Polegate – St John

The settlement of Polegate developed round the station of that name, a major junction which was then in the parish of Hailsham.  By 1851 the school was used for services, though not licenced (SRS 75 p37).  In 1874 land was donated for a permanent church, for which R K Blessley made the plans (B 32 p896), and it opened two years later, by which time Blessley had a partner, H Spurrell, who was also involved (ibid 34 p1180).

The exterior is faced in ragstone, an unusual choice outside towns, but practical here as it could be delivered nearby by rail.  The aisleless interior is faced with brick and is dominated by the roof, with big arch-braces and has a plain stone chancel arch.  Though the church is modest, it has a low north west tower with a shingled spire.  Despite the lack of aisles, there were rudimentary transepts to allow for future enlargement (BA 6 p346).  That to the north appears to have been extended, but the south one remains very short.  Those of the windows that are not lancets have C14 style tracery.

A hall and extension were added to the north in 1974-75 (BE(E) p589).


Font: Small and octagonal.
Glass: (East window) Cox, Sons and Buckley1885 (B 49 p339).
Reredos: Though the church had a stone reredos when opened, J Underwood and Sons designed the present one of stone and marble in 1885 (ibid).

My thanks to Nick Wiseman for the photographs