West Dean Church

West Dean church

West Dean Church

The Church of All Saints

Church Lane, West Dean, West Sussex BN25 4AL
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The Saxon origins of All Saints, West Dean are evidenced by the small semi-circular headed window near the west end of the nave north wall. Formerly blocked up, the window was restored in 1963.

The tower, which has Norman masonry at lower level, is surmounted by an unusual hipped spire. It was re-roofed in 1984 with chestnut shingles, but damage by woodpeckers necessitated replacing the wood shingles with clay tiles during 2000.

There is no chancel arch at West Dean church, the demarcation between nave and chancel having formerly been made by a rood screen which was taken down in the 1840’s. The rood itself would have been removed at the Reformation.
The 14th century, three light, east window has 1889 stained glass depicting the crucifixion. At the west end of the nave there is a fine semi-circular Norman tower arch on short pillars which may, themselves, be of a later date.

The pulpit is from the late 20th century, whilst the font is medieval, either 13th century or early 14th century. It has a square bowl supported  on four octagonal shafts at the corners. There is a wealth of monuments at All Saints, including, on the north wall of the chancel,  tomb canopies of Sir John Heringod (d 1325) and his wife, Isabella. On the south wall of the chancel, there is a finely carved tomb of William Thomas and his wife. There is also a bust depicting JohnAnderson, 1st Viscount Waverley.

West Dean parsonage house, which stands next to the churchyard, was built c1280, and is thought to be the oldest continually occupied parsonage house in England.