St Pancras Church, Kingston-near-Lewes
St Pancras Church, Kingston-near-Lewes

The parish church of Kingston-near-Lewes stands on the north-west side of the village street. The layout is traditional, with a four-bay nave, two-bay chancel, timber-framed south porch, and west tower.

The oldest parts of the building are the nave and chancel, which were probably built in the late 13th or early 14th century, though it is possible that the base of the slender west tower may predate them. The tower is curiously narrow given the breadth of the nave.

The church is of flint rubble dressed with stone and is listed Grade II* for its heritage interest.

It was damaged by lightning in 1865, necessitating restoration work, and a comprehensive restoration followed in 1874 under the direction of Robert Wheeler of Brenchley, in Kent.

The church interior
The church interior


The church owes existence to an ancient sheriff of Lewes who gave one acre of land as a building site. William II of Warenne later gave the church to the monks of Lewes Priory. The monks held the church until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The communion table dates to the Tudor period. Slightly later is a Jacobean parish chest at the western end of the nave. In the south chancel wall is a 14th-century aumbry and a piscina of a similar age.

The font is probably 14th-century work and is decorated with a roll-moulded base and bowl lip.

The 14th-century font
The 14th-century font

Archbishop Blanch Memorial Window

The south-east window in the chancel is dedicated to Lord Stuart Blanch, Archbishop of York (1918-1994). It contains six stained-glass roundels given to the church by Blanch's daughter, Angela in 2005. After Blanch's death in 1994, his wife, Lady Brenda Blanch, lived in Kingston-near-Lewes for several years.

The roundels were crafted by the York Glazier's Trust as a gift to the archbishop to mark his retirement in 1983. Each roundel depicts a stage in his ecclesiastical career and is centred on fragments of Victorian glass removed from York Minster.

Archbishop Blanch Memorial Window
The Archbishop Blanch Memorial Window

The Blanch window is not the only memorial window in the church; set into the north wall is a richly-coloured window installed in honour of the clergyman and anti-apartheid campaigner, Michael Scott. The windows was dedicated in 1992 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

On the wall is a war memorial consisting of two brass plaques, one each to mark those local service personnel who lost their lives in WWI (top) and WWII (bottom).

Michael Scott Memorial Window
Michael Scott Memorial Window

Getting There

The church is located on The Street in Kingston-upon-Lewes, just past Hyde Close. There is limited parking along The Street, but we were able to find space. The village itself is just a mile off the A27 immediately west of Lewes.

The church was open when we visited and, as far as can determine, is typically open to visitors.

More Photos

About Kingston-near-Lewes, St Pancras Church
Address: The Street, Kingston-near-Lewes, East Sussex, England, BN7 3PD
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On The Street, off Ashcombe Lane. Take the signposted Kingston-near-Lewes turning off the A27 immediately west of Lewes, then turn right onto The Street when you reach the village.
Website: Kingston-near-Lewes, St Pancras Church
Location map
OS: TQ391081
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest

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