The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
St. Margaret's Church    Isfield Village  Isfield  
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353Christenings38314010193618365746202
208Marriages28262010122622362422
48Burials132110101371
 

Books and other documents
PublishedTitle, author and references
1852Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey by The Rev. Arthur Hussey, M.A. ⇒ p. 244
1874Ecclesiastical History of the Deannery of South Malling by Edwin Hadlow W. Dunkin ⇒ p. 53
1909English Homes and Villages (Kent & Sussex)
also published as
Tunbridge Wells and its Neighbourhood by Lady Hope ⇒ p. 111
1927The Sussex Highlands ⇒ p. 61

Historical records

1835HistorySt. Margaret's ChurchHorsfield's Sussex

The benefice is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 9l. 12s. 8½d. It is in the deanery of South Malling, in the jurisdiction of Canterbury, and in the archdeaconry of Lewes. In 21st Edward I., the church of Isefend was valued at 15 marks. The Rev. - Clapham, is the present incumbent.

The church, which is a small and irregular building of flint and stone, and dedicated to St. Margaret, is very ancient. It is situated at some distance from the village, near a branch of the Ouse, and has altogether a fine picturesque appearance. There were formerly some splendid windows of stained glass, but scarecly a vestige is now to be seen. On the south side of the church is the Shurley chancel, altogether neglected, and fast hastening to decay.

We shall confine our notice of monumental inscriptions to those which are found in this chapel.

On the south side is a mural monument, inlaid with brass, but the figure gone, bearing the following inscription in old English:- "Here under lyeth the body of Mr. John Shurley, Esquier, sometime chefe Clerke of the Kitchen to our Sov'ryn Lord Kyng Henry VII and Cofferer to our Sov'ryn Lord Kyng Henry VIII, which John decessed ye iii day of August, Ao, mvxxvii"

In the south-eastern corner of the same chancel is a similar monument, containing the effigies of a man in armour, his wife and children, and on a brass plate underneath, in old English characters, the following inscription:- "Here lyeth Edward Shurley, Esquier, the sonne of John Shurley, of the manor of Isfylde, Esquier, and Cofferer to King Henry the Eyght, and Johanne his wyffe, daughter to John Fenner, Esquier, which Edwarde departed this mortal lyfe the xvi daye of Marche, Anno mccccclviii, and Johanne his wife departed the - day of - Ano Dei - whose soule God pardon; and between them God sent them echie thre sones and one daughter"

On the east side of the chancel, under the figure of a man in armour and his wife, both in the attitude of devotion, is the following inscription on brass:- "Here lieth buried the bodie of Thomas Shurley, of Isfield, in the County of Sussex, Esq., eldest Son unto Edward Shurley, of Isfield aforesaid, Esq., and the bodie of Anne his wife, the daughter of Sir Nicholas Pelham, of Laughton, in the County aforesayd, Knight, by Anne, his wife, Sister unto Sir Richard Sackville, Knight, the which Anne, wife unto the said Thomas Shurley, departed this mortall life at the Manor House of Isfield, the sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord 1571, and the aforesaid Thomas Shurley departed this mortall life at the town of Lewes, in the county aforesaid, upon the xviii daye of Januarye, in the year of our Lord, 1579, and in the xxi yere of the reigne of our Sovereign Ladie, Queen Elizabeth."

On the north side of the chancel stands a very spendid triple altar tomb to the memory of Sir John Shurley, Knt. It is formed of mixed marble, and has three recumbent figures raised a little above each other. The effigy of Sir John appears in gilded armour, with hands uplifted, black hair, and long beard; his head is reclining on a cushion. On each side is the figure of a female in black robes and white ruffs, &c., their heads resting on pillows, gilt. Over them is turned a handsome arch, divided into ornamental compartments; above are carved various figures, and the Shurley arms as before. Within the arch, on a black marble slab, is the following inscription:- "That the fame of Sir John Shurley, of Isfield, in the County of Sussex, Knight, may be precious in the memory of all men, till the change of the last man, be it delivered to posterity, that Sir John Shurley, Knight, was of an ancient family, of a magnanimous heart, of an exemplary industry, of a justice beyond exception, and that he was stout in good causes, yea, and good in all causes.
His first wife was daughter unto Sir Thomas Shurley, of Wiston, Knight, by whom he had two sonnes and seven daughters. The sonnes and two daughters are called into Heaven, and the five living into several marriages of good quality.
His second wife was daughter to George Goring, of Danny, Esq., Receiver of the Court of Wards, and aunt to the Right Hon. the Lord Goring, Master of the Horse to the Queene, and received into all men's affections. She was the widow of Sir Henry Bowyer, of Cuckfield, in the County of Sussex, Knight; she was a merit beyond most of her time, for her purse was open to a prophet's name; her pitty was the clothing of the poore, her piety the mother of her practice, her devotions were her daily offerings to God, her mercy sure against condemnation, and all her minutes were but steppes to Heaven.
The above named Sir John Shurley, (being Deputie Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace and Coram of the County of Sussex), deceased at Lewes the 25th April, Anno Domini, 1631"

Near the base of this magnificent monument are, elegantly carved in white marble, the effigies of the nine children; all of them are in robes and kneeling on cushions, scarlet and gilt, over which is inscribed:- "1 Anne. 2 Thomas. 3 John. 4 Jane. 5 Cicelie. 6 Elizabeth. 7 Charitie. 8 Hannah. 9 Mary."

Near the north wall of the chancel of the church is a raised tomb, bearing the following insription:- "Here lyeth the body of the honourable Sir George Shurley, Knight, Lord Chiefe Justice of the Chiefe … in Ireland, and one of the Privy Councell there, under the late King James and King Charles for 28 years: he was borne at Isfield, 1569, and died the fifteenth of October 1647"

Near this tomb is a large gothic niche, and under it is a stone, having a staff embossed upon it. Against the wall above it is a neat marble tablet, bearing the following insription in capitals:- "The Rev. Edward Raynes, M.A., Rector of this parish and Hangleton, in this county, died April 16, 1755, aged 44 years. Anne his wife, third daughter of James Chamers, Esq., of Seaford, died August 21, 1787, aged 74 years. Edward, their eldest son, died April 10, 1751, aged 5 years. William, their second son, deputy Registrar of the Ecclesiastical Courts for the Archdeaconry of Lewes and Deanery of South Malling, died Nov., 16, 1787, aged 39 years."


1867Directory entrySt. Margaret's ChurchPost Office Directory
The church of St. Margaret is an ancient stone building in the Early English style: it has nave, chancel, and south chapel, with a low square tower containing 1 bell: the chapel contains several brasses and monuments of the Shyrley family; that of Sir John Shyrley, Bart., and two ladies in recumbent postures, robed in the Tudor costume, is in alabaster, and of great beauty. The register dates from 1570. The living is a rectory, annual value £310, with residence, in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and held by the Rev. Charles Gaunt, M.A., of Brasenose College, Oxford.

1874Directory entrySt. Margaret's ChurchPost Office Directory
The church of St. Margaret is an ancient stone building in the Early English style : it has chancel, nave, and south chapel, with a low square tower containing 1 bell: the chapel contains several brasses and monuments of the Shurley family : that of Sir John Shurley, bart., and two ladies in recumbent postures, robed in the Tudor costume, is in alabaster and of great beauty. The register dates from the year 1570. The living is a rectory, yearly value £340, with residence in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and held by the Rev. Sydenham Francis Russell, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge.

1882Directory entrySt. Margaret's ChurchKelly's Directory
The church of St. Margaret is an ancient stone building in the Decorated style, with but little admixture and consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south chapel and a low tower containing 1 bell: in the chapel are several brasses and monuments of the Shurley family, including an altar tomb of alabaster, with recumbent effigies of Sir John Shurley and his two wives : the church was restored and a north aisle added in 1876: a stained window has been inserted in the chancel at the cost of George Molineux esq. and a west window has been pre­sented by the sisters of the present rector : the old glass was collected and placed in the south window by the rector and a new vestry added at the sole expense of George Molineux esq. : the total cost of the restorations and additions amounted to £2,200. The register dates from the year 1570. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £420, with residence and 49 acres of glebe, in the gift of the archbishop of Canterbury and held, since 1871, by the Rev. Sydenham Francis Russell M.A. Of St. John's College, Cam­bridge

c 1899Isfield, Sussex - c 1899Part of the 6 inch to 1 mile map of Sussex produced in 1899 by Ordnance SurveySt Margarets Church

1900The ChurchThe Church, IsfieldPrivate collection

1910Isfield ChurchIsfield Church, IsfieldPrivate collection

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