Wadhurst Parish Church


Our Church History

There has been a Christian community in Wadhurst for many centuries. We use the word church to describe both a community of people and also as a building.

Parts of the present church building are nearly a thousand years old. Wadhurst church building is attractive both from the outside, with its fine spire rising 38 metres (124 feet) above the ground and making it visible from many points in the surrounding countryside, and from the inside, its dimensions and its many clear-glass windows making it light and welcoming.

The oldest part of the building is the tower, which dates from the early 1100’s, whilst most of the church dates from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Perhaps the most notable feature of the building is the large number of iron tomb slabs on the floor; there are more than thirty of them – more than in any other church in England. Most of these date from the 17th century; Wadhurst was a leading centre of the Wealden iron industry which flourished from 16th – 18th centuries.

There are other local touches:
The massive oak beams, over 500 years old, in the roof of the nave, remind us of the countryside around Wadhurst which has always been well wooded with many fine oak trees. The cross which hangs at the east end, together with the depictions of grapes and wheat by the Communion table, is made of cast iron.

The screen between the tower and the nave, which was erected in 1957, is again made of iron. It depicts lambs and hops, two key aspects of local farming, and is topped by martlets, the birds which are emblems of Sussex.

The Remembrance Chapel contains a distinctive painting depicting the resurrection. On either side are panels containing the names of the men of the parish who died in the First World War; 24 of them dying on 9th May 1915 at the battle of Aubers Ridge. Wadhurst is now twinned with Aubers.

Click here to read the Church guide on screen.

If you would like to print the guide as a booklet, click here and then print on A4 paper double-sided.