Its little round tower makes Southease church look like an émigré from East Anglia, it is one of three such towers in Sussex.

A charter of King Edgar in 966 gave Southease church to Newminster Abbey (Hyde Abbey in Winchester), the question is whether any of its fabric still dates from then. It was once a larger building, with short aisles added to north and east of the chancel in the late 12th c. These aisles disappeared in the late Middle Ages, along with the chancel, but the piscina to an altar remains in the N wall outside. The remaining nave was given a structural subdivision into a liturgical nave and chancel by the erection of a chancel arch in wood, lath and plaster. Like the nave walls, this bears fragments of mediaeval wall paintings.

The humble interior features a simple Norman font and a couple of Jacobean box pews, along with Hanoverian Royal Arms, George III to be precise. Commandment boards flank the altar, whilst an 18th century organ with a splendid mahogany case fits in, as do modern benches. There is a striking modern fragment of the Crucifixion. 


Map Reference: TQ 408051

Simon Cotton