Saturday, 9 August 2008

St Andrew, Ford

A pretty church standing in the fields close to the junction of the old Chichester Canal with the River Arun. The little shiplap bellcote is painted white, like Tortington's - according to local legend, so they could be easily seen by bargemen navigating the river.
The walls are basically Norman, though little survives. The south porch was rebuilt in brick with a Dutch gable above, a triangular pediment supported on curved gables. It dates from 1637 when Dutch architecture was all the rage.
Inside, the chancel retains its narrow Norman arch, so often replaced in Victorian times, and the east window features nice reticulated tracery. Reticulated tracery (Dr Johnson defined reticulation as "made of network; formed with interstitial vacuities") was made possible by the development of the S-shaped ogee curve in the 14th century. At first, ogees were used to create this simple, attractive net in stone, but it was not long before masons went mad with ogees and created riots of swirling tracery that take the breath away.