Chiddingly, East Sussex - 25th August 2003

This little church is quite exquisite, and serves a parish which is dispersed across the Sussex countryside.  The dedication is unknown.

The first church, of which a few traces survive was built in the late 11th or early 12th centuries.  When the chancel was rebuilt in 1864 Norman masonry was found in the foundations.

The tower is 60 feet high and the walls are 4'6" thick in order to carry the enormous weight of the stone spire which rises to a height of 130 feet.  There are only four remaining ancient stone spires in Sussex, the others are at Dallington, East Preston and Northiam. The spire is octagonal in shape and is flanked at the junction with the tower by four polygonal pinnacles.

I have transcribed the list of incumbents of this church here.

Chiddingly, Sussex, 25th August 2003 - MTC

The Jefferay Monument is an enormous structure situated in the south transept, which was specifically built to house it in 1612.

The monument is to Sir John Jefferay, died 23rd May 1578, who was Chief Baron of the Exchequer under Elizabeth I, and at various times the member of parliament for Arundel and East Grinstead.  His effigy reclines on his elbow above the recumbent form of his second wife, Dame Alice.  Below them kneels a grand-daughter, Elizabeth, later to marry Robert Bertie.  In the two niches stand Sir John's only daughter Elizabeth and her husband Sir Edward Montague. 

The monument is carved from alabaster, perhaps mined in Mountfield, near Battle.

Jefferay Monument, Chiddingly, Sussex, 25th August 2003 - MTC

The church has just two stained glass windows, the east window of 1875 is a memorial to the Reverend James Vidal and his wife, during whose incumbency the church was restored. This window depicts Christ the Good Shepherd, and, according to the church guide, is considered mediocre in design and colour.

The second window portrays  St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist and is attributed to Powell.  It commemorates John Day of Uckfield, a local landowner.

Chiddingly Church - the John Day WindowChiddingly Church - the Vidal (East) window

The organ is a one manual and pedal tracker instrument by J Walker, built originally in 1870.  IT was purchased from the 'iron church' in Eastbourne in 1906 for the princely sum of 75.  It was brought in pieces to the church on a farm cart and reassembled by the village carpenter and an amateur organ builder, Mr Herbert Richardson.

The organ was restored in 1982-85 and the front pipes repainted.

Chiddingly Church, the organ - 25th August 2003 - MTC

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