Arundel, St Nicholas

The Church

The beautiful Grade 1 listed church of St Nicholas, Arundel sits high on a hill in the attractive market town, close to the castle and roman catholic church. Built in 1380 as both a monastic and a parish building, the nave was used by the townspeople and the chancel by the priests’ college. Upon the dissolution of the monasteries, the chancel became the property of the Fitzalan family of Arundel Castle. Ever since, the church building has sheltered protestant and catholic places of worship.

The former chancel was completely walled off and invisible to church visitors for many years. Now it can be seen through a wrought iron grille. Known as the Fitzalan Chapel, it holds the magnificent Fitzalan funerary monuments.

The medieval nave is full of treasures; in particular, the octagonal font of Sussex marble, and a stunning if faded set of wall paintings in the north aisle, depicting the seven deadly sins and the seven works of mercy. The elaborate canopied stone pulpit was designed by one of the architects of Canterbury Cathedral.

The Arundel church community is very active. The church is well looked after and has excellent interpretation for its many visitors.  The PCC have undertaken a big programme of conservation works. There are toilets, a kitchen and some parking.

Our Work

The church shelters three species of bat: pipistrelle, brown long-eared and serotine.

The pipistrelles have a maternity roost, and in summer their droppings necessitate frequent cleaning.

The serotine bats have a day roost in the sanctuary. They are scraping away lime washing and mortar from scrabbling under roofing boarding which is collecting on the floor underneath these areas. The brown long-eared bats also have a day roost and about 30 roost in an adjacent building.

A bats in churches survey in 2021 did not find any interior roosts, however it was an unusual year and there is some interior marking of monuments by bat urine.

The bat management plan has suggested creating roost sites externally under the southern fascias or installing bat boxes there. This will have minimal impact of the church’s aesthetic and will enhance roosting opportunities for bats. It will be implemented as part of the re-roofing of the south aisle within the next couple of years.

Arundel case study

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If you’d like to contact or find out more about the church, visit their page on Exploring Churches or A Church Near You