Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/245

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199
NOTES TO SUSSEX.

in good preservation, and on the west side, in the third stage from the bottom, is a circular window, not large, of which the frame is enriched with mouldings, though injured by exposure to the weather. In the apex of the chancel gable is a circular stone-cased foliated perforation, now closed; as are likewise two others in the nave gable, or rather in that of the western chancel, one on each side of the junction of the original chancel roof; they are rebated on the exterior. A similar opening may, almost invariably, so far as my observation extends, be found in the churches of this central coast district of Sussex. When the roof of the chancel is much lower than that of the nave, there is sometimes a round window in both the nave gable and that of the chancel, beside the arrangement just noticed at Bishopstone; and perhaps it may appear occasionally in the nave and not in the chancel. The opening, which is now usually filled up, was not large, and might be supposed unlikely to have been intended for light, from the height at which it is placed, and because it may be seen, as in Ovingdean and Rottingdean churches, with a kingpost and braces immediately before it: however some examples certainly are rebated, as if to receive glass, but on the exterior. Over the porch door of Bishopstone is an old stone dial-plate, resembling those at Corhampton and Warnford, Hants. The buttresses at the angles of the east end, though shallow, are not Norm.; they are in three stages, slightly contracting upwards.

This church seems to relate its own history: namely, that it was originally a Norm, building, of which the tower, the north aisle, the south porch, the chancel, and the two eastern arches of the nave were preserved, when the remainder was reconstructed, early perhaps, in the E.E. period. Some have pronounced this church an example of Anglo-Saxon architecture, but I perfectly agree with Mr. Figg (Suss. Arch. Coll. below), that no masonry of that character is visible unless it should be in the porch; which certainly is singular. The Norm, doorway, described above, projects slightly from the face of the porch, itself precisely resembling a small Norm, porch, and seems an addition to an older erection. At the south-east angle, as mentioned by Mr. Figg, the stones are laid like those in "long and short work," though they are far more massive than usual; which however may be accounted for by their nature, they being the mouldering stone found below the chalk; whereas the Norm, work is formed of Caen stone. In the late repairs, &c. the old windows of the tower have been filled up, and others opened in the lowest stage. The walls