St Margaret's Church


St Margaret’s Church

There is not space here to write a full history of the church which may be found elsewhere. Basically, a Norman church was built on top of a Saxon one.

The tower was built c1200 and is four feet thick.

After the fire of 1377 there was much dilapidation and it wasn’t until 1855/56 that Gilbert Scott organised a full renovation of the church. Sadly, most of the old roof timbers were simply ripped out and replaced with new but that was their method of conservation at that time.

I referred to the fire of 1377 which was the most dramatic event in the church’s history. 

The French pillaged the village and when the villagers took refuge in the church tower, they set fire to the building and the villagers perished. 

To this day you can still see a pinkish hue from the fire damage on many stones which have been used in the rebuilding of the church.

The finest part of the building today is the range of windows made by William Morris and designed by Sir Edward Burne Jones who lived opposite the church.

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Both the last two photographs (one with the gentlemen with wheelbarrows, and the other with a little boy with harvest festival donations) show the stones surrounding the flower beds at entrance to the church in the background. 

The church architect has recently examined their carvings more closely and says they are stones from Lewes Priory which Henry VIII had demolished as part of the dissolution of the monasteries.

c1880 windows preceded Burne Jones windows

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1883 note clock on tower and very few graves

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Showing the stones from Lewes Priory

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c1880 windows preceded Burne Jones windows

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