This is probably going to be last of my West Dean postcards for the time being, I think I have exhausted my West Dean collection, but don’t worry I still have plenty of other cards to write about.
As the caption says this is West Dean Church (near Chichester, Sussex) seen from the west looking through the church gate to the ivy clad tower. There are no clues on the back of the card to suggest the date or publisher/photographer. I am guessing that it is probably before the fire in 1934.
According to the church guide book the tower “was built by the Woods family of Chilgrove (not Chilgrove Manor) in 1726, this date being on the sundial on the south side. It holds three bells, one of 1601, one of 1651 and one of uncertain date, all recast 1936. The Woods family would appear to have been very proud of this tower. The last Mr. John Woods, aided by some of his workmen, would be let over the top in a bosun’s chair in order that he might cut the ivy and point the stonework, a task that he always made his own.”
I don’t know who is responsible for the maintainance of the church tower now, but as you can see from the photo below (taken by me on the 16th June 2010) it looks in splendid ivy free condition.