All Saints Church, West Dean Village
Recorded by the Eastbourne Church Recording Group between 2005/2007.
All Saints is a medieval building constructed of flint and Eastbourne sandstone with a tiled chancel, nave and tower. Parts of the church are Saxon but most of the present structure is Norman. The church is set in the downland village of West Dean, situated in Friston Forest on the east side of the Cuckmere Valley.
The interior of this small church (21m x 4.87m) has several interesting monuments:
On the south wall, an English 17th century alabaster box wall-tomb dedicated to William and Anne Thomas. On the north wall, an alabaster and slate rectangular wall tablet dedicated to their daughter, Susanna Tirrey. A floor slab in the centre of the nave at the east end commemorates seven members of the Harison family who were related to the Thomas family, all of whom lived in the West Dean and Seaford area.
The two tomb canopies in the chancel on the north wall are dedicated to Sir John and Lady Isabella Heringod and date from the first quarter of the 14th century.
The brass rectangular plaque in the nave on the south wall of the church commemorates eleven members of the Allfrey family, starting in 1696 with Edward and closing with Mary Anne who died in 1828.
The two brass war memorials in the nave on the north wall carry four names, Maurice Theodore Lawrance (1916), Charles Frederick Holter (1917), Joseph Casey (1918) and Hugh Ian Lang (1941).
There are two bronze busts in the church – one of John Anderson, first Viscount Waverley in the north west corner of the nave – and the other of Sir Oswald Birley, artist, is situated on the south wall in the nave.
The single bell was made by William Hull in 1677.
The east window is of mid-Victorian stained glass with early English trefoil-headed lights and quatrefoil tracery. The main three windows depict Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary; the Crucifixion; St. John and the Roman Soldier, Longinus.
Services are held every second and fourth Sunday at 09.30 am.
The church is open for visitors every day of the year.
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