Barnham, (West Sussex)

OPC for Barnham is : Gill Shaw

Email: Gill Shaw.

Web site: None known, please let us know if you have any information.

Parish picture

The original parish of Barnham took its name from 'Beorna' whose 'hamm' or enclosure was in this low-lying country. The church was recorded in the 1086, but no history is known before that date. Originally the village was clustered around the church, and up to the Middle Ages a tidal creek ran to within a few yards of the building. Fishing, and not farming, was the main occupation of the villagers, as was smuggling, and there is said to be a secret underground passageway leading to the church! The modern village of Barnham has spread northwards, nearer to the railway station, and this has left the church in comparative isolation surrounded by country and farmland.

Although mentioned in the Domesday Book, excavations have revealed artefacts of Saxon origin, and it is thought that originally a Saxon church could have stood on the site. Parts of the church are characteristically early Norman, the font being of the same period. Unfortunately this has suffered severely, probably during the desecration of the Cromwellian period.

Considerable changes took place in the 13th century--the Norman Chancel was replaced by the present more spacious one, a north aisle was added, and the adjacent nave pierced with arches to give access. After the Reformation the aisle was demolished and the arches filled in.

The church has one bell, alto in voice, weighing over 3 cwt and is one of the oldest in Sussex. It is believed to be the last one cast by John Rufford in 1348, and is still in its original condition.

Dominating the East end of the Church is the stained glass window, designed by Miss Jean Fullylove and placed in the Church in her memory in 1949. Although it is modern, it is in the style of 15th century glass, and depicts events from the legendary life of St. Mary the Virgin.

Places of worship:

Church details, together with baptism, marriage, monumental inscription & burial records can be accessed by clicking on the church name.

St Mary the Virgin

St Philip Howard Chapel, High School

Census returns:

The OPC Database has no census returns for people residing in this parish yet.

People born in this parish but residing elsewhere:

1 individual in the OPC Database for the 1861 census.


Grid reference: 496026, 104500 ~ View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.

Militia records etc:

Roll of Honour have details of people recorded on the memorials in the parish church

The OPC has a complete history of every person killed in conflict from 1914 to date, including where they were born, died, where they lived and worked.

Poll Registers:

The OPC database contains 21 poll register entries for people entitled to vote in this parish.

1641 Protestation Returns:

There are 39 protestation returns for this parish in the OPC database.


The OPC database contains 10 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.


There are 22 images depicting this parish in the OPC database.

Roughwood has images of Barnham windmill

Postal directories:

The OPC database contains no postal directory entries for this parish.

1851 Post Office Directory for Barnham


There are no books about this parish in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.

There are 2 articles about this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.

There is 1 person from this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Society Members Index.


The OPC database contains no wills of people who lived in this parish.

The OPC database contains no wills that mention this parish.

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