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St Peter, Wivelsfield, Sussex

(50°58′15″N, 0°5′44″W)
TQ 338 208
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now East Sussex
  • Kathryn Morrison

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Feature Sets

Wivelsfield church comprises a nave (probablyc.1100, extended to the W in 14thc.) with N and S aisles (1869, and 13thc. rebuiltc.1500, respectively), a tower at the W end of the S aisle (c.1500), a S chapel (c.1300) and square chancel (13thc., lengthened in 1869). The N doorway is reset.


Wivelsfield is not mentioned in the Domesday Book. The N doorway was reset in the N aisle of 1869.


Exterior Features



This arch is extremely similar - indeed, nearly identical - to one at Bolney (qv), which lies only five miles away. It was probably carved by local masons in the 11thc., but whether in the Norman or Anglo-Saxon period is a matter of contention. A pre-Conquest date has been argued on the grounds of the shallow recessing of the orders, the reeded ornamentation and the tall and narrow proportions of the opening. It seems to fall into the Overlap period.

Victoria County History: Sussex. VII (Rape and Honour of Lewes). 1940, 122.
E Fisher, The Saxon Churches of Sussex. Newton Abbot, 1970, 215-16.
I Nairn and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex,. Harmondsworth, 1965, 639-40.
Rev. H.J. Rush, 'Wivelsfield Church', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 22, 1870, 50-56.