St Peter

 

The Church

This little country church is situated in Parham Park near Storrington only a few hundred yards from the famous Elizabethan house. Although the church has no Elizabethan glories it does have a charm all of its own.

In its present form it dates from the opening years of the 19th C. Inside, many of the fittings still remain, including a room-like pew with its own fireplace, built for Sir Cecil Bishop of Parham, who paid for the reconstruction. The church has traces of 12th C work in the nave, altered and extended in the 15th and 16th centuries. 

The original village of Parham was pulled down in 1779 because of infection and the villagers rehoused at Rackham several miles away, so the church now stands in splendid isolation surrounded by grazing sheep.

The oldest part, the vestry, dates from 1400 but most of the present day church, including the tower, dates from rebuilding largely done between 1800-1820. All the plain glass windows date from 1815-25 as do the high boxed pews right down the nave. In the north transept is a large de luxe private boxed pew complete with a fireplace, something I have never seen in a church before. There is a story that the Squire would begin to shovel coal noisily onto the fire when he considered the Rector was preaching an overlong sermon. Over the fireplace hangs a copy of Perugino's Madonna and Child.

The barrel ceiling of the nave is white-washed which adds to the brightness of the church. The altar rails and screen date from the eighteenth century as does the pulpit.

 

This information and picture come from the pages written by John Symonds for the Waterlooville's On-Line Parish Magazine. Link here.

FURTHER EXTERNAL & INTERNAL PICTURES PLEASE

The bell:

The open bell turret above the West doorway is formed as an archway with the single bell hanging between pillars roofed with stone tiles.

ACCESS

Church is at the foot of Portsdown Hill.

Map reference  :  

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