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All Saints, Buncton, Sussex

(50°54′47″N, 0°22′26″W)
TQ 144 139
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now West Sussex
  • Kathryn Morrison
31 March 1997

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Buncton is a small village in the Horsham district of West Sussex, 11 miles S of Horsham. All Saints is a small church built of flint and rubble in a rural location, comprising a single nave with opposing N and S doorways and a short, square-ended chancel. Until 2007 it was a chapel-of-ease to St Mary’s, Wiston, but in that year the status of the two churches was reversed. Romanesque sculpture is found on a number of reset fragments and on the chancel arch.


A grant of land at Biohchandoune, identified as Buncton by Blaauw, was made by Ealdwulf to Bishop Wethun in 791. By 1066 Buncton was held by Leofwine from King Edward, and assessed at 4½ hides. In 1086 it was held by Robert from William de Braose. No church was recorded at that time.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Interior Decoration


The origin of the sculpture composing the chancel arcading is uncertain. It probably dates from the mid-12thc. The carving on the imposts of the chancel arch seems to have been done in situ, yet is 12thc. in style. Sometime between the 10th and 11th of November 2004 the naked figure on the N impost of the chancel arch was irreparably destroyed, either by thieves attemoting to remove it or by a puritanical vandal who objected to its presence in a place of Christian worhip. It is fortunate that it had been recorded, by ourselves and others, beforehand. We are grateful to Martin Duffy and the Sheela Na Gig Project for making their work available to us.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, 3 vols, London 1899, 71.

W. H. Blaauw, ‘Buncton. The Grant of Part of a Wood in Cealtborgsteal by Ealdwulf, Heretoga of the South Saxons, dated from the Hill of Biohchandoune, a.d. 791’, Sussex Archaeological Collections 8 (1856), 177-88.

I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 120.

The Sheela Na Gig Project. http://www.sheelanagig.org/wordpress/