Peasmarsh church is essentially Norman, but was greatly enlarged in the 13thc. It has a W tower, an aisled nave with three-bay arcades, and a large square-ended Early English chancel. The main Norman feature is the chancel arch.
Neither the manor nor the church is mentioned in 1086. The church is mentioned in the confirmatory charter of Count Henry of Eu, recording what his grandfather Count Robert of Eu (d.c.1090) gave soon after the Conquest to a prebend of the collegiate church of St. Mary-in-Castro, Hastings. The stag relief was uncovered during the restoration project of 1926.
S side chancel, rectangular relief panel, carved with a quadruped (lion?) standing in profile, facing L. The beast has an open mouth and its tail is entwined between its legs.
SE buttress of chancel, W side, course below ground level contains a rectangular relief panel carved with a horned animal, probably a stag, standing in profile and facing R.
The horseshoe-shaped chancel arch comprises one order. On the W face of each jamb is a rectangular relief panel. That on the S jamb is carved with a quadruped (lion or dog?) in profile, pacing to the L and turning its head to bite its tail. There are traces of engraved diapering on its body. That on the N jamb is carved with a quadruped (lion or dog?) in profile, pacing to the R and turning its head. Part of the tail, curling over the body, survives and the beast may originally have been biting it. The inner faces of the impost blocks, facing N and S, are carved with a row of chip-carved zigzag. The chamfered surface beneath this is carved with rolls: five on the S and four on the N. The arch is plain.
|h. N jamb panel||0.32 m|
|h. S jamb panel||0.29 m|
Victoria County History: Sussex. IX (Rape and Honour of Hastings). 1937, 158-59.
D. Kahn, `Recently discovered eleventh-century reliefs from Canterbury', Gesta, 28, 1, 1989, 53-60.
G. M. Livett, 'Three Sussex Churches. Battle, Peasmarsh, Icklesham a study of their architectural history', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 47, 35-46.
M. Baylé, `Les chapiteaux de la chapelle Sainte-Paix Caen', Bulletin Monumental, 132, 1974, 261-72.