The Holy Sepulchre, Warminghurst
The setting of this thirteenth-century sandstone church, with splendid views across to the Iron Age fort of Chanctonbury Ring on the South Downs, is lovely, but the building itself surpasses all expectations. The unspoilt eighteenth-century interior, which is illuminated by large windows of clear glass contains silvery oak pews, a clerk's desk, a triple-decker pulpit, an uneven flagstone floor, and a curved brace roof. There is also an elegant three-arched wooden screen. Above the screen is a wonderful painting of the coat of arms of Queen Anne, with theatrical swags of painted drapery surrounding it. Look for the clerk's chair - it suggests that one of the old parish officials was very well fed! On the walls are lovely memorials to the Shelley and Butler families. James Butler bought Warminghurst Park from the Quaker, William Penn - a trustee of the American province of West Jersey (later renamed Pennsylvania). It is said that Penn wrote the first draft of Pennsylvania's constitution at Warminghurst Park. After buying Warminghurst however, James Butler demolished it, determined to remove all trace of the old Quaker. The harmonious interior and charm of the setting combine to make a visit to this church an unforgettable experience.