St Mary, Barnham, Sussex

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Feature Sets (2)


The church has a single nave, with a square weather-boarded bell-cote at the W end. There are two Norman windows on the S side, and a blocked arcade with pointed arches in the N wall. A timber truss serves to divide the nave from the 13thc. chancel. There is an organ chamber and vestry on the N side.


A church is mentioned in Domesday Survey (1086). In 1105 Robert de Haye gave Barnham to the Abbey of Lessay in Normandy and it later passed to Boxgrove Priory. The church was restored in 1865.




Located W of the S doorway. The font has a square bowl of worn Sussex marble, with a circular lead-lined basin. The heavily repaired base of the bowl is chamfered. The bowl is supported by five shafts: a fat central shaft and four more slender angle shafts which are, in fact, painted sections of iron drain piping. Their bulbous capitals are not original. The upper surface of the plinth is moulded to provide these shafts with bases, but again these have been recreated in a bulbous form. Each side of the bowl is carved with arcading and foliage motifs.

E and S faces: an eight-bay arcade, with plain, round-headed arches under a strip of billet-like decoration.

W face: foliage scroll in panel above very worn arcading

N face: the shape of the panel is clear (cf: W face) but the motifs are too worn to be deciphered. The top panel appears to have a foliage scroll.

diam. of interior of basin 0.54 m
h. (incl. plinth) 1.00 m
h. (not incl. plinth) 0.80 m
l. of each side 0.69 m


The font dates from the late 12thc.


  • Victoria County History: Sussex. 5, Pt 1 (Arundel Rape - SW Part), (1997) 114-17.
  • M. F. Drummond-Roberts, Some Sussex Fonts Photographed and Described. Brighton 1935, 8.
  • J. Morris and J. Mothersill (ed.), Domesday Book: Sussex. Chichester 1976, 11.82.
  • A. H. Peat and L. C. Halsted, Churches and Other Antiquities of West Sussex. Chichester 1912, 34.
  • I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 99-100.
  • A. K. Walker, An Introduction to the Study of English Fonts with Details of those in Sussex. London 1908, 66-67.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SU 956 035 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: West Sussex
medieval: Chichester
now: Chichester
now: St Mary
medieval: St Mary the Virgin (1105)
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison