Holy Trinity Church serves the ecclesiastical parish of Cuckfield. The earliest recorded date of the Church itself is 1092. Before his death in 1088, William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, drafted charters granting ‘all churches with appurtenances and all tithes’ to the Lewes Priory of St Pancras. About 1092, his son William, 2nd Earl of Surrey, confirmed his father’s wishes in two charters listing 60 churches, 39 of them in Sussex. Translation of the Latin text gives ‘the tithe of all things in Kukefeld’ and ‘the church of Kukefeld’ and is thus the first known mention of Cuckfield. These charters have been lost, but copies were made for the Lewes Cartulary in 1944, and this document is preserved in the British Library.
In 1125, Bishop Ralph of Chichester confirmed the Warenne grants to St Pancras Priory, including ‘Cucufelda’, and in about 1200, William, 5th Earl of Surrey, granted land ‘to God and the Church of Holy Trinity of Cukufeld.’
In about 1250, Bishop Richard of Chichester, later canonised as St Richard, arranged with the Prior of St Pancras for Walter de Warnecamp to be the first parish priest of the Vicarage of Cuckfield and to proceed with rebuilding the small chapel which stood within the area of the present nave.
Evidence of the original Norman church will now be below ground in the foundations of the present church. The current building dates from the 13th century, with additions over the centuries. In particular, extensive reordering was carried out in the mid-Victorian era and the Church has many features by the celebrated architect Bodley and designer C E Kempe.
You can also download here a more detailed Guide to the Church in four languages:
A copy of ‘A History of the Parish Church of Holy Trinity Cuckfield’ published in 2009 can be ordered for £10, including post and packing, by emailing its author, Joyce Donoghue (01444 454081).