Saturday, 1 April 2017

The South Country III : Pagham Harbour and St Wilfrid's, Church Norton

In order to write a poem for her exhibition of landscapes, I needed to visit sites where Bryony had taken earth to make paint. Our original plan was to visit Church Norton and Selsey, before heading to the holloway at Halnaker.   

The traffic had other ideas, however.  Still, at least there was a good view over flat fields to Chichester Cathedral.  

Time was already getting on when we reached Church Norton, so we hurried through the salt marsh of Pagham Harbour to the beach. 

My sort of bleak. It seems to fit into my eye comfortably, somehow. 

Bryony pointed out the spots where she had taken sand and mud to make her paints.

The beach itself was lonely and lulling ... 

... and with a tidal range far smaller than that of the Severn, we could loiter happily on Church Norton spit, unlike the causeway at Sully Island in South Wales a couple of weeks earlier.  

There was sea kale and yellow horned poppy sprouting in the shingle ...

... and fossils to be photographed. 

Heading back to the church, we passed the site of Norman castle, the earthworks of which are still visible. 

I was a bit puzzled about the Chapel. It too proclaimed itself to be Norman, but the dimensions were wrong. It looked more like a Saxon Church to me. 

Then I learnt that what we see here today is actually just the chancel of the original Church, the rest having been transported to, and rebuilt at, Selsey. It seems that with the transference of the Church's HQ to Chichester and the building of the Cathedral, there was simply no need for a large church here. 

 The Chapel is now in the care of the Churches Preservation Trust. 

There's a gruesome plaque on the tomb of John and Agnes Lewis of the martyrdom of St Agatha. Who, in a twist (ahem) of that peculiarly Roman Catholic propensity to take things literally, is the patron saint of breast cancer patients.

There's also pleasing, modern stained glass in there, of St Wilfrid 'teaching the locals to fish' and of the salt marsh and its inhabitants. More landscapes made out of sand ... but it was time we moved on to our last destination of the day.  



    Pictures from further down the beach. I was there at New year. The Converted Railway Carriages / homes, date from 1945-1947 - before the Town Planning Act stopped that kind of wonderful nonsense.

    1. Great photos! There are holiday lets to be had in old railway carriages at Dawlish Warren too, only a bit less posh.