St Andrew, Beddingham, Sussex

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Feature Sets (2)


Beddingham is a village in East Sussex, 2 miles SE of Lewes. It lies on the Glynde Reach, a tributary of the River Ouse, and its houses and church cluster around the junction of the A26 road to Newhaven and the A27, linking Lewes and Eastbourne. The church of St Andrew is of flint with ashlar dressings and some flint chequerwork on the tower. It consists of a chancel, and aisled nave with a clerestorey and a S porch, and a W tower. Of these elements the nave is 12thc, the S arcade and chancel are 14thc, the N aisle is of 1858 replacing a 14thc aisle, and the tower is mid-16thc. Built into the exterior walls of the tower and the S nave aisle are many carved stones from Lewes Priory, and these form the subject of this report. It must not be imagined that all the carved stones here have been identified, but it is hoped that a representative sample has been discovered.


A large manor assessed at 50 hides was held by the Count of Mortain in 1086 and had been held by King Edward before the Conquest. The population listed was 68 villans, 6 bordars and 5 slaves, suggesting a total population of approximately 400. The count of Eu also had holdings here: a total of 5½ hides less half a virgate that had belonged to Queen Edith (1 hide), King Edward (half a hide) and Countess Gode (the remainder) before the Conquest.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration


Stones reset in S nave aisle, W wall

5 reset stones were found, as described below. Only the vertical height of stone 3 could be measured.

Height of stone 3 0.19 m
S Aisle 1

A volute capital set above the 13thc lancet apex. It is generally worn and has lost its lower part including the necking. Only one face is visible.

S aisle 2

Set to the N of the arched head of the 13thc lancet is a quadrant stone, originally half of a round arch head, with an inner angle roll.

S aisle 3

Set alongside the 13thc lancet to the N is a centrifugal chevron voussoir with a single inner edge chevron roll. 

S aisle 4

Set to the S of the arched head of the 13thc lancet is a section of stringcourse carved with 4 units of sawtooth.

S aisle 5

Set immediately below stone 4, to the S is a similar stringcourse section with 5 units of sawtooth, with a loss to its lower R edge.

Stones reset in W tower, N face


At the E of the tower face, 3m above the ground. a section of stringcourse with an edge roll and a flat face carved with a row of 11 units of sawtooth.


At the W side of the tower face, level with the top step of the NW diagonal buttress, a section of stringcouse with a row of 5 units of raised cusping and a double cable roll, alternately plain and beaded.


E of the lancet window, a lozenge in hollow voussoir as TS4.


Above the asile roof on the NE buttress, a section of stringcourse carved with sawtooth and an edge roll as TN1.

Stones reset in W tower, S face

5 reset stones are recorded here. No measurements were possible.


Set at the level of the nave gutter, in the centre of the S face of the tower, a voussoir carved on the face with a beaded half-roundel enclosing a palmette, and outside it a row of 2 voided and double-framed lozenges.


Set at the level of the lower lancet, to the E of it, a palmette and lozenge voussoir similar to TS1.


Set at the level of the top of the angle buttresses, above and to the E of the lower lancet, a voussoir with an inner angle roll, and a face hollow containing a pair of roundels side by side, each containing a compass-drawn cross, deeply hollowed out. There is a large loss at the upper end of the voussoir.


Set below the level of the bell opening, to the W of it, a voussoir with an inner angle roll and a face hollow carved in relief with a row of 2 raised lozenges.


Set above and to the W of the lower lancet, an undamaged stone similar to TS3.

Stones reset in W tower, W face


The L stone of a group of 3 set below and L of the central upper lancet. Similar to TS4 (lozenges in a hollow)


The central stone of the same group of 3. Badly eroded palmette and lozenge design as TS1.


The R stone of the same group of 3. Badly eroded lozenges in hollow design as TW1.


Above and to the S of the upper lancet window, a voussoir with a stepped intrados and a row of cylindrical beading on the face, with, outside it a row of 2 units of stepped sawtooth.


Set to the S of voussoir TW4, a label voussoir with a row of 4 units of raised cusping.


The carved stones are here accepted as coming from Lewes Priory rather than St Andrew's. The list description makes no mention of the carved stones. Nairn and Pevsner (1965) assumed they were from Beddingham church, while Antram (2012) entertained the possibility that they came from Lewes Priory, which was being dismantled around the time the tower was built. The other possibility is that the Lewes stones were added during the rebuilding of the S aisle (1857-58) and the restoration of the tower (1906). Comparisons may be made with stones on the Prospect Tower on the Priory site, notably the roundel design of TS3 and TS5, and the lozenge voussoirs (TW1, TS4, TN3).


  • N. Antram and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Sussex East with Brighton and Hove, New Haven and London 2012, 113.

  • Historic England Listed Building (English Heritage Legacy ID) 292743

  • I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 413.

Exterior from SE
Interior to E
W tower, unidentified reset stones below lower level windows


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TQ 445 080 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Sussex
now: East Sussex
medieval: Chichester
now: Chichester
medieval: St Andrew (pre-Reformation)
now: St Andrew
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Kathryn Morrison, Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
27 May 1991 (KM), 21-22 August 2017 (RB)