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St Mary, Shipley, Sussex

(50°59′3″N, 0°22′12″W)
TQ 145 218
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now West Sussex
  • Kathryn Morrison

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This is essentially a 12thc. church, comprising a nave with a N aisle (1893), a central tower with large, single bell openings and a square chancel. The N aisle and vestry were added by JL Pearson in 1893.


No church is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Given to the Priory of Sele by William de Braose then given to the Knights Templar between 1125 and 1130. Present building probably built by the Knights Templars as a preceptory (late 1130s?)


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

The W doorway appears to have been inserted and rebuilt with a pointed arch. The tower arches appear to be heavily restored; the chevron is not quite believable (akin to Albourne). Possibly the inner orders of the E tower arch were a reinforcement, added at a later date. The soffit of the W arch has a 19thc. appearance; it serves no structural function.


R. Gem, 'An early church of the Knights Templars at Shipley, Sussex', Proc. of the Battle Conference 1983, 238-46.

R McDowall, 'Proceedings of the Summer Meeting of the Royal Archaeological Institute at Chichester in 1985: Church of St Mary, Shipley'. The Archaeological Journal 1985, 63.
I Nairn and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 321-23.
R Roberts, Twelfth-Century Church Architecture in Sussex. 1988, 99-105.