All Saints, East Dean, Sussex

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Feature Sets (3)


The church, restored in 1870, has a single-cell nave but there are two blocked arches of an arcade on its N side. There are two doorways, a round-headed N doorway, now blocked, and a pointed S doorway sheltered by a porch. The transept carries a central tower, and there is a square-ended chancel. Romanesque sculpture is found in the S nave doorway and on a capital supporting the modern font.


East Dean is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. It formed part of the prebend of the collegiate church of Arundel, which was given to Chichester Cathedral in 1150.

Peat and Halsted reported that the upper part of the original font was 'broken up and built into the walls'.


Exterior Features


Nave, S doorway

Pointed, of three orders, retaining much whitewash.

First order: plain chamfered jambs, no capitals but hollow-chamfered impost blocks with a salient roll above the hollow and a shallow one below it. Plain chamfered arch.

Second order: nook shafts on attic bases sitting on oblique, rather than stepped plinths; plain neckings, carved capitals (see below) and impost blocks continuous with those of first order. L capital: of the waterleaf variety, incorporating a lower tier of spade-shaped leaves as well as tall, pointed leaves. Rim of bell visible. Main angle damaged. R capital: carved with a single row of pointed leaves; the tip of that on the main angle is broken. Rim of bell visible. Angle roll in the arch.

Third order: as second order; both the capitals as second order, L capital, and both once again damaged at the angle. Arch as second order.

Plain label.

h. of opening 2.45 m
w. of opening 1.055 m
h. 0.17 m
max. w. 0.18 m




Situated in the nave, opposite the S doorway. The modern, octagonal font sits directly on top of an upturned multi-scallop capital composed of flattened cones terminating in small, hollowed shields. These appear to have been truncated and recut. The capital now rests on a circular 'plinth', of a different type of stone.

circ. 1.65 m
h. 0.20 m


Nairn and Pevsner dated the S doorway toc.1200, noting that the capitals were, ' . . . on the way to becoming crockets'. Although on every capital the tip of the axial leaf is broken, none appear to have been tightly curled, and so the reference to crockets is unjustified. The doorway is more likely to date from the last quarter of the 12thc.

Of the font base, Nairn and Pevsner wrote: 'But the base looks just like a large upturned capital with multiple trumpet scallops. And that, surely, is what it was - not reused from the church, but brought in by the 12thc. as their equivalent of Government surplus.'


  • Victoria County History: Sussex. 4 (Chichester Rape) 1953, 95-96, with plan.

  • A.H. Peat and L.C. Halsted, Churches and Other Antiquities of West Sussex. Chichester 1912, 69.

  • I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 213-14.


Site Location
East Dean
National Grid Reference
SU 905 132 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: West Sussex
medieval: Chichester
now: Chichester
now: All Saints
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison