Church History

Although not mentioned in the Domesday book, Cuckfield is one of 60 parishes in Sussex and beyond recorded in a document of 1092 as paying tithes to the Priory of St Pancras at Lewes. A later document of 1200 refers to the Church of Holy Trinity Cuckfield. Although we do not know the form that the earliest church took it seems likely that there was a simple single cell stone structure by the 12th century, which was extended during the 13th century by the creation of the south aisle and the erection of the lower part of the tower.

Over the next two hundred years, preceding the reformation, the church was greatly extended, first to the north, excavating the land to create the space for the north aisle, and later to the east, with a new chancel arch just in front of the old east wall, a much larger chancel and associated side aisles. The height of the nave was also raised, matching the new chancel, clerestory windows installed, and the second section of the tower added. The shape of Holy Trinity as it is today was achieved during the fifteenth century, when the building was re-roofed with a single span roof, closing the clerestory windows, and the spire added.

The church was extensively reordered in the nineteenth century by Bodley and Kempe, very much in the style of Pugin and the emerging Oxford Movement. Both the nave and the chancel ceilings are fine examples of Kempe’s decorative style, and a number of the stained glass windows are also by Kempe. Some of the Victorian decoration has now been lost and the chancel screen created by Bodley in memory of Thomas Maberley, the vicar responsible for the eighteenth century reordering, has been moved to the tower. The present flooring, layout and furniture in the church date from 2012. A gallery of photos of the present interior can be seen on the website of our furniture makers, Irish Contract Seating.

You can also download here a more detailed Guide to the Church in four languages:

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