Horsham – St Mark, Carfax

W Moseley‘s church of 1840 (ICBS) was built in the centre of the town as it emerged after its expansion in the C18 and early C19.  It had an aisled nave and a ‘sacrarium’ (VCH 6(2) p192) (doubtless the small chancel usual at this time) and cost £2500 (SRS 75 p121), then a substantial amount.  However such churches, built in an ignorant version of gothic, found little favour by 1870, when M E Habershon and E P L Brock (B 29 p274) designed a wholly new one.  Rebuilding proceeded in stages, starting with the tower and south aisle; the rest of the nave followed in 1872 (B 30 p516) and the spire in 1878 (BN 34 p264).  Curiously, for the lack of a proper chancel would have been seen generally as the greatest deficiency of the first church, one was not added until 1888 (B 54 p273).  Despite the expense of rebuilding, the church was too near St Mary’s to be viable and between 1936 and 1949 was closed entirely (VCH 6(2) p192).  Though services then resumed, it had closed finally by 1982.  A new road scheme and a need for more offices led to demolition except the tower in 1988 (VSA 1988 p61).

Habershon and Brock’s church was characteristic of 1870, built of craggy rough hewn stone with overly complex tracery.  It deliberately avoided elegance, as is still apparent from the tower and spire.  The square tower has an octagonal top stage, with stumpy pinnacles in the angles.  The spire has exaggerated lucarnes and most masonry is smoother.  The interior was by no means cheap, with shiny pink granite piers, though the roof was oddly spindly roof, recalling other work by the architects, notably Dallington, East Sussex.  The effect was hardly beautiful, but as an example of its period its loss is sad.


(NB. These have been scattered (some are now in St Mary’s), but deserve to be recorded in their original location).

Crosses: Two Coptic crosses, one early C18.
Font: Small with circular bowl, carved with tendrils of foliage.  Its size suggests it was made for the 1840 church.
1.  (East window) By Mayer and Co of Munich, 1888 (CDK 1888 pt 2 p142), with characteristic bright colours.
2.  (North transept) C E Kempe, 1892 (now in new church of St Mark).
Pulpit: Part of the rebuilding, with figures on the side standing in trefoiled niches.

Photographs 1977-79



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