner order, shared

On the E is a damaged multi-scallop capital with fluted cusping along the top. The cones have sheaths. On the W is a very ornate double scallop capital with trefoil-shaped cones.

Second order, N side:

The top of the E capital is incised with horizontal lines, as if marked out for carving. The lower part is carved with undulating foliage. The W capital is multi-scalloped, with fluted shields and a volute-like projection on the angle.

Second order, S side:

The E capital has been destroyed, and the W capital is a multi-scallop, block-shaped at the top.

Third order, N side:

The E capital is multi-scalloped, with slightly bulbous cones with sheaths, and small, hollow shields. The W capital is a double scallop with symmetrical, irregularly shaped hollow shields.

Crossing, W arch

Inner order, shared

The N base has spurs. The N capital is a triple-scallop capital with small shields between the main shields (alternatively described as a multi-scallop capital with alternating large and small shields). The shields are horse-shoe shaped. Waterleaf with curled tips decorates the angles, and the capital incorporates vertical, beaded stems. The astragal (necking) is plain, and the impost has a hollow chamfer. The S capital is similar, but has no beaded stems. The soffit of the arch is carved with a triple roll.

Second order, E side.

The capitals are plain, and comprise two superimposed blocks. These support an arch with a simple angle roll.

Second order, W side.

The N capital has a cushion shape and is composed of two superimposed blocks. The upper block is carved with incised foliage on both faces. The S capital is again composed of two superimposed blocks, both plain. The arch is carved with a combination of fret and chevron, ie: elongated fret with a decorated triangle projecting from the centre of each unit, forming a chain of alternating M and W shapes. There is an edge roll.

Third order, E side.

This has plain jambs, separated from the arch merely by the impost band, and a plain arch with a very shallow edge roll.

Third order, W side.

Both capitals comprise two blocks: in each case, the bottom is shaped like a cushion capital while the upper block is plain and squared. The arch has a plain angle roll, and the label is carved with sawtooth on the chamfer and beading on the upright.

Transept arches

Arch from N transept to N choir aisle

Early English.

Arch from N transept to N nave aisle

This arch is blocked but appears to have comprised two orders. On the S, the arch dies into the NW crossing pier, but the N capital of the outer order survives to E and W. The lower part of the W capital (external) is carved with a collarette of fat leaves, but the upper part is block-shaped and carved with foliage with curled tips. The E capital (internal) is a scallop capital with V-shaped sheaths and sunken shields. It is carried by an en delit shaft on a modern attic base. The visible archivolts are plain.

Arch from S transept to S choir aisle

Early English.

Arch from S transept to S nave aisle

This arch is blocked and appears to have comprised two orders. The N side dies into the SW crossing pier, but the S capital of the outer order survives to E and W. The E capital (internal) is carved with two rows of zig-zag, probably representing schematic foliage. Below capital level the arch is concealed by the vestry and associated structures, which occupy the transept. The W capital (external) is very worn but appears to have been carved in a similar manner to that on the E., or to have had scallops. The visible archivolts are plain.

Arcades

S arcade

The choir arcades are Early English.

Nave

N and S arcades

Only the E respond and one pier of each arcade survive. All are partly buried in the masonry of the walls, which enclose the remaining nave bay, and are consequently partly visible inside and partly outside the building. The semi-circular responds have lost much of their ashlar facings, but retain their multi-scallop capitals. These are quite simple, with plain V-shaped sheaths. The neckings are beaded, and the plain imposts have hollow chamfers. The capitals and imposts of the piers are of the same type. The arches comprise two orders and a label. The first order is carved with three plain rolls (ie: a soffit roll flanked by angle rolls) while the second has a larger, plain angle roll. The labels, facing both nave and aisle, are carved with simple sawtooth on a straight chamfer.

Wall passages/Gallery arcades

Triforium

Choir

The choir galleries are Early English.

Interior Decoration

Blind arcades

Choir

Blind arcades in N and S choir aisles. Each bay contains two round-headed arches. Each arch is carved with single hyphenated chevron, with the tip of each unit touching an angle roll. Each triangular unit is filled with a foliage motif. The arch is carried by columns with plain impost blocks, attic bases and carved capitals. A string course (or sill course) carved with pairs of curled leaves runs above the arcade.

N aisle, bay 1

W capital: double scallop with cusped sheaths, beaded bands and a volute-like projection on the angle.

C capital: foliage capital, much damaged. Formally close to waterleaf.

E capital: irregular composition, with spade-shaped leaf on angle and curled leaf to either side

N aisle, bay 2

W capital: waterleaf.

C capital: scallop capital, with large central shields flanked by volute-like projections, creating trefoil shape on face. V-shaped sheaths.

E capital: simplified waterleaf capital, with inverted palmettes carved beneath large volutes.

N aisle, bay 3

W capital: symmetrical foliage capital, with fluted upright leaf on angle, and curled leaf on each face.

C capital: symmetrical foliage capital, with flat, spoon-shaped leaf in centre of each face, flanked by schematic curled and fluted leaves. Inverted fleur-de-lis on angle.

E capital: capital with thick upright leaves applied to exposed bell. Volutes comprising spheres under curled tips of leaves on angle.

N aisle, bay 4

W capital: waterleaf.

C capital: symmetrical foliage capital, with two adorsed curled leaves on main face, and one on each side.

E capital: two tiers of fluted leaves with rounded tips, the upper tier also having curled tips. Above this a fat cable moulding.

N aisle, bay 5

Occupied by organ.

S aisle, bay 1

W capital: exposed bell, upright leaves with volutes on angles, spade-shaped leaf in centre of each face. Badly damaged.

C. capital: exposed bell, upright fluted leaves on angles and faces. Spheres above curled tips of leaves on angles.

E. capital: exposed bell, large volutes above fluted leaves on angles, layered leaves with curled pointed tips on faces.

S aisle, bay 2

W. capital: exposed bell, upright fluted leaves on faces and angles.

C. capital: exposed bell, upright fluted leaves on faces and angles.

E. capital: very badly damaged; remains of fluted foliage at sides.

S aisle, bay 3

W. capital: smooth upright leaves with curled tips; main angle broken.

C. capital: exposed bell, smooth upright leaves on angles, small spade-shaped leaf in centre of each face.

E. capital: exposed bell, smooth upright leaves with curled tips on angles, small spade-shaped leaf in centre of each face.

S aisle, bay 4

W. capital: exposed bell, two tiers of superimposed leaves with curled tips on angles; main angle broken.

C. capital: exposed bell, two tiers of upright fluted leaves on angles.

E. capital: exposed bell, upright leaves with curled tips on angles, spade-shaped leaf in centre of each face.

S aisle, bay 5

W. capital: smooth pointed leaf on each angle; pointed tip of additional leaf in centre of each face.

C. capital: exposed bell, upright leaves with volutes on angles, spade-shaped leaf in centre of each face.

E. capital: exposed bell, upright leaves with volutes on angles, spade-shaped leaf in centre of each face.

Furnishings

Fonts

The font is located under the crossing, and has no lid. It is of Purbeck marble (ie: smaller snails than Sussex marble), with low, broad proportions. The basin is unlined, and the spandrels of the upper surface are carved with stylised, radial foliage motifs. The NW spandrel is particularly worn, and the rim is damaged in the centre of the N side. The E face is carved with eight columns with spiral, or barley-twist decoration, standing on low plinths and carrying stylised foliage capitals. The S face is divided into triangular fields, each of which contains a motif resembling a distorted Maltese Cross with a central pellet. The W face is carved with two lunettes, each filled with three fan-shaped forms. There are pointed leaves in the spandrels, and again spiral columns on the angles. The N face has a chain of circles, each containing a Maltese Cross. The spandrels are filled with truncated triangles. This bowl is carried on five columns: a fat central shaft to contain the drain, and four slender angle shafts, all of which appear to have been renewed in Sussex (rather than Purbeck) marble. The angle columns have fluted and lobed capitals, while the central shaft is topped by a fat roll. The bases have simple, rounded profiles, and stand on a modern, rectangular plinth.

Dimensions
diam. of interior 0.69 m
h. (excl. plinth) 0.80 m
h. (incl. plinth) 0.96 m
h. of bowl 0.205 m
l. of E and W faces at top 0.85 m
l. of S and N faces at top 0.855 m

Comments/Opinions

The design of the crossing, transept and nave suggests that the church of New Shoreham was begun closer to 1139 than to 1103, as previously believed. The sculpture of the crossing is mature 'High' Romanesque, and would support a date in the 1140s. If the church was built in the traditional manner, from E to W, the first chancel would have dated from the 1130s. The design of the nave has been placed in the 1160s, leading Woodcock to suggest that it replaced an earlier structure (Woodcock 1992, 95). However, there is no reason to date the nave very much later than the crossing and transepts: the multi-scallop capitals are simpler than those of the crossing, but incorporate beaded astragals; the labels of the arches are decorated with sawtooth, and the imposts have a simple hollow chamfer. Moreover, the clerestorey windows are very similar to those of the transepts, which Woodcock thinks were raised in the 1160s. The present W doorway, probably the original W doorway, is ornamented with beakhead and scallop capitals, and cannot be dated much later than the mid 1150s. It seems likely that the entire church could have been erected in a straightforward campaign from E to W betweenc.1130 andc.1160.

At some time in the second half of the 12thc., aisles were added to the existing chancel. These may never have been completed and, for whatever reason, the entire E end was demolished and rebuilt around 1200. The design of the choir is far from homogeneous: most strikingly, the N arcade has alternating cylindrical and octagonal piers, while the S arcade has compound piers of unusual undulating profile throughout. With the exception of the Late Romanesque blind arcading in the aisles, the detail of the choir is uniformly Early English in conception, consistently displaying features such as keel mouldings, mature stiff-leaf foliage, a quatrefoil frieze, and shallow attic bases with leaf spurs. A highly plausible explanation for the stylistic discrepancy between the Romanesque blind arcading and the Early English style of the remainder of the choir has been put forward by Woodcock. She has suggested that most of the elements composing these blind arcades were retrieved from the earlier campaign, now datable toc.1160, to add aisles to the original chancel (Woodcock, 99). A close study of the blind arcade reveals a misalignment of blocks, especially amongst the chevron mouldings, which proves that the material was, indeed, reused. It was padded out with elements dating fromc.1200, notably the arches of the W bay on the S side, which are carved with deeply undercut foliage related to that of the N arcade, rather than with chevron, and many of the capitals, especially on the S side.

The New Shoreham choir is often dated toc.1180, but probably began in the 1190s orc.1200. Locally, it is related to the post-fire (ie: post 1187) rebuilding at Chichester Cathedral, and possibly to the choir of Boxgrove Priory. It has also been compared with St Mary's, Reigate (Woodcock 1992, 100).

Bibliography

  • Victoria County History: Sussex, 6, p.168; pp.170-71.
  • B. Green, 'New Shoreham', Sussex Archaeological Collections 76, 1935, 201-12.
  • M. F. Drummond-Roberts, Some Sussex Fonts Photographed and Described. Brighton 1935, 78.
  • W. Marshall, Brief Notes on the Architecture of St Mary de Haura, Edinburgh 1915.
  • R. Gem, 'The church of St Nicholas, Old Shoreham; the church of St Mary de Haura, New Shoreham', Proceedings of the Summer Meeting of the Royal Archaeological Institute at Chichester in 1985, Archaeological Journal, 1985, 32-36.
  • Salmon, E.F., 'Masons and other inscribed marks in New Shoreham Church, Sussex Archaeological Collections, 48, 1905, 145-49.
  • E. Sharpe, The Architectural History of St Mary's, New Shoreham.
  • F.S.W. Simpson, The Parish Churches of Shoreham, Sussex, 1951 edn.
  • S. Woodcock, 'The Building History of St Mary de Haura, New Shoreham', Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 145 (1992), 89-103.
  • A. K. Walker, An Introduction to the Study of English fonts with details of those in Sussex. London 1908, 74-77.

Location

Site Location
New Shoreham (now Shoreham-by-Sea)
National Grid Reference
TQ 216 051 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: West Sussex
Diocese
medieval: Chichester
now: Chichester
Dedication
now: St Mary De Haura
medieval: St Mary De Haura
Type of building/monument
Chapel  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison