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