Alfriston Clergy House

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Coordinates: 50°48′24.5″N 0°9′29″E / 50.806806°N 0.15806°E / 50.806806; 0.15806

The house in spring

Alfriston Clergy House in Alfriston, Polegate, East Sussex, England, was the first property to be acquired by the National Trust. It was purchased in 1896 for £10.[1] The house lies adjacent to the Church of St. Andrew.


Detail of oak leaf.

The house is a 14th-century Wealden hall house. Although the name reflects the fact that the parish priest and his housekeeper used it, the house was originally built as a farmer's house. It is a very modest property — not at all like the grand rectories that many Church of England clergy occupied by the 19th century. It is a low-ceilinged, two-storey, timber-framed building with a thatched roof. Part of the house was rebuilt in the 17th century. It is commonly said that a detail on a cornice wood carving of an oak leaf, may have inspired the National Trust's emblem, but there is no evidence to prove that claim.[2] It has a rare chalk and sour milk floor.[3] Outside there is a small but well-planted cottage garden, which was designed by Graham Stuart Thomas.[4]

The house is open to the public.


  1. ^ Walker, Marianna (1 June 2008). "50 National Trust hidden gems". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  2. ^ Knight, Jane (August 1, 2009). "The great British weekend: Cuckmere Valley, East Sussex". The Times. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  3. ^ "Alfriston Clergy House". Sussex Tourism Partnership. Archived from the original on 11 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Graham Thomas". The Daily Telegraph. 19 April 2003. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 

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