The church is of local brown sandstone. The W tower is medieval, but the rest is Victorian (1856) with some medieval fixtures and fittings. These include a blocked Norman window with an arched lintel at the E end of the N aisle, and a Norman pillar piscina.
East Hoathly is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey. The pillar piscina, evidence of a Norman church on the site, was published by Mark Antony Lower in SAC 1856. It had been discovered 'in the thickness of the foundation wall' of the chancel, in October 1855, by workmen engaged in demolishing and rebuilding the E end of the church. The three pieces - capital, shaft and base - were found separately but 'uninjured', were reassembled and installed in the new chancel. Discovered at the same time was 'the stonework of three diminutive Norman windows'.
The pillar piscina is located in the chancel, against the S wall beside the altar. It is of shelly limestone and may not be local. The capital (height 0.17m) is cemented to the shaft (height 0.75m). Its upper surface has been hollowed and drilled with a drainage hole. A band at abacus level is carved with sawtooth on the front (N) side only. The N and E sides of the capital are both carved with four cones which fan from a single point; on the W side, however, the cones are nested. All of the cones have shallow shields, and there are vestigal volutes on the angles. The necking projects markedly. The shaft is hexagonal in section, and is carved with angular chevron comprising one fat roll followed by three narrow ones (no hollows). There is some damage on the face. The base is of attic type, with a very narrow upper torus and a high, shallow scotia. There are no spurs.
F. Harrison, Notes on Sussex Churches. Hove 1908 (4th ed. 1920), 127.
M. A. Lower, 'Pillar Piscina at East Hoathly Church', Sussex Archaeological Collections 8, 1856, 272-73.
A. Mee, The King's England, Sussex, 2nd ed, 1964, 71.
I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 496 (brief mention).