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St Andrew, Beddingham, Sussex

(50°51′12″N, 0°3′5″E)
TQ 445 080
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now East Sussex
medieval St Andrew
now St Andrew
  • Kathryn Morrison
  • Ron Baxter
27 May 1991 (KM), 21-22 August 2017 (RB)

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Feature Sets

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


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.