The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
St Andrew & St Mary Church      Fletching  
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3542Christenings12325433013413922034153874540031242
1122Marriages307276282872122186230152108810
460Burials249531323287894675347295
 

Books and other documents
PublishedTitle, author and references
1851Fletching, Parish and Church by The Rev. Spencer Dodd Wilde, Vicar ⇒ p. 232
1852Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey by The Rev. Arthur Hussey, M.A. ⇒ p. 228
1927The Sussex Highlands ⇒ p. 57

Historical records

Jun 1821MonumentSt Andrew & St Mary Church

John Baker Holroyd the son of Isaac Holroyd and Dorothy Baker was born in Ireland on 21st December 1735. The name of Holroyd is of great antiquity in the West Riding of Yorkshire and is derived from the hamlet or estate of Holroyd (or Howroyd as it is pronounced in Bark-Island, six miles from Halifax). William de Howroyde possessed these lands in the reign of King Edward I. From him is descended John Holroyd's great grandfather Isaac Holroyde who went to Ireland in the reign of Charles II where he acquired considerable possessions. John's father Isaac was educated at Hackney school and afterwards at Doctor Sheridan's in Dublin before entering the University of Dublin and afterwards at the Middle Temple, London. Isaac married Dorothy , the youngest daughter of Daniel Baker of Penn, Bucks. In 1768 John Holroyd succeeded to the estates of his mother's brother, the Rev. Jones Baker, and took the name Baker before Holroyd.

John Holroyd entered the Marquis of Granby's regiment of light dragoons called the Royal Foresters in 1760 where he was Captain of a troop. When peace arrived in 1763 and the regiment was disbanded, John Holroyd travelled for three years across Europe. It was in Lausanne in September 1763 that he met the historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) who became a life-long friend and confidant. Gibbon wrote: "I have conceived a sincere friendship for Holroyd. He possesses great good sense and honourable sentiments, with a heart the best disposed in the world." When Gibbon died in 1794 he was interred at the Sheffield mausoleum in Fletching church and two years later John Holroyd edited and published the two volume Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Edward Gibbon, Esq.

Throughout his adult life Holroyd was active in politics and wrote extensively on the issues of the day. He entered parliament as M.P. for Coventry in 1780, for Bristol in 1790, and in 1809 he was admited to the Privy Council and Board of Trade, a position he held until his death in 1821

In 1769, John Holroyd purchased Sheffield Park from Lord de La Warr for £31,000. He commenced on extensive changes and developments of the property and its surrounding 120 acres of woodland park. In 1776 he engaged the architect James Wyatt (1746-1813) to enlarge and modernise the 16th century house in a Gothic style. He also engaged first Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716-1783) and then Humphrey Repton (1752-1818) to landscape the gardens.

John Holroyd married in 1767, Abigail Way daughter of Lewis Way and Abigail Lockey, and they had three children, John William, Maria Josepha and Louisa Dorothea. After Abigail's death in 1793, he married, in 1794, Lucy Pelham daughter of Thomas Pelham, 1st Earl of Chichester, and Anne Frankland. After her death in 1797, he married, in 1798, Ann North the daughter of Frederick North 2nd Earl of Guilford, and Anne Speke in 1798 and they had two children, George Augustus Frederick Charles (who later became 2nd Earl of Sheffield) and Anne Frederice Catherine.

Sheffield Park was the principal residence of the Holroyds but they also had property in London at Portland Place where, at the age of 86, he died on 20th May 1821. His body was interred at Fletching Church in June where the memorial inscription on the decorated screen in the Sheffield mausoleum is immediately above the inscription for his close friend Edward Gibbon


1867Directory entrySt Andrew & St Mary ChurchPost Office Directory
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 1300: 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

1874Directory entrySt Andrew & St Mary ChurchPost Office Directory
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, aisles, transepts, and chancel separated from the nave by an ancient screen: in the north transept are the only memorials which the church possesses of its former noble patrons; on each side of it is suspended a portion of a knight's armour, - the casque, sword, gloves, and spurs, surmounted respectively by the two crests of the Nevills, earls of Abergavenny - the Bull and the Bull's head: the pulpit is a fine specimen of the wood carving of the latter part of the 17th century: there are several very fine specimens of stained glass windows: 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 1300; there is also another brass of the date A.D. 1450, in the north aisle, to the memory of Peter Devot, glover, his trade being indicated by a pair of gloves, in brass, on the stone; 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 register dates from the year 1536. The living is a vicarage, yearly 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.

c 1875Fletching Common, Sussex - c 1875Part of the 6 inch to 1 mile map of Sussex produced in 1875 by Ordnance SurveySt Andrew & St Mary Church

1882Directory entrySt Andrew & St Mary ChurchKelly's Directory
The parish church of Fletching, situated in the centre of the village, and named in honor of S.S. Mary the Virgin, and Andrew, is an ancient building, chiefly in the Early English style, and possesses, together with the peculiar graduated nave, some remarkable features of interest : it consists of chancel, nave, transepts, aisles, south, porch and a western tower, with shingled spire, containing 6 bells : the total length, including the tower, is, 151 feet, and the width, across the transepts, 41 feet: this church has lately been restored by the Countess of Sheffield, the Earl of Sheffield and the Hon, D, E. Holroyd, at a cost of £7,000. A Norman church formerly existed on the present site, and was probably erected at the end of the 11th century, as the present tower is of this date: of this church other distinct traces remain, the foundations of the north and south walls being found perfect underground : a small round-headed window in the south wall of the nave leads to the belief that there were two tiers of windows on each side, and a Norman buttress is still perfect on the north side : about 1250 A.D. the church seems to have been rebuilt in the Early English style, and some 25 years afterwards the transepts and chancel were added : the latter was originally lighted by three groups of lancet windows, in couplets, on the north and south side ; but the centre coup­let on the north side has been removed, to allow of the organ chamber and vestry being built : the east window is of unusual size and peculiarly long and acute in the head : the cusping, removed about 70 years ago and partially recovered during the late restoration, has been replaced and adds considerably to the beauty of the window: the rood screen stands beneath the chancel arch and has been restored to what was evidently its original design, having canopies on both the eastern and western sides: it is a Perpendicular work, of the early part of the 15th century, and consists of three corresponding divisions, of which the middle forms a ,doorway : the whole is surmounted by a handsomely carved oak cross : in the west transept there are two plain lancet windows in the east wall, and between them a single piscina of Decorated work, dating from about 1340: on the north side of this transept is the mausoleum built by the first Earl of Sheffield, "Suis sibique;" it is of Portland stone, and bears several inscriptions, one by Dr. Parr to Gibbon, the historian, who lies within it ; another by the late Rev. Hugh James Rose B.D. in memory of the first Earl; and a third by the late Hon. D. E. Holroyd, to his father : on each side of this transept is suspended a portion of a knight's armour, the casque, sword, gloves and spurs surmounted respectively by the two crests of the Nevills, Earls of Abergavenny, the bull, and the bull's head: the south transept is lighted by two windows on the east side, both of which, and one in the north transept, are filled with stained glass, found during the restoration buried in the churchyard, at the south-east angle of the chancel: here also is a handsome Elizabethan monument of Richard Leche esq, and Charity, his wife ; and a very fine brass, without date or inscription, probably that of Sir Walter Dalyngrugge and his wife: at the west end of the centre aisle is a fine Norman doorway, and in the north aisle a small brass, dated 1450, to Peter Devot, a glover, his trade being indicated by a pair of gloves in brass: the lectern a very fine brass eagle, with jewelled eyes; and the pulpit, octagonal in shape, furnishes a good example of Jacobean carving: the floor is paved with encaustic, tiles, of patterns found during the restoration : the organ, an instrument of superior quality, was built under the superintendence of Professor Monk: the altar covering is richly and beautifully embroidered by Mr. English, of Bruges, from the designs of Mr. J. Oldrid Scott, the architect for the restoration. The register dales from the year 1563. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £245, with residence and 13 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Earl of Sheffield, and held, since 1863, by the Rev. William Frederick Attenborough M.A. of St. John's College, Cambridge, domestic chaplain to the Earl of Sheffield. Louisa Lady Shelley is the lay impropriator of the. great tithes. A new wall has been built round the front of the churchyard by Sir Spencer M, Maryon-Wilson bart. and a lych-gate erected from the designs of J. O. Scott esq. By the Earl of Sheffield. The churchyard was enlarged in 1859 by the addition of one acre of ground

1904Fletching ChurchFletching Church, FletchingPrivate collection

1905Church and Post OfficeChurch and Post Office, Fletching photographed by The Dolphin SeriesSt Andrew & St Mary ChurchPrivate collection

1908Fletching ChurchFletching Church, Fletching photographed by A.H. Homewood, Burgess HillPrivate collection

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