Firle, St Peter's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 16th century Gage family memorials
The tower is quite striking, with very large, high buttresses at each corner. It appears to have been unbuttressed when built, and the buttresses added at a late date - probably in the 16th and 17th centuries - when the weight of the walls began to put strain on the tower structure.
Aside from Sir John's own alabaster tomb, the Gage monuments include that of an earlier Sir John Gage (d. 1556) and his wife. Another is to Sir Edward Gage (d. 1569) and his wife, with a memorial brass showing the couple at prayer. This memorial is very similar to the second Sir John's memorial.
One of the more modern attractions inside St Peter's is a stained glass window designed by John Piper, depicted William Blake's 'Tree of Life' from his 'Book of Job'.
Other interior highlights include geometrical wall tiles in the chancel, thought to be by William Morris. The window behind the altar in the Lady Chapel has original 13th century stained glass. The glass was hidden during the Reformation by parishioners who feared that iconoclasts might smash it to pieces, as happened throughout the country. The pieces of glass were hidden for many years, then replaced like a giant jigsaw puzzle, though in this case it is pretty obvious that the pieces of the puzzle were put together incorrectly.
Writer Virginia Woolf lived in Firle for several years. Her sister, painter Vanessa Bell is buried i the churchyard, as are other Bloomsbury Set members Duncan Grant and Vanessa's son, Quentin Bell. Economist John Maynard Keynes lived in Firle for 21 years and died here in 1946. Keynes is not buried here; he was cremated and his ashes scattered on the Downs above neighbouring Tilton.
About Firle, St Peter's Church
Address: The Street, Firle, East Sussex, England, BN8 6LP
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Up a lane off The Street in the heart of the village. Usually open daylight hours.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Firle Place - 0.1 miles (Historic House)
Newhaven Fort - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
Charleston - 1.5 miles (Historic House)
Glynde Place - 1.6 miles (Historic House)
Monk's House - 3.2 miles (Historic Building)
Newhaven Museum - 3.4 miles (Museum)
Lewes Castle and Barbican House Museum - 3.9 miles (Castle)
Anne of Cleves House - 4 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Firle, St Peter's Church: