Funtington – St Mary

Largely rebuilt in 1858, it retains a C13 north arcade, two late C13 chancel chapels and a C15 tower.

The church is largely the product of the reconstruction by B Ferrey in 1858-59 (B 17 p209).   The Burrell and Sharpe Collection (1805) drawings show its previous appearance and some old features have survived.  The C13 north arcade has round piers and double-chamfered arches, but there has been too much rebuilding for it to be possible to conclude whether the core of the nave is earlier.  The relatively long four-bay arcade would argue against this.  Neither Adelaide Tracy (I p17) nor the Burrell drawing provides any help in dating.  The C13 north aisle was narrower than the present one and had a lean-to roof, the line of which can be seen above the C19 arch into the chapel.  There was a similar south aisle, but the Burrell drawing shows only later dormers and the arcade has been replaced, so there is nothing to indicate the original date.

The chancel chapels are largely original, especially the south one, though the surveys of both 1602 and 1636 refer to major structural problems in the chancel as a whole (SRS 98 pp67-68).  Both renewed chapel east windows have three cusped lights, suggesting an original date of c1300.  However, the Sharpe drawing shows only two lights to the south, though the opening is old, and the north one was reset when the chapel was lengthened (VCH 4 p191).  The two side-lancets of the north chapel, which are partly original, are also of this date; the equivalent window in the south chapel has renewed cusped Y-tracery.  If its form is original, this would support the probability that the north chapel, with plain lancets, was built first.  The arches into the aisles are of the same period, with two chamfered orders dying into the sides without abaci, though the north one has been renewed.

The tower, with diagonal buttresses and flint battlements, is C15.  The abaci of its arch extend to the sides of the nave.  The outside was mostly renewed by Ferrey and in the process, the four-centred head of the west doorway in the Burrell drawing was changed to a depressed one.  One jamb is original, and the opening of the west window is old.  Adelaide Tracy shows bell-openings with Y-tracery, unlike the present two-light square-headed ones which, however, resemble those on the Sharpe drawing.

Known more for his workmanlike abilities than anything more inspired, the novelty of some of the detail here led Ian Nairn (BE p226), unaware of Ferrey’s authorship, to speculate on the responsibility of the altogether more original S S Teulon.  Oddities include the side windows of the north aisle, with shafts cut into the mullions.  Both rebuilt aisles are gabled and much wider than their predecessors, whilst the replaced south arcade is a copy of the north one.  The shiny, varnished roofs have large wall-posts rest on corbels with angels or foliage.

The chancel and chancel arch appear to be all Ferrey’s work.  The profuse mouldings, capitals and shafts might seem over-ornate in a cathedral.  He extended the north chapel and the arcades to both chapels match the rest of his work.  Below the east triplet of lancets is a row of stone and marble arcading.  Inside, the triplet has, like the other work, marble shafts and mouldings.  Outside, it is set in a deeply recessed arch, also shafted and moulded.  More than anything else, this caught Nairn’s attention.  There is actually slight doubt about its authorship, for when The Builder (17 ibid) announced the re-opening of the church, the east window had not yet been replaced, but a comparison with his confirmed work here makes the attribution to Ferrey likely.  The fact that it had not been replaced before the re-opening suggests that some old walling may remain beneath Ferrey’s work.

A large new flint and brick extension with a monopitched roof was added by R Meynell and B Hoolahan on the north side of the nave in 2006.  This is linked to the church by a glazed vestibule that now forms the main entrance.

Fittings and monuments

Font: Profusely carved and designed by Ferrey (ibid).
Glass:
1. (South chapel, south window and north aisle first window) C Hudson 1859. (www.stainedglassrecords.org, retrieved on 2/3/2013).  The glass in the chapel is ornamental and the window in the aisle is pictorial and old-fashioned for the date.
2. (South aisle) H Hughes (of Ward and Hughes), 1873 (signed).
3. (South aisle, south west window) Engraved glass by S Whistler (church website), c1982, heraldic in form.
4. (North aisle, over north entrance) M Howse, 2007 (Artist’s website). The predominant colour is blue.
Monuments:
1.  (South porch) Fragments of a C15 tomb-chest, carved with cusped lozenge-shaped panels.  Dallaway (I p108) records a tomb in the chancel and these may be the remnants.
2.  (South chapel) Miles Monkhouse (d1821) by J Holder of Emsworth, Hampshire (Roscoe p630).  A rather awkwardly proportioned triple inscription beneath a draped urn.
3.  (South aisle) Lord Portal of Hungerford (d1971) and family by K Child, erected after 1977 (BE(W) p394).
Pulpit: Stone and similar to Ferrey’s work, so doubtless by him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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