THE OFFICIAL DIRECTORY FOR EAST GRINSTEAD
Whatever you are looking for, East Grinstead probably has it.
As a not for profit organisation we list free of charge all the businesses in the town (any missing will soon be added) to help residents and visitors keep things local.
There has been a church on the site since the 11th century. It was struck by lightening in 1772 and after re-building it was opened in 1789.
This hill-top site where several tracks met would have been the obvious place to build a church when the area began to be settled in the late tenth century: and one of the most popular saints of that time, St Swithun (Bishop of Winchester, 852-862), was the unsurprising choice for its patron. We can only speculate about the original building and how it developed but pictures from the late eighteenth century show that a church of largely fourteenth and fifteenth century style stood here until 1785 when the collapse of its tower (poorly rebuilt in 1684 after being struck by lightning) made the present building necessary.
John Mason Neale (author of the lyrics to the famous carol ‘Good King Wencesla’) buried here.