Elsted,  West Sussex  -  St Paul's Church

Click on photos to enlarge. Notes in italics from Pevsner.

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A case of all's well that ends well: a series of misfortunes in the last century have ended up with an attractive little building which is not what it seems at first glance. When the Victorian church was built at Treyford, Elsted church was left to moulder. A tree collapsed on the nave roof in 1893 and only the chancel remained usable. But the Victorian church at Treyford became unsafe in its turn and was pulled down, and Elsted was rehabilitated and given a new nave (1951) under the auspices of the S.P.A.B. by J.E.M. Macgregor. This has preserved all the work without copying it. See before and after below (model in church).

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The old nave was C11, more likely Norman than Saxon, built up entirely of herringbone walling, one of the best examples in the county: it remains in part of the W wall (first picture above), the E wall (third picture below), and the whole of the N wall (second picture above), impressive from outside.

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In the C12 the chancel arch and two arches on the N side were let into this: unmoulded and semicircular, with plain abaci.

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The chancel is simple C13, heavily restored, with two E lancets, like Didling.

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The new nave has round arches, clerestory, a lean-to aisle that is actually a vestry shut off from the church, and a frankly C20 hexagonal W window. In its care yet freedom from compromise it is nicely in the original spirit of 'anti-scrape' 

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View west from chancel

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Belfry - South door - Pulpit - Font - Chancel furnishings

Elsted Church Website
including more detailed history




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All photographic images on this website are Copyright the website owner 2001 or later unless otherwise stated. Email contact above. Full size originals (3-6 megapixels)  are available for approved purposes.