Eridge Green – Holy Trinity
Eridge Green is the village nearest to Eridge Castle (now Park), seat of the Marquesses of Abergavenny, who have taken a keen interest in the church and were probably instrumental in securing the establishment of a parish, formed in 1853 out of parts of Rotherfield and Frant (KD 1874). A strangely modest church had been started the year before (B 14 p425); the architect is unknown. It has been altered extensively, so its original appearance cannot be easily ascertained. By 1875 £3500 had been spent from private sources (PP125), which means the Abergavennys.
Built of rough local sandstone with a tiny south tower-porch, it is more like a school. The original parts of the building suffered from damp (BAL/MSS DeJ/3/4), but replacement never seems to have been considered. The earliest known change is the big five-light east window of 1893 (BN 64 p468). However, J L Denman transformed it between 1948 and 1955 for the then Marquess, for whom he had in 1938 designed the new Eridge Castle. Hampered by post-war building restrictions, he could not change the low proportions, but his papers (BAL/MSS DeJ/3/1-4) and article (see 1) chronicle the work. In 1948-49 the roofs were ceiled and a north transept was adapted as a vestry. Two years later he altered the west end with a private pew for the Abergavennys, behind a broad arch. He also adapted the baptistery from an existing vestry, with a new arch to the church. A three-light north west window and new gates in the churchyard date from 1954 and Denman also added single-light windows either side of the east one. He designed the fittings at various times, mostly in light oak, of which the main ones are listed below.
(All are by Denman unless stated otherwise)
Altar rails: 1948.
Font: 1950 of Sussex marble by J Cribb (1 p244).
1. (East window, four main lights) Lavers and Westlake, 1894 (BN 64 p468).
2. (Lancets flanking the east window) C Knight, made by Cox and Barnard, 1948 (1 p242).
3. (South nave, second window) Burlison and Grylls, 1939 (CDG April 1939).
4. (Baptistery) C Knight, made by Cox and Barnard, 1950 (1 ibid).
5. (North nave window) Memorial window to the Earl of Lewes, H Powell, 1966 (signed).
Lectern: Designed by Denman, who may have been responsible for alterations to it in 1965.
1. J L Denman: Holy Trinity Church, Eridge Green, Sussex, B 190 (1956) pp242-44
My thanks to Nick Wiseman for making the photographs available