Hurst Green – Holy Trinity
Hurst Green was a coaching station on the road from London to Hastings and increased in size in the mid-C19 after Etchingham station opened at the bottom of the hill. Part of the village was in the parish of Salehurst and in the 1860s a school was opened, designed by D Brandon (BAL/MSS/BrD/1), who had restored the church there. Money for a chapel in Hurst Green was being collected in 1877 (CDK 1878 pt 2 p85) and it was built in 1884 to the design of L W Ridge (GRI) at a cost of £2000 (KD 1899). A parish, including also part of Etchingham, was established in 1907 (CDG 161 p78). This followed interior redecoration (see below).
Like many small rural C19 churches, it is aisleless and is brick-built with mostly lancets including three east ones. The roof is boarded with high collars. There are one or two more assertive features, notably the two-tier belfry over the west end and a three-light traceried window in a transept-like projection to the south, with a shafted rere-arch and foliage capitals. The chancel arch, also of brick and with shafts, has a moulded head, quite heavy for a small church though broad.
Though a sizeable community, Hurst Green lies between the larger and historic parishes of Salehurst and Etchingham. This has inevitably affected the life of the village and the parish and for a while the church seemed little used, but there are now regular services.
Font: (By a shallow recess at the west end) Octagonal bowl, standing on reddish marble shafts.
1. (South transept, south window) W A Chase, 1924 (signed) and made by J Powell and Sons (BE(E) p487). Rather weakly coloured figures in large areas of clear glass.
2. (Four south chancel lancets) Without giving reasons, these windows, dating from 1892 to 1908 have been tentatively attributed to J C N Bewsey (www.stainedglassrecords.org retrieved on 11/3/2013). This is only plausible if Bewsey produced all the glass at the final date since he would only have been 11 in 1892.
3 (East window) Clayton and Bell, 1924 (attr) (ibid).
Painted decoration etc: The redecorated chancel was dedicated in 1906 (CDG 151 p102). E J Prest, mainly an artist in stained glass, painted the chancel roof which was panelled for the purpose and there were new stalls. The designs are said to have had ‘the advantage of the friendly supervision of Mr Bodley’ (ibid). The cost was 200 guineas and the hope that the rest of the church would be treated similarly was realised, though it is not certain that Prest was responsible. Particularly in the nave it is essentially renaissance and the visible influence of G F Bodley is slight.
My thanks to Nick Wiseman for the photographs of the interior and fittings