St Andrew's Church, Alfriston

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St Andrew's Church

St Andrew's Church is the parish church of Alfriston, East Sussex, England. This Grade I listed building[1] was built in the 1370s and is also known as the 'Cathedral of the Downs'.[2] It sits on a small, flint-walled mound, indicating that it was the site of a pre-Christian place of worship,[3] in the middle of 'the Tye' (the local village green), overlooking the River Cuckmere, and is surrounded by the flowered graveyard. It is built in the form of a cross.


No records or monuments indicate who commissioned the church's construction. A consistent architectural style throughout indicates that it was built all at once. Typically, completing such a building before tastes and building techniques have changed is possible only when an individual or family has sponsored the construction, and that person would be buried in the church's graveyard or entombed within. However, St Andrew's does not have any grand tomb or memorial, nor any records indicating who a patron might be. Additionally, there was no Lord of the Manor for Alfriston at the time.[3]

However, on the left-hand side of the south porch there is a Canonical sundial, dating from the 14th century. The stone with the carved sundial was originally on the south wall and was moved to its present location when the porch was built.

Every year the church hosts a model Christmas Nativity on the altar.

Next to it is the Alfriston Clergy House, owned by the National Trust (NT).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Listed Buildings in Alfriston, East Sussex, England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  2. ^ Franks, Alan (April 17, 2009). "Times Walks: Seven Sisters, Alfriston, East Sussex". The Times. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Why exactly was St Andrew's Church built?". Sussex Express. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°48′23″N 0°9′28″E / 50.80639°N 0.15778°E / 50.80639; 0.15778