ARUNDEL, East Sussex – St Nicholas. 

Restoration of nave roof 1893; Proposed mural 1896 (Edward Prynne)

The Builder of 10 June 1893 reported that –

The oak roof of the nave of the fine old church at Arundel has been carefully examined and reported on by several well-known architects, and owing to the ravages of worm the main timbers have been condemned as unsafe.  The work of entire renovation has been placed in the hands of Mr. George H. Fellowes Prynne, of Westminster.  The roof, which was restored by Sir Gilbert Scott some seventeen years ago, will be carefully copied in detail and renewed in English oak, only such timbers as are found to be untouched by worm being reused.  The contract has been undertaken for the sum of £1,058/9s/7d by Mr. Burrell, builder, of Arundel.

According to the West Sussex Record Office, one of the “well-known architects” who looked at the roof in the 1890s was Blomfield; the Record Office holds a letter from him on the subject.

The Sussex Agricultural Express of 11 January 1896 carried a letter of appeal for funds from the vicar.  There had been a court case, the outcome of which was that it was decided that the chancel (the FitzAlan Chapel) was private property.  A rough wall was in place to divide this chancel – the monastic portion of the church – from the nave, the parish church section.

“…as a result of this judgement, the wall still remains.  In its present state it is a terrible eyesore; but a very beautiful design for its decoration…has been prepared by Mr. E. A. Fellowes Prynne, whose artistic work in connection with churches is well known.

It would appear that Edward Prynne’s design was not carried out, or if it was, it has been lost.