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Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

West Sussex
Mid Sussex (District Authority)
Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common
National Grid Reference:
TQ 27956 16498



1144/29/67 HIGH STREET 28-OCT-57 (South side) The Parish Church of the Holy Trinity

II* Parish church. Built 1843-45, replacing the medieval church which stood on the same site. Architect Sir Charles Barry, builder Thomas Wisden. Stained glass by John Hardman & Co, Heaton Butler and Bayne, and CE Kempe. North (St Lawrence) chapel added 1854, south chapel 1874. North porch added 1908. A number of monuments and other features from the old church are incorporated into the building.

MATERIALS: Local Wealden sandstone; slate roofs; stone spire.

PLAN: Cruciform plan comprising north west tower with porch beneath; nave with four-bay aisle to north and five-bay aisle to south; north and south transepts (the latter shallower); chancel and north and south chapels.

EXTERIOR: In c1300 Decorated style. Off-set buttresses; those to angles are set back. Tower in three stages, paired openings to top stage with Y-tracery and louvers, moulded cornice with ball-flower decoration, surmounted by stone broach spire with lucarnes. Clocks by BL Vulliamy, clockmaker to Queen Victoria (dials designed by Barry). Oak doors to tower porch and west entrance with decorative iron hingework. Bellcote to west end of nave roof.

Geometric window tracery; east window enlarged 1902 and given later C14-style flowing tracery with mouchettes. Nave windows have paired lights with trefoil heads. Clerestorey windows replicate form of upper arches of nave windows, but with three quatrefoils. Most door and window openings have hood-moulds with carved stops. North west porch and west entrance have roll-moulded arches. Angles to chancel and north and south chapels have reset medieval gargoyles above rainwater heads.

INTERIOR: Nave has open trussed roof. Original oak benches extending across north and south aisles (those to transepts and crossing removed). Fleur-de-lys poppyheads to bench ends. Nave and chancel arcades carried on cluster columns with moulded capitals and bases. Spandrels decorated with carvings of heads, foliage clusters or portrait busts. North transept (the Campion Chapel) was made into a memorial chapel in 1924 to commemorate World War I dead. Stone pulpit to south of chancel arch with blind tracery. Chancel with two-bay arcades. Portrait busts of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to either side of chancel arch. Later, High Victorian Gothic stalls, reredos and mosaic pavement, probably by Edward Barry. South chapel now an organ chamber and vestry. Tower porch has decorated ceiling panel depicting the Holy Trinity, 1957 by John Denham.

Stained glass is mainly of the 1860s by John Hardman & Co of Birmingham, pioneers of the Victorian stained glass revival, including the Crucifixion (north transept); Descent from the Cross (west end); Resurrection (south transept). Clerestorey windows depicting shields by Heaton, Butler Bayne. East window, also depicting the Crucifixion, erected 1902 in memory of Charles Campion, killed in the Boer War to the design of CE Kempe, replacing earlier Ascension window by Hardman. East window of north chapel of 1917, by Kempe & Co. South chapel has three-light window inset with 15 medallions of German or Flemish provenance, probably late C16, collected by Bishop Butler of Durham in the C18. These mostly depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments; there are four similar oval cartouches in west window of tower-porch, all installed in 1861.

Iron scrollwork grilles to chancel (1876) and transept (c1890) are good-quality copies of the Arundel screen (1478) at Chichester Cathedral.

Features from the old church include: reset c1300 sedilia (south transept wall); font (west end of south aisle), probably c1200. Heavy tub-shaped stone bowl, reworked by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1863 and stencilled with red and yellow baptism scenes. Painted and gilded oak font cover also by Scott. C13 sedilia (south wall of south transept); recumbent effigy of knight in chain armour with feet resting against a lion, possibly Robert de Pierpoint, c1260 (south chapel); effigy of a knight of c1340, possibly Simon de Pierpoint, resting on an altar-tomb enclosed by early C16 wrought-iron railings (west end of north aisle). There are numerous C18 and early C19 wall tablets. Eight bells, of which three date from 1775. In the churchyard by west wall are five tapering coffin-lids of the C12 or C13. The churchyard contains a pleasing ensemble of C18 and early C19 monuments.

HISTORY: A church is recorded at Hurstpierpoint in the Domesday Book of 1086. The church that pre-existed Holy Trinity, dedicated to St Lawrence, comprised a square Norman west tower with a shingle spire, nave and south aisle, chancel and south chapel (the Danny Chapel). Records suggest that this building had been heavily remodelled in the early C15; the window tracery and other medieval features had gone by the early C19 by which time galleries and box pews had been installed. In 1842 the parish resolved to rebuild the church which was now too small to serve the local population. The new church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was built in 1843-45 to the design of the eminent architect Sir Charles Barry, seating 1,030, including 600 free seats. A number of monuments and other features from the old church were retained; others were dispersed around the locality.

REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: Holy Trinity Church is listed Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* It has considerable architectural interest as the last church designed by Sir Charles Barry (1795-1860), a major architect of the early-mid C19, most renowned for the rebuilding of Westminster Palace in collaboration with AWN Pugin. It was the only church Barry designed with the disciplined archaeological approach to medieval form advocated by Pugin, almost certainly reflecting the latter's influence. The external architecture is imposing and cohesive with crisp detailing.

* The interior has major interest for its high-quality architectural detailing and craftsmanship, containing a number of good fittings from the date of construction and later. It has a wealth of good C19 and early C20 stained glass, all by leading manufacturers of the time, principally John Hardman & Co of Birmingham who produced much of the glass for the Palace of Westminster and, with Pugin, pioneered the revival of English stained-glass making.

* Also of special interest for the numerous medieval and later features preserved from the old church, and imported C16 Continental stained glass.

SOURCES: Victoria County History, History of the County of Sussex: Vol 7, 1940, pp 172-78 Ian Nairn and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Sussex, p 541 John Norris, Holy Trinity Hurstpierpoint (church guide), 1993


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Norris, J, Holy Trinity Hurstpierpoint, (1993)
Pevsner, N, Nairn, I, The Buildings of England: Sussex, (1965), 541
Saltzman, L F , The Victoria History of the County of Sussex, (1940), 172-178


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 30 Jun 2001
Reference: IOE01/06568/22
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Richard Newell. Source Historic England Archive
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