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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of West Sussex

by Peter Kessler, 21 February 2020

Mid-Sussex Part 1: Churches of Felbridge, West Hoathley, Ardingly & Bolney

Copthorne Chapel, Felbridge, West Sussex

Copthorne Chapel, Felbridge, is on the southern side of Chapel Lane (the West Sussex side, with the Surry border running down the lane's centre), a short way from Turners Hill Road. It was founded in 1827 when Rev Trego arrived from East Grinstead's Countess of Huntingdon Church to serve a community that had no local place of worship. They first met in a barn on Chapel Lane in 1822, with the chapel itself taking three months to build in 1827. It was restored in 1896-1898.

Church of St Margaret of Antioch, West Hoathley, West Sussex

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, West Hoathley, is at the south-east corner of North Lane and Church Hill. By the late eleventh century the church existed as a simple single-room stone building. A series of medieval expansions doubled its size by the fifteenth century, and the present building has changed little since then, despite a Victorian restoration by architect R H Carpenter. A major addition was the heavily buttressed Perpendicular Gothic west tower.

St Peter's Church, Ardingly, West Sussex

St Peter's Church, Ardingly, sits at the south-west corner of Balcombe Lane and Church Lane. The nave, south aisle, and chancel were built in stone between 1325-1350, possibly on the foundations of a church that existed here by the 1000s. The tower of this Decorated Gothic-style building is fifteenth century. Sir George C Scott carried out restoration work in 1855. Further work took place in 1887 (on the nave and other areas) and in 1926-27 (focussing on the roof).

Church of St Mary Magdalene, Bolney, West Sussex

The Church of St Mary Magdalene, Bolney, lies between The Street and Church Lane, about seventy metres south of the primary school. Its nave and chancel date to about 1100, with windows inserted in later periods. The west tower was added in 1536-38. The south porch is dated 1718. The north aisle, with the nave-arcade of three bays, was added in 1853 and the north vestry in 1912. The chancel arch is also from 1853 and the chancel roof was repaired in 1936.

Photos on this page kindly contributed by George Redgrave, Adam Swaine, and Douglas Law, all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group. Additional information by George Redgrave and Adam Swaine.



Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.