St Mary's is the ancient parish church of Eastbourne. It was built late in the 12th century of Caen stone from Normandy. During the 14th century it was enlarged and underwent restoration in the 19th century.
A view east into the sanctuary through the lovely chancel arch. A good example of the Norman style with chevron decoration. You can also see in this view (on the right) a high, and rare, rood loft piscina. Access to the loft was up a stair case in the south pier (the hollowed out pier can be inspected), and on the north via a later stair turret.
The lectern in the form of an Eagle, the symbol of St John the Evangelist, is a copy of a medieval one in Holy Trinity Coventry. This was given in 1878 by Canon Thomas Pitman, vicar from 1828-1890 and marked the 50th year of his vicariate. During this time the population of Eastbourne rose from 2,000 to 35,000.
And another from a little further back showing the first pair of clerestory windows in the nave. This view also illustrates the canted chancel. The pillars of the chancel and nave are alternately round and octagonal of Caen stone with Romanesque style capitals.
A view looking back into the baptistry under the tower. The arches of the nave arcading are composed of alternate voussoirs of greensand and Caen stone this may indicate part of the 14th century rebuild.
The 14th century font is carved from local greensand stone, and is similar to the ones at Arlington and Wilmington.
Here is a view of the north side including the stair turret which once gave access to the rood loft.
This is a view of the north side from Lawns Avenue. Its a shame the telegraph pole was right in the way!
The massive greensand tower, housed in 1651, six bells and in 1818 the peal was increased to eight with the tenor weighing 15 3/4 cwt.
The stained glass from this church has been photographed and loaded in the Monumental inscriptions section of the Sussex Online Parish Clerks website.
The information on this page is largely sourced from the church website.
Visitors to this album since June 2003
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