SussexCLAPHAMStMaryVirgin(simoncareyCC-BY-SA2.0)1 SimonCarey

St Mary the Virgin

History, brasses and William Morris tiles.

Clapham, Sussex

Opening times

The church is open via the south door which is on a time lock between 10am and 4pm daily.


St Mary the Virgin
BN13 3UU

Clapham church was built in the 12th century.

From the outside, there are signs on the south side of what may have been an additional side chapel; there is also the remains of a low window, which legend has it was a 'leper window', through which lepers could receive communion and watch the service without infecting the congregation.

On the inside, the chancel is not in a straight line with the nave; one theory goes that this was deliberate, and was supposed to imitate the angle of Christ's head on the cross. The church was restored by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1873-4, and many details were put back to their original state.

The church has an exceptional collection of 16th century brasses and monuments, in memory of the de Michelgrove and Shelley families. The other pride and joy of the church is the set of tiles behind the altar, depicting the four Archangels. These are from the workshop of William Morris, and are believed to have been made by Morris himself.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Wildlife haven

  • Car park at church

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Church of England

  • Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant, £2,500, 2021

  • stonework repairs to window and repointing.

Contact information

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