St Margaret, Ifield, Sussex

Feature Sets (2)

Description

A rendered parish church, now on the outskirts of Crawley, comprising a W tower (1883) with a broach spire, an aisled nave(14thc.) with a king-post roof and clerestorey and a square chancel (13thc.). The 12thc. font is the earliest feature of the site.

History

Ifield is mentioned in the Domesday Book, but no church. In the late 12thc. or early 13thc. (before 1204) William de Braose gave the church to Rusper Nunnery (VCH vol II, 63ff). Rusper Nunnery also held the churches of Warnham, Selham and, from 1231, Horsham.

Features

Furnishings

Fonts

A square bowl of Sussex marble, circular and lead-lined inside. The sides are plain but a roll is carved around the top edge. The NE and SW corners, and the W side, are damaged. The basin is supported by five columns: one large central shaft and four slender corner shafts with stylised waterleaf capitals with fat neckings and bulbous bases with spurs. The columns stand on three superimposed plinths. The upper plinth is carved from the same piece of Sussex marble as the font while the middle plinth is a separate piece of Sussex marble; the lower plinth, of indeterminate stone, is clearly modern. (Loc: W end of nave, off-set to N)

Dimensions
E and W sides of bowl 0.585 m
h. of bowl 0.23 m
h. of lower plinth 0.23 m
h. of middle plinth 0.16 m
h. of upper plinth, supports and basin 0.87 m
N and S sides of bowl 0.580 m
Total h. of font 1.26 m

Comments/Opinions

The font belongs to a large group of Sussex marble fonts with square basins and columnar supports. It seems to pre-date any of the church fabric, but this design may have continued into the 13thc.

Bibliography

  • I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 206-07.

Location

Site Location
Ifield
National Grid Reference
TQ 247 375 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: West Sussex
Diocese
medieval: Chichester
now: Chichester
Dedication
now: St Margaret
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison