Witley, July 1, 1917

Sunday        Church parade A.M. Aft & Eve walked to Dunsfold

Tomorrow he will add

Yesterday we started [at] 2 pm to walk to Dunsfold which we reached at supper time about 8 miles from camp after supper we went to Duns church which is 1100 years old got into camp at 10:30 

Percy is mistaken about the age of the St. Mary’s and All Saints, Dunsfold — it is indeed very old, built around the year 1270, with of course, additions (a tower in the fifteenth century) and restorations in the nineteenth. William Morris is said to have declared it the most beautiful country church in all England; Pevsner is more moderate, declaring it “functional and commonsense,” an architect’s building, in that “everything is provided for and worked into the fabric, and there is no surplus ornament or display.” (1)

dunsfold-churchIt is built outside the village on a small rise that may be a pre-Christian burial barrow. Like Hambledon, it has a large ancient yew tree in its churchyard; nearby is a well reported to be responsible for miraculous cures of eye diseases.

If Percy attended evening service in the course of his visit, he sat in oak pews that were original to the building, before walking the nearly 13 kms back to camp.

(1) Nairn, Ian, Nikolaus Pevsner, Bridget Cherry. The Buildings of England: Surrey. 1971. 201. The William Morris quotation is widely found on various websites, but nowhere attributed.

Other information in this entry comes from the church’s website and from the Dunsfold entry in Bob Chantler’s  website on Weald and Downland Churches. Ian Wood has posted an album of photographs of the church — including the pews — on flickr.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”




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