Churches Project no 19 – The church harvestman at Buncton

Harvestman in the church

There are occasions when something in a photograph only reveals itself when processing the image and is not ‘seen’ at the time of pressing the shutter. This happened with this image. I was attracted to a vase of dried flowers standing on a small carved stone shelf plinth in All Saints Church, which is in the parish of Wiston with Buncton in West Sussex.

It was only when I made the image that I saw the harvestman in the top left corner of the frame. A small but I think now important detail in the shot. To see it for yourself you might want to click on the picture above to view a larger version, or for the sake of simplicity I have included a crop below.

Harvetsman detail

Interestingly a harvestman is not a spider. Although it has eight limbs and looks like a long-legged spider, it isn’t one. It is one of the Opilones, a group of arachnids closely related to spiders. Unlike the spiders, it has no silk glands so is not able to spin a web. It does not have fangs and does not produce venom.

This church had another floral display in an arched recess formed from what was previously the southern entrance doorway of the church.


Another interesting detail  – A piscina in the south wall near the altar……


And finally, the altar table and a small recess with three candles had all the signs of other past inhabitants.




The church is mainly Norman, has Saxon origins and is largely unrestored. Hidden from the road it is approached through a wooded dell and over a stream. On entering the graveyard, the church reveals itself and enjoys a picturesque setting adjoining open farmland. A quintessential rural location for an unspoilt country church in the South Downs.

4 Responses to “Churches Project no 19 – The church harvestman at Buncton”

  1. David A Lockwood

    Love these, enjoy all of your church series – well made.
    Do you see the face on the dark pillar above and slightly left of the arachnid ? which is what I initially thought you meant


    • alan frost

      Thank you David. How interesting. I didn’t see the face but now you mention it….I can see it quite clearly. Fascinating how we all see images differently.



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