Parham, St Peter's Church
Parham, St Peter's Church
The medieval church of St Peter's at Parham is located in the grounds of Parham House, a short stroll from the house itself. We do not know when the first church was built here, but the list of rectors goes back to 1148. Much of the current building is Victorian, rebuilt by Cecil Bishopp, the 8th Baronet of Parham House.
There are several interesting historical features that the Victorians left blessedly alone. Chief among these is the unique 14th century lead font. This is a remarkable construction, with decoration in raised lettering. It is divided into panels and was probably donated by Andrew Peverell, a local knight in the mid-14th century.

The oldest part of the church is the vestry, built around 1400 and rebuilt as a chapel on the orders of Robert Palmer around 1545.

The interior is filled with lovely old 19th century box pews, with a private family pew for the lords of Parham, complete with its own fireplace. Spare a glance for the pulpit; though unremarkable in itself, it is decorated with small carved plaques made of wood brought from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem by a soldier in the Sussex Yeomanry who served in Palestine during WWI.

Note: Don't confuse this Parham church with the one in Suffolk!