SussexARUNDELStNicholas(antoinelamielleCC-BY-SA4.0)1 AntoineLamielle

St Nicholas

As part of Arundel's striking hilltop townscape, the parish church is eclipsed by more flamboyant buildings that are visible for miles around: notably the huge 'Victorianised' castle and the Roman Catholic cathedral.

Arundel, Sussex

Opening times

Open daily.


London Road
BN18 9AT

However, the church of St Nicholas has an interesting and unique history. Built in 1380, when Arundel was already well established as a busy international port and market town, its main church served two communities.

Like many town churches, it was both a monastic and a parish building: here, the nave belonged to the town and the chancel to a college of priests. This worked until 1544, but when Henry VIII swept away the monasteries, the east end of the church became the property of the Fitzalan family of Arundel Castle.

St Nicholas has, in effect, been two separate places of worship ever since: one Roman Catholic, the other Anglican.

The former chancel, which was completely walled off for many years, can now at least be seen through a wrought iron grille. Known as the Fitzalan Chapel, it is the grandest part of the church, with Perpendicular windows and a collection of elaborate monuments of the Fitzalan family, Earls of Arundel, and their heirs, the Dukes of Norfolk. The chapel can normally be reached only from the castle.

The nave is largely unaltered from its 1380 building. From around the same time are the octagonal font, made of Sussex marble, and faded wall paintings, in the north aisle, depicting the seven deadly sins and the seven works of mercy.

The unusually elaborate canopied stone pulpit in the centre aisle, thought to be slightly later in date, was designed by one of the architects of Canterbury Cathedral.

Outside, it is worth walking round to the west end of the church to see the fine Perpendicular west window and the attractive porch below. Both are part of a planned restoration programme to make a grand entrance to the church.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Arundel Cathedral

Arundel, Sussex

Built on a hill, the Cathedral sits majestically overlooking the ancient town of Arundel.

Fitzalan Chapel

Arundel, Sussex

On the edge of Arundel Castle grounds, the private Fitzalen Chapel contains a profusion of tombs and monument to the Howard family.

St Leonard

South Stoke, Sussex

A stunning little church in an idyllic setting.