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St Nicolas, Old Shoreham, Sussex

(50°50′27″N, 0°17′8″W)
Old Shoreham
TQ 208 060
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now West Sussex
  • Kathryn Morrison

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The aisleless nave of Old Shoreham is Anglo-Saxon. The tower which once stood at its W end was probably adapted as a nave extension in the mid-12thc., when the central tower and transepts were erected. The large chancel dates from the 14thc., and includes a tie beam carved with dogtooth. In 1840-43 two vestries were built in the angle of the N transept and chancel, and the church was restored.


The church of Old Shoreham is recorded in Domesday Book. In 1073 William de Braose granted the tithes to St Nicholas, Bramber, butc.1080 he granted Shoreham church to St Florent, Saumur, its dependency Sele Priory now holding the advowson. The church was restored 1840-44 by J.M. Neale and J.C. Buckler (Cambridge Camden Society), who built two N vestries (a choir vestry and a vicars vestry) on the site of the 14thc. N chapel. The chapel arch was restored after long exposure to weather. The N transept, and most of the church windows, were restored at the same time.

the dedication to St Nicholas is recorder in the Sele Chartulary, 47,c.1080.


Exterior Features



Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

Interior Decoration


The tie-beam (IV.5.i) appears to be of 12thc. date, in which case it would represent the sole piece of surviving 12thc. wood-carving in Sussex. However, the VCH expresses the opinion that it is of the 16thc. or early 17thc. (VCH, vi, p.170).

Victoria County History: Sussex, 6, p.168; pp.170-71.
R. Gem, Richard, 'The church of St Nicholas, Old Shoreham; the church of St Mary de Haura, New Shoreham', Proceedings of the Summer Meeting of the Royal Archaeological Institute at Chichester in 1985, Archaeological Journal, 1985, 32-36.
FSW Simpson, Churches of Shoreham, 1951 edn.