Church of St Mary Magdalene, Tortington, West Sussex

Ford Road, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0FD
How to find us | Access information
Opening times:
Closed whilst we work on making your visit ‘Covid Secure’
  • Overview
  • Map
  • What's on
  • What's nearby
  • Feedback

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.


  • 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: