Parish of Buxted and Hadlow Down

  • Buxted
  • East Sussex

History of St Mark's

Thanks to a grant from the Listed Places of Worship Roofing Fund, considerable renovation work has taken place on St. Mark’s roof. Work has included the retiling of the north face of the nave, chancel and vestry roof, as well as the Lady Chapel, with associated leadwork and repairs to rainwater goods. 

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St Mark’s Hadlow Down was consecrated in 1836, and re-built just before the First World War. 

It is a sandstone building with a shingled spire.  The church is next door to St Mark's C.E. School, occupying a prominent position in the village, alongside the main A272.

If you enter by the west door, the Baptistry in the north west alcove contains the original font dating from 1833.

There is a hanging rood in the chancel arch which was carved in Oberammergau and presented to the church in 1913 by Revd B Spink.

The organ is the fourth instrument since the rebuilding of the church. The chapel of 1836 had no organ but it is recorded that one Jack Wren of Blackboys played the bass viol, his son the bassoon, and one Walter Bean the clarinet. The present organ is an electronic two manual Overture Classical organ from Makins and was purchased by the Costello Trust Fund. It was first used in December 1993 having been installed by Charles Smith in his fiftieth year as parish organist.

In 2001 an altar table on a dais in the front of the nave was installed.  This has allowed services to become more inclusive, with west-facing celebration of the Eucharist.

If you visit our church you will find a guide to the church giving greater detail on the history of features in our church.


Key Features

The Lady Chapel

The Lady Chapel is one of the most attractive features of the church. It was particularly designed for private prayer and meditation, and the Blessed Sacrament is perpetually reserved here for the sick and dying.

Above the Lady Chapel altar is a depiction of the MAGNIFICAT by Edward A Fellowes Prynne (brother of the architect). The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1897 and, until placed here, was hung in the hall of Hadlow Grange.

The six windows in the Lady Chapel depict the Christian year in wild flowers and were given in memory of Charles Lang and Agnes Maud Huggins by their nine children. Greetings cards depicting these windows are available for purchase in the church. There is also a wall plaque commemorating the lives of the three sons of Basil and Rhona Huggins, who were killed in action during the Second World War. Mr C L Huggins himself lies at rest in the churchyard immediately east of the Lady Chapel.

Our Churchyard  

The churchyard has considerable ecological interest with many different varieties of wild flowers, including several orchid varieties.  A large part of the area is allowed to grow as meadow each summer but with mowed walkways to allow access to graves.  The churchyard is classified as a site of Nature Conservation Importance.

There are seven official Commonwealth war graves in the churchyard, mostly from the First World War.  The village War Memorial is in the southwest corner of the church and outside the adjacent window, there is a small rose garden where wreaths can be laid as well as memorial crosses.  A Remembrance Service is held in the church each Remembrance Sunday and maroons are fired for the two minute silence at 11am on November 11.

Our Church Spire

Our spire is clad in wooden shingles.  It was re-shingled in 2012, thanks to everyone who helped to raise the necessary funds.

The Jubilee Gate - Our Physical Link to Our Primary School 

In commemoration of the Queen's Silver Jubilee, a wrought iron Jubilee gate was erected at the entrance to the churchyard from St Mark's Church of England Primary School