Church of St Mary the Virgin, North Stoke, West Sussex

Address: North Stoke, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9LS
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Open daily from 10.00am to 4.00pm
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

A happy ending for a church with no name

In an idyllic rural setting on the South Downs, in a loop of the river Arun, St Mary's is a beautiful place to stumble upon.

The church is in the simple shape of a cross and remains virtually unaltered since Medieval times; its calm and peaceful atmosphere evokes centuries of prayer.

Until recently, the church was known as North Stoke Church. But in 2007, archaeologists researching the church records in the archives at Kew, discovered a letter dated 1275 from a bishop to King Edward I, naming the church as St Mary.

Though not large, its simplicity and elegant proportions give the impression of height and space. Light floods in through the clear glass of the beautiful Medieval windows to illuminate the interior.

Traces of wall paintings dating from the 14th-century include flowers, leaves, and scrolls, showing that the church would have been a blaze of colour and decoration in the Middle Ages.

Some very early and rare stained glass remains from the beginning of the 14th-century, including figures which may represent the Virgin Mary and King David.

There is some intriguing stone carving, including a sheep’s head above a recessed stone seat on the west wall - an appropriate symbol in sheep-rearing country - and a quaint little hand.

On the outside wall, facing south, is carved a medieval mass dial which was used before the days of clocks to calculate when church services should begin.

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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

5 miles by road north of Arundel off B2139; signposted from Houghton Bridge

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Amberley (1 mile).

OS Reference No.

TQ 019 108

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.

Donate online

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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Church of The Holy Sepulchre,  Warminghurst, West Sussex

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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?

Why not share your experience with us?

Comments

  1. steve (06 May 2012, 22:23)

    This is a special magical place

  2. Phillip (28 Sep 2012, 21:26)

    When I visited this church I was first struck with what I thought was the small size, but upon entry the open space of the church grew to a magnificent size. A lovely quiet place to be still and the elevation of the east end, with the stain glass behind the stain glass was wonderful.

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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 the Virgin, North Stoke

 

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

About the Friends of North Stoke Church

Contact email: janet@aidin.co.uk

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 the Virgin, North Stoke, 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.

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.