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Tours > Sussex Churches
John Vigar, Lecturer in Church Architecture

The Churches of Sussex
by John E. Vigar MA FRSA
,
Church Architecture on Britannia

Just a short drive south of London lies the rolling beauty of the South Downs. The green hillsides stretch across the twin counties of Sussex and down to the Sea. This natural landscape is a delightful area to explore a pocket of British History: stately homes, castles, cathedrals...
and churches.

Sussex is a wonderful county in which to study old churches. Whilst it was late in adopting Christianity - at the end of the seventh century - it is blessed with a host of Saxon churches that are sadly absent from its neighbouring counties. The reason for this is simple. Sussex was primarily a rural county which suffered from the changes in agricultural practice in the medieval period when arable farming gave way to sheep farming. Wealthy enough to bring its churches up to date - but not to replace them - in the thirteenth century it did not enjoy the later prosperity of its neighbours who so often completely demolished their older churches and replaced them in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Join author and historian, John E. Vigar, as he travels along both major roads and narrow tracks to show us a very personal selection of churches that not only display interesting and unique features, but which are also rich in atmosphere. 

First Stop: South Harting



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