The Churchyard

 

Two large chestnut trees just inside the churchyard were planted in 1871 by Florence Aylward, a well known Victorian song-writer and composer and by her brother Dr. Ernest Alward, children of the Rev'd Aylward who was Rector between 1851 and 1885.

 

On the boundary by the fence on the west side of the churchyard is an oak cross inscribed 'Damaris'.  History relates that a young man, Lewis Smith who lived in Church House with his parents, fell in love with Damaris, a poor orphan girl, and they became engaged.  His parents forbade the marriage and Damaris died of a broken heart.

 

She was buried in 1856 in the exact spot by the wall where she kept tryst with her lover on the other side.  He never married.

 

The parish records of baptisms, marriages and burials began on 17th November 1559 and can be consulted at the East Sussex County Archives in Lewes.  Some of this information is also available on a CD that costs £5.25 and is available from the Rector.

 

In some instances, it might also be possible to provide a copy of original entries in the records.  The Registers contain some fascinating material and sometimes comments about the weather on particular occasions, or why someone died, or where they come from, or even if the electricity had failed so that there was no light or heating in the church are noted!