of the early church and land
Domesday Book provides evidence of a
church in Warminghurst in 1086 served by a priest from
the nearby town of Steyning, a condition which
continued to at least 1563
The Abbey of Fecamp had the chapel of
Warminghurst and held lands in the parish of William
de Braose who gave a rent from the French abbey of 400
bushels of salt and ten casks of wine annually to
Warminghurst is mentioned in the Plea
Roll of 1287 as one of the churches to which fugitives
fled to take sanctuary.
Edward III took into his hands the
English possessions of alien priories and in 1345
granted a licence to Richard, Earl of Arundel, to hunt
in Warminghurst Park. The lands were granted to
Eleanor, Richard's second wife, butthey eventually
formed part of the endowment of Syon, a religeous
house on the banks of the Thames founded by Henry V
for nuns of the order of St Bridge.
After the dissolution of the
monasteries they eventually passed by sale in 1676 to
William Penn, who in turn sold them in 1702 to James
Butler, in turn whose descendant sold them to the Duke
of Norfolk in 1805.
This as a simple rectangular building
with a west doorway and circular window set in
the gable end above. Set on the gable end is a
simple tile-hung bell turret containing a single
uninscribed bell. (See
North and south walls have round
topped windows, all of which were later rebuilds in
brick of earlier windows.
The room on the south side of the
church hides what was once the principle doorway into
the church. The north walls of the nave have
four round-headed windows, and the south wall three,
all now with round heads, but set into splays in the
walls which have pointed arches. The windows in
the chancel are of similar design and pattern. The
round west window is 13th century and the east window,
of three trefoil-headed lights. The fabric of the
church dates from about 1220.
There is high backed pine seating,
with high sides also, but no doors on the majority of
the boxes so formed. The side panelling to the
nave has trefoil heads.
The pulpit and clerk's desk are a
mixture of pine and oak, all, according to the church
guide, "in good order as is the clerk's
elmwood chair of Johnsonian proportions"
The pulpit is supported at the front
by two turned wooded columns with moulded capitals and
bases; the staircase has delicately turned balusters
beneath a moulded hand-rail.
On either side of the nave, at the
east end, are large box-pews (complete with drawers
for prayer-books) for the squire and his
family. Two pews of lesser quality but similar
design are behind the large one on the north and
another west of the pulpit on the south. These
would have been occupied by the farmers or other
parishioners of standing. All this work may date
from about 1770.
The screen separating the nave from
the chancel is of outstanding interest. It is of
pine, reaches to the wall-plates, and has three
semi-circular arches with square columns and responds
furnished with moulded capitals; six applied
panels are on the west and east faces of the
screen. There are iron sconces on either side of
the central arch.
Above on the west side is a Coat of
Arms as used by Queen Anne after the Union with
Scotland in 1707; the motto used beneath it is Semper
Eadem, Queen Elizabeth I's favourite motto, rather
than the usual Dieu et mon droit
There is a text from II Chron.
VI 40 on the opposite side.
[Let] thine eyes be open O God
so let thine ears be attent to the
prayer that is made in this place;
Let thy priests be clothed with
salvation, & let thy saints
The altar rails have twisted balusters
set close together; they, and the oak altar table, are
of late 17th century date.