There was a church on this site by 1090, when records show that it was given to the Priory of St Pancras at Lewes, including a levy of tithes to support the church and clergy. The present church was classified in 1987 on the statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest as Grade 1 (the highest listing). The Parish Registers date back to 1539; the originals are now housed at the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester. There have been seven key stages in the building and development of the present church and its surroundings.
A useful starting point is the painting of St Mary’s in 1805 before the almost total rebuilding began in 1847.