Alfriston, East Sussex
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: A plethora of historic buildings in a lovely village setting. 14th century Clergy House demands a visit.
The village boasts a pair of intriguing historic inns. The Market Cross was a famous smuggler's haunt during the 18th century, the headquarters of a gang headed by Stanton Collins. Author Rudyard Kipling used the exploits of Collins and his gang as inspiration for his poem, 'A Smuggler's Song'.
The other inn is the Star Inn, an attractive building which dates to the 15th century. The Star was built as a stopover place for pilgrims on their way to the shrine of St Richard at Chichester.
But the most famous historic building in Alfriston is probably Clergy House, a thatched, half-timbered Wealden hall house built in the 14th century. Clergy House was the very first property acquired by the National Trust in 1896. Clergy House offers a wonderful glimpse into how our ancestors lived during the medieval period, and how their houses were built. The house is surrounded by a traditional cottage garden.
Also in Alfriston is the English Wine Centre, a museum of the vintner's craft in England, housed in a historic thatched building.
And while visiting Alfriston, pop into the parish church of St Andrews. This lovely old building has been called The Cathedral of the Downs. It was built around 1360 in a cruciform shape topped by a central tower and slender spire.
An interesting Alfriston custom which has only recently died out is to bury local shepherds with a clump of sheep wool in their hand. The wool was supposed to signify to gatekeepers in heaven that the dead man's poor record of church attendance was due to his obligation to his flock!
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Address: Alfriston, East Sussex, England
Attraction Type: Village
Location: On a minor road off the A27 3 miles west of Polegate
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Alfriston, St Andrew's Church - 0.6 miles (Historic Church)
Alfriston Clergy House - 0.6 miles (Historic Building)
Charleston - 2.5 miles (Historic House)
Firle Place - 3.7 miles (Historic House)
Firle, St Peter's Church - 3.8 miles (Historic Church)
Newhaven Fort - 3.9 miles (Historic Building)
Michelham Priory - 4 miles (Abbey)
Newhaven Museum - 4.7 miles (Museum)
Nearest Accommodation to Alfriston: