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Abstract

A large number of different building stones were used during the period AD 950–1850 in West Sussex churches, with 52 different types identified and named in this study. The building stones include local Tertiary and Cretaceous rocks, as well as imported rocks from the Isle of Wight, Dorset and Normandy. One hundred and eighty churches, mainly built during the period from the eleventh to the sixteenth centuries but with a few ranging in age up until the mid-nineteenth century, have been visited to identify the building stones used. The distribution pattern of use of four building stones – Tunbridge Wells Sandstone, Hythe Formation Sandstone, Mixon Stone and Quarr Stone – is presented and analysed. These building stones show distinctive patterns of distribution, which are related to geological, geographical, economic, architectural and historical factors. The building stones native to West Sussex are of considerable geological interest as few quarries or other exposures showing these strata are now present.

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