St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex - 22nd June 2004

Despite its unattractive cement rendering, St George's is a lovely church which presents an architectural enigma. The classic Saxon church in Sussex would typically comprise a western tower, a single nave and an apsidal east end, the Norman successor may place the tower between a larger chancel and nave, such as the example at Shipley.

Indeed, seen in isolation, the south aisle and tower of St Georges would seem to conform to this type.  The enormous northern buttresses of the tower are clearly intended to be external, although they have never been weathered.

The peculiarity at St George's is that the oldest Saxon masonry would seem to be in the north west corner of the church, with herringbone stonework and narrow round headed windows characteristic of the 10th century.

St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The north porch (below) is the main entrance and is late medieval and complete with crown post internally, carved barge board and beautifully detailed niche originally intended for a votive figure.

North porch, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

On the western face of the tower (below), the stonemasons made a mistake and started to cut the voussoirs to an even higher profile than was intended, a mistake now visible to all for eight centuries!

St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

Here are two views of the nave, looking east and then west.  Notice the names of the local farms on the pews from the times when pews were 'owned' by local landowners.

Nave looking east, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTCNave looking west, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The church has two organs, a beautiful chamber organ dating from around 1758 and the Foster and Andrews (Hull) organ of 1866 (the oldest organ in the Horsham deanery, ranking in importance with the organ in Chichester cathedral).

Chamber organ, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTCMain organ, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The tomb slab of Sussex marble below, with inset brass, is of Philippa Halsham.  The brass dates to 1440 and depicts Philippa in a mantle within a gothic canopy.  John de Halsham purchased, in 1411, 127 acres of arable and pasture in West Grinstead.  He raped and abducted Philippa, wife of Ralph de Percy of Alnwick, for which he received two King's pardons, the first in 1384.  She was also the heiress of David Strabolgy, last Earl of Athol.  They came south from Hull to avoid harassment by the Percy family, and settled at Clothalls, an early house still existing about three quarters of a mile from the church.

Brass, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The monument, below, to William Powlett (d.1746) and his wife Elizabeth (d.1753), is the most important in the church.  It is by John Michael Rysbrack (1693 - 1770) and is in white marble.

Powelett monument, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The hatchment below was for Elizabeth Powlett's funeral, the black background indicating she was a widow.

Powlett hatchment, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The window below is in the north wall.  It is set in a group of three 15th century lancets and comes from the workshop of C. E. Kempe as indicated by the three wheat sheaves on a red ground.  It depicts St George flanked by St Anne, the young Virgin Mary and St Catharine.  It also bears the workman's mark of Alfred E Tombleson who eventually became a direcor of C. E. Kempe & Co after Kempe's death.  The window is dedicated to Annie Katharine Loder and dated 1892.

Stained glass window, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The east window (below), in 13th century stonework is also by Kempe, c.1890, and depicts Christ crucified flanked by the figures of Mary, his mother, and St John.  Beneath is St John slaying the dragon with a castle in the background, flanked by Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden and St John the Evangelist on the Island of Patmos writing the Book of Revelations. The window is dedicated to Walter Wyndham Burrell, Baronet, M.P., and of Walter Henry Wyndham Raymond Burrell, his son.

East window, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The window in the east wall of the south aisle, which would originally have been over the Halsham Chapel altar, is 14th century, the glass being by Clayton and Bell of London, c.1878.  The figure of Christ in the centre light is depicted above the four Apostles in the flanking lights.  The window is in memory of Sir Percy Burrell.

Stained glass window, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The window in the south wall (below), to the west of the south door, depicts St George, St Stephen of Hungary and St Elizabeth of Portugal with attendant angels, and background scenes of a meet of the Crawley and Horsham foxhounds at West Grinstead Park, Popes' oak in the park and St George's Church. The window is by Carl Edwards, of the Stained Glass Studios, Blackfriars.  It is dedicated to John Peter Hornung, his wife Laura and their eldest son, Charles Bernard Raphael.  The window was dedicated on 22nd June 1969 by the Right Reverend Simon Phipps, Bishop of Horsham.

Stained glass window, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The west window at the end of the South aisle (below) contains fragments of 14th century glass in the heads of the three lights. The frame is 13th century.  The central light depicts the red cross of St George beneath which is a pair of hands pointing down.  The adjacent lights each have a lion statant requardant  set within a border of red and yellow fragments.

Stained glass window, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The west window, contained in14th century stonework, depicts the risen Christ with a kneeling figure of a soldier in khaki.  The flanking lights depict 18 night angels and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The window is by Florence Walters and Robert Camm of Smethwick, c.1922.  It is dedicated to 2nd Lt. John Peter Hornung, M.C. Lt. Col. Arthur Housemayne Du Boulay, D.S.O. and Capt. Francis Spencer Collin.

Stained glass window, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

There is a fine example of the Royal Arms of George IV in use between 1816 and 1837, of high quality oil on canvas.

Royal Arms, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

A fragment of late medieval wall painting can be seen on the north wall to the east of the door.  Its content is barely discernable, however an interpretive drawing (below) showing St Christopher in a landscape containing a windmill hangs nearby.

Painting, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

Here are the font and church banner.

The font, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTCBanner, St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

This final picture is of the south side of the church and tower.

St George, West Grinstead, West Sussex, 22nd June 2004 - MTC

The parish includes St Michael & All Angels, Partridge Green.

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