Building of the Benedictine priory began early in the 12th century after land at Boxgrove had been donated to the Abbey at Lessay by Lord of Halnaker (Robert de la Haye). Descendants of this Anglo-Norman family remained patrons of Boxgrove Priory until a few years after the Dissolution, when the 9th Lord de la Warr exchanged it for a Hampshire estate.
Despite undergoing many alterations, the remaining part of the priory church, still in use today as the parish church, retains its French influence. When Henry VIII ordered Boxgrove to be dissolved, most of the domestic buildings were demolished, along with the complete nave of the old church, leaving only the crossing section to the east end intact. Part of the north wall displaying some of the lovely arcading has survived, together with a single pillar and arch of the original south aisle. Three arches denoting the position of the Norman Chapter House also survive. The ruinous walls of a three-storey guest house stand to a reasonable height, north of the church, but all traces of other buildings have long since vanished.
Here are two views of the nave (formerly the monastic quire) looking east and west. It is a combination of bold Norman pillars gradually blending into the more refined style of Early English architecture. Caen stone and Purbeck marble make an almost seamless union, enhanced by moulded arches and culminating in a vaulted stone ceiling that was painted in the 16th century.
Here is the east window. To see the rest of the stained glass in this building, click on the east window or here.
Here are the font and organ.
This fine canopied tomb is situated on the south side of the chancel.
Each of the transepts contain unusual galleries formed by heavy oak timbers, not only making them dark but also quite inaccessible. As a lasting memorial to their generous patronage, an elaborate Chantry Chapel was built for the 4th Lord de la Warr and his wife, but this was never used for their burials as intended.
Finally here is a view looking into the north transept showing the gallery.
Visitors to this album since June 2003
If you would like to purchase any of the images featured here or commission others of this church, please click here.
If you found this page using a search engine or other link, please use the icons below to link to one of the main sections of the Roughwood web site:
Please do not reproduce or store any of the pictures on this site without asking first.