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Tours > Sussex Churches > South Harting

St Mary and St Gabriel - South Harting
SU 784194; Four Miles South-East of Petersfield
South Harting is dominated by its majestic Church on the Hampshire border. It is indeed a splendid sight of an aisled cruciform building of about 1400 above which rises a coppered spire. A walk around the outside is interesting. The west wall is a nineteenth century rebuild and is constructed of horizontal banded stone. There is a seventeenth century south chapel now in ruins. Internally the church is particularly impressive. Nave and Chancel are of equal length and the chancel's east wall comprises three nineteenth century lancet windows. The chancel roof is a sixteenth century replacement of an original destroyed by lightning and is a most complicated design with typical Elizabethan pendant decoration.

There are many interesting things to see in the church including relics of Anthony Trollope who lived in the area for a few months. The gold altar frontal is made from material given by Queen Victoria to her daughter Princess Louise. High on the south east corner of the crossing tower can be seen a piscina. This rare feature indicates that the Rood Loft (removed at the Reformation) has a small altar on its loft served by this piscina! Like most of the church it is of fourteenth century date.

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