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Tours > Sussex Churches > Withyham

St. Michael and All Angels - Withyham
TQ 494355; One Mile North-East of Rye

Like many medieval churches educated to St Michael, Withyham Church is built on a tall natural promontory. This was the result of the earliest recorded appearance of St. Michael which took place on a hill in Italy in the fifth century. From then on he was associated with high places.

There is a charming font boldly carved with the date 1666 - part of series of fittings added after the church was burned by lightning in 1663. The glory of Withyham, however, is the north chapel built in 1680 by the Sackville family who still live locally. It contains monuments to many members of the family including the Earls of Dorset, Earls De La Warr and Lords Sackville.

The best known memorial commemorates the thirteen year old Thomas Sackville who died in 1677. It is free standing and shows the boys hand on a skull, with his parents looking on. Designed by Caius Cibber a Danish sculptor who came to England in the 1650s. It is regarded as his best work although he also worked at Chatsworth (Derbyshire) and Bottesford (Lincolnshire).


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