St Olave, (Chichester, St Olave)




Church website.


North Street, Chichester, West Sussex.

Grid reference: 486075, 104920, View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.


Church of England Clergy Database.


Earliest Register: 1642.


There are no baptisms in the OPC database.

IGI Batch: C040441 (1642 ~ 1812).


There are no burials in the OPC database.

No burial IGI batches known.


There are 335 marriages in the OPC database.

IGI Batch: M040441 (1569 ~ 1812).

Monumental inscriptions:

There are no monumental inscriptions in the OPC database.


The old Roughwood Churches Album has images and notes about this church.

There are 2 images of this church in the OPC database.

Building information:

Built: c. 1050.

Current use: Commercial.

(SPCK Bookshop)

Harrison's description (1911):

Under the entry for Chichester.

The churches are not of much interest, except the little building of ST. OLAVE'S, which has some old work remaining, as seen in the plain round door on the south side of the nave. The two canopied piscinae are good specimens of Dec. work. Font, Nor.; fine 16th c. oak chest. Note: old oak pulpit, choir stalls and lectern.


There are no documents about this church in the OPC database. If you have one, please contribute a transcription!


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

There is 1 article about this church in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.


The church of ST. OLAVE stands on the east side of North Street and consists of a chancel 13 ft. 8 in. by 13 ft. 10 in. and a nave 25 ft. 6 in. by 17 ft. 4 in. with a square turret over the west end. The walls are of flint rubble with stone dressings and the roof is tiled. The church was built probably at the end of the 11th century and then comprised the existing nave and a small chancel. Early in the 13th century the chancel was rebuilt and enlarged to its present size, and considerable alterations were carried out early in the 14th century. The church was completely restored in 1851.
The 13th-century chancel has been badly set out and leans to the north. It has a 13th-century threelight window in the east wall and an early 14th century window with a trefoil head in each side wall. The floor of the chancel, which is 12 in. above that of the nave, is paved with 15th and 17th-century encaustic tiles. The chancel arch was rebuilt in 1851. Towards the west end of the south wall of the nave is a blocked plain round-headed doorway of the original 11th-century church, and farther east on the same side is an ogee-headed aumbry. Towards the east end of the north wall is an elaborately carved 14th-century piscina with an ogee head decorated with crockets supported on pillars. In the west wall is a 14th century doorway leading to the street, over which is a 14th-century window in a two-centred head, with two trefoiled lights and a quatrefoil in the head. The open timber roofs are modern; that of the nave appears to have been raised 5 ft. In the west front buttresses were added in the 13th century, and the string-course and hoods, terminating in well-carved bosses, are of the same date. The corbels are carved as angels' heads and shoulders. The square turret is capped by a slated broach pinnacle, above which is an iron weather-vane.
The altar-table is late-17th-century work, and the communion rails are earlier work of that century. In the nave is an oak chest, dated xlv E.R. (1602) and elaborately carved, the centre panel bearing the arms of the see. The font is mainly modern; the bowl is supported by a stone cylinder and four columns which rest upon a stone base, the columns and base being probably the original 12th-century work; the cover is modern.
There are the following monuments. In the nave: Roger Collings, incumbent, 1707; Wilmot, his wife, 1692–3; John Wakeford, attorney-at-law, 1731, erected by nephew and legatee Wakeford Bridger. Floor slabs: Francis Doyly, 1711; Mary, his daughter, Mary, wife of Roger Tupper, 1733; Elizabeth, 2nd wife of Roger Tupper, 1756; William Lewis, merchant, 1696; Joane, his wife, 1708; Richard Young, mayor, 1681; Thomas and Charles Young, sons, and Anne, daughter, wife to — Tilly.
The following monuments have been moved from St. Martin's church and are now in St. Olave's. In the chancel: Martha, daughter of John Dear, town clerk, 1807; Martha Dear, mother-in-law; Sarah Dear, sister. In the nave: Richard Braman, mayor, 1698; Mrs. Jane Bragg, daughter, 1733; Mrs. Mary Eede, her daughter, 1726; Richard Eede, her son, 1741; Mary, his relict, 1745; James Knight, 1788; Mary Knight, wife, 1775; Kempster Knight, son, 1841; Anne, his wife, 1839; John Brooks, 1808; Mary Brooks, wife, 1812; William Brooks, 1848; Charlotte Brooks, wife, 1845; John Dawes, 1786; Mrs. Jane Dawes, daughter of George Blagden and Jane his wife daughter of Mrs. Jane Bragg, wife, 1745; Mrs. Anne Dawes, 1800.
The following mural paintings of the 13th century are said to have been discovered, and since destroyed, in the east wall of the church: the Coronation of the Virgin, sixteen figures of saints under canopies, and two consecration crosses.
There is one bell in the turret.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten, hallmark 1662, the chalice is inscribed 'Deo et Ecclesiae Sti. Olavi in civitate Cicester 1663,' and the paten 'Ecclesiae Sti. Olavi'; a silver paten with hall-mark for 1700 and inscribed 'The gift of Mrs. Katherine Penfold to St. Ollive's church 1703'; and a silver flagon with hall-mark 1765 and inscribed 'This piece of plate with the Branch was given in 1766 by Mr. Thomas Ludgater, grandson of Mrs. Cathe Penfold who gave the salver.' The branch or candlestick is not now in the church.
The plate removed from St. Martin's consists of a two-handled cup of 1703, inscribed 'Parochiae Sci. Martini In Civit. Cicestr.'; a silver flagon with hall-mark for 1767; and a silver paten and alms-dish, both inscribed 'The gift of Mrs. Martha Dear to St. Martin's Church, Chichester, 1802.'
The registers are as follows: (i) births and baptisms 1642–1698, marriages and burials 1569–1699; (ii) births and baptisms 1695–1812, marriages 1693– 1754, burials 1699–1812; (iii) marriages 1754–1812.
The following registers have been removed from St. Martin's and are kept in this church: (i) baptisms 1561–1684, marriages 1569–1684, burials 1569–1683; (ii) baptisms 1684–1728, marriages and burials 1684–1729; (iii) baptisms 1729–1808, marriages 1729– 1753, burials 1730–1808; (iv) marriages 1762–1813; (v) baptisms 1809–1813, burials 1809–1812.
From: 'Chichester: Churches (Anglican)', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 3 (1935), pp. 160-164. URL: Date accessed: Wednesday, October 10, 2007..

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