A Church Near You (Church of England site for this church).
Church Lane, Boxgrove, West Sussex.
Earliest Register: 1561.
There are 4843 baptisms in the OPC database.
There are no burials in the OPC database.
No burial IGI batches known.
There are 1016 marriages in the OPC database.
IGI Batch: M070181 (1561 ~ 1648, 1661 ~ 1875).
There are no monumental inscriptions in the OPC database.
Roughwood Churches Album has images and notes about this church.
There are 13 images of this church in the OPC database.
Built: Unknown or not given.
Current use: Worship.
THE church, dedicated to SS. Mary and Blaize, is only a portion of the celebrated Benedictine Priory, founded in 1119 by Robert de Haia, of Halnaker. It was an Alien Priory, attached to the Abbey L'Essaie, in Normandy. At first there were only three Norman monks, but Robert's grandson raised the number to thirteen.
In 1780, a large part of the Priory was pulled down, and the ruins to br seen on the north are all that remain. They comprise part of the Prior's parlour (or refectory), and the arcaded entrance to the chapter hosue, consisting of three arches, two of them divided by balusters.
The original Norman church was cruciform, and of this building there remain:- upper part of tower; transepts and the arches leading E. and W.; E. bays of nave, over one of which is some chevron (c. 1130).
The extension of the nave westward was made later, and Tr.-Nor. work may be seen in the ruins; the tower arches were pointed and the piers cased in work of same style (c. 1170). The lower part of the present west wall once formed the ancient choir screen; the processional doorways still remain; between them on west side was place the altar of the parish church.
The choir is a splendid specimen of work, showing the passing from Tr.-Nor. to E.E. (c. 1235).
The S. porch and some windows in aisles are of the Dec. period. The font and some windows are Perp.
The vaulting of the choir is unique and beautiful. Each of the four bays consists of a large round containing arch, resting on piers with two pointed arches on intermediate pier beneath. The quadripartite vaulting has fine dog-tooth and is partly coloured; the shafts rise from corbels, carved into heads; the clerestory arches rest on slender Purbeck marble shafts; the windows are lancets with an ambulatory running through the splays. Note the quatrefoils under the containing arches; the series of carved heads; the beautiful detached shafts of the piers; the boss, next E. end, with eight faces. This work should be compared with that in the Cathedral by Seffrid. The choir is 100 feet long; the nave was 120 feet long.
The fine Renaissance shrine was built by the ninth Lord de la Warr, of Halnaker, 1532; but he was buried in Broadwater, 1554.
In S. aisle are: aumbry and piscina; three tombs built into S. wall, one canopied; at E. end , altar-slab with five consecration crosses and some old tiles; brass cross to the Countess of Derby ("Our Benefactress"), d. 1752.
In N. aisle: aumbry and piscina; two tombs, supposed to be those of Philippa, Countess of Arundel and Pembroke (1428), and her second husband, Adam de Poynings.
In S. transept: oak gallery (restored); piscina; niche and bracket; fine oak cupboard; two splendid tombs of Sussex marble, possibly those of the two daughters of Queen Adelina of Louvain and of her husbandm the Earl of Arundel. In N. transept: oak gallery. These galleries are noteworthy, but are common in the Conventual Churches in Spain, where lay members hear mass.
The compound piers of the tower have keel fillets, water-holding bases, scalloped capitals, circular abacus. The font is octagonal (Perp). There is a 13th c. chest. The vestry is 14th c.
Exterior: At W. end note triangular-headed piscina, recess, and doorways. On S.: flying butress next S.E. end with sundial; S.E. butress, which differs from the rest, with letters, P.R.C. (Prior Rd, Chaise, 1483-1510 ?who restored the church); above this is a shield and three birds (the arms of the Lumbys); in N.E. buttress a stone carved with the arms of the Earls of Arundel, a horse galloping under a tree, and inscription "Cause m'oblige"; large consecration cross on N. wall of vestry; corbels, weather moulding, and traces of arches in N. transeptl the corbel table of tower - the battlement is a later addition.
In S. porch (Dec.) are a stoup and a marble recess. Reg. 1561.
Near Boxgrove are the ruins of Halnaker Manor, with remains of 13th c. chapel.
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There are no books about this church in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.
There are 2 articles about this church in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.
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