Chichester: Churches (Anglican)

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1935.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'Chichester: Churches (Anglican)', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 3, ed. L F Salzman( London, 1935), British History Online [accessed 14 July 2024].

'Chichester: Churches (Anglican)', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 3. Edited by L F Salzman( London, 1935), British History Online, accessed July 14, 2024,

"Chichester: Churches (Anglican)". A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 3. Ed. L F Salzman(London, 1935), , British History Online. Web. 14 July 2024.

In this section

CHURCHES (fn. 1)


The church of ST. PETER THE GREAT or SUBDEANERY, in West Street, was begun in 1850 in the 14th-century style, and was consecrated in 1852. It is built of stone with a tiled roof, and consists of a nave of four bays with aisles and a chancel of two bays; the vestry is at the east end of the north aisle, the porch and entrance is an addition at the west end of the south aisle. The fittings are modern, except the font, which appears to be of the 15th century and was probably removed from the cathedral. (fn. 2) The church was designed by Mr. Richard Carpenter, consulting architect of the cathedral.

The plate consists of a silver chalice with hallmark for 1849; a like chalice with hall-mark for 1870 and inscribed Charlotte Gruggen D.D., 1871.

The registers are as follows: (i) baptisms 1558– 1692, marriages 1558–1679, burials 1568–1679; (ii) baptisms, marriages and burials 1664–1751 (c); (fn. 3) (iii) baptisms 1676–1717, marriages 1677–1713, burials 1676–1680; (iv) baptisms and marriages 1719–1727, burials 1678–1767; (v) baptisms 1727– 1756, marriages 1727–1754; (vi) baptisms 1756–1805; (vii) marriages 1754–1786; (viii) burials 1767–1811; (ix) baptisms and burials 1774–1790 (c); (x) baptisms and burials 1772–1782 (c); (xi) marriages 1787–1811; (xii) burials 1811–1812; (xiii) marriages 1811–1812; (xiv) baptisms 1805–1812.


The church of ALL SAINTS IN THE PALLANT, on the east side of West Pallant, is in plan a rectangular room 63 ft. 6 in. by 22 ft., with a vestry at the east end of the north side, added in the 19th century. The walls are of flint with stone dressings; the north wall has been covered with rough-cast. The roof is tiled. The church was built in the first half of the 13th century and restored in the 19th century. There is no structural division between the chancel and nave except a rise by a 6 in. step to the chancel, and two more steps to the altar rails. In the east wall is a 13th-century triple lancet window under a hooded arch; the outer mouldings of each lancet are carried on slender shafts. Below the window is a modern string-course. The vestry, approached through two pointed arches of poor design, is lighted by lancet windows and has a doorway in the north wall. Under the more easterly of the two arches is the organ. The south wall is pierced by six 13th-century lancet windows and has a blocked 13th-century doorway at the west end. The north wall is pierced by five similar windows; possibly there were two more lancets at the east end which were blocked when the vestry was built. Below the most easterly window in the south wall is a trefoil-headed piscina. The west wall contains a 13th-century single-light window above the doorway. Over the west window is a small circular window with trefoil cusps. There is a gallery over the west end added in the early part of the 19th century; beneath it is the entrance vestibule. The ceiling, of mansard form, is modern, and probably replaces an open timber roof. The north-west corner is strengthened by a simple 13th-century buttress, while the south-west corner, to avoid projection into the street, is curiously splayed and corbelled with two bosses, much decayed. The fittings are all modern.

There are the following monuments. South wall: Harriet, 1796, and Emma, 1825, daughters of William and Sarah Gruggen; William Gruggen, 1828; Sarah Gruggen, 1848; John Gruggen, 1846; William Wilton Gruggen, 1846; John Price Gruggen, 1848; Charlotte Gruggen, 1871; Mary Jane, wife to William Gruggen jun., 1827; Mary Blagden, widow of John Price Gruggen, 1895; Emma, daughter of above, 1909; Rev. Bragg Blagden, M.A., 1781; Mary Blagden, wife, 1796; George Blagden, eldest son, attorney-at-law, 1773; Philip, James and Hannah, children, d. infants; Thomas Sanden, 1706. North wall: William Tireman, 1833; Catherine, relict, 1836; Harry Comper, J.P., 1831; Maria Comper, wife, 1835; Eleanor, daughter, 1820; Alfred, son, 1826; William Pope, son, 1828; Emma, Charles and James, children, d. infants; Anne, wife of James Clayton of Chichester, eldest daughter and co-heir of George Parker of Chichester, 1743.

Plan of Church of All Saints in the Pallant

There is a small churchyard on the north side of the church, containing a few old tombstones.

There is one modern bell bearing the inscription: 'O ye spirits and souls of the righteous bless ye the Lord.' (fn. 4) Two bells were sold in 1783 to raise money for the repair of the seats. (fn. 5)

The plate consists of a silver chalice with hall-mark 1731 and inscription 'Hunc qualem cunque calicem huic ecclesiae parochiali Omnium Sanctorum Cicest. Dono Dedi Hutchins Williams Armr MDCXXXI'; a silver chalice and paten with hall-marks 1881 and both inscribed 'To the glory of God and the memory of Henry Comper of Chichester, who fell asleep Nov. 12 1877'; a silver paten inscribed 'Hanc patellam ecclesiae huic parochiali Omnium Sanctorum Cicest. Maria Cholmeley generosa D.D. MDCCXXI'; a silver paten with hall-mark 1733 and makers' mark I M (James Manners ?) inscribed 'Dedicated to ye church of All Saints in Chichester for ye service of ye altar 1734'; and a silver flagon with hall-mark 1747 and inscribed 'Dedicated to ye church of All Saints in Chichester for ye service of ye altar 1747' and with a coat of arms. (fn. 6)


The church of ALL SAINTS, PORTFIELD, lies on the east of Church Road opposite the burial ground. It was built in 1871, of flint with stone dressings, and has a tiled roof. It is designed in the 13th-century style, and consists of a nave and chancel with vestry on the north, a chapel on the south side and a porch at the west end of the south wall.


The church of ST. ANDREW lies surrounded by a small churchyard on the north side of East Street. The plan is simply a rectangular room with a vestry at the east end of the north wall. It is possible that a screen once divided the chancel from the nave, but no vestige is now perceptible, a 6 in. step alone effecting the division. There is a gallery (fn. 7) over the west end, beneath which is the entrance. The walls are partly of stone and partly of flint, finished with roughcast; the dressings and quoins are of stone; the roof is tiled. The church was built during the 13th century and refitted early in the 19th century.

The east window, erected in recent years by Mr. George Dendy of Chichester, is a triple lancet under a two-centred arch. In the south wall of the chancel is a trefoil-headed piscina, and there are two more, one on each side of the nave. In the north wall of the chancel is a four-centred arched doorway to a vestry, added, and later extended, in the 19th century. The south wall of the vestry also contains a modern four-centred arched recess for the organ. In the north and south walls are six windows, three on each side; from west to east, two of the windows are pointed arched two-light cinquefoil openings with four-light trefoil heads; two (slightly different) are segmental arched two-light trefoil openings with quatrefoil heads and the other two are lancet windows. The west window is a two-centred two-light trefoil opening with quatrefoil heads and pierced sides. The exterior has gable ends east and west. Over the west gable is a small weather-boarded bell-turret with shingled broach-pinnacle and iron weather-vane. The west doorway is two-centred with splayed but unmoulded jambs. The west gable end, in which is a small circular window, is supported by heavy buttresses with tiled slopes. Two early-16th-century memorial tablets are let into the west and south walls. That in the south wall is much decayed; but the tablet in the west wall shows the kneeling figures of a man, his wife, and sons and daughters on each side. Below is an inscription, now illegible and perhaps deliberately defaced.

The ceiling is a modern mansard of wood. The woodwork of the tower is probably original, showing indication of an open timber roof. The font has a modern bowl on an earlier base contemporary with the church; the other fittings are modern.

There are the following monuments. South wall: Alderman Collins, 1734; Elizabeth Collins, his wife, 1744; Col. Edward Martin, 1748; William Collins (the poet), 1759; Hugh Sempill, 1762; Anne, his widow, wife of Rev. Dr. Durnford, and daughter of Alderman Collins, 1780; John Cawley, mayor of Chichester, 1621, which is an elaborate monument consisting of a bearded demi-figure in a ruff, blue doublet and red gown, beneath a cusped trefoil canopy, and flanked by Corinthian columns on plinths supporting a cornice with carved frieze, surmounted by an armorial achievement, at the base of which is the inscription 'Time Hath Overtaken Me'; below the figure is a long inscription probably added later in the century. (fn. 8) The arms are those of Cawley. Capt. Henry Chads, R.N., 1799; and Susannah Chads, his wife, 1795; Thomas Parker, 1740; Thomas and Susannah Parker, his parents; Mrs. Jane Parker, 1753; Mrs. Mary Parker, 1757; William Wittman, M.D., Ass. Surgeon and Dep. Inspector, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1815; and Elizabeth, relict, 1849; James Kerwood, 1793; Elizabeth Kerwood, relict, 1802. North wall: Richard Buckner, alderman, 1777; Mary Buckner, his wife, 1772; Capt. Robert Sandy, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1768; Thomas Guy, 1788; Mary Guy, wife, 1774; and (later addition) Thomas Guy, M.D., 1804; William Milton, 1752; Frances Milton, his wife, 1757; William Milton, son, 1783; and Anne, relict of the last, 1807; John Voyze Hodge, alderman, 1856.

Plan of Church of St. Andrew

There is a modern bell in the bell-turret.

The plate consists of a silver chalice with hall-mark 1749 and inscribed 'For the use of St. Andrew's Church Chichester, 1752'; a silver paten and flagon with hall-mark 1842 and both inscribed 'Ad honorem Dei et in usum Ecclesiae Sancti Andrae Cicestrensis MDCCCXLII'; a silver flagon; and a silver gilt spoon. (fn. 9)

The registers are as follows: (i) baptisms and marriages 1568–1708, burials 1563–1708; (ii) baptisms 1711–1753, marriages 1711–1754, burials 1711–1752; (iii) baptisms and burials 1753–1804; (iv) marriages 1754–1812; (v) baptisms and burials 1809–1812.


The church of ST. BARTHOLOMEW, situated in Mount Lane, south of Westgate and without the city wall, was built in 1832 to replace the church which was destroyed in 1642. (fn. 10) It is a Renaissance building of grey brick with stone dressings and has a low-pitched slate roof, hipped and with large overhanging cornice on brackets. The chancel, which is low and gabled, has been lengthened, while the west front is stone-faced and divided into three by pilasters, the central part being pedimental. The doorway is flanked by statue niches, and above are an arched window and two circular windows. A small tower over the west end was taken down in 1929. The vestry was added in the same style on the north-east corner.

Internally the nave (48 ft. by 28 ft.) is lit by three circular-headed windows on each side. (fn. 11) There is a gallery containing an organ at the west end. The ceiling is flat. The chancel is lit by two smaller windows. The vestibule is at the west end under the gallery.

There is one bell dated 1832 by Thomas Mears.

The plate consists of a silver chalice with hall-mark 1900; a silver paten with hall-mark 1897; a silver flagon with hall-mark 1897; a chalice, paten and almsdish of Sheffield plate dated 1832. (fn. 12)


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.

Plan of Church of St. Olave

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 14thcentury 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. (fn. 13) In the west wall is a 14thcentury 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, (fn. 14) 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. (fn. 15)

There is one bell in the turret. (fn. 16)

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. (fn. 17)

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.' (fn. 18)

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; (fn. 19) (v) baptisms 1809–1813, burials 1809–1812.


The church of ST. PANCRAS is without the walls of the city, at the north corner of Eastgate Square. The present church was built in 1750–51 on the site of an earlier church, partially demolished in 1642. (fn. 20) It is constructed of flint with stone dressings in the style of the 15th century. It consists of a nave with recessed chancel and vestries, to which an aisle was added in the 19th century. The entrance is on the south or street side, the door being a 19th-century alteration. At the west end is a two-story tower, with an embattled parapet and a pyramidical slate roof with an iron weather-vane. The interior appears to have been entirely refitted in the latter part of the 19th century, and contains nothing remarkable. The only monument is to Sharp Garland, J.P., mayor of Chichester, 1906.

There is one bell, of 1750, in the tower. (fn. 21)

The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten with hall-marks for 1750, the gift of Elizabeth Powlett of Halnaker, widow of William Powlett of St. Leonards Forest, in 1751. There is also an electro-plated flagon and cup. (fn. 22)


The church of ST. PAUL in the Broyle Road was built of flint with stone dressings and slate roof in 1836, in the 13th-century style. It consists of a large rectangular nave with chancel recess and a gallery at the west end. At the western extremity is a tower of three stages, beneath which is the porch; there is also an entrance in the south wall.

The tower contains a bell by Thomas Mears, 1836.

The plate consists of a modern chalice, paten and flagon of silver and a Sheffield plate cruet. (fn. 23)


The church of ST. PETER THE LESS is on the east side of North Street. It consists of a chancel 30 ft. by 19 ft. 8 in. and nave 24 ft. by 14 ft. 3 in., with a south aisle 5 ft. wide, a south-west tower and a vestry. These measurements are internal. The walls are of flint with stone dressings and the roof is tiled. It is probable that the church was originally built in the middle of the 13th century and then consisted of the present nave and a small chancel. Early in the 14th century it was enlarged by the addition of the south aisle and tower. The chancel was rebuilt and enlarged to its present size in the 19th century, when the whole church was restored. The chancel has a three-light lancet window under a two-centred arch in the east wall and a single lancet in each side wall, all probably reinsertions. In the south wall is a small modern doorway admitting to the vestry. The chancel arch has been taken down. The nave has in the original north wall three modern lancets and a single lancet in the west wall. The south aisle is now much altered; the piers of the arcade are embedded in plaster, but the moulded arches are still visible. The south wall of the aisle has two lancets, probably reinsertions from the nave wall. Over the west end of the aisle is the tower, on the ground stage of which are the entrance doorway and a modern wooden vestibule. The open timber roof of both nave and chancel is modern. The west front adjoining the street has three buttresses, two of which support the small tower of two stages, the upper story of which has four windows with louvres. The overhanging parapet of the tower has been rebuilt. Above is an iron weather-vane representing a sea-horse. The fittings are modern.

Plan of Church of St. Peter the Less

There are the following monuments. Nave: James Gates; Mary Anne Gates, wife, 1841; John Gates, brother, 1850. Chancel: a brass to Herbert John Manners, 1917; Edward Cartar, 1703; Elizabeth Cartar, his wife, 1703; Mary Cartar, daughter, 17—; Katherine, wife to Carew Weekes (M.P. for Arundel 1702).

There are three bells in the tower: 1, modern; 2, a mid 14th-century bell with inscription 'Ave Maria'; 3, a bell bearing inscription 'Praysed be thy name o Lord 1580 IW. WR. IC. HC. IN.' (fn. 24)

The plate consists of a silver communion cup with maker's mark I.S. (John Sutton ?), c. 1675, inscribed 'St. Peter the Less 1690'; a silver communion cup with hall-mark 1878, the gift of Harriet F. Frampton, and dated 1879; a silver flagon with hallmark 1898, in memory of Elizabeth Snooke, 7 Aug. 1877; a silver alms-dish and an alms-dish of Sheffield plate. (fn. 25)

The registers are as follows: (i) baptisms and burials 1679–1768, marriages 1680–1754; (ii) marriages 1754–1812; (iii) baptisms and burials 1769–1812.


The proprietary chapel of ST. JOHN THE EV ANGELIST in St. John's Street was built of white brick at a cost of £7,000 in 1812 from designs by James Elmes. The building is symmetrical, having galleries round three sides, reached by staircases north and south of the entrance vestibule, and the altar at the east end, behind which are the vestries. The fittings are of American black birch. Externally the chapel has a stone plinth and string and a large overhanging wooden cornice on brackets. The west front has splayed sides, each with a single-story room, carrying the staircases; the central portion has a Roman cement façade, with a pedimented doorway and window set in stone architrave on balusters. The stone campanile is in part imitation of the Choragic monument of Lysicrates, and is of excellent design, being cylindrical with six Corinthian columns supporting an entablature and spherical roof with an iron weather-vane.

There is one bell in the campanile, inscribed 'T. Mears of London fecit 1813.'

The plate consists of two communion cups, silver gilt, with hall-mark 1813, the gift of Sam. Scudamore Heming in 1813; a silver flagon hall-marked 1815; and a paten and two alms-dishes of Sheffield plate. (fn. 26)


  • 1. The church of St. Mary Rumboldswyke and its chapel of ease, St. George, Whyke, will be dealt with under the Hundred of Box and Stockbridge.
  • 2. It is described by Sir William Burrell, c. 1780: Add. MS. 5699, fol. 182.
  • 3. The three volumes marked (c) contain entries relating to the cathedral and close only.
  • 4. S.A.C. xvi, 203.
  • 5. a Add. MS. 39422, fol. 89.
  • 6. S.A.C. liii, 227.
  • 7. a A faculty for a gallery was issued in 1756: Add. MS. 39422, fol. 72.
  • 8. Mosse, Mon. Effigies of Suss. 46.
  • 9. S.A.C. liii, 228.
  • 10. a Add. MS. 5689, fol. 31.
  • 11. The windows on the south side are blocked.
  • 12. S.A.C. loc. cit.
  • 13. It is doubtful if this is in its original position.
  • 14. Some of the carving may be of a later date.—W. D. P.
  • 15. Keyser, List of Buildings having Mural Decorations, p. 66; S.A.C. v, 213, 222; viii, 321.
  • 16. Ibid. xvi, 204.
  • 17. Ibid. liii, 229.
  • 18. Ibid. 228–9.
  • 19. No marriages are registered between 1775 and 1803; from 1781 to 1803 they are registered in the St. Andrew's Parish Register. St. Martin's was evidently shut up as unsafe.
  • 20. a In 1678 there is a reference to the parish of St. Pancras, 'where there is no church to go unto': Add. MS. 39426, fol. 4.
  • 21. S.A.C. xvi, 204.
  • 22. Ibid. liii, 329–30.
  • 23. Ibid. 230.
  • 24. Ibid. xvi, 142, 204; lvii, 12.
  • 25. Ibid. liii, 231.
  • 26. S.A.C. liii, 231–2.