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The Parish Church of All Saints, Cuckmere Valley

Description: The Parish Church of All Saints

Grade: I
Date Listed: 30 August 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 295740

OS Grid Reference: TV5250699691
OS Grid Coordinates: 552506, 99691
Latitude/Longitude: 50.7768, 0.1617

Location: South Downs Way, South Downs National Park BN25 4AL

Locality: Cuckmere Valley
Local Authority: Wealden District Council
County: East Sussex
Country: England
Postcode: BN25 4AL

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There is also a scheduled monument, Remains of a Medieval Manor House and Associated Dovecote 130m and 110m North West of Westdean Manor, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Explore more of the area around Cuckmere Valley, East Sussex at Explore Britain.

Listing Text


30-AUG-1966 The Parish Church of All Saints

Parish church. Saxo-Norman in origin restored in the late C13 and early C14, restored in 1878 and 1961 and re-roofed in 1984. Built of flint and Eastbourne stone rubble with tiled roof.
PLAN: Three-bay nave and two bay chancel in one, west tower with broached spire and south porch.
EXTERIOR: West tower is of two stages, the lower Norman, the upper early C14. Half-hipped tiled roof to short spire, at one time shingled. which is surmounted by a metal weathervane. Two small slit windows and a trefoil-headed window to the bell stage. Below this is an early C20 traceried window and an arched west entrance. Deep buttresses on either side. C19 gabled south porch. Three bay nave and two bay chancel of same height. South side has three early C14 windows, two of which are trefoil-headed lancets and one a double trefoil-headed window with light above. The north side has a small Saxon window, two lancet windows and an early C14 window with double trefoils and six-pointed star above. The east window has intersecting tracery with triple trefoiled window.
INTERIOR: The tower-arch is round-headed with C14 shafts starting relatively high up. The Saxon date of the nave is confirmed by a small west window blocked up until 1963 but the other windows are early C14. Ogee-headed early C14 stone stoup by south entrance. Early C14 square stone font on octagonal columns on south side of tower-arch. North wall has c.1637 marble wall monument to Mrs Susanna Tirrey (nee Thomas) with curved open pediment with coat of arms above and floral swag beneath and cherubs either side, one holding a spade, the other a torch. In the corner of the south and west walls is a bronze head of Lord Waverley by Jacob Epstein, unveiled in 1960. The north wall has a bronze head of the painter Sir Oswald Birley (d. 1952) by Clare Sheridan. A large stone memorial to the Harrison family is set in the floor.
The chancel has two medieval stone tomb canopies on the north wall. The westernmost is late C13 and the easternmost early C14. These are thought to be the tombs of Sir John Heringod and his wife Isabella. Sir John was Lord of the Manor and represented Sussex in Parliament. On the south side of the chancel is a large standing wall monument of alabaster of c.1639 to William Thomas, a wealthy citizen of Lewes who bought the Manor of West Dean in 1611. This comprises two kneeling figures under a curved pediment embellished with a coat of arms, supported on composite half-columns and flanked by angels. Further to the east is an early C14 piscina. The east window has stained glass of circa 1890 and is flanked by two brass panels of the Ten Commandments. The pulpit is late C20 and the roof to both nave and chancel, barrel-vaulted with crownposts to the nave, is of 1984.
HISTORY: The early C14 Early English style restoration was probably financed by Sir John Heringod {1250-1325}. The two chancel tomb canopies almost certainly are to Sir John and Lady Isabella. In his will he provided for two wax tapers and a lamp to be burnt over his wife's tomb. The church was endowed with the annual rent from land at West Dean known as the Tapersland and the Lampland.

A substantially intact medieval parish church with Saxo-Norman nave, chancel and west tower, restored in the early C14 and with fine medieval stone tomb canopies and 1630s wall monument and wall tablet.

[Nairn-Pevsner "The Buildings of England: Sussex". 1965. pp621-2.
John Betjeman "Guide to English Parish Churches".]
"A History of West Dean Church and Parish" Revised 2003.]

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.