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St Mary Magdalene, Bolney, Sussex

(50°59′20″N, 0°12′11″W)
TQ 262 226
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now West Sussex
  • Kathryn Morrison

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Feature Sets

Bolney church has an early 12thc. nave and a slightly skewed chancel with a N chapel. The W tower was added in 1536-38, the N aisle in 1853 and the N vestry in 1912. The S doorway of the nave dates fromc.1100.


Bolney is not mentioned in 1086.


Exterior Features



The doorway appears to be of an early date, and can be compared with that at Wivelsfield, 5 miles away (also not in Domesday). It has been argued that both doorways are late Anglo-Saxon, rather than early Norman, but they undoubtedly belong toc.1100.

According to the VCH, the chamfered jambs have been recut to widen the opening a little. Inside there are indications of a former tympanum. The imposts were chamfered but have been cut back in the reveals and western face. The door is also medieval.

Victoria County History: Sussex. 7 (Rape and Honour of Lewes). 1940, 139-140
E. A. Fisher, The Saxon Churches of Sussex. Newton Abbot 1970, 51-56.
Rev. J. Dale, 'Notice of the South Doorway of the Church at Bolney' Sussex Archaeological Collections 10 1858, 59-62, with engraving.