Duncton – Holy Trinity

Duncton lies south of Petworth and, like Northchapel, remained a chapelry in the large parish throughout the Middle Ages, though a church is listed in Domesday Book (11,21).  Ties loosened gradually and in 1577 burials were licensed in the churchyard (WSRO Ep I/40/1) but only in 1692 did the two chapelries become parishes and there was a further delay before this was formalised by an Act of Parliament (Horsfield II p171).  Even after that, income from tithes included some derived from Petworth (TNA IR 104/69).

The chapel, which stood south of Church Farm (SCM 6 (Aug 1932) p545), survived until 1876.  A photograph (see 1) shows a small rendered building with dormers and a wooden belfry.  Little can be dated, though Adelaide Tracy (1849) (I p18) shows a two-light square-headed south window, which may be C15.  A tiny square-headed window nearby looks later (Saunders p32).  The Sharpe Collection drawing (1804) of the north side reveals little.

The present church is more conveniently placed just off the main road to Chichester.  It was designed in 1864 by J Castle of Oxford (WSRO Par 69/4/8) and completed two years later.  It is built of different coloured stones and cost around £2500 (PP125).   Modest and without aisles, it is in early C14 style, with a large east window with intersecting tracery.  The tower, placed south of the chancel, has a band of blind arcading below long trefoiled bell-openings and a tall, tiled pyramid spire, which has a prominent iron cross, like those on the gables.  The interior is dominated by the chancel arch, which has continuous mouldings, emerging  from stops placed exceptionally low down and curving inwards in an unexpectedly graceful way.  The roofs are braced in both nave and chancel.


Font: Octagonal with a quarefoil on each side. C19 and contemporary with the church.
1.  (West window) Ward and Hughes, 1880 (BN 34 p460).
2.  (East window) Ward and Hughes, c1870 (ibid).
3.  Chancel north window), Ward and Hughes, 1878-80, This is seriously worn (BN 38 p785).
4.  (South chancel) Lavers and Barraud, c1865 (www.stainedglassrecords.org retrieved on 23/9/2013).  This is the earliest glass in the church and the similarity of the later glass by Ward and Hughes may be more than a co-incidence.


1. Lord Leconfield: Sutton and Duncton Manors, Oxford, 1956

My thanks to Richard Standing for the photographs of the interior.