Sussex Mass & Scratch Dials

Ford 1900

 

 


Article from 1900

Addendum to this article


FORD AND ITS CHURCH,
BY
 
PHILIP MAINWARING JOHNSTON.

Ford is a small, triangular-shaped parish on the western bank of the Arun, about three miles south-south-west of Arundel and within three miles of the sea. It is bounded oil the north by Binsted, on the east by Tortington (from which a small brook, taking its rise in Binsted, separates it) and Lyminster on the opposite side of the Arm ; to the southward lies what must be regarded as the mother-­parish of Clymping, while to the Westward is the populous parish of Yapton, now for some years ecclesiastically united to Ford.

In spite of its nearness to the important railway junction of the same name, Ford remains a very quiet little place, consisting of a few scattered cottages and three large old farm houses-one only, Ford Douse, of airy architectural pretensions.


Roof Detail
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The name of the place explains itself. Probably there has been a ford, or ferry, across the Arun at this particular point,1 and a settlement of some sort "at the Ford," from time immemorial. For the ford commanded the ancient coast road that passed inland westward through the fertile alluvial plain (always open and tree­less in comparison with the neighbourhood and county generally) between the great South Downs and the sea ­ a part which affords abundant evidence of very early settlement.

To go no further hack than the time of the Roman occupation, it seems very probable that Ford, as the point where the river was crossed on the route between the chain of camps near Pulborough and other minor fortifications of the Arun and the flourishing city of Regnum (Chichester), pray have been marked by a small camp or settlement of some sort. But no certain evidence of this has come to light, so far as I am aware. The irregularities in the ground, the remains of moats and the traces of foundations of walls beneath the surface in the meadows east and west of the church are hardly referable to a date so early as this. It is more probable that they are, partly or wholly, of medieval origin, and, it has been suggested, Mark the site of monastic buildings or of a manor house, " Near the church," says Dallaway, " are very visible remains of the enclosure, or site, Many yards square, upon which stood a baronial mansion, formerly inhabited by the Bohuns and their immediate successors. It was fortified by a moat, which was filled by the influx of the tide. When it was demolished we have no positive account, but there is evidence of its having been inhabited, as it had a private chapel, or oratory, within its walls. There was anciently a park." " When the navigable canal from the River Arun to Portsmouth harbour was begun in, 1818, near the site of the ancient manor-place, the foundations of considerable buildings were discovered."

In the course of the works recently carried out at the church a singular interment was discovered on the north side of the building. Six skeletons placed in a circle, the heads innermost and radiating from a centre, were found at about five feet below the present level of the churchyard. No pottery or other remains to give a clue to the age of the interment were found with them ; but the obvious presumption is that those buried were not Christians and therefore either Celts or heathen Saxons probably slain in battle while defending or attempting to take the ford of the river.

The parish is not mentioned by name in Domesday, but is possibly included under Clymping, or Clepinge's, with which always continued to be closely associated. it has The account in Domesday is as follows : it is curious that the manors are duplicated in every respect:

The Abbey of Alameness holds CLEPINGES of the Earl [Roger du Montgomery] in alms. Earl Godwine held it. Then, and now, it vouched for 11 hides. There is land for 9 ploughs, and 26 villeins and 21 cottars with 7 ploughs. There is a church and 12 acres of meadow. Wood for 20 hogs. In the time of Ping Edward it was worth £20, and afterwards, and now, £15. In the same manor S. Martin of Sais holds 11 hides of the Earl in alms, and they vouched for so much in the time of King Edward, and now. Earl Godwine held them. There, is land for 9 ploughs. In demesne are, 2 ploughs, and 26 villeins and 24 cottars with 7 ploughs. There is a church and 12 acres of meadow and wood for 20 hogs. In the time of Ping Edward they were worth £'20, and afterwards, and now, £15."

From this account it would seem that in the manor of Clymping in 1085-6 there were two churches, one the predecessor of the present large and beautiful church of that parish, and the other the still existing much humbler edifice we are considering - the Church of St. Andrew-at-the-Ford.

I think it only right, however, to state that the Editors of our "Collections,'' Mr. H. Michell Whitley and the Rev. W. Hudson, F.S.A., have favoured me with an opinion adverse to this conclusion. They consider that the exact correspondence in the details of the two holdings of the Abbey of Almanesches and S. Martin of Sais points to some error of the Domesday compilers. They would therefore "hesitate to assume that there were two churches." The question must at any rate be considered as an open one.

Earl Roger was the leader of the central division of the Conqueror's army at Hastings, and he, or his sore Roger, gave the land and church, or churches - part of his share of the spoils-to the Nunnery of Almanesches and the abbey of Seez in his Norman fatherland. Indirectly, Ford Church and Manor appear to have passed into the possession of the Nunnery of Leominster, or Lyminster, two miles distant on the other side of the Arun. This, as we learn from Dallaway,2 was originally a Saxon foundation of some antiquity, Mentioned as Lullingminster in King Alfred's will, and by him bequeathed to his nephew Osferd. Earl Roger, or his son, refounded this establishment and gave it to the Nunnery of Almanesches, of which it thus became a cell and through its connection with which it was endowed with the churches of Leominster and Rustington and the churches and manors of Clumping, Ford and Poling all within a radius of four miles of the Leominster Nunnery. In 1248 Ford was still reckoned as among the possessions of that cell (although the advowson had been in 1240 conceded by the Abbess of Almanesches to Ralph Neville, Bishop of Chichester, and so it continued until, in common with all the English (,states of alien priories, it was seized by the Crown on the breaking out of the French war lit 141.5. It appears then, or soon afterwards, to have passed to the Bohuns, Lords of Midhurst, into the hands of which family, however, Ford, or more probably the manor and part of the lands therein, seems to have come as early as the reign of Henry- I.3 Doubtless both the monastic body and the Bohuns shared the land in the parish for a long period; but the church until the fifteenth century must have been attached to Almanesches through its connection with Leominster.

From the Bohuns the church and manor passed by grant, marriage, or purchase to a long succession of owners. A moiety of Ford was claimed by Anthony de Beck, the famous Bishop of Durham, as part of the Sussex possessions granted to him by John de Bohun and Johanna his wife in 1283. For how long this moiety continued in the Bishop's hands is uncertain: probably it reverted, on the Bishops death in 1311, to the grandson of' the original grantor, another John de Bohun, in the hands of whom, and of his heirs, the church and manor were vested until the death of Sir John de Bohun in 1499, when they passed by marriage with his heiress, together with the rest of the Sussex estate, to Sir David Owen. Curiously, however, there is no mention of the Ford property in the very long and interesting will of the Knight, published in Vol. VII. of our Society's "Collections."4

His son Henry sold Ford, together with the Midhurst property, to Sir William Fitzwilliam, the rebuilder of Cowdray ; and in 1575 it came into the possession of the Crown, then into that of the Earl of Nottingham, and in 1605 it was held by Lord Cecil.

William Garway, a London merchant, of Hereford­shire descent, purchased Ford some time in the last decades of the seventeenth century. According to the late Mr. Lower,5 he was "M.P. for Arundel from 1678 to 1691, and a frequent speaker in the House. Being the last of his family he bequeathed his property here and in Clymping to Christ's Hospital in London, and it is still enjoyed by that establishment. He died in 1701." His tomb stands within railings to the east of the church.

Ford House, a fine old brick mansion, half a mile westward of the church, was perhaps built by Garway, probably on the site of a much older House, and still remains a very interesting example of the country- squire's residence of the latter half of the seventeenth century. It was originally larger than at present, and the front has been a good deal altered. Its fine brick and black flint walls, its chimney-stack, staircase and ancient doors, and especially the panelling and chimney-pieces of the principal rooms, are noteworthy. A room on the upper floor is panelled entirely in cedar, and presents once of the best examples of the use of that wood to be seen anywhere. The outbuildings, barns, and high lichen-­covered garden walls are charming specimens of the care and finish bestowed by our ancestors on these humble adjuncts; their mellow beauty contrasts forcibly with solve peculiarly ugly cottages erected hard by. The village lanes, with their peeps of farmyards straggling brick and flint walls and lofty elm hedge rows, are very old-world and picturesque. In some cases the ground on either side is raised five or six feet above the road.

There is at present no parsonage house in the parish, but one was in existence till the middle of the seventeenth century, and probably for a century later. We learn front the Parliamentary Survey of 1649, preserved among the MSS. at Lambeth, that there was then " A House, and barn and one stable, an half acre of glebe pasture in the midst of a parcel of grounds, called River Gardens, at the east end of Parsonage Gates : likewise part of a little plot called the Tripott, on the south side of the dwelling house, and next to the churchyard. The Gates (to fodder cattle) are immediately joining on the east side of a close called Court Gardens, 6 and on the north side of the garden-plot doth border on the east end of the par­sonage-house: and partly on the north side of the same."

A copy, made in 1816, of "A true and perfect terryer of all the tythes buildings gleabe lande gates and gardens belonging to the Parsonage of Forde" is preserved among the papers belonging to the church, extracted from the original in the Bishop's Registry at Chichester. It is substantially identical with the 1649 survey above quoted, but purports to have been made in 1635, no doubt in pursuance of Archbishop Laud's Injunctions.7 At what date this parsonage disappeared we have no record ; possibly it fell into decay during the troublous times of the Great Rebellion, and was not repaired at the Restoration of Charles II. However that may be, I am assured by a resident that he recollects about forty years ago the remains of ancient and massive flint walls as still standing above ground to the cast and north of the churchyard, where, as it would appear from the above-quoted survey, the old parsonage house stood. Indeed, it would seem from this gentleman's recollections, and from the general aspect of these now deserted fields between the church and the river, that a number of buildings have at one time or another stood near the church, of which at the present time no trace, except in the unevenness of the ground, remains. These facts make it plain that Ford must have been a place of much greater population and importance in the Middle Ages than to-day.

Moreover, the sexton states that in digging a grave in the churchyard some years ago at a distance of about thirty feet to the south of the church, and lit a line with its western wall, he came upon the angle of two walls running north and east. They were about two feet thick and very solidly built of flints, presumably with a stone quoin. The existing churchyard wall, which is evidently in part of great antiquity, is about 15 feet to the south of the spot where this ancient wall lies, and while it is possible that at some date long since the churchyard has been extended and another boundary wall built, I think it more likely that the old foundations were those of some small monastic cell attached, or in close proximity, to the church. Other reasons which I shall presently adduce lend weight to this view.

It is, therefore, a vastly different picture that we conjure up from the past to that which meets the eye to-day. Instead of the ancient church, standing solitary in the open fields, we must imagine as existing early in the fifteenth century an imposing group of buildings: the baronial mansion of the Bohuns, probably built of Caen stone and black flints (of which those in Garway's house and certain walls in the village may be the remains), semi-fortified and surrounded by a moat: the church, larger by a south aisle than now, and perhaps a small monastic building adjoining it ; while beyond these stood the homely parsonage, its barn and stable and the dwellings of the fisher folk and retainers of the manor. Perhaps no other village church in Sussex has seen such changes in its surroundings, and remained itself so little altered.

The approach to the church from the village is across one of the picturesque brick bridges that at intervals span the disused canal before mentioned-now dry and gray-grown and in parts almost obliterated- itself become an item in local archeology. From this a footpath leads across a stretch of open meadow land, on our left the canal, cutting obliquely across the site of the manor house of the Bohuns, the moat of which mention has been made being thus half obliterated. 8

The churchyard on its northern and western sides is surrounded by a hedge and dyke; on the south and east it is bounded by a wall, in part of some antiquity. As is usually the case in an old burial ground, there have been very few interments on the north side of the church.9 Several practical reasons no doubt decided the partiality for the south side so commonly found, but something must also be allowed for the ancient belief that the north is the region of evil spirits. In this peaceful God's acre rest many generations of the Bond ace family, for long--and happily still connected with Ford and West Sussex; indeed, two-thirds of the tombstones bear that name.

The registers, which do not go back further than 1627 all earlier one haying been destroyed among the papers of a deceased churchwarden many years ago contain no entries of special interest, nor do they throw ally light upon the history of the church. There is, however, abundant evidence in the building itself that it has been partially destroyed by fire once at least, and that it has remained for a long period a roofless ruin. If there be any value in local proverbs and traditions, this latter fact is witnessed to in the saving, still current among the natives, that " Ford Church was lost among the stinging­-nettles."

Besides the repair and partial reconstruction consequent upon this fire or fires (to which we will return presently), there was a seventeenth century restoration. Dallaway records this, but does not give his authority : ` In 1637, in pursuance of Archbishop Laud's injunction, [the church] was completely repaired and modernized, as to the appearance of its architecture." 10 To this repair we may safely attribute the handsome brick porch, or, rather, its front.

Nothing beyond mere tinkering seems to have been attempted after this until somewhere about 1865, when the theft incumbent renovated the interior of the nave and porch. The work was done ruthlessly enough, ancient seating and doors being swept away, and the font thrown out of the church (to give place to a basin on a wooden stand !) ; other damage was wrought, but fortunately little was done to the walls and roof beyond whitewashing the former and plastering over the latter. The old floor, principally of brick, was replaced by the present ugly tile paving. Unhappily, also a unique feature, in the shape of a pigeon-house ladder to the belfry, disappeared at this time. Mr. J. L. Andre, to whom our "Collections" owe so much, remembers seeing this, and has most kindly placed at my disposal his late father's sketch of the interior of the church in 1854­ here reproduced in which this quaint ladder and other destroyed fittings may be seen11 This interesting little drawing is the only piece of evidence I have been fortunate enough to meet with as to the internal aspect of the building before it was restored. By a hard fate, Ford Church is not included among either Lambert and Grimms' drawings,12 or Nibbs's more recent etchings of Sussex Churches. The only written record of any value that I have seen is the note on the church in Hussey's "Churches of Kent, Sussex and Surrey." This describes it before the 1865 repair, and makes mention of a Norman capital projecting from the interior wall, close to the south door, the font, I square. and rude," and several oak benches remaining in a mutilated condition-the two last of which items appear in Mr. Andre's sketch ; the former I have not discovered any trace of.

In 1879 the then Vicar, the Rev. Geo. Jackson, took in hand the repair of the chancel; in a detailed account of what was done, with which he has kindly favoured me, lie disclaims "that blessed word" restoration," in the name of which so much irreparable mischief, leas been done. The chancel walls were then re-plastered the old plaster was rotten and thickly whitewashed13 - and the stonework of the two windows in the south wall was partially renewed. To the details of these works I shall revert in their proper place.

My own interest in the little building dates back to several years before this repair of 1879; but that interest exchanged the sentimental for the practical on my being invited to superintend a further repair or restoration on archaeological lines, in the course of 1899. This work, which included the addition of a vestry and heating­chamber on the north side of the nave, was brought to a final conclusion in January of the present year. Its inception and carrying out are mainly due to the energy and liberality of various members of the Boniface family and their relatives and friends, aided by public subscriptions. The church was appropriately re-opened on the festival of its dedication--St. Andrew's Day, November 30th, 1899.

With this somewhat lengthy preface, let us now examine the building as it stands with the help of the accompanying plan.

A glance at the table of dates thereon will show that no less than seven periods or styles of architecture are represented within the limits of this tiny church. Having regard to its small dimensions and humble character this is surprising; but the very varied fortunes which it has seen in the course of its eight and a half centuries of existence are quite sufficient explanation of the handi­work of so many generations being found in its walls. What really is surprising is that with all these fires, ruination, and restorations, the plan and general outline remain very much the same as they were originally; and that two-thirds of the walls of this nave exist still to attest the pre-Conquest foundation of the building.

The church consists of nave, 31-ft. 6-in. by 21-ft. 6-in., and chancel, 22-ft. 6-in. by 15-ft. (but extended to its present length in the fourteenth century), south porch, and a small wooden bell-turret over the western gable of the nave. The works just completed have revealed the former existence of a small aisle of two bays on the south side of the nave.

The principal evidences of the pre-Conquest date which I have assigned to the church are to be seen in the north wall of the nave. They consist of two small round-headed windows, a shallow plinth, continued also along the west wall and eastern quoin, and a stone with peculiar interlaced ornament, built in as part of a rough arch over the north door. To these I should add the comparative loftiness of the nave walls and the internal batter very noticeable in the north wall--both characteristic features of Saxon churches. The only point that may be urged against the pre-Conquest date of the north wall is that the quoins are not built in "long-­and-short" work - a well-known feature of many Saxon churches. But this point carries no weight with the most eminent authorities of to-day, and is, moreover, quite discomfited by the fact that at Lyminster,


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Eastergate, Friston, and the majority of undoubtedly pre-­Conquest churches in the county long-and-short work is not to be found.14 This peculiar mode of forming an angle in masonry owes its origin undoubtedly to two causes : the imitation in stone of timber methods of con­struction, and the shapes and sizes in which the stones were quarried. This latter is the commonsense explana­tion of such quoins as we find in the eastern and western angles of the north wall of the nave at Ford, for the stones of which they are composed are all small square blocks brought by sea from the famous quarries at Caen; 15 and it is a simple fact that this stone was, both from its structure and for convenience of carriage, worked in these square shapes of small dimensions. So small, indeed, are the stones employed in the western quoin, for example, that the early builders duplicated them in alternate courses, in order to give them the requisite strength.

The Saxon plinth rims along the west and north walls of the nave and is one of those features which differentiates the work of this period from the Early Norman work of the chancel which immediately succeeds it in point of date. Until the recent restoration no plinth to the chancel walls was visible. I succeeded in bringing this to light, and it is now permanently uncovered. A glance will suffice to show its different character ; for whereas the Saxon plinth is a shallow chamfered set-off projecting about 12-in., the Early Norman, although joining it at the same level, has a broad chamfer and projects about 1½-in., the stones being laid altogether differently.

The two small round-headed windows in this north nave wall belong also to the pre-Conquest period. The outer frames are of Caen stone, the internal openings being dressed with chalk, plastered over. That to the eastward I opened out myself, no traces of it having been before apparent. Its outer stonework was missing, the rough opening being blocked with flints ; the twist in the internal splay is very noticeable, but difficult to account for. The window has now been restored to correspond with the ancient opening to the west. This, shown in the accompanying drawing, is a very perfect example of these early openings. It is only 6-in. wide and 2-ft 4½ -in. high, the head being formed in one stone. An enlarged plan of it appears on the general plait of the church, from which it will be seen that the actual opening is rebated internally iii a peculiar manner, unlike anything else I have met with in Sussex : also the splaying of the inside opening is very narrow-a mark of early date. Doubtless the opening was never intended for glazing, but was fitted with a shutter. A glazed shutter or easement has been inserted in the restored window to the eastward to mark this fact.

But a stone of probably earlier date than even these pre-Conquest features is to be seen built in over the head of the fifteenth century doorway in the north wall. The enlarged drawing of this (Fig. .5) shows the peculiar interlaced strap-work with which it is ornamented, and of which this is the only example known to me in Sussex. The stone itself is of a kind different to any other used iii the church, of a deep golden-brown colour, and of the same texture and appearance as much of the early stone­work of Sompting Church tower.

It is well known that a difficulty exists in the exact dating of this class of interlaced ornament. I had myself assigned this stone to a date any time between A.D. 700 and 1040 (the date I have set down the N. nave wall to) ; but wishing to have the opinion of authorities who have made a special study of pre­-Conquest work, I sent a drawing of this stone to the Bishop of Bristol and to Mr. J. Romilly Allen, F.S.A. The former expressed some doubt as to the early date I had ascribed to it, but the latter most emphatically confirms my opinion16 and his suggestion that "the pattern play have been the end of the arm of a cross" is specially interesting. One may imagine that Wilfrid's missionary monks, soon after the foundation of the monastery at Selsea, in the end of the seventh century, had a preaching station at the ford of the Arun, and before even one of the ecclesiolae which he perhaps established here, as else­where, was built, such a stone cross might be set up to mark the primitive place of assembly.

To the Early Norman period, circa 1100, the greater part of the chancel walls and the chancel arch belong. It will be seen at once from the plan how much thicker these walls are than those of' the pre-Conquest nave, in spite of the chancel being much lower and smaller in area. Speaking generally, walls of Saxon date are thinner and have stood better than those of the Norman builders. It is inconceivable that if the chancel had been built at the sane time as the nave the walls should have been nearly a foot thicker. The clumsy massiveness of the Early Norman walls, together with the absence of foundations, often produced settlements, and certainly evidence was not wanting at the recent restoration to show that the Early Norman work at Ford had not stood so well as that of the pre-Conquest period.

This Norman chancel probably superseded a wooden one of pre-Conquest date - perhaps the original oratory of Wilfrid's time, to which the later Saxon nave had been added. The plinth uncovered on the north side shows the extent of the Norman chancel, and proves that it was square-ended, not apsidal. The chancel arch, as will be seen in the accompanying illustrations, is a plain, square-edged opening, the piers of ashier facings, evidently imperfectly bonded into the flint core, and having an impost moulding ornamented with an X-shaped star.17 This appears also in the contemporary- work in St. John s Chapel, "I rover of London, as the top member of an abacus. The stone in which this impost is worked is a coarse oolite from the Isle of Wight or Portland, and is found nowhere else in the church. The jambs and arch are of Caen stone, the axe tooling being very distinct. Besides the saltine cross, a small incised circle appears on the north pier ; and on the east face of the south pier is a (cross) of ordinary shape, wheel may have been made at the consecration of the Forman chancel; it has all tile appearance of that date.

An excavation at the base of these piers during the recent restoration revealed the fact that the floor level of the chancel, now the same as that of the nave, was originally- about 7-in. lower, 18 and that the piers were finished with a small chamfered plinth. A channel has been cut in the tiling to show this. The present nave level appears to be that of the Saxon floor, but when the chancel floor was raised does not appear ; possibly it was done at the partial reconstruction of the chancel in the early part of the fourteenth century-.

In the north wall of the chancel, near to its western end, is a peculiar round-headed niche, belonging to the seine period of Early Norman work. It has never been a window, as might be supposed, and as a reference to the plan will clearly show. There is besides no vestige of stonework in the flint walling outside. the, jambs are slightly splayed, the western more than the other, as though to make the object placed in the niche more visible from the chancel arch, and the head is coved or splayed also. This may have been a place of deposit for an image of the patron saint (though its lowness in the wall is against such an explanation); or for a relic, or a heart-burial; or again, it may be a very early instance of an Easter sepulchre. The niche was opened, I believe, in 1879, when the chancel was restored, and according to one account a small pot of blackish earthen­ware,  containing what were supposed to be charred bones, was found in the blocking. This goes to support the theory of its having been a shrine for a relic of some sort, especially in the light of a `' find" I myself made while examining the north wall of the nave. -Near to its western end-about the same distance, in fact, as this niche is from the chancel arch-the plaster on being scaled off the base of the wall revealed another of these black earthenware pots, the mouth broken and showing only a circular cavity, about 10-in. in diameter. I have indicated this upon the section, Fig. G. Its nearness to the floor forbids the commonly received explanation as to these pots, that they were for improving the acoustics of the building; although it is only right to mention that at the 1879 restoration a Jar (or perhaps two) was found just underneath the wall plate in the N.W. angle of the chancel, which no doubt was intended for this purpose. 19 Probably the jar found in the nave lend that said to have been in the chancel niche both contained relies, and this may explain the meaning of two small grooves to be seen in the lower part of the jambs of the niche. They are about an inch wide and deep and only run up eight inches or so, suggesting that a piece of board was originally built in to protect some (object placed on the cill of the niche. (See the plait in accompanying sketch, Fig. (9.)

As to the use for which the jars under the wall plate were intended, I have no doubt at all that they were supposed to improve the acoustic properties of the building, and were there placed for that purpose. 20 The reverberation produced by these hollow pots, the mouths of which were sealed by a thin coat of plaster only, was thought to enrich the voice ; and in support of this an interesting passage is quoted from the Chronicles of the Celestins of Metz : " In the month of August, 1432, on the Vigil of the Assumption, after Brother Odo le Roy, the Prior, had returned from a general chapter, it was ordered that pots should be put into the choir of the Church of Ceans, he stating that lie had seen such in another church, and that lie thought they made the singing better and resound more strongly.." 21 The delusion, if such it be, is of very respectable antiquity. Vitruvius and other classical authorities--Grecian and Roman seem to have entertained it ; and the specimens of these pots found in churches in England alone range in date from the supposed ancient British examples, re-used ad hoc, in Leeds Church, Kent, to the middle of the sixteenth century. Hutchins' `` History of Dorset " gives in the Churchwardens' Accounts of Wimborne Minster for 1541-" Payd for 2 potts of cley for wyndfyllyng of the Chyrch, 8d." I have not met with any notice in our " Collections," or elsewhere, of the finding, of similar pots to these at Ford in other Sussex churches. It would be interesting to know of other instances, for I cannot suppose that Ford Church stands "solitary" in this respect also.

None of the Norman windows of the chancel exist in a perfect condition, but there is evidence that there were two in the original east wall and one in each of the side walls -perhaps two in the south wall. The outer stone­work of one of these latter remains entire (Fig. 10), but internally it has a modern pointed drop arch and jambs, reproduced, I believe, from the old design in 1879. The opposite window has been transformed, both inside and out, in the middle of the thirteenth century into the likeness of a lancet of that period, but its -Norman origin is still traceable. Chalk is here used for the internal dressing's and also for those of the fourteenth century east window. The cills of the two Norman windows belonging to the east wall are to be seen built in to the present east wall on its outer face, together with a quantity of other worked stones of twelfth and thirteenth century (late, among which are parts of the arches and jambs of Early English lancet windows (see Fig 17,
Like the Norman opening in the south wall, these in the east were only 6-in. wide and were rebated externally for shutters or glazed wooden frames. There is no question about the `earliness` of these  as examples of Norman -windows, and the contrast between
them and
the early windows in the nave makes it practically certain that the latter belong to the pre-Conquest period. Among other points of difference, the Saxon windows have no stone cill externally-only a plaster slope to carry off the wet: the -Norman have well developed stone cills, rebated like the jambs.

It is somewhat curious that there is neither piscina nor aumbry in the chancel-whether in what would be their position relatively to the original limit of the chancel, or in the fourteenth century extension : probably they were entirely destroyed at the Reformation, or subsequently.

Proceeding chronologically, we turn to the nave for the features next in order of date.

Late in the twelfth century (say 1150-1200) the lighting of the Saxon nave - never very brilliant - became dimmer through an aisle being thrown out on the south side and the windows in that wall being consequently destroyed. Two widely splayed lancets, of bold proportions, were therefore formed in the north wall, the eastern of the two Saxon windows being robbed of its outside frame to furnish some of the stone dressings required. Its fellow was then, or at a subsequent time, blocked up. The outside heads of these Transitional - Norman windows are only slightly pointed, while internally the splays finish with a round arch, formed, like the jambs, of chalk, over which the plastering is brought to an even line. The narrow margins of chalk had been originally painted red. Our modern mania for carefully showing every inch of the dressings, mid pointing the plaster painfully round all their irregularities, is certainly by no means invariably true "restoration." The treatment seen in the case of these windows (which I have been careful to preserve) is a very common one in the simple twelfth and thirteenth century churches of the southern counties. The crown of the internal arch of the western of these windows had in the seventeenth century repair been rebuilt in brick to a depressed curve. I have brought back the original sweep of the arch in chalk. Also the eastern window had been widened from 7½-in. to 15-in., to give more light to the pulpit (this within living memory) ; it has now been restored with the old stones to its original width. The result of these small restorations is a great improvement, the simple, yet beautiful, lines of the windows being recovered. A shallow recess was found in the cill of the eastern window (Fig. 6), which was no doubt made at some later date in connection with a stair to the rood-loft. At the same period as these windows an altar-recess was formed in the blank wall on the south side of the chancel arch (Fig. 7). There was no trace of this until the recent restoration, when the wall presented an even plastered surface. Under the whitewash were found some remains of simple strap ornament in yellow and black, of late sixteenth century character, and the flint-work below this was of split black flints set in clay in contrast with the flint-concrete of the original wall. This led me to pull out a few flints, with the result that the recess was brought to light. I had previously found the piscina (Fig. 11) - also of late twelfth century date - in the south wall hard by. It is a very early specimen of a piscina in the niche form, and perfect, except for the drain. In the recess was found a portion of a Sussex marble coffin slab, but (which was disappointing, remembering "finds" in other cases) no traces of colour decoration on the back of the recess, the head of which had been formed of chalk, roughly arched and cooed and plastered.

The position of the piscina in the south wall shows that the aisle, thrown out at the same date as the recess, was not of more than two arches, and perhaps did not extend to the full length of the nave eastward. Owing to the presence of graves in that direction it was not possible to ascertain whether foundations exist below the ground ; but none were met with at the western end. Here, however, was found, blocked in the south wall, the respond of the arcade (Fig. 12 ), its stones half calcined and coloured a warns pink by the action of fire. It is evident that this fire--of which more anon-so weakened the arcade that instead of-as was commonly done in the case of the burning down of an aisle-merely blocking up the arches and piercing door and window openings within them, it was found necessary to rebuild the wall almost entirely, retaining, however, this pier-respond at the west end in position. The "Norman capital," projecting from the interior of the south wall, of which Hussy makes mention, and of which no trace is now to be found, may have had some connection with this arcade. Probably it was destroyed to make more room for the modern seating.

The altar recess would seem to have been enclosed by a screen on its northern side, as the end of a beam (Fig. 7) may be seen in the wall above.

Two features only belong to the Early English period ; the south door within the porch and the low side window in the chancel. The door has evidently been removed from the destroyed aisle to its present position, for it shows abundant traces of the fire. Its external arch is chamfered and somewhat acutely pointed, while the inner arch, also chamfered, is of a flat, pointed, segmental shape. There is a general resemblance in this door to that in the neighbouring church of Binsted. Upon its eastern jamb, inside, several crosses and other pilgrims' signs were discovered on the removal of the whitewash. I have given two of them on an illustration below (Fig. 17).

To the low side window (Fig. 10) 1 need only briefly refer, as I have described it at length in my first paper upon this class of openings, in Vol. XLI. of these “Collections" (p. 168). It is a plain lancet, rebated externally, and its call was originally about 5-ft. from the ground, although, owing to the raising (of the soil through burials, it is now not more than half that height above the general level. Its date (circa 1250) coincides with that of the great group of earlier examples of this kind of window. Host of the internal stonework and part of the external, including the head, is modern, the window having been mutilated and partially blocked up until 1879. The restoration of the missing parts evidently follows the old lines.

Hard by, on the S.E. quoin of the nave, is a curious group of sun dials, one large and evidently intended for use ; the others are very inconspicuous and I had never noticed them until recently, the stones on twitch they are being blotched with weather stains and lichens. They are shown in the accompanying drawing to scale. These rude medieval sundials have Never been properly accounted for, but there is little doubt that a certain proportion of them were working dials, intended to mark the hours generally, and in particular the times appointed for the services of the church. The illustration in this case perhaps gives us the true proportion of the working dials to the toy ones; only one out of the five here found seems to have been seriously used. It has a hole sufficiently deep to hold a wooden gnomon and twenty-­one divisions, those in the right top corner, which would be of no practical case, being only faintly indicated. The dial is not circular, as will be seen in the drawing ; the rays terminate in little "cups." I have elsewhere noted the frequent occurrence of dials on, or close to, low side windows--a coincidence which may, or may not, have some significance.

 The quoin on which these dials are was rebuilt after the destruction of the aisle, and the stogie bearing the principal dial is coloured red by the action of fire, the presumption being that both stone and dial marking are older than the date of the rebuilding of this quoin in the fifteenth century ; but the other dials may well have been made subsequently to that date. The principal dial a may date from the thirteenth century.

In the Decorated period (circa 1320) the east wall of the Norman chancel was pulled down and the chancel extended 6ft. The different character of the eastern parts of the side walls shows that they and the east wall had beets rebuilt at this time ; but the uncovering of the Norman plinths clearly proves to me that the rebuilding was for the sake of enlargement. To this date belong the beautiful east window of three lights and the single light ogee-headed window lit the south wall of the nave (Figs. 14 and 15).

Windows of the Decorated period are comparatively rare in Sussex, although those of the preceding and subsequent styles are so well represented. The reason for this is probably the scarcity of stone in the county­especially of stone suitable for working elaborate tracery forms in. Boxgrove has some windows of even date, and identical in design, with these at Ford, at the E. end of its two chancel aisles ; and there are of course the tine rose window and the very large tracery window beneath it in the south transept of Chichester Cathedral. But speaking generally, Decorated windows are rare in the western division of the county. Ford has therefore double reason to be proud of its east window-and all the more that, though executed in the rough orange­brown sandstone front the hills (with a few pieces of older Caen worked in), it has stood so well the effects of time. 22 The tracery is of the variety known as " reticulated," from its resemblance to the meshes of a net. A window of the same character at Arlington, in last Sussex, is illustrated in Vol. XXXVIII, , S.A.C.," p. 184.

The little window in the S. wall of the nave, of similar date and character, is in Caen stone, probably older stone re-worked. The stones are split and discoloured -- ­effects of the fire before alluded to--incidentally proving the fire to have taken place after the chancel had been extended and these windows inserted. In fact, the whole of the south wall of the nave is full of pink-tinged, semi­-calcined fragments of Caen stone, some worked with sections of window jambs and other architectural features, which, with the flints- -mostly black and faced-give a chequered appearance to the wall that is highly picturesque.

The two-light Perpendicular window in the west wall of the nave (Fig. 16) furnishes a clue to the date of this fire. It is, like the east window, of local sandstone, mostly browner than the other, and has stood the S.W. gales badly.23 I have dated this on my plan, together with the doorway on the N. side of the nave and the rebuilding of the south wall of the nave, 1420, but the window may, from its character, be slightly earlier. The N. door is a plain but graceful example. It has a four-­centred arch of good outline, worked with a hollow chamfer, having a pyramidal stop at the base. The stones with which this door is built are evidently mostly of Norman date, and many bear traces of the fire. I doubt if there was an earlier N. door on the site of this ; and these stones came, I think, from the destroyed aisle. The nave roof belongs to the same period, and I take the features generally, though they may not be all of exactly the same date, to indicate the date of the fire before alluded to.

What caused this fire ? I can hardly think it to have been accidental, but that rather we have the key to it in the troubles of Henry V's reign, when the estates, revenues and buildings belonging to the alien priories were confiscated and applied in liquidation of the expenses incurred by that monarch in the French wars. We may well imagine that the church was set on fire by French pirates, or partizans of the inmates of the cell attached to, or in the immediate neighbourhood of the church. That some such building probably existed in the church­yard I have before shown, and the great quantity of worked Caen stone` in the rebuilt wall of the nave suggest some other source besides the dressings of the destroyed aisle.

It may be taken for granted that the Decorated window in this wall, though damaged by the fire, was left in situ as we see it and merely repaired, but the arches of the aisle to the westward were pulled down, the west respond being blocked up in the new wall, while the thirteenth century door was made to do duty again lit its new position.

This fire does not seem to have touched the chancel. Probably the thick wall between the nave and chancel prevented the roof of the latter from being burnt, as that of the nave undoubtedly was. We therefore find the wall plates of the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century roof (see section on fig. 6) remaining in the chancel and most of the roof timbers appear to be of the same date ; but it was thought better at the recent restoration to leave them covered with plaster, as they are very rough and in poor condition. The eastern part of the chancel -roughly corresponding to the extension in the fourteenth century shows a break in the roof inside, and is further harked by a tie-beam and a plain length of wall plate. This may indicate a thirteenth, rather than a fourteenth, century date for the western part of the chancel roof.24

The nave roof, however, was undoubtedly burnt in this fire, and that we now see dates from the partial rebuild­ing of the nave inn the beginning of the fifteenth century. Its general character (see Frontispiece) is ample proof of this. It is a plain king-post roof, of good squared timbers, seemingly chestnut, which, as they were evidently intended to be seen, I have exposed to view, removing the comparatively modern casing of lath and plaster mid re-plastering between the rafters. These are of good scantling, 6-in. by 4-in., with collars and braces. Tile king-posh have rough caps and bases and are braced to the collars and tie-beams with bracket pieces and stays. I found the rafters to be marked with Roman numerals in the order in which each couple was fixed, and all are fitted together with stout oak pines. So sound was the whole roof that not a single timber had to be renewed. It is noteworthy in this, as in nearly all mediaeval roofs, that there is no ridge piece to tie the rafters longitudinally, and there are also no purlins. Altogether, the roof is an excellent specimen of the plain, sturdy and lasting carpentry of our ancestors, and bids fair to outlast many of' our modern and more pretentious constructions.

One feature in connection with it, as already mentioned, was destroyed in the "restoration" in the " sixties," viz., the pigeon-house ladder, shown in Fig. 2. This primitive means of access to the small bell-turret of the west gable was simply a rough-hewn tree-trunk, having stout pegs bored into it on either side to act as steps. We may congratulate ourselves in having a record in this sketch of a feature once common lit the smaller village churches, but now rarely met with, owing to destructive restorations. The turret to which thus gave access is in form ancient, but the timbers of which it is composed seem to have been renewed at this restoration. Like its neighbour at Tortington, it is painted white, for a landmark at sea. It contains two ancient bells, the first bearing the inscription in very pretty Lomhardic letters­

 This inscription is given on p. 143, Vol. XVI., "S.A.C" in the late Mr. Daniel-Tyssen's valuable paper on " The Church Bells of' Sussex." I here give a drawing of some of the letters (Fig. 17). Apparently no others of this old founder's hells are known to exist : and from the character of the letter, it is not easy to assign a elate to this bell. Taken by themselves, the letters are of fourteenth century character, but bearing in mind that, through the continued use of old stamps, a certain archaism was preserved in the lettering on bells (as in coins), and the probability of the older hells having been melted in the before-mentioned fire, one is safer in assigning this bell to the same date as the nave roof, viz., early in the fifteenth century. To the date of tine second bell we have no clue, owing to the absence of any inscription or other distinquishing mark. It may very likely however, be of the same date as its companion.

 

The porch is interesting as an example of Laudian restoration. The sides are of flint, and possibly are the remains of an older porch, which may have had a wooden front, as at Yapton, Lyminster and Rustington. They have been heightened by the addition of about two feet of brickwork, at the some time that the brick front was built. There is a small elliptical-arched window in the E. wall. The sombre tones of the narrow red bricks contrast pleasantly with the lichen-coated flint and stone­work of the walls, and, now that the ivy-pestilent weed!--has been removed, the moulded pediment and ramped sides of the -gable are once more visible.

The font, shown in the late Mr. J. P. Andre's sketch and in Fig. 6, has had a chequered history. The bowl, the only part- ancient, of blue-grey limestone, probably imported from the Low Countries, is, from its rudeness and entire absence of ornament, as likely as not of the same date as the N. and W. walls of the nave. It was rescued by the late Rector, the Rev. Geo. Jackson, from a neighbouring farmyard, where it was searing as a bath for the ducks (haying been turned out of the church in the 1865 restoration), and restored to its sacred purpose, being mounted upon a diagonally-placed block of Bath stone.

Prior to the same destructive restoration there were, as Hussey informs us, several oak benches remaining, of which Mr. J. L. Andre has preserved the following note, made in 1854: "The seats, with the exception of two little boxes, are all the old open benches with fleur-de-lys poppy-heads, now much mutilated. They are good plain benches, with. book-boards and exceedingly low seats (which are very comfortable) ; one of these seats seems to be of 2nd Pointed date, square-ended, with the filleted roll moulding worked at top." The present stained deal seats are a poor exchange. Would that we could give back our "new lamps," and get the old ones returned!

The church is quite destitute of monuments of any antiquity, the only ones inside the walls being of dates within the present century. Any grave-slabs that were in existence before the old brick floor was replaced by the existing ugly tiles in the before-mentioned restoration were destroyed, or taken away by the contractor (as was commonly done in those days'); but it is some negative consolation that the oldest inhabitant does not recall anything very old or interesting in this way.

Some compensation for the absence of old fittings and monuments is afforded by the remains of ancient mural decoration which f have had the good fortune to discover beneath the thick coats of whitewash covering the walls. The chancel walls were re-plastered in 1879 and I have not been able to learn that any ancient paintings were found, though it is hardly to be doubted that such must have been in existence. The plastering is described as having been very rotten. That in the nave was, however, so good that it escaped the destructive zeal of the earlier restorers, who were content with adding one more coat of whitewash.

Taking the paintings found in order of date, we have, firstly, what I have the temerity to claim as a consecra­tion cross of the pre-Conquest Church (Fig. 18). The position of this is shown on the section, Fig. G, and its extremely early date seems vouched for by the, following facts : It is not in ordinary distemper colour, but is painted in hard sort of mastic, incorporated with the original pebbly plaster, close adjoining one of the Saxon windows ; while across the lower part of it is carried a band of early thirteenth century flowers (Fig. 18). The quatrefoil enclosing the cross seems at first sight incon­sistent with so early a period as I have claimed for this fragment : nevertheless it appears in illuminations of pre-Conquest date (e.g., the Missal of Robert of Jumieges, circa 1050) and the curious fact is being gradually recognised by authorities on mediaeval architecture that there is a greater family likeness between Anglo-Saxon floral ornamentation, as found in illuminated MSS., and Early English or thirteenth century decoration and carving, than between the latter and those of the intervening period of the Norman style. That a consecration cross should have been thus obliterated seems to imply that a, long interval of time must have elapsed between the date it was painted at and that of the decoration that covered it up.

The only remaining fragment of that decoration (Fig. 18) is very rudely executed. A curious point, not unworthy of note, is that some of the lead pencil setting­-out lines are still visible. I found these elsewhere also, showing that medieval artists used something to guide their brushes.

On the same illustration is a small piece of a running pattern of twelfth century date, which, unfortunately, could not be preserved, as it scaled off the wall soon after it was uncovered. It was on a thin coat of whitewash on the Norman plaster to the N. of the chancel arch, west side. Though the design is so simple it is very effective, and the combination of colours-dark red­-brown, pink, olive green and straw colour - is pleasing.

There were traces of decoration covering the blocked Saxon window and (of more than one period) over the N. door, where was a patch of vivid pinkish-red with black outlines. From its position and shape it seemed likely to be the robe of the Infant Christ being borne by St. Christopher, but as there was nothing else to go by, this must be taken as a guess merely. This piece was on a thin coat of distemper over older colouring of a similar tone.

Over the whole of the chancel arch wall below the tie­beam traces of colouring in masses of faint pinkish-red and pale yellow were visible on the removal of the white­wash. This whitewash consisted of many coats, which came off in masses, but it was evident that the Commandment, &c., had been twice painted in black letter among these various coatings. No drawing of figures or patterns of any sort was discoverable in this place, except (as above mentioned) some Elizabethan arabesque strap work over the blocking that hid the altar recess.

The west wall was still more barren of results ; the plaster there was in a bad state and in parts quite dis­integrated, owing to exposure to the S.W. rains, which in these seaside churches have a singularly penetrating power.

The little Decorated window nl the S. wall of the nave proved more satisfactory. On removing the whitewash from the eastern splay, the kneeling figure shown in the accompanying illustration was brought to light. The cruciform nimbus not being at first very clearly brought out,, I had set this down as a female saint-possibly St. Barbara, who is sometimes represented with a chalice. But when the true form of the nimbus appeared there was no longer any doubt that  the subject of  this some­ what crude painting is "The Agony in the Garden," the chalice of course having reference to our Lord’s  words, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me " (St. Luke xxii. 42). The hands of the angel, "strengthen­ing Him," are faintly visible above our Lord's head.

Something like the margin of a stream was also to be seen below the figure, but the plaster at this part fell off. The trees of " the garden " are evidently indicated by the very aggressive leaves and scrolls above and behind; these were continued over the stone head and jambs of the window, while on the softie of the flat segmental window arch may be seen two dragons with intertwined, or juxtaposed, bodies (Fig 20), emblematical, perhaps, of "the hour and the power of darkness.",

 Two principal colours are used in this very rude piece of work red and bright yellow and the effect is consequently garish. Even the outlines are in red. The face, hands and feet seem to be slightly tinted, and the hair is of a red-brown colour.

On the western splay of this window nothing was found, but there was evidence that a painting had been destroyed at some time, the plaster being hacked. On the wall immediately adjoining to the west, how­ever, the remains of another subject in the same series was found -- seemingly representing either the Betrayal or the Bearing of the Cross. The details of this were difficult to make out, as the painting had been raked over or scraped. The figure of the soldier was fairly distinct, but part of the head has since disappeared. I have drawn the nimbus of the other figure without the cross, as it was not visible, but there is little doubt that it represents our Blessed Lord. Some object of a yellowish colour, like a boat or cradle, lies at His feet, but it is too far gone to be distinguishable. Below the broad line bordering these figures are some rudely-painted stars. This painting and that on the window adjoining are no doubt part of a series representing our Lord's Passion, and they would seem to have special reference to the altar recess. I would suggest that here was an enclosed altar of some importance-perhaps the parish altar, if the chancel were shut off and used as the chapel of the cell-and that it was dedicated to St. Cross or the holy Sepulchre, favourite dedications with returning crusaders, by one of whom the alterations ill the end of the twelfth century may have been carried out. 25 The paintings we have been considering do not, of course, ante-date the fire in the beginning of the fifteenth century; in fact, they obviously date from that time or half a century later. I incline to the latter as the more likely -i.e., circa 1450 because not only is the work itself late in character, but also a comparison of it with the painting I am about to describe will show that they cannot have been executed at the same time, that both are of necessity subsequent to the date of the fire, and that the paintings we have been considering are in their treatment obviously later than the other.

This other painting, shown in the Frontispiece, is the remains of a Doom, or Last Judgment, oil the wall over the chancel arch and above the tie-beam of the roof -- a space occupied before the recent restoration by some modern tables of the Commandments, &c. When these were removed traces of colouring were apparent, and I took advantage of the scaffold to work at clearing off the whitewash-a process which occupied a week and more. After this was done I saturated the painting with size and varnished it, with the result that it is protected from the atmosphere and made much more permanent, besides being rendered more distinct to the eye than if left a first uncovered. 'rite same treatment was applied to the other fragments of paintings before described.26

The Doom is undoubtedly coeval with the roof, which I have given my reasons for believing to be of early fifteenth century date, and the king-post and braces of which, by dividing it ill the centre, have dictated a some­what unusual treatment. Very little of the painting in the left hand division remains -only-, in fact, part of the figure of the Blessed Virgin in a robe of red lined with blue-grey, and a group of souls under her protection. One of these, detached from the rest. represents a priest. Below. in the two triangular spaces framed by the spur, or braces of the king-post, is a sample of the General Resurrection, two little figures, a plan and a woman, being shown in the act of rising from their coffins: while two others, also of either sex, in the right hand space, are depicted ill curiously shaped boats, referring to the  passage (Rev. ex.., 13) And the sea gave ill) the dead which were in it "-a delightful touch of, local colour." No doubt the sea and its perils were very present to the minds of the Ford fishermen and to the artist-perhaps a son of the soil-who painted this detail.

The figure of our Lord, on tile right side of the painting, balances that of the Blessed of this only the thumb of the left hand remains, holding a scroll, intended to represent the Book of Life, the passage referred to being in the last verse of the same chapter in Revelation : ' And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." The book is divided into four panels, counter-charged pale blue and black, the latter to represent those whose names are " blotted out." Three groups of souls-little naked figures, of which the faces, outlined ill black, and the yellow beads of hair are very distinct--surround the space where the figure of the Divine Judge has been. There is also a Small part of a larger figure (tile eve only), representing, perhaps, the Archangel Michael, immediately to the right of our Lord and, again to the right, is Satan, with forked tail and clawed feet, blue­-grey body covered with clots of black hair, engaged in pitching down with a dung fork a batch of souls to a demon below. One of these, with upraised arms and long hair, is a woman. Beyond this group " the Devil's horn'' is represented. I thought at first it sight be the trump of tile archangel, but not only is its shape opposed to the traditional shape of that attribute, but in this case no hand or mouth appears with the horn.27

In the extreme right are - The Jaws of Hell,,' represented in the usual form of a yawning whale or sea­ monster's head, fringed with teeth-an image taken from Jonah's prayer of thanksgiving-" out of the belly of hell," when he had been thrown up by the fish. Standing therein, in pink. and brown flames, are two very ugly blue demons with hairy bodies and clawed feet, one having horns like a cow, the other goat's horns. These, with the assistance of a third outside (whose head has disappeared), are receiving the batch of condemned souls front Satan and thrusting them into the Jaws. The goat­horned demon appears to have a woman under his right arm, as though carrying her on his back into the flanges. Crude as are the conception and execution, there is a considerable character in the whole painting-one fears a touch of sardonic monkish humour too--and the little faces in the batches of souls have a wonderful look of life and individuality about them.

One misses some of the characteristic features of a Doom. There are no crowned mid mitred figures among the souls, such as at Patcham, no angels (if we except the slight trace of what may have been St. Michael), and no Heavenly City, with Peter at its doors, no architecture or background of any sort, in fact. Of course some Of these missing features, may have been put into the left hand end of the painting, now entirely destroyed. Bit it seems to me quite as likely that there was a deliberate variation on the part of the artist from the usual or conventual treatment, and that lie set himself to carry out the two main ideas of resurrection and eternal judgment in the simplest possible manner, and not without an eye to the limitations of his own powers as an artist. Anyway, lie did not do badly if ins object was to frighten the people of Ford into being good!

The black outlines, and the entirely different character of the figures and colouring, make it certain that this painting and that of ' The Agony" are done by different hands and it different times-this being thirty years or so earlier than the other.

The works recently carried out. besides general repair and bringing to light these long-hidden features of interest, included the addition of a vestry and heating-chamber on the north side of the cave, for which purpose the old north door, till their blocked up, was re-opened. The vestry was designed with a gable, transept-wise, kept quite low, so as to interfere as little as possible with the old wall; and the ancient windows are by this means left undisturbed. The stone with interlaced ornament is thus placed under cover, and is not so easily noticeable on that account. I mention this, lest anyone should visit the church and think that this interesting fragment had been lost or destroyed.

The church plate includes two pieces of some interest -a Communion cup and paten-cover. I submitted a photograph and rubbing of these to an expert the Rev. T. S. Cooper, late an Hon. Sec. of the Surrey Archaeological Society, and author of an exhaustive list of the church plate in that county. He has most obligingly given me the following particulars for publication in this paper :

"The Cup and paten-cover are without doubt of the year 1567, the date letter on both being- the black letter small (K) of that year, with an annulled below. The Assay Master, Richard Rogers, was ` discharged of the office of assayer' on Dec. 24th in that year. Thomas Kechynge being appointed in his place it was this latter who adopted the annulet under the date letter, so that the date of these pieces must be between Christmas, 1567, and Lady Day 1568. The maker's mark is too indistinct to make out.... The position of the strap-work band on the paten proves that it was used also as a cover to the cup." The cup follows the earlier Elizabethan model. It is 6 3/8-in. high by 3½-in. diam. across the mouth. The bowl is gracefully bell-shaped and deep in proportion. The stem is divided, not quite midway, by an annulet, and the circular foot is stepped in three series of mouldings. A band of characteristic arabesque, or strap-work, is carried round the upper part of the bowl, and the same appears on the underside of' the outer rim of the paten, visible only when used as a cover, as Mr. Cooper suggests. The paten is 4½in. in dial. and has the usual button-foot.

In the delightfully written account of Dedications of Churches and Chapels in West Sussex, compiled by Charles Gibbon, Esq., Richmond Herald, and published in Vol. XII. of our Society's "Collections," the wills of two priests of Ford are given. I make no apology for transcribing them here:­-

John Forbe, 28 priest, 24th March, 1535.-my body, &c., in the churchyard of St. Andrew, at Ford ;; to the monastery of Turtyngton, to he prayd for, 3s. -4d.; to every canon. 131: to the Church of Ford, 6s. 8d.; to its high altar 12d.;: to the house of Grey friars. of Chichr half a trentall: also, to the friars of Arundell. 3s. 4d. . and to every friar priest at the same place, 4d.; to every householder of Ford, man and woman, that doth offer my obit at my buryn, shall have 4d.: also, I will, 10s. for a trentall among the canons of Tortynton' He, mentions William Arundell, superior of Ford, 10d., and every mayde of 10 years age, 4d' years age, Id'

Alexander Harrison. parson of Ford. 3rd Jan. 1538 my body, &c., in the chancel of Ford before St Andrew ; to the light burning before the Blessed Sacrament, 12d.: to the Rood light, 12d."

To the kindness of Mr. W. Hamilton Hall, F.S.A., a member of our Society, I am indebted for the following extract from the will of John Dudley, of Atherington, Esquire, dated 1st October, 1500:­

"Item. I will my - executurs do by a vestment of the price of xx. s. and geve it to the p'sh church of ford wher some tyme I was a p'shon'."

Our member, Mr. R. Garraway Rice, F.S.A., informs me most kindly of the existence in the Perogative Court of Canterbury of the wills of the following lay-folk of Ford :

Richard Camps, gent., proved 1550 ; William Colbrooke, yeoman, proved 1573 ; and of Juliana Wilbridge (probate act only), 1560.

With the two names of rectors before-mentioned, those given in Dallaway's '' history of Sussex," and other sources of information. I have been able to compile a skeleton list of incumbents of Ford. The present rector kindly supplied the last five names.



 

Footnotes

1 Traces of the ancient causeway leading up from the ford exist in a field near to the church.

2 "History of Sussex." Vi,]. 11.. p. 49. `cc i1 o "S.A.C.,'' Vol. Xl., p. 117 and Hussey's " Churches of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, pp. 218, 260 and 261.

3 See Vol. X X., p. 1,&c., to which I am indebted for main of these particulars. There is an apparent contradiction between these early charters mud the documents relating to the possessions of the monastic bodies above quoted, which it is not easy to reconcile.

4 P. 23. "On the Effigy of Sir David o n is in Easeborne Church." By the late Mr. W. H. Blaauw, M A.. F.S.A..

5 " History of Sussex." M. A. Lower. Vol. I., p. 186.

 6 This. is an interesting name, suggesting that the mansion of the Bohuns was called The Court.''

7 In his visitation of his province by his Vicar-General, 1633-36. By the kindness, of Miss M. J. Borifice, of Ford House, I have been favoured with a copy of this terrier, which is attested in the original by John Marshall Rector, John Page and Thomas Damar, churchwardens, and John Betfall, "sydeman," the last two putting, their " mark."

 8 During the recent works of restoration at the church advantage was taken of the presence of workmen to cut two trial trenches through a corner of the site of the house, but although all abundance of dints and lime ill the soil attested to the former existence of a building, the actual foundations were not reached, and the removal of the moil, consequent upon the completion of the work at the church, prevented further search. At some future time the Excavations Committee of our Society may feel disposed to stake a more systematic exploration.

9 In the neighbouring churchyards of Lyminster and Rustington we have exceptions to this rules. The north is the favourite sidle in both cans. and the buildings are so placed as to make it evident that there was a reason for this-in these cases the practical one of shelter from the prevalent S.W. wind.

10 Like many of Dallaway's other statements where buildings are concerned, this needs to be taken in a modified sense.

11 Our members would do Sussex ecclesiology an inestimable service by communicating with the Hon. Secretary of the Society as to the existence in their matt or others' possession of such pre-restoration sketches and photographs ; or, better still, presenting them to our museum at Lewes.

12 see the most valuable catalogue. compiled by our member, Mr. H. Simmons,

13 Unfortunately no systematic search for old paintings was made before re-plastering, but Mr. Jackson says that, so far as he knows, no traces of such were found.

14 See List of pre-Conquest Churches in the appendix to this paper. The window in the N. wall of the chancel at Eastergate, probably Saxon, is, however, built of stones arranged in the long and short fashion.

15  These quarries were works from Roman times : and in places near our South Coast, or oil navigable rivers, water-carriage would obviously lie a cheaper and easier way of procuring a good supply of building stone- especially where it was scarce Will poor, as in Sussex - than carting it for long distances from inland. Cean stone was used by the Confessor for his work lit Westminster. We also find it at the well-known Saxon churches of Bosham and Sompting

F16 Mr. Allen write':" I should say that the sculptured fragment with interlaced work on it at Ford Church, Sussex, is certainly of the pre Norman period. I (to not think that in the present state of our knowledge it is possible to assign an exact date to atones of this, class. All we can say is that they are probably not earlier than A D. 700, nor later than 1000. During these three centuries there was no perceptible chant' in the -tree of the decoration of the Saxon ;ill([ Celtic crosses, and therefore I don't quit. See how dates can be given for particular examples. The interlaced pattern on the stone at Ford Church appears to be part of a Stafford knot made with four hands running parallel to each other. Quadruple bands of this kind are very unusual. The pattern may have been the end of the arm of a cross, as on a slab at St. Blane's, in the isle of Bute, illustrated in the Rev. J. K. Hewison's ` history of tints,.'

I have referred to this work, and ant struck by the general family likeness in the two patterns. Celtic missionaries may well have imported Celtic art into this region in the early evangelization of West Sussex.

17 In reference to the dedication of the Church to St. Andrew. A St. Andrew's X is roughly incised on the N. pier. It is. however, remarkable that in many early representations of this saint he is shown with an upright cross, in spite of the popular associations with his martyrdom of one of the saltire shape. This star ornament occurs on a stone built into the S. wall of .Arundel Church.

18 Vide "S.A.C." Vol XLI., p 177, for a similar instance of a chancel one step lower than the nave. This was more common in our smaller mediaeval churches than is generally supposed. There is the same original arrangement at St Mary's, Eastbourne.

19 So the Rev. Geo. Jackson, the late rector, informs me. Possibly there is some confusion between this jar and that said to have been found in the niche. He describes it as " a plain earthenware jar, unglazed, perhaps able to hold a quart. It was empty."

20 A distinguished member of our society, Dr Codrington who has taken a great interest in Ford Church, expressed some years ago his support of this view with reference to a very interesting discovery of these acoustic jars in the chancel of Tarrant Rushton Church, Dorset. His opinion being quoted to the late eminent antiquary, Sir Henry Dryden, Bart., he said, "The idea is all nonsense." I referred to this when visiting Sir Henry Dryden : and he explained that he fully believed these pots were put where they are found with the intention of improving the sound, though he believed that the idea of their doing so was nonsense.

21 See an interesting paper by the Rev. J. Penny on Tarrant Rushton Church, printed in the 1897, Vol. of the Dorset -Natural History mud Antiquarian Field Club's " Proceedings," p.59  Also, a paper which gives many very interestingfacts, but forms no definite conclusions, by our late member, Mr. Gordon Hill,, printed in Vol. XXXVI. of the Journal of the British Archaeological  Association.

The acoustic jars at Tarrant Rushton Were found lying on their sides, the mouths covered with a thin skin of plaster. on the eastern face of the chancel arch wall, about eight or nine feet from the floor. They were built into squared niche;, where they are still to be seen.

22 The ancient parish church of Littlehampton, two or three miles distant, as shown in Lambert and Grimms' view in the Burrell Collection at the British Museum. had a similar cart window of reticulated tracery in sandstone, which, when the church was rebuilt in 1827, was replaced as the east window. A small Trans-Norman door was also a relic from the old church. Most unhappily, when the present brick chancel was added a few years since, these two features were entirely destroyed – apparently  without protest. Verily our fathers of the despised "Churchwarden " period had often better taste than their degenerate descendants

23 Hussey makes a curious mistake in describing this window in his account of the church. He says that part of the hood moulding it "of brick, though the bricks were formed in a mould, not cut for the purpose." The real fact is that till the hood mould is of sandstone, but one stone is of a reddish hue and a different texture to the rest.

24 Or else that the roof was partially reconstructed at the Laudian restoration, circa 1640. There are indications that the E. gable of the chancel was repaired at that time, the bricks of the period being used; and also that the walls of the chancel have been higher by a foot or more at some time : whether they were lowered then, or at some other time, is open to question.

25 Perhaps it is worth recording that within living memory the chancel arch was filled with a solid screen, or doors, with a small door for use, and the chancel thus shut off. This tray have been a continuance of the old tradition of a monastic body wing the chancel. In the small church of Treyford (whose state of ruin is a reproach to all concerned in it there was a timber and plaster partition between nave and chancel, entirely separating them except for a doorway in the centre. This arrangement derives its significance from the fact that a small nunnery used the chancel as their church.

26 Objection is taken by some to the use of varnish --(1) that it " gives a modern look to the painting. (2) that it "yellows" it and (3) that in course of time it cracks and causes parts of the painting to scale off. I can speak with some practical experience in the matter, having watched the effect of varnish in the cases where I have applied it during several years, and I am prepared to defend its use in the majority of cases. The first objection is sentimental only ; the second does not apply if the best white varnish is used as it should be ; the third would only be likely to occur where a very damp wall is concerned, or an inferior, inelastic varnish is employed. And undoubtedly the use of varnish stops the fading and disintegration which otherwise inevitably set in. Too often our ancient paintings are left to slowly perish after being uncovered, for want of some common-sense method of preservation.

27 My esteemed friend. Mr..J. L. Andre. writes with reference to this :- " In Hare's 'Ancient Mysteries,' opposite p. 138, he gives a print of the ' Harrowing of Hell,' reproduced from one engraved by 'Hearne the Antiquary.' In this print a devil is seen blowing a horn of large size by the side of the Jaws of Hell. The panel-painting at Wenhaston, Suffolk, has a horn-blowing devil in it, seated above the Mouth of Hell.

28 The writer quantly comments, "I say, 'Honour to the memory of John Forbe of Ford.' If the money be multiplied by twelve, it will not be far wide of its present value

 

From Sussex Archaeological Collections XLIII, MCM
Reproduced by courtesy of the Sussex Archaeological Society (SAS). 
SAS grants this licence for the stated purpose in respect of such rights as SAS may have over the articles, 
but those rights may not include the author's copyright in the words and/or images.
 


FORD AND ITS CHURCH: ADDENDA & CORRIGENDA.

I wish to make a few additions and corrections to my paper on the above in Vol. XLIII. "S.A.C."

On p. 126 I stated that I had not met with any notice in our " Collections," or elsewhere, of the finding in other Sussex churches of similar earthenware pots embedded in the walls to those found at Ford Church. In saying this I had overlooked the instance recorded in Vol. XXI., p. 202. In the account there given of a "Fictile Vessel found in Buxted Church," by the late Rev. Edward Turner, there are certain obvious points of resemblance to one at least of the pots found in the walls of Ford. The learned writer demonstrates the almost certainty that this little vessel found below the floor at Busted -a thin pink earthen pot with a cover-was the place of deposit for the heart or viscera " of someone connected with Buxted." Ho compares it with the discovery, recorded in " SA.C.,'' Vol. XIII., p. 309, of two pots or urns containing charred bones, under the floor of East Blatch­ington Church, Seaford, and with one found low down in one of the walls of the chancel of Sutton Church, near Petworth; both of these Mr. Turner considered to be Roman or British-not mediaeval either in actual make or adaptation to a use. But another found at Slaugham, near Cuckfield, though perhaps mediaeval, differed essentially from the Buxted pot-" being nothing more in appearance than an ordinary upright crock, of coarse red pottery, differing in no respect from the crocks usually made use of in farm and other houses for putting down butter or lard for winter consumption."

Possibly this last instance may have been one of that class known as acoustic jars or pots, to which I adverted in my paper on Ford,specimens of which are said to have been found close under the wall plate of the chancel of that church in 1879. But the Buxted pot certainly corresponds in character and probable use with the little black vase embedded in the Early Norman niche in the western part of the north wall of the chancel at Ford, and with the other which I discovered in the western part of the north wall of the nave. It is quite likely that either or both of these had contained the heart or viscera of some early founder or benefactor of the church, although in the case of the chancel pot, which is said to have contained charred bones, the relic theory is more consistent with the carefully formed stone niche in which it was embedded. Mr. Turner in the paper above quoted gives instances furnished by the late Matthew Holbeche Bloxam acile princeps on all such points as these-of heart and viscera burials in Normandy and England, concluding with that distinguished antiquary's opinion that the vase found at Busted belonged to the same class.

In the latter part of my paper I gave " a skeleton list of incumbents of Ford." I have since) had the advantage of comparing this with the list given in the very valuable compilation, " Chichester Diocese Clergy Lists," by the Rev. George Hennessy, published by the St. Peter's Press, Muswell Hill, N. ; and by the kindness of that gentleman I am permitted here to quote his much fuller, and in some particulars (where Dallaway had misled me) more correct, list. I have, however, added two or three names that do not occur in Mr. Hennessy's list.

1306-8. William is rector.                               1648. Alexander Bradley.

1380. John Hayward is "chaplain."                             1654. Richard Meggott.

1393. Robert Busch.                                                    1661.

1397 (died). John Bradfeld.                                   1662. Oliver Whitby.

1397. Walter Bateylle.                                  1668-9. John Baynley.

1400-1. John Whytard.                                 1670. Christopher Canner.

1427 (exchanged). Richard Dalby.                 1679. Richard Dean, A.M.

1427. William Canon.                                            1695-6. Conyers Richardson, A.-At.

1129. John Colmorde.                                               1715. Phineas Pett, A.M.

1520-1. William Crosse.                                1720. Nicholas Lester.

1529. Nicholas Chilton.                                              1717. George Percival, M.A.

                                    1531. Robert Holmes.                                1772. Owen Evans, B.A.

1531-2. Alexander Haryson.                                      1793. Nicholas Heath, LL.B.

1535 (died about). John Forbe.                               1807. William Ssevens Bayton.

1548-9 (resigned). Lawrence Shave.                     1815. Wm. Stevens Bayton.

1548-9. John Lough, A.M.                             1848. John Atkins, MLA.

1562. Augustine Bradbridge.                          1855. David Evans, MLA.

1567. William Smith.                                      1874. George Jackson, B.A.

1584-5. John Ellys, B. A.                         1888. John Win. Giles Loder Cother.

1617. John Lewes.                                                      1900. Henry Wynne, M.A.

1625-6. John Marshall.

Mr. Hennessy reminds us in his preface that the Bishops' Registers only date from the year 1396-7, as explaining the rare occurrence in those lists of the names of earlier incumbents.

In the Appendix to my paper I drew up a tentative list of Sussex Churches containing remains of pre-Conquest, or at any rate eleventh century, date. By an omission which, although palpable, is none the less unfortunate, the well-known Saxon Church of Worth was not included. In revising the proofs this omission escaped me, and I must express regret for the error,

 

By way of reparation let me add to this list, as pre-Conquest, or perhaps belonging to what has been termed "the Saxon overlap

Elsted ..................... Nave, N. and E. wall,, with fine horse-shoe chancel arch.

Ferring .................... Blocked window, S. wall of nave.

Balsdean .... Blocked window and door in N. wall of desecrated chapel.

Bexhill                    Western parts of N. and S. walls of nave, pierced by Trans­Norman arches.

PHILIP M. JOHNSTON.


From Sussex
Notes & Queries
Reproduced by courtesy of the Sussex Archaeological Society (SAS). 
SAS grants this licence for the stated purpose in respect of such rights as SAS may have over the articles, 
but those rights may not include the author's copyright in the words and/or images.
 

 

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