The Parish Church of St Symphorian, Durrington
from 13th Century to the modern day
in ten milestone
Welcome to the Church of St. Symphorian, Durrington. The first historical reference of this place is to be found in the Domesday Book. In the reign of William II, the patronage was given to the Monastery of Sele (Beeding).
In Anglo-Saxon times, when Durrington was known as Derentun, there was a small Chapel of plaster and thatch called wattle. In the early 13th Century this was replaced with a building, having a chancel and nave constructed of flint and stone, and probably roofed with Horsham tiles. This particular style would have been much in keeping with many smaller churches which still survive on the South Downs and coastal plain of Sussex. Documents survive which suggest that the Chancel was separated from the nave by a rood screen, open in its upper part so that worshippers could share in the Divine Office being performed by the Priest in the Chancel. The Rood Screen was surmounted by a loft, often referred to in medieval documents as a Solar. Its main purpose was to accommodate a few choristers or a small organ. The steeple of the Chapel was built to carry the bell. This was little more than a raised bell cote above the gable end in a wooden structure. It was built in the western bay of the nave roof, and covered externally with boarding.