Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Rectory Lane, Ashington, West Sussex RH20 3AW
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Dendrochronology (tree-ring) dating indicates that the bell-frame dates from 1158, although much of the church is thought to have been rebuilt c1220.
Above, in the gallery, the first picture shows a good example of a four-centred arch (also called a Tudor arch, or a depressed arch because of its ‘squashed’ appearance). This is the doorway into the north vestry which was formerly the burial chapel of Henry Shelley, ancestor of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The burial chamber was built by 1619 and the doorway into it from inside the church also dates to the early 17th century. The worn nature of the doorway step and sides suggest that it had been used previously for some considerable time, and could, perhaps, have been transferred from Warminghurst Place when that was demolished in 1707. The external doorway to the chapel and the lancet window are also from the early 17th century.
Next shown is a brass on the north wall of the chancel commemorating Edward Shelly (d. 1554), and his wife, Joan, shown kneeling in prayer, with their seven sons and three daughters behind them. Missing from the brass, with only their outlines showing are depictions of the Holy Trinity, and the head of the son on the far left, Edward Shelley Junior. Both are the result of anti-catholic feeling during the reign of the protestant queen Elizabeth I. Representations of the Holy Trinity were discouraged by the Queen, and Edward junior was executed in 1588 for harbouring a catholic priest, hence the apparent defacing of the monument.
The last photograph is of a 15th or 16th century iron chest, which stands in the nave near the font. The locking mechanism is extremely elaborate.