Church of St Mary Magdalene, Tortington, West Sussex

Ford Road, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0BG
How to find us | Access information
Opening times:
Open daily 10am to 4pm. For enquiries about this church, please contact Nick Watts - [email protected].
  • Overview
  • Map
  • What's nearby

Boggle-eyed monsters in a rustic church

The entrance to this twelfth-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 twelfth-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.

Tortington Highlights Tortington Guide

To donate by text, please text 'TRT' to 70970 to donate £5 and to 70191 to donate £10. Thank you.

  • Access information
    There is a grassy path across the churchyard (may be slippery in wet weather). The church interior is fairly level.
  • Facilities & Hire
    Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. 
  • Directions
    1 mile south west of Arundel off A27 Ford Road.  Follow the St. Mary’s Church brown tourist signs along Tortington Lane. Church hidden behind trees and a large hedge next to Manor Farm
  • Transport

    Nearest railway station: Ford (1 mile).

  • History & Further Information

    Useful information:

    Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out about this church 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

    Hampshire, Sussex & Surrey County Guide 2012

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

  • Community information

    Useful local links: