Church of St Mary Magdalene, Tortington, West Sussex

Address: Ford Road, Tortington, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0FD
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Open daily from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

Boggle-eyed monsters in a rustic church

The entrance to this 12th-century flint church looks like something out of a Medieval fantasy – three rows of Norman carvings arch over a thick wooden door set with ornamental hinge straps.

Inside, creatures unlike anything found in nature peer down from the chancel arch. They are called 'beakheads' – boggle-eyed monsters with beaks, tongues and squid-like tentacles that frown and glare at visitors below. Once they would have been painted in bright colours to entertain – or terrify – worshippers.

The 12th-century font is an unusual shape, decorated with arcading and cable moulding round the rim, and in the north aisle are two fine Kempe Studio stained glass windows from 1896.

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

1 mile south west of Arundel off A27; next to Tortington Farm off the minor road from Arundel to Littlehampton; turning about 1 mile north of ford level crossing; CCT fingerpost 25 yards from road

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Ford (1 mile).

OS Reference No.

TQ 003 050

What’s on & news

News

16/07/14 Wendy Leaney impressed the judges with her skillfully sculpted creation made out of homemade lime and elderflower cordial

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

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Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.
 
 



 

 

PDF iconHampshire, Sussex & Surrey County Guide (PDF, 4.9mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in Hampshire, Sussex & Surrey. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Have you visited this church?

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Comments

  1. Phillip (11 Aug 2011, 11:41)

    What a lovely Church; time has stood still here, quiet and peaceful, even when there is the sound of bees buzzing around. I will always have fond memories of my visit, as this churches gives a unique opportunity to find peace and calmness in a busy world. Does help when the area around the Church is quiet, even with the occassional noise of animals and a tractor.

  2. Graham Finley (14 Oct 2012, 16:57)

    Visited the church recently as my 5th great granfather (George Finley) married Ann Hazelgrove there in 1788. A real gem to find and a great pleasure to have enjoyed the experience.

  3. Barb Cakebread (01 Jan 2013, 10:54)

    I am looking fotward to visiting the Church on my next visit to the U.K. Sadly this year was unable to make the trip. My Greatgrandfather Thomas Henry Savage and two of his brothers were Baptised here in 1871, 72, 73. Sussex is one area I have not yet visited searching for lost ancestors..

  4. John Mason (16 Jun 2013, 17:15)

    I do not think that I could add much, especially after the last comments - I have known this church for many years especially when I lived and worked in Arundel for The Duke of Norfolk and members of my family had used it over the years.

    In fact I was Christened in this little Church on 8th August 1931 when my paternal grandfather was farming Manor & Priory Farms

  5. timfeast (23 Jun 2013, 17:00)

    Tim Feast 23rd June 2013. Really peaceful visit. Beautiful scent outside , not sure if it was jasmine or lilies. Fantastic Norman decoration inside and out. Hard to realise that they were carved about 800 years ago.M

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Community information for Church of St Mary Magdelene, Tortington

 

All our West Sussex churches are in CCT’s South East region.

Useful local links

Sussex tourism website 

West Sussex tourism website 

Family days out in West Sussex 

West Sussex County Council 

West Sussex Past history website 

Sussex Family History Group 

West Sussex is in the Diocese of Chichester

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Church of St Mary Magdalene, Tortington, West Sussex

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as 'Keyholder nearby', this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Disabled access

There is a grassy path across the churchyard (may be slippery in wet weather). The church interior is fairly level.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.