Buncton Chapel

The earliest mention of Buncton is in a charter dating back to 791 that seems to delineate what later became the manor of Buncton, though a small farming community had been in existence during the Roman period. By the end of the Saxon period it was in possession of Earl Godwin and the manor had also become a small parish which lay entirely surrounded by that of Wiston. Its boundaries followed what is now Chanctonbury Ring Road and Water Lane in the west, Spithandle Lane in the north, a field boundary in the east that runs parallel to the current bridleway that is still more or less in place, and a line running to the north of Wiston Park in the south.

The settlement is believed to have existed to the north of the church either along Water Lane or possibly the site of old Waterlane Barn. The manor house lay to the south on a moated site next to the current Buncton Manor Farm. During the late middle ages the population shrunk so that by the mid 15th century the parish ceased to exist and was joined to Ashington which it remained a detached part of until the 1890s when it was transfered to the parish of Wiston which had always surrounded it. By that point the old village of Wiston was also on the move having also shrunk throughout the centuries with the last of its population removed by the owners of Wiston House in order to extend its park. As a consequence the new village of Wiston is now centred on the site of the previous village of Buncton along Water Lane and Spithandle Lane.

The current church dates from the 11th century and may have replaced a much older Saxon one. Part of the building materials used included pieces of Roman tiling from a former building that once lay on a small hillock overlooking the current A283 road which itself partially follows the course of the old Roman Greensand Way which linked Barcombe to a junction with Stane Street at Hardham. The church was downgraded to a chapel at ease when Buncton lost its parochial status and remained as such until 2009 when it became Wiston's parish church after the former building at Wiston House was decommissioned.