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St Mary the Virgin, Burpham, Sussex

(50°49′27″N, 0°27′18″W)
TQ 089 039
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now West Sussex
  • Kathryn Morrison
08 September 1998

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Burpham has a W tower, a nave with a S aisle, N and S transepts and a vaulted chancel with a Victorian arch (1869). There are Norman windows in the W and N walls of the N transept.


The church has Anglo-Saxon origins, and it has been suggested that the transepts developed out of porticus (compare Worth and Stoughton). It is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and was later givn to Lewes Priory. It was subjected to piecemeal revamping in the late 12thc. or early 13thc. The S aisle arcade was blockedc.1800, and restored in 1869. The chancel arch, and possibly the SW nave arch, dates from 1869 (Sir T G Jackson).


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches
Nave arches

Loose Sculpture


The S transept arch probably dates from the third quarter of the 12thc. The arcading on the capitals of the nave E arch, outer order, is of a type more commonly found on late 12thc. fonts than on capitals. This arch dates from the late 12thc. The chancel is Transitional, and the vaulting of c.1180-1200. It is an example of how multi-scallop capitals lingered for longer than other Romanesque forms in West Sussex.


J. Morris and J. Mothersill (ed.), Domesday Book: Sussex. Chichester 1976, 11.68

I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 120-22.

R. Roberts, Twelfth century Church Architecture in Sussex, 1988, 153-60