It is all but impossible to say how old the Parish Church of St Giles is, because the present building has evolved over several hundred years. Today, it is pretty much as the Victorians left it after the restoration of 1884-85. Much of the stonework is much older. The oldest part of the church is the nave which dates from the 12th Century. There was then, presumably a chancel too, where the altar now stands. The present chancel was built in the 1880’s.In the 14th Century the north transept was added, (where the organ now stands). This appears to have been a private chapel for the lords of the manor. There used to be a door (by the side of the present pulpit) which would have given access across the churchyard to the castle. The 15th Century saw further building, the south aisle, the Arundell Chapel, the tower and the porch were all added.
The Arundell Chapel stands at the head of the south aisle. The Arundell family were lords of the manor from 1450 to 1802. They inherited Chideock by marriage, and in 1802, the then Lord Arundell sold the estate to his cousin, Thomas Weld. The chapel contains a 15th Century marble tomb and effigy thought to be Sir John Arundell.The church acquired a new organ in 1892. Sited in the chapel, for over 70 years it obscured an important part of the church’s history. In the mid 1960’s, the organ was moved to its present position and the chapel was restored and refurnished. It was rededicated by the Bishop of Salisbury on the 20th July 1969.
As with so many churches, ours has been enriched by individual gifts from parishioners, the splendid brass lectern, the litany desk and the carpet in the Arundel Chapel are some. The heating, installed in 1987 was paid for by parishioners joining in a common endeavour.