THE CHURCH BUILDING

Where we meet

All Saints Church has a history dating back to Saxon times.  It is built in the vernacular flint which was widely used for building construction in Sussex in the middle ages, with sections of the present building dating from as early as the 12th century.  The nave is Norman dating from the 12th century.  The tower dates from the 13th century and the chancel from the 14th century.  In 1898 a north aisle was created using brick and flint in its construction.  The remaining exterior cannot be accurately dated due to the cement render, applied to the building sometime in the 19th century.  In the nave of the church and positioned over the chancel arch is a 13th century Last Judgement or Doom painting, uncovered in 1879.  Conflicting dates are attributed to the Doom painting, that of 1170, 1225 and 1230.  All Saints Church was listed as Grade 2* in 1952 and is the Parish Church of Patcham, Hollingbury and Westdene and has a population of over 18,500.

Windows: the stained glass in the East Window depicting the crucifixion by M O’Connor, (1869); two windows in the south chancel and one in the north chancel, attributed to C.E. Kemp, (1866 onwards); three additional late Victorian stained glass windows.  Two of which are located in the north aisle and one on the west wall;    

 

Monuments: on the chancel north wall is the monument to Richard Shelley, an important figure in the early history of Brighton and a member of the family of the Shelley baronetcy, (died 1594); tablets in the chancel commemorate three generations of the Paine family; a decalogue (ten commandment) tablet and that depicting the Lord’s Prayer can be found on the west wall; the Victorian font dates from 1864.

 

Church bells: there are three bells, one of which is dated 1724.  Only one bell is in working order at the present time.

 

Churchyard: the churchyard is a closed churchyard and is now maintained by Brighton & Hove City Council.  Within the churchyard the oldest tombstone is that of Mary Gunn (1694).  There are a number of near identical chest-tombs, together with two other unrelated tombs which were listed by English Heritage at grade II in 1999.  

 

The church setting: All Saints occupies a prominent position at the northern end of the old Patcham Village, towards the top of Church Hill.  To the west of the church, and outside the churchyard flint wall is an area of grass which in the past was the site of the village duck pond, prior to the drying up of the spring which fed the pond, one of several forming the River Wellesbourne.  In 1928 the village of Patcham, and other local villages, were brought within the Borough of Brighton.

 

 

References:
Ann Barrows, John Harben & Elfrida Oldfield    All Saints’ Patcham Church Guide & Parish History, (1995 version,    published by the authors).Ernest Ryman & Geoffrey Mead Glimpses of Old Patcham, (1992, Dyke Publications, Brighton).
Not Known (1940) Parishes: Patcham, In a History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes.   Available: www.british- history .ac.uk  [accessed 15th January 2016].
Tim Carter (undated), All Saints Church, Patcham, Available:  www.mybrightonandhove.co.uk  [Accessed 15th January 2016].

 

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