SZ7798 : West Wittering - SS Peter & Paul - C13th slab

taken 4 years ago, near to West Wittering, West Sussex, Great Britain

West Wittering - SS Peter & Paul - C13th slab
West Wittering - SS Peter & Paul - C13th slab
An informative notice beside this slab states the following:
"This thirteenth century slab, with its bishop's crook and cross of a similar design to some of the pilgrim crosses nearby, is probably the cover of a container for a relic of a Saint. If so, the Saint was very likely to have been Saint Richard, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1245 until his death in 1253. It is also possible that when the shrine of Saint Richard at Chichester Cathedral was destroyed by Cromwell's soldiers, the same men may have come over to West Wittering and hacked this slab in two"

Alternatively, I would suggest that it might be the tomb slab for a bishop (other than St Richard) as it is about the right length for such.
The Sussex Parish Churches website describes it thus:
"Crisply carved but anonymous marble slab with an incised crozier. It is similar to three in Chichester cathedral and others nearby. Most of the group has been dated to c.1305 including this one. On the basis of the lettering at Chichester, all have been assigned to the so-called Ashford workshop, one of the early London workshops."
West Wittering - SS Peter & Paul
The church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in West Wittering dates from the C12th, the nave being from quite early 1100s while the Lady Chapel is from nearer to the end of that century. The following century saw the addition of the chancel and the tower, while the porch was not added until the C15th.
The tower contains a bell cage dated to about 1500.
Inside the church are a number of interesting things; most notable are two fine C16th monuments - either both are to William Ernley ( 1545), or one may be to his first wife Elizabeth who died 17 years before him in 1528. The monument(s) to William were built by his second wife, Bridget. (For more details see the write-ups against the relevant photographs). These monuments are of the so-called Selsey style. (Selsey Bill is only a few miles away).
The church also contains a C13th marble slab with an incised crozier, usually denoting a bishop. It is thought that this was carved by masons from nearby Chichester Cathedral.
The oldest artifact in the church however, is undoubtedly the font, which is thought to date from Saxon times, making it over 1000 years old. There is also a gable-end cross (displayed in a case) which is thought to date from the earlier Saxon church which would have stood here.
The church is EH Grade I listed LinkExternal link
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SZ7798, 160 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 12 September, 2015   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 22 September, 2015
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
West Wittering 
Primary Subject of Photo
Carved Stone 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SZ 7770 9839 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:46.7935N 0:53.9565W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SZ 7770 9839
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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