What is now Crawley was once three separate parishes: Worth, Ifield and Crawley. Each had its own church, the oldest being St Nicholas Church in Worth, which dates back to around 1000 AD.
If you would have any information on churches in Crawley and would like to share it with us, please contact us.
The Old English word for a corpse was "lyc", and the Lychgate was the entrance to a church or churchyard where the pallbearers would briefly put down a coffin or, more usually, a corpse in a shroud. The Priest would conduct the first part of the burial rite under the Lychgate before taking the body into the church for the rest of the service.
Those were the days when most corpses had to be carried long distances and a brief rest at the Lychgate must have been welcome. Lychgates usually have a bench either side under the roof or a large stone to place the coffin on or sit on. St Nicholas Church has a Grade II listed Lychgate. St Margaret's Ifield also has a Lychgate, but it is not listed. It has been damaged more than once by traffic in Ifield Street, and rebuilt.
Lychgates are usually square or rectangular wooden, open-sided structures with a pitched thatched or tiled roof. Most were built in the middle of the 15th century, although there are examples of earlier ones.
Thanks to Brenda Wilkins for this information
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