10 – Exterior

Outside the Church, turn to your left and look at the south side of the nave, above the aisle. You can now see clearly what remains from the Norman church (the nave and aisles) and what has been replaced (the east end and the tower).

High up, just under the roof, you will see a row of small carvings which are actually corbels, little sculptures of people or animals, probably dating from the twelfth century. They are getting very worn but you may be able to distinguish some of them, if you have very good eyes, or some binoculars or a good camera. The first corbel, next to the tower (see below) is known as the Silent Woman of Steyning.

The Silent Woman of Steyning

The windows of the aisle, at ground level, have been replaced by modern ones but the original twelfth century clerestory windows remain with their splendid decoration. Originally these were the main source of light in the church (as on the ground floor it only had small slit windows).

South side clerestory window
The south side of the Church
West side of the Church

We hope you have enjoyed your visit to the most important Romanesque church in Sussex. If you want to know more please visit Steyning Museum which has more of our sculpture on display – turn right to the Lychgate and across the road; it is behind the Library and open, free, Wednesday to Sunday 10-4.

There is a detailed presentation of the sculpture of the church by a distinguished expert, Professor Malcolm Thurlby, on the History page of the Steyning Museum website.

Also do check out this 360° interactive tour of the Church interior.

Comments and feedback on this tour are welcome and can be sent by email to the Parish Office in the first instance

This tour was created by Sarah Leigh and Edward Harrison for the Friends of Steyning Parish Church.
The War Memorial section was written by Lois Roemer and Ron James. Many thanks to Chris Tod and Lynda Denyer for their help.

The readers of the audio clips are Lynda Denyer, Ron James, Sarah Leigh, Lois Roemer, Chris Tod, John Tolputt and Jeremy Tomlinson.

Illustrations by Chris Fitton, Maggie Keen, Tony Ketteman and Philip Bovey.