A Floral Welcome at The Village Church

Chris Lord

New York, United States

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Saint Johns Church entrance at Piddinghoe, an East Sussex village in the South of England, at the rear of the church the ground slopes down to the river

This small parish lies on the western bank of the Ouse with Telscombe, Southease and Newhaven around it. The church stands on it’s own over looking the river and consists of nave and chancel, both with aisles on either side. The tower is rounded with a shingle octagonal spire and large vane in the form of a trout. When Kipling wrote about this fish, in his famous praises of Sussex it was a dolphin and shone with gold; Alas, now it is more like a mackeral and is green with age. The nave and tower date from the early 12th century. Early in the 13th century the chancel was rebuilt with north and south aisles. These were later removed and not replaced until the major restoration of 1882. The nave arches were cut through the walls of the original nave, the northern arcade in three bays with semi-circular Norman arches and the later southern arcade with four pointed gothic arches. One of the outstanding features of the interior is the finely proportioned and lofty chancel arch. The north wall of the nave and the east wall of the chancel are the oldest parts of the church, the latter with three deeply recessed lancets and an oculus in the gable. In the churchyard are, still, the village stocks . The stone is original but the wood has been replaced in the past. The large quantities of smuggled rum which used to be hidden in pits in this neighbourhood gave rise to the local saying; ‘At Pidd’n’oo they dig for moon-shine’.

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Artwork Comments

  • Michael Haslam
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