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Description: Christ Church
Date Listed: 14 September 1976
English Heritage Building ID: 294029
OS Grid Reference: TQ8361211315
OS Grid Coordinates: 583612, 111315
Latitude/Longitude: 50.8722, 0.6083
757/2/466 OLD LONDON ROAD
Church. 1858 (dedication plaque on E wall) by A.D.Gough. Decorated style.
MATERIALS: Walls of random rubble construction in sandstone, N aisle on a brick plinth; slate roofs with crested ridge tiles.
PLAN: 5-bay nave with lower-roofed chancel with small lean-to S vestry and N organ chamber; N aisle, N transept (now a vestry); SW porch and SW bell turret.
EXTERIOR: All windows have flowing tracery, the nave and N aisle windows identical with carved dripstone terminals. The nave has buttresses with crocketted gables. Tall gabled W porch. 7-light W window with a Flamboyant traceried wheel in the head. Lean-to projections off the chancel are gabled to N and S. N aisle buttressed with a W window roundel with star tracery. The N transept has little flying buttresses, apparently original, to the retaining wall of the churchyard. Shallow gabled porch with a double-chamfered doorway, an outer iron gate with cross finials and a 2-leaf plank door with strap hinges. Distinctive octagonal SW bell turret, the most striking element of the exterior. This has a frieze of trefoil-headed open arcading below the stone spire.
INTERIOR: Notable for its naturalistic carved detail. Chancel arch on short stone shafts with carved corbels and capitals; the arch has an order of carved decoration. Above the chancel arch, a frieze of painted decoration. The N aisle arcade has octagonal piers with carved capitals. Substantial arch braced roofs on carved corbels to nave with intermediate trusses and complex curved braces above the collar. Aisle and chancel roofs similar. Pretty Decorated style chancel with a triple sedilia with marble shafts, carved capitals and trefoil-headed arches under a superordinate arch on the S wall. Encaustic tiles to chancel. The E wall has painted texts on either side of the E window and on the returns of the N and S walls. Painted text and frieze of painted decoration round the E window. This was re-painted in c. 1992. Early C20 timber reredos with symbols in cusped panels. Font with octagonal bowl with blind traceried panels. Polygonal timber pulpit, relatively plain. Late C19 nave benches with shaped ends. Canted stone screen to N transept, creating a vestry as a World War II Memorial.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: An intact and distinctive Gothic Revival church, by A.D. Gough. The outstanding exterior feature is its attractive bell tower. This church is characterised by its flowing tracery and naturalistic carved detail. The fittings are not exceptional, but the painted texts and frieze are noteworthy. The church incorporates a World War II Memorial in its vestry.
N. Pevsner, 'Sussex' p. 520.
Victoria County History: Sussex Volume IX p. 25.
Peter Howell, 'Gough, Alexander Dick (1804-1871)' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.