Hadlow Down – St Mark
The district of Hadlow Down was formed in 1836, mainly from parts of the parishes of Mayfield and Buxted, with a new church designed by W Moseley (ICBS). This resembled his others in Sussex and like most of them has been much rebuilt. The plan attached to the ICBS application shows it was aisleless with a shallow east recess and a west tower. It was built of local stone with the large lancets and shallow buttresses that were common in Moseley’s work – a photograph of the interior (1 p28) shows a spindly roof with pendants on each beam. A thin tower had a stone spire and a porch.
By 1913, the church was in poor condition, partly because of the excessive weight of the spire (ibid p29) and G E F Prynne rebuilt it (Maughan p92). The chancel, with windows set high in the walls, is wholly new and it is hard to see what he kept of the aisleless nave, for his work is in the same stone and the proportions and big lancets are unchanged, though he must have added the tracery. The tower is similarly doubtful, for it is still undersized, though the steep timber spire behind battlements is new, like the stone belfry on the east gable. Inside, there are three arches across the west end. In their present form these are certainly of 1913, but though the two side ones are lower, the device repeats one found in other churches by Moseley, notably Forest Row.
The nave roof is certainly by Prynne, with arch-braces on stone corbels. The chancel arch has two moulded orders of different form, with tracery in the resulting irregularly shaped spandrels. Either side, smaller arches lead into a chapel and vestry, repeating the triple effect of the west end. The low south chapel opens into the chancel through double arches of the type derived from Boxgrove and Chichester cathedral, both West Sussex.
Little of the fabric has been changed subsequently, though there were repairs by J L Denman and Son in 1965-67 (ICBS).
Crucifix: (In chancel arch) Large, though uncoloured, and made in Oberammergau, Germany at the time of the rebuilding.
Font: Small and octagonal with cusped quatrefoils, this clearly comes from the first church.
1. (East window) P Bacon, not dated, but before 1930 (DSGW 1930).
2. (South chapel) Six small lights by F Skeat, 1949-50, comprising flowers and heraldry in clear glass (DSGW 1958).
Painting: (South chapel) Circular Magnificat by E A F Prynne, brother of the architect, c1913 (B 122 p84). It is set in the reredos and is in a style derived from the pre-Raphaelites.
Pulpit: Open ironwork on a stone base with marble shafts. It is clearly intended to match the screen (see immediately below). The lectern is also of a piece.
Screen: Open ironwork, possibly by the architect and, according to the church guide, it incorporates some C17 work.
1. S Welbourn: St Mark’s Church in Hadlow Down – an Autobiography, 1999.