Monday, 11 May 2009

St Michael, Plumpton

Now surrounded by the modern campus of Plumpton Agricultural College, St Michael’s still manages to be a delightful little church, consisting of just nave, chancel and porch, with the most robust of towers capped by a shingle broach spire.

Mentioned in Domesday, the present nave is 12th century Norman. Around 1200 the tower was added, followed by the chancel later in the 13th century. The porch is rather later - 16th century. The east wall of the chancel was rebuilt in the 19th century, and the Decorated nave windows also date from this period. The other details are original, and include a small Norman window in the north nave wall, and the three lancets on the north and south walls of the chancel. On the west of the tower is a late 14th century Decorated window with two ogee lights above a door of the same period.

Furnishings are spartan, but the wall paintings are of interest: discovered relatively recently, they are best preserved in the opening of the Norman window and along the top of the north wall of the nave, where at the east end is a depiction, presumably of Christ, seated in the Heavenly Jerusalem. On the south wall are the even fainter remains of 16th and 17th century wall paintings.

The rough, square font is dated 1710, and sits on a 13th century base. On my visit – during the flower festival – it was topped with a dazzling arrangement of flowers. The choir stalls include recycled Jacobean pews.

Off B2116 Ditchling Road, Plumpton, BN7 3AE

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