Selham, St James Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Beautifully carved Saxon chancel arch
The highlight of Selham church is the intricately carved chancel arch; a wonderful example of Saxon architecture. The capitals on both sides of the arch are carved with fascinating details in a mix of geometric design and strange beasts. The north capital is intriguing; it was possibly plain when built, but shortly after the Norman Conquest it was carved in a mix of Norman and Saxon styles.
The lower section shows Scandinavian style serpent creatures eating their own tails. The upper section shows a ferocious beast. The south capital shows more obvious Saxon style, with a three-pronged tool, common in the 10th century.
The font probably dates to shortly after the Conquest and is a simple tub-shaped favoured by the Normans. One of the carvings shows a five-pronged tool, which came into use in the Norman period, as opposed to the three-pronged Saxon tool illustrated on the chancel capital.
The south aisle is Early English in style (1190-1245), with a squint - an opening to allow those seated in the aisle to have a better view of the high altar.
Our verdict: a delightful church with fascinating Saxon and early Norman details.
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About Selham, St James Church
Address: Selham, West Sussex, England, GU28 0PW
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Off the A272, three miles east of Midhurst
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Cowdray House - 2.6 miles (Historic House)
Petworth House - 2.9 miles (Historic House)
Petworth, St Mary's Church - 2.9 miles (Historic Church)
Petworth Cottage Museum - 2.9 miles (Museum)
Bignor Roman Villa - 5.2 miles (Roman Site)
Chithurst, St Mary Church - 5.7 miles (Historic Church)
Trotton, St George Church - 6 miles (Historic Church)
Weald and Downland Open Air Museum - 6.1 miles (Museum)
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