Ruined church


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Sussex
Chichester (District Authority)
Elsted and Treyford
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SU 82428 18686


The remains of the Church of St Mary, 33m north-west of Treyford Manor.

Reasons for Designation

A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible. A survey of 1625 reported the existence of nearly 9000 parish churches in England. New churches built in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries increased numbers to around 18,000 of which 17,000 remain in ecclesiastical use. Parish churches have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later population levels or economic cycles, religious activity, artistic endeavour and technical achievement. A significant number of surviving examples are identified to be nationally important.

The remains of the Church of St Mary, 33m north-west of Treyford Manor survive relatively well with some significant medieval masonry features. The site will contain below-ground archaeological and environmental information relating to the former use and history of the church.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 29 October 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the remains of the medieval parish church of St Mary surviving as upstanding stone walls and below-ground archaeological remains. It is situated on a gentle south-facing slope in the village of Treyford.

The church is rectangular in plan and constructed of malmstone with ashlar dressings but the roof no longer survives. The external plaster still covers the walls in places. The upstanding remains include the east, south and west walls of a nave and chancel dating from the 13th century. These also feature 15th and 16th century masonry work as well as some 19th century repairs partly in brick. The east wall of the chancel features three Early English lancet windows. On the south wall is a consecration cross. A north porch is shown in a drawing of 1805 but no longer survives. A chapel was added on the north side of the church in the 14th century but has also since disappeared. The church also originally featured an inserted Norman north door jamb, chancel steps, ambry and piscina but these have since fallen into ruin. According to documentary sources the parish church was abandoned in the 19th century. The roof was still extant in 1896.

The upstanding remains are Grade II* listed.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
WS 127
Legacy System:


Victoria County History. A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4 (1953). 'Treyford', pp. 30-32, accessed 30-JUN-2009 from
West Sussex HER 800 - MWS1947. NMR SU81NW22. PastScape 246213. LBS 413007


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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