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Tours > Sussex Churches > Twineham

St. Peter - Twineham
TQ 253199; Five Miles South-West of Cuckfield

A church completely built of brick in the sixteenth century, but still very much in the medieval tradition and form. At some stage the bricks were entirely covered with render but now this has mostly fallen off revealing the church as originally intended.

There is much of interest outside including a unique seventeenth century Quaker burial ground marked from the main churchyard by four stone posts. There is also a nice wooden graveboard. These memorials were once a feature of Sussex churches, and were traditionally made from the headboard of the deceased's bed, but they do not weather well and as they rot away are frequently not repaired.

The church porch contains a collection of seventeenth century memorials collected from the churchyard. Inside the church has an odd atmosphere, partly induced by the typical windows of the period with very depressed arches. The east window, representing the Annunciation, is by Kempe and dates from 1895 although it is not signed. The wreath on Our Lady's head is of Christmas Roses.

The font is earlier than the present building and shows repair marks where there were once staples to lock the Holy Water in the font during the Middle Ages to stop it being used for superstitious purposes. There is a fine Elizabethan Squire's Pew and also a rarer Householder's Pew with an inscription saying who was allowed to use it. At several different occasions in history people had their own private pews. Two other Sussex churches (West Grinstead and Shermanbury) both also display pews intended for the use of the occupiers of particular houses.

Next Stop: Coombes



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