St Leonard's Parish Church, Turners Hill, West Sussex - 13th February 2004

The foundation stone for St Leonard's church was laid on 3rd March 1894 by Mrs Oxley, the leading benefactor. The architect was Lacy W Ridge who designed the building in the Perpendicular style.  Owing to a shortage of funds, the tower was not included in the original contract and in fact didn't get built until 1923/24 in memory of those who lost their lives in the Great War.

St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

The tower contains a full peal of bells, acknowledged to be very fine.  They are rung from ground level, which requires ropes some 70 feet in length, and, according to a lady who is one of the ringers, gives a good aerobic work out at the same time!

Here are two pictures of the nave, the first looking east into the chancel and the impressive east window, the second looking west into the tower.

The nave looking east, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCThe nave looking west, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

The stained glass Charles Eamer Kempe (1837-1907) was commissioned to supply the glass for the sanctuary windows. Kemp used his family coat of arms (three golden wheat sheaves) as his trademark, and this can be found high in the east window.

Here is a picture of the beautiful east window which was installed in the church in 1896. To quote from the church guidebook:

"The first impression is rightly of a complete design across the five lights including the tracery above, but each light is also a picture in itself and each of the five figures is capped by an elaborate canopy - a convention of medieval glass which Kempe followed.  These canopies have the effect of reducing the apparent height of a tall window and also contribute to the effect of light, being of white glass etched with yellow (as are the features of the figures) with their shape being accentuated by the red and blue backgrounds, another detail of the 15th century."

"The central subject of this both beautiful and didactic window is Christ crucified, flanked by the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist, with angels above against a glowing blue background studded with stars. The outer figures signify St Leonard, Patron Saint of Prisoners, with ball and chain, and Wilfred, credited with organising the small fragmented presence in the largely heathen Kingdom of South Saxon, during his 5 year stay here from c680."

"Below representing the lineage and prophesied coming of Christ, are the figures of Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, Daniel and Zechariah; above the tracery lights are beautifully complemented by the glass each contains.  Between the apexes of each large light are the instruments of crucifixion, which are surmounted by a higher echelon of angels, then gloriously, the Seraphim worshipping the risen and enthroned Christ."

East window, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

The Reredos below the east window portraying the Annunciation, was also designed by Kempe but carried out by the carvers of Oberammergau, who, prior to the Great War, produced most of the carvings for the Kempe firm.

And here are the two windows in the side walls of the chancel.

North chancel window, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCSouth chancel window, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

Here is the complete set of windows that fill the walls of the nave, from the south west corner to the south east, then from the north east to the north west.

Window, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCWindow, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCWindow, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCWindow, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

Window, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCWindow, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCWindow, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCWindow, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

The final stained glass window in the church is at the east end of the south aisle.  The photo isn't great I'm afraid, and to my way of thinking there is too much stonework between the two lancets and the smaller window at the top, spoiling the window's proportions.

Window, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

This church owns two organs, a traditional pipe organ sited in a loft to the north of the chancel, and a Wyvern electronic organ, purchased in 1998 situated in the south aisle.  The pipe organ was sold to the church for the princely sum of 140 in 1896 from a local parishioner, Mr Herbert from Kingscote. Here is a picture of each.

Wyvern electronic organ, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTCPipe organ, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

The font.

Wyvern electronic organ, St Leonard, Turners Hill, East Sussex - 13th February 2004 - MTC

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