Just after Christmas we went for a walk through Burton Park near Duncton. The delightful little church looks a little incongruous next to the early 19th century mansion, but this can easily be overlooked as the park setting is simply stunning! I wish I had read up about this church before we had the opportunity to go in as there is a lot I missed.

The nave and chancel date back to the Norman times and we could see some herringbone masonry on the north wall. Upgrading did not take place until the 1636 when Bishop Juxon ordered a major upgrading of the exterior – so the windows date back to this time. Bishop Juxon is famous as he was the bishop who accompanied King Charles I on to the scaffold in 1649. Luckily, despite some Victorian upgrading the interior is a reminder of the look of Pre-Reformation churches. 

The Royal Arms dated 1636 – King Charles I is very rare. And the text above, “Obey them that have the rule over you”, Hebrews 13:7 is very apt – bearing in mind the fact that King Charles believed that he had been chosen by God to rule!

This simple kneeling figure is Elizabeth Goring who died in 1558. Sadly the effigies of her husband, Sir William d1554 and their eight children are missing. She is wearing a tabard possibly to signify that she was heiress to the Covert family from Slaugham. A tabard in the Medieval period was usually worn by men to display coats-of arms. But maybe as an heiress she was showing of what she would inherit?

Sir William Goring took his name from the village near Worthing, where the family lived until the late 15th century. After this time they moved to Burton close to the village of Duncton. In 1526 King Henry VIII visited Sussex and knighted Goring. He forged his career as a Royal Courtier, Household Official and local administrator. He certainly seems to have lived through interesting times! Take a look at him on histparl.ac.uk