Hurstpierpoint – St George

The small aisleless flint chapel with Decorated detail stands at the eastern end of Hurstpierpoint.  It was built in 1852 (V 32 (Dec 2009) p23) as a private venture by Colonel Charles Hannington, who disliked the Tractarian sympathies of C H Borrer, the rector of Holy Trinity.  The architect is unknown, but unsurprisingly in view of the Hanningtons’ religious views, the chapel was never oriented, with the altar at the western end.  Initially it was licensed as a private chapel, but it was transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and consecrated as a chapel of ease in 1892, after being put ‘into thorough repair’ (VCH 7 p178).  The architect on this occasion is also not known for certain, but E Christian is said to have worked on a Mission Hall in Hurstpierpoint at an unspecified date after 1887 (BAL MSS ChE/1/2), so it is quite likely that he was responsible.  If so, there is little visible sign of what was done.

Charles Hannington’s son Samuel inherited the chapel in 1881 (Elleray (2004) p36) and this was the key to the change in its status.  He provided the necessary endowment, which was linked with the wish to perpetuate the memory of Bishop James Hannington, another son of Charles Hannington, who had been curate in charge of the chapel from 1875-82 (KD 1899) and was subsequently martyred in Africa (for the Bishop see under Brighton and Hove – Bishop Hannington Memorial Church(WSRO Par 400/4/50).

The chapel continued in use as a chapel of ease to the parish church until 2008, when the difficulties of maintaining two churches in one parish led to redundancy.  The building was sold in 2012 for conversion to a residence, of which the most obvious sign externally is a new purely residential block in a matching style at the south west corner.

Fittings (before redundancy)

Brass: (Chancel) Bishop James Hannington (d1885).  This and other memorials to the Hannington family were installed in Holy Trinity church in 2013.
Glass: (Four nave side windows each side) Foliage patterned glass and (porch) decorative glass, T Baillie, 1869 ( retrieved on 11/3/2013).
Font: Octagonal on a round stem.  It is likely to date from 1892.

My thanks to Nick Wiseman for the photograph