Chichester – St Peter-the-Less

The church was on the east side of North Street with a C13 chancel arch and also an arch to a small south aisle.  The Sharpe Collection drawing (1804) shows a tower with trefoiled square-headed openings and battlements, which P M Johnston ascribed to the C14 (WSRO MP 3960), surely correctly.  That dating would be consistent with the two-light west window on the Sharpe collection drawing of 1804.  The church was slightly set back from the street behind a fence and this area presumably provided enough space for the porch said in the survey of 1610 to have been ‘much decayed’ (SRS 98 p182).  It is not known whether repairs were ever undertaken but it had gone by the time of the Sharpe drawing.

A projected rebuilding of the church in 1852-53 to a design by J Elliott was not carried out.  Instead, it was restored in 1861-62 by G Draper  (BN 9 p341).  In the nave the roof was stripped of plaster and the galleries were removed, preparatory to the installation of new seating (CB 1863 pp74-75).   There is some question about the extent of work on the chancel, since although the reference in BN 9 suggests it was an addition, that in CB states it was restored and lengthened, as opposed to being newly added.  The structure as it was after completion of the work was longer than the nave and almost as wide as nave and aisle together.  Unspecified further work was carried out in 1879-80 at a cost of £500 (KD 1899), but in later years the depopulated centre of the city was over-provided with churches and this one was demolished in 1960.  All that is known of its fittings is that the font was ‘Perp’.


Measured plan in VCH 3 p163


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