Earlier History of the Church — 1858 to 1930

Plaque commemorating Rev. W H Stallard

Commemorating W H Stallard

To 1879

By the standards of Sussex villages, neither Scaynes Hill itself nor St. Augustine’s is old. Until the nineteenth century, Scaynes Hill was a number of farms at the south-eastern edge of the parish of Lindfield. During the nineteenth century, however, cottages began to be built here, and by the eighteen-fifties it became clear that a school was required. The Reverend William Henry Stallard (c1831-1872), who from 1856 to 1860 was Curate of Lindfield, collected funds for the work, and in 1858 the nave of the present church was built to a design by the architectural partnership of E & W G Habershon; it served as the school during the week, and as a chapel of ease for Lindfield parish on Sundays.

a false-colour photograph of the church as it may have appeared before the tower, side aisle and chancel were added

The church as it might have looked in 1879

1879 to 1908

It became solely a chapel of ease in 1879, when the school moved to what is now called “Old School House” further north along Church Road. In 1880 the church was enlarged, with the addition of a side aisle, the chancel, and the tower, paid for by the Rev. Frederick Willett who was soon to act as a Voluntary Priest-in-Charge. In 1902 a stained glass window by Charles Eamer Kempe (1834-1907) with his trademark wheatsheaf on the crossgrip of the sword, depicting St Martin of Tours and commemorating Boer War soldiers Cecil Shaw and the Rev Frederick’s older son, Frederic Wilfrid Bagnall Willett, was put into the south side of the chancel.

Boer War Memorial Window
Boer War memorial window depicting St Martin of Tours, and showing one edge of his cloak tattered and shorter than the other. Detail of Boer War memorial window text Detail of Kempe’s Wheatsheaf logo
Window commemorating Boer War soldiers. It depicts St Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier who later became a Christian. He is famed for having divided his cloak in two, in order to give one half to a beggar, and is a patron saint of soldiers. Detail of text on Boer War window with quotation from Psalm 140, verse 7 Charles Eamer Kempe’s trademark wheatsheaf

In 1908 the carved chancel screen and pulpit were installed, thanks to Arthur Hope Rydon (1859-1930), a solicitor originally from Islington, who had moved to Awbrook Farm’s New (later East) Lodge in the closing years of the nineteenth century. The organ and marble sanctuary paving were also installed at this time.

Pulpit and Chancel Screen
Photograph of pulpit and part of carved chancel screen Detail of carvings on chancel screen
The pulpit and part of the chancel screen Detail of the carvings on the chancel screen

1908 to 1930

Five years later, in 1913, the wooden columns separating the nave and the side aisle were replaced by stone ones, narrow windows in the south wall were replaced by wider ones, a stained glass window consisting of two lights (the baptism of Jesus above, the children coming to Jesus below) designed by Arthur Anselm Orr (1868-1949) was put into the tower in memory of Arthur Rydon’s landed proprietor father Henry (c1814-1885) and his mother Annie (c1823-1896), and electric lighting was installed.

The Stained Glass in the Tower
the stained glass window in the tower by A A Orr Designer’s mark on the window, A A Orr, Harrow on the Hill
The stained glass window in the tower The designer’s mark of Arthur Anselm Orr
in the bottom right corner of the window

In 1919 wooden panelling was installed at the west end of the church, and around the font. This was again the work of Arthur Hope Rydon. After his death on 16th July 1930, a memorial to him was put up at the end of the side aisle, a memorial that does not appear to its best in a small photograph.

Wood Panelling and Memorials
Carved panelling and a memorial plaque south of the font Carved panelling and a memorial plaque to the north of the font
South side of the font — marking the dedication of the west window
to Arthur Rydon’s parents
North side of the font — marking the dedication of the wooden panelling
in thanksgiving for the survival of Arthur Rydon’s son,
Captain Harold Edwin Rydon (1890-1970), during the Great War

It was also in 1930 that Scaynes Hill became a parish in its own right, with St. Augustine’s the parish church.