101 Medieval Churches of West Sussex
by Paul CoppinPublished by SB Publications
SUSSEX BOOK REVIEW
Paul Coppin's guide to the fine old churches of West Sussex takes the form of nine short tours of sections of West Sussex.
He divides West Sussex into Chichester's Villages, West Downland, West of the Arun, Arun Valley, Surrey Borders, Arundel to Worthing, Along the River Adur, the Northern Villages and Brighton's Villages.
Along the way the way there is a page on each church recounting the age and main internal features of the church together with a black and white photo of each of his selections.
Sussex Guide BooksMore books about historcal places in West Sussex.
The best parts of the book are the short essays between each section dealing with specific aspects of interest for lovers of old churches. For anyone looking to learn how to read church features, these are a very good introduction.
Churchyards, church windows and fonts all get a breezy discussion.
There's also a decent section on the coming of Christianity to Sussex - a difficult subject to deal with because most writers are dealing with the same limited evidence - beyond that it's a matter of the author's interpretation, imagination and powers of expression.
At the end of the book Coppin lists his top ten West Sussex churches, with Bosham, Poling and Boxgrove making up the top three, based on a number of factors including history, setting and architecture.
So many of our fine Sussex churches are easy to overlook, but these churches are magical places which are all around us - but which are all too rarely visited or appreciated. Paul Coppin's book provides an easy way to discover some of these treasures and is recommended.
Book reviewed by Mark Hoult, West Sussex.info
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