Thursday, 28 May 2009

St Michael the Archangel, Litlington

Litlington is a delightful village in the Cuckmere Valley, between Seaford and Eastbourne. Although still a farming community, it has long made an additional living out of tourism; its famous Tea Gardens are now over 100 years old, and it is a popular stop for those hiking the South Downs Way.

Its church is typical of the modest villages around these parts: a simple building with an unaisled nave and chancel, modest porch and a small, spired belfry. The main part of the nave and the chancel date from around 1150, with the western part of the nave (under the belfry), and the porch dating from the 14th century.

Inside the details are simple but attractive: the windows are a mixture of Norman round-headed lights, Early English lancets and trefoil ogee-headed lancets, with two larger Victorian Decorated windows in the nave: the rough-hewn beams of the kingpost roof may be original. A strange niche opposite the Norman south door - delightfully filled with flowers on my visit - may have been an aumbry.

The chancel has a 13th century sedilia and a 16th century Easter Sepulchre. At the west end, the early 16th century font still retains its original lead lining. Outside, the porch and northern buttresses below the belfry have 13th century mass dials. In the belfry, one of the bells dates from 1450, and was cast in the Whitechapel Bell foundry

Overall, this is the simplest of village churches: modest but delightful. I enjoyed my visit here, and will come again.

The Street, Litlington, East Sussex BN26 5RF

No comments:

Post a Comment