St Giles, Graffham, Sussex

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Feature Sets (3)


This church was virtually rebuilt by GE Street or his firm in 1874-87. It now comprises a three-bay aisled nave and a square-ended chancel with an organ chamber on its N side, and a chapel on it S. All that was retained of the medieval (largely late 12thc.) church were the nave and chapel arcades.


Graffham had a church in 1086. The entire building, except the nave arcades and tower was rebuilt in 1875. The tower was rebuilt in 1887.


Interior Features


S arcade

The chapel on the S side of the chancel is separated from it by a two-bay arcade carried by a central cylindrical pier. The arches are pointed, of one order, and chamfered. The square, multi-scalloped capital is surmounted by a narrow impost block with a grooved upright and a hollow. The SW corner of the impost block is damaged, the NW corner repaired. There are six cones on each side of the capital, separated by sheaths and crowned by plain shields. The waterholding base has stiff-leaf foliage spurs.

h. of capital inc. necking 0.22 m
h. of capital inc. necking and impost block 0.31 m
w. of capital 0.72 m (N side); 0.725 m (S and W sides); 0.73 m (E side)


N arcade

Pier 1 (19thc.)

The capital is of the same type as the corresponding capital of the S arcade (see above). There are shallow incisions around the edges of the shields, and the surface of the capital appears to bear traces of white and red paint. The waterholding base has no spurs.

Pier 2 (late-12thc.)

A square, multi-scalloped capital with seven cones on each face, a flat, pointed leaf on each of the NE and SE angles and half-length cones on the NW and SW angles. The cones are irregular and cylindrical; some are convex. The shields are plain, and there are no sheaths. The surface of the capital appears to have been recut, especially in the centre of the N and S sides. The SE angles of the impost block has been renewed. The attic base also seems to have been recut.

S arcade

Pier 1 (19thc.)

There are nine cones on each side of the square, multi-scalloped capital, but they are cylindrical rather than conical in shape. Those on the angles meet in a V-formation. They have plain shields, and are not separated by sheaths. The base of the pier is waterholding, without spurs.

Pier 2 (late-12thc.)

There are seven cones on each side of this square multi-scalloped capital, and one on each angle. The cones are once again cylindrical in shape rather than conical, and are now slightly convex, a form which disguises the transition from cone to shield. There are no sheaths. The base of the pier, cylindrical with a single torus moulding, appears to have been recut, and the impost block is heavily repaired.



Situated in the third bay of the N arcade. A plain, lead-lined tub (cylindrical) on two plinths, the upper one cylindrical and the lower one rectangular. There are traces of red and white paint and diagonal tooling on the surface of the bowl, and some repairs on the W side of the rim.

circ. 1.955 m
ext. diam. 0.625 m
h. of bowl and cylindrical plinth 0.65 m
h. of bowl only 0.485 m
int. diam. 0.50 m


The original nave arcade capitals date from the second half of the 12thc.


  • Victoria County History: Sussex. 4 (Chichester Rape) 1953, 59-60.
  • J. Morris and J. Mothersill (ed.), Domesday Book: Sussex. Chichester 1976, 11,17.
  • Graffham, St Giles, guide, nd: Some Notes on the Church of Saint Giles Graffham.
  • I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 231 (no mention of font).
  • A. K. Walker, An Introduction to the Study of English Fonts with Details of those in Sussex. London 1908, 48-49.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SU 929 167 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: West Sussex
medieval: Chichester
now: Chichester
now: St Giles
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison