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St Mary the Virgin, Stopham, Sussex

(50°57′37″N, 0°32′25″W)
TQ 026 189
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now West Sussex
  • Kathryn Morrison
25 August 1997

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Feature Sets

The church has a W tower, a single nave (late 11thc.) with opposing doorways (into S porch and N vestry), and a raised chancel (13thc.?) with a narrower altar recess at its E end. The chancel arch has a simple angle roll on the W side. There are blocked Norman windows on either side of the chancel.


Stopham is entered in the Domesday Book, but no church is mentioned


Exterior Features



The nave doorways, which show a mixture of Anglo-Saxon (S doorway capitals) and Norman (N doorway capitals) features (ie: Saxo-Norman overlap), probably date from the late 11thc. Taylor and Taylor thought the S doorway pre-Conquest, and stated that the N doorway 'does not seem unreasonable as a work of the concluding years of the reign of Edward the Confessor'. They thought the chancel arch contemporary with the S doorway. The doorway arches can be compared with those of Bolney and Wivelscombe, but the angle roll introduces Norman vocabulary into what is otherwise an Anglo-Saxon language of architectural sculpture.


E. A. Fisher, The Saxon Churches of Sussex. Newton Abbot 1970, 187-91.

J. Morris and J. Mothersill (ed.), Domesday Book: Sussex. Chichester 1976, 11.25.

I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 341-42.

Rev. C.J. Robinson, 'Stopham', Sussex Archaeological Collections 27, 1877, 37-68.

H.M. and J. Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Architecture. Vol. 2, Cambridge, 1965. 578-80.