Built in early English style c1250

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

b) ST.PETER’S CHURCH : The ancient parish church of Preston is the listed St Peter’s, picturesquely situated adjacent to Preston Manor at the northern end of Preston Park and approached from Preston Drove. Dating from about 1250, the church was built in Early English style and faced in knapped flint with stone dressings; it has a nave, chancel, and a nineteenth-century porch and vestry. The tower has a Sussex cap and contains three bells, one of which is said to date from the fifteenth century. The interior, which measures only 50 feet by 26 feet, has room for 250 worshippers; it was restored in 1870 and again in 1906-7 after the building was gutted by fire on 23 June 1906. The remains of some fine mural paintings, which were discovered by Revd Charles Townsend in 1830 beneath the plaster-work, may still be seen on the walls of the nave but they were badly damaged in the fire. The principal painting depicts the murder of St Thomas Beckett, and they were possibly covered when Henry VIII ordered images of Beckett to be removed. There are also several memorials to the Stanford family of Preston Manor .
In 1531 the ecclesiastical parish of Preston was united with Hove , but in 1879 Preston-cum-Hove became two separate parishes once more. The Church of St John the Evangelist in Preston Road was designated Preston parish church in 1908. {1,15,18,44,45,47,64a,149}

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

Comments about this page

  • I have a copy of a photograph of the interior of St Peter’s Preston, probably taken in 1928 when my wife’s mother married there.

    By Dudley Procter (04/09/2008)

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