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Fletching, Sussex

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FLETCHING is a parish, 4 miles north-west from Uckfield railway station, 10 east from Cuckfield, and 40 from London, in the Eastern division of the county, Rushmonden hundred, Uckfield union, Pevensey rape, Lewes county court district and archdeaconry, and diocese of Chichester. The church of SS. Andrew and Mary the Virgin is a large and ancient building, with an Early Norman stone tower containing 6 bells, and shingle steeple upon it, of the height together of 100 feet; it comprises a nave, north and south aisles, transepts and chancel, separated from the nave by an ancient screen: attached to the north transept is the mausoleum of the family of the Earl of Sheffield; in this the illustrious Gibbon was buried, and his epitaph. written by Dr. Parr, appears among the inscriptions of the Sheffield family on the front of the mausoleum: the most ancient monument in the church is that of Sir Walter Dalyngruge, a fine brass of the date of about 1390: there is also a handsome Elizabethan marble monument of Richard Leche, Esq., and his lady, a family now extinct: an organ was presented in 1865 by Harriet Countess of Sheffield; the church is heated by hot water. The living is a vicarage, annual value 300, with residence, in the gift of the Earl of Sheffield, and held by the Rev. William Frederick Attenborough, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge. Sir John Villiers Shelley, Bart., of Maresfield Park is the lay impropriator of the great tithes. Sheffield Place, the seat of the Earl of Sheffield, is a modern Gothic structure, built on the foundations of a very ancient building: the entrance to the grounds is through a Gothic arch: the park is large and very beautiful, containing some fine timber, with two large pieces of water. Searles is the seat of Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, Bart. The Earl of Sheffield, Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, Bart., and Sir John Villiers Shelley, Bart., are lords of the manor. There is a National school. The parish comprises 8,463 acres, a great portion of which is wood and common land; the population in 1861 was 2,028.
Dane Hill, partly in Fletching and partly in Horsted Keynes parish, 3 miles north-west from Fletching, 8 south from East Grinstead, is now formed into an ecclesiastical district. The church of the Holy Trinity is a neat brick building; it has body and chancel. The living is a perpetual curacy, value 85 yearly, with residence, in the gift of the Earl of Sheffield, and held by the Rev. Robert John Shaw. There is a National school. The Baptists have a chapel here. Woodgate, the seat of Philip Butler, Esq., and Danehurst, the seat of Gen. Davies, are situated here. The population in 1861 was 963.

[Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]