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Edward Lightmlaker and the School

  Twenty years after the death of his uncle, Edward died and in his will provided for a school to be founded in Horsted Keynes. He left minute instructions as to how the school should be run. The instructions make fascinating reading for modern educationalists.
Read the 300 year history of the School

Sussex Iron Industry

    The Pigotts, whose memorial tablet we saw on the south wall of the chancel, were iron smelters. Their foundry is mentioned as early as 1507 and closed in 1664. It was near the Mill House. The iron industry flourished in the Weald of Sussex during the 16th and 17th Centuries. Iron ore and the wood to make charcoal to smelt it were to be found in abundance in this part of England. Later coal was used to smelt iron and so the industry moved to areas where both coal and iron ore were readily available in the Midlands and North. Visit a local hammerpond.

Giles Moore

    Giles Moore was the Rector of Horsted Keynes from 1655 until 1679. We know more about him than any of the other Rectors of the parish because he kept a kind of diary which he called his "Day Book". This was really a record of his expenditure but he also recorded remarks which are interesting.

The first part of his incumbency here was during the Commonwealth period when the Parliamentarians under Cromwell ruled the country. He was pleased when the Monarchy was restored and Charles II sat on the throne.
"1660 23 April This being King Charles ll Coronation, I gave my namesake Moore's daughter then marryed ten shillings and the fiddlers sixpence".  A labourer at that time earned 10 pence a day. Giles Moore was a generous man, often not taking the fees for marrying young couples and on some occasions taking the fees and then giving a present of much greater value. He did not always get on well with his wife. "I gave my wyfe 15 shillings to lay out at Sr. James Faire at Lindfield, all which she spent except 2 shillings and 6 pence which she never returned to me."   Read all of Giles Moore's Book

Lord Stockton (Harold Macmillan)

    One of the Senior Statesmen of the Twentieth Century, Harold Macmillan (later Lord Stockton), lived in this parish and regularly worshipped in this Church for many years. He held senior government posts during and after the Second World War and served as Prime Minister from 1957 until 1963. Lord Stockton died in I986 and is buried, together with many of his relatives, in the eastern section of the churchyard. A number of visitors come to see their graves each week. Their plot is at the tower end of the Church surrounded by a hedge.


    The earliest tombstones still to be seen in the churchyard were put up in the 17th Century. Perhaps the oldest of all is near the main entrance. It is a copy in stone of the earlier wooden grave boards but no date can be deciphered on the stone. Very thick stones with rounded tops are of a slightly later date. Some of these look rather rusty; they are made from the local sandstone which contains a lot of iron. One of these is situated beyond the east end of the Church. It records the grave of Obedience Lucas. This lady was mentioned in Giles Moore's Day Book. Some of the 18th Century stones are decorated with cherubs; this was a popular decoration at the time.
An interesting 19th Century stone, near the path and not far from the large yew tree, records a road accident. Accidents on the roads were rare in those days. The fastest form of travel was on horseback and the fastest horse drawn vehicles travelled only about as fast as you can run. It was possible to hear the horses' hooves and the turning wheels minutes before the danger appeared. In those days children could safely play on the roads of the country villages. See some of the more interesting tombstones.

Dating the Parts

    It is possible to tell the age of various parts of ancient buildings by the style of the architecture; the shapes of windows and doors, the curve of arches and the shapes of pillars help to determine the date when the various parts of the church were built.

Saxon before 1066
There is some rather specialised evidence which indicates that the base of the tower and perhaps the north door are of Saxon date i.e. before 1066 but certainly a Norman Church stood on the present site.

Norman 1066-1190
Norman work is recognised by rounded doorways and windows and by rounded arches. Rounded arches exist under the tower and high up on the west face of the tower. The remains of Norman windows can be found on the south wall of the nave.
This Norman church was probably cruciform (built on a cross plan) with a central tower with transepts to north and south, a nave to the west and a chancel or apse to the east.

Early English 1190 - 1300
The present chancel was built during this period and the south transept was replaced.
Look for the narrow lancet windows over the altar and in the north wall of the chancel, also those of the vestry. The pointed door to the vestry is also typical of this period.

Decorated Period 1300 - 1350
Windows, doors and arches built during this period were s611 pointed, but wider. See the chancel arch which replaced the low, round Norman arch.
The windows in the south wall of the nave are of this period as also is the high pointed arch near the organ. This arch led into a north transept which was built at this time, as also was the Marie de Bradehurst chapel which was demolished in 1850. This chapel was positioned between the east wall of the vestry and the south wall of the chancel, the wide pointed arch between it and the chancel has now been filled in and supports two memorial tablets.

Perpendicular Period 1350 - 1550
Only two windows in the church are of this period, the large window in the west end of the nave and a small square-topped window in the south wall of the chancel. Windows at this time were wide with nearly flat tops and divided by several mullions.

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