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Pictures of Alfriston

a Picturesque Village in the county of East Sussex

About Alfriston

Delightful east Sussex village mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. It occupies a favoured position in the beautiful Cuckmere Gap and serves as a tourist village to which hoards of visitors flock to enjoy the many well preserved fine old buildings to be seen, one of the most important being the local church.

St.Andrew's Church is a 14th century cruciform church showing fragments of early glass, but the Jesse window in the south transept is from early in the 20th century. Inside the church are interesting historic relics, these include a piscina, triple sedilia, an Easter sepulchre. In these parts, this large church has become known as the Cathedral of the Downs.

The church rectory is a pre-reformation house constructed during the 14th century. It shows much timber-framing, and inside the living room is heavily beamed and has moulded king-posts. This lovely property is cared for by the National Trust who acquired it in 1896, it is known as Clergy House.

The noted Star Inn was reputedly built by the Abbot of Battle to be used as a hostel. It was later turned into an inn (c.1500) this remains today very much as it was then, with numerous faces and small carved figures peering over the passers-by. This is believed to be one of the countries oldest inns, it has a beautifully preserved interior with beams and open fires.

In the village the streets are crammed with old buildings tiled in Horsham tile, it is well worth a wander around to take a closer look at the remarkable character of these attractive properties, and others dating from as far back as the 15th century.

The village has had its share of strife, at the time of the Napoleonic wars it served as a dormitory village for troops who where settled there for fear of invasion should the French ever get past the Martello towers placed along the Sussex coast. During this period the village enjoyed a revival in fortunes, but when the troops left revenue dropped. It was then that the renowned Alfriston smugglers banded together and for a time the villagers lived on the proceeds of illicit contraband. The leader of the gang was caught in the 1830's, he was sent to Australia.

Alfriston, shouldered at each side by the south downs and amid the beauty of the Cuckmere Valley, makes an idyllic place to visit for a quiet weekend or as a base from which to explore all this lovely valley and coastal region has to offer.

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