Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Three Sussex Churches and a pub.

Last Monday I re-visited the church at Worth for a closer look around inside.

St Nicholas Church at Worth is one of the oldest in the country dating back to Saxon times. Parts of the church probably date to between 950 and 1050 AD, including nearly all the walls of the Nave and three magnificent arches within the church.

The central arch at the east end of the nave is thought to be one of the largest Saxon arches in existence, at 22 feet high and 14 feet wide.

This view shows the arch to the north transept.

The two Saxon windows on the north side are unique in that there are no other known examples in the nave of any church... According to the Worth Church website (http://www.worthchurch.co.uk/) ‘They were set at a great height for a purpose. In the troublesome times through which the church has lived, especially pre-conquest, almost every church was used as a place of safety to which people could flee for sanctuary afforded by solid walls of probably the only stone building in the district. Such high windows offered further protection making it difficult for marauders to gain access’

The archways of the north and south doorways are characteristic of late Saxon work. Some say that the arches were created in this form so that a horseman could ride into the building, make obeisance to the altar or pray, without dismounting, and then ride straight out of the opposite door without turning his mount. The north (or devil's) door was filled in many years ago (see picture above), but the south contains a smaller door.

This picture shows the south doorway from the outside with the third high level Saxon window (on the left) similar to the two in the north wall.

St Peter's Church, Ardingly. The present building dates from the 14th century (1330-1350) and was restored during the Victorian era. The church is built in the Decorated Gothic-style and has been listed at Grade I. The porch dates from about 1500. Unfortunately it was locked when we visited.

St Mary's Church, Balcombe. The oldest part of the church (what is now the south aisle) dates back to the 13th Century whilst the tower was built later in the 15th Century. St. Mary’s was restored The church including the nave and chancel were enlarged in the mid-19th century. It is Grade 1 listed.

The Half Moon in Balcombe where I had a very nice bacon and brie baguette spoilt only by the aroma of bleach from some very enthusiastic cleaning.

On the wall hung a poster which caught our eye.

Cree Indian Prophecy:

"Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."

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