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St Margaret’s Church, Ifield

Along with Worth, Ifield is the only existing part of Crawley to have been mentioned in the Domesday book in 1086.

The oldest part of the church, the altar end, dates from early 13th century. It was originally built in a box shape, probably of wood, and was later replaced as growing population in Ifield meant that it was no longer big enough. It was extended in the 14th century by the inclusion of side aisles to allow more people to come to the services. There was a pause in the rebuilding of the church as the Black Death meant that there was a great shortage of craftsmen for 50 years. The local population of Ifield was barely effected by the Black Death, but many of the skilled church builders came from London. The most notable features inside the church are two tombs, dated 1340, of Sir John of Ifield who died in 1317, and his wife.

In the 17th century, the rise on nonconformity had a more dramatic effect on St Margaret’s church than it did on others in Crawley. In 1644, St Margaret’s church was run by the vicar Robert Goddin, when a parliamentary decision declared that the Prayer Book should be abolished, stained glass windows were to be removed, fonts were removed and nobody should kneel in prayer. Although non conformity grew in the years after Goddin left, it was in his time as vicar that the most dramatic changes happened in the church. It is unusual that the medieval tombs of Sir John and his wife survived this period.

Work on the church in 1760 showed that Ifield was a wealthy parish, as a large gallery for musicians was created, and box pews for the congregation were installed. Further repairs in the 19th century mean that St Margarets Church has had a relatively large number of alterations in its history. In 1847 a new vestry was added along with a bell turret and in the 1870’s heating was added.


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Town Hall
The Boulevard
Crawley
West Sussex
RH10 1UZ
Open Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5pm

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tel:
01293 438000

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address:
Town Hall
The Boulevard
Crawley
West Sussex
RH10 1UZ
Open Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5pm

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