Alfriston, St Andrew's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 14th century Easter Sepulchre
The church is built on a small mound, surrounded by a flint wall, suggesting that the site was a sacred place in the pre-Christian period. The sheer scale of the church has led to its moniker, 'The Cathedral of the Downs'. The church seems to have been built in one go, also unusual, at a time when most churches evolved slowly over centuries.
One of the best features of St Andrew's is the timber roof, built to a crown-post design. Most of the roof is original 13th century work, save only the south transept.
The font may be older than the church, but is at least 14th century, and is set atop a later base. There is a royal coat of arms to George I, dated 1725, There are 3 piscinas, one in the chancel and one in each transept. All are 14th century. Also 14th century, and my pick of the historic furnishings, is the triple-seat sedilia in the chancel.
The sedilia is separated with 3 octagonal shafts rising to round-headed arches, with beautifully carved finials centred on each arch. The sedilia stands directly opposite the Easter Sepulchre, and was probably carved at the same time.
On the wall of the south porch is a canonical sundial, probably created in the 14th century. Such sundials were not used specifically to tell the time of day, but to tell when religious ceremonies should take place.
St Andrews is a beautiful historic church in one of the prettiest and most historically interesting villages in East Sussex. The church is usually open daylight hours and is well worth a visit, especially if you visit te Clergy House nearby.
About Alfriston, St Andrew's Church
Address: The Tye, Alfriston, East Sussex, England, BN26 5TL
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Directly beside the National Trust's Alfriston Clergy House. The signposted village parking area is quite close. Usually open daylight hours.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Alfriston Clergy House - 0.1 miles (Historic Building)
Charleston - 2.8 miles (Historic House)
Firle Place - 3.9 miles (Historic House)
Firle, St Peter's Church - 4 miles (Historic Church)
Newhaven Fort - 4.1 miles (Historic Building)
Newhaven Museum - 4.5 miles (Museum)
Michelham Priory - 4.6 miles (Abbey)
Glynde Place - 5.6 miles (Historic House)
Nearest Accommodation to Alfriston, St Andrew's Church: