St Mary the Virgin, Walberton, Sussex

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Feature Sets (2)


The nave of Walberton has a bell-turret at the W end and aisles with plain round-headed arcades to N and S. The chancel has plain 13th-century lancet windows, but the chancel arch is probably slightly later.


Walberton and its church are mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1105 Robert de Haye gave the church to Lessay Abbey, which passed it on to its dependency, Boxgrove Priory,c.1160. The S aisle was rebuilt c.1800, various alterations were made in the 1850s and 60s and the chancel was restored inc.1894. There followed a drastic restoration in 1903 by Richard Creed.

A note on top of the font compares it to the plain tub fonts of Bepton, Tangmere, Didling and Chidham,and claims all are of the same stone, of the Eocene period, from the 'now lost Bracklesham Beds'. In fact, this was not the original font. In 1776 the font was square and supported on four columns. It was replaced in 1843. The present font was installed in 1903-04 after being found in a farmyard.




(Located at the W end of nave.) This irregular tapering tub font has an unlined basin and stands on a roughly carved circular plinth, which, in turn, stands on a modern plinth. The rim is carved with cable and is slightly damaged.

circ. 2.29 m
diam. 0.56 m (int. of basin); 0.72 m (ext.)
h. 1.06 m
h. of tub 0.52 m


Despite its uncertain provenance this does appear to have been a font. It can be dated toc.1100, on the basis of its shape, size and cable decoration.


  • Victoria County History: Sussex. V, Pt 1 (Arundel Rape - SW Part), (1997), 240-42.
  • J. Morris and J. Mothersill (ed.), Domesday Book: Sussex. Chichester 1976, 11.81.
  • I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 362.
  • A. K. Walker, An Introduction to the Study of English fonts with details of those in Sussex. London 1908, 36-37.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SU 971 058 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: West Sussex
medieval: Chichester
now: Chichester
medieval: St Mary the Virgin (mid 12thc.)
now: St Mary the Virgin
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison