After our visit to Portchester Castle, we made our way over to the Ancient Priory Church of St Mary, situated in the far corner of the Roman enclosure.
Built in the 1120s of Isle of Wight stone by Normans. It was given by Henry 1 to a small community of Augustinian or Austin canons/monks. Their seats in the chancel with arched recesses may still be seen. The priory buildings that once stretched south to the Roman wall have completely disappeared. The canons moved some four miles away to Southwick for a more quiet life after some 20 years, but sent a canon until the Reformation in the 1530s to serve this parish.
The Norman west door is a wonderful example of Norman stonework with a variety of patterns.
The building is of outstanding simplicity, a nave with traditional Norman arches and rounded windows in the north and south wall.
On the South wall is an Elizabethan plaque, dated 1577, the oldest of this type in the county and a note of the royal grant. The flowing photos will take you on a tour of this interesting church.