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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 19th February 2011
Motorcycling around the Lewes area.

Even though the weather was 'prostrate with dismal', we still decided to take a bike ride instead of a walk, as we were feeling very lazy for a change. We thought we'd look through a few antique shops in Lewes and explore some churches in the area too.
After a very wet ride, our first stop was the 12th Century church of St Peter's at Chailey. Unfortunately the church was closed but we took advantage of the large porch to dry out a bit. This church had the poor misfortune of being vandalised renovated by bored Victorians, and the resulting north aisle is totally out of keeping with the rest of this very pretty building. The Yews in the churchyard are now covered in the young, orange buds of soon-to-burst flowers.

St Peter's at Chailey.

The view from our sanctuary from the rain.

The great Yew outside the porch door.

The next objective was another thousand year-old building just a mile north of Lewes: St Peter's at Hamsey, which is set on a tiny hillock of it's own, surrounded by; the River Ouse; the brooks and lots of peace and quiet. Once upon a time this church would have been on an island, and presumably it still is when Lewes floods. This church escaped almost unscathed from Victorian attack and as such feels a more complete building, rather than a few installations lumped together. The churchyard has some Yew trees (of course) but it's also got a very fine Holm Oak too.
Hamsey church is home to the Coombe Vault, where the Baronets of Coombe, the Shiffner family, are interred. Most of the Baronets and what must have been most of the men in the hamlet seem to have fallen in battle over the past 200 years, defending England. So please defend them when you visit and make use of the donation box.

St Peter's at Hamsey.

Even on such a drizzly day as this, the sentiment on this bench still fits!

The last church we invaded was St Nicholas' at Iford, a couple of miles south of Lewes, which has an 'axial tower plan', i.e. the bell tower is between the chancel and the nave. At one time there would have also been a third spur to the north. This is a very strange set-up, which admittedly looks really good from the outside, however the down side is that the congregation has a very limited view of the altar. The churchyard has excellent views over the brooks though, perched above them as it is.

A delightful, decidedly damp, drizzly day
Dawdling determinedly
We saw David Dimbleby!