St Michael

Approached by a narrow lane above a steep slope and surrounded by trees, Up Marden is perhaps the hardest to find of the downland churches.

About this church

Up Marden was once a bustling village of several hundred folk. It’s one of several villages in Sussex which are less important than they were in the Middle Ages.

One positive effect of this decline is that the amazing church on the outskirts of the village has hardly been touched for the best part of a thousand years.

St Michael's is an exceptional place for the sense of simple yet irresistible piety that permeates the place. In an excerpt from an article for the Spectator which is printed in the church Simon Jenkins gets it just right when he says ‘These places disturb us unbelievers...this power does not respect belief or unbelief’.

You could miss the church of you weren't looking for it. It’s hidden away down a flinty farm track, with no car park, no gateway to the church yard and just a few ancient tracks between the trees to guide you in.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches


St Hubert

'The Little Church in a Field' which is open every day.

Holy Trinity

Clearly annotated 'Bosham ecclesia', this venerable old church, with its great Saxon chancel arch, is depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry.

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