History

Lyminster Church is beautiful Saxon Church
which serves as a place of praise and worship for a lively community.
 

A Brief Early History

The earliest mention of Lyminster is in 901 A.D., when Alfred the Great bequeathed it to his nephew Osfred, under the name of Lullyngminster, and it can be found also in the Domesday Book. There was probably a church on the present site in King Alfred's day and there was also a Saxon Benedictine Nunnery, at least a hundred years before the Norman Conquest. This stood where the farmyard now is, to the south of the church, but there are no signs of it left. After the Conquest, the Nunnery was re-founded by Roger de Montgomeri, Earl of Arundel, as a priory of the Norman Abbey of Almanesches, and at one time there were twenty-six nuns living there. The last prioress was not appointed until 1450.

The Priory was suppressed by Henry VI (died 1471) and all its possessions were given to the new foundation of Eton College. The Provost of Eton still presents the living of Lyminster. A former Vicar, the Reverend Stephen Duval, used to say that he had heard that there was, as usual, a ghost story connected with one of the nuns who was supposed to haunt the Church; but unfortunately he didn't know any of the details of the story, so we must ask visitors to make one up for themselves.

The present walls of the Church date from about 1040. The Nave, or main part of the Church, was the Parish Church, and the Chancel where the choir stalls are, was originally the Nun's Church, separated from the Nave by a high solid wooden partition. The North Aisle, where you now come into the Church, was added in about 1170 when the Chancel was still the Nun's Church, and the east end of it where the Font now is, was a little chapel. The early history of the Church explains why the Chancel is so long, in proportion to the Nave.

There are many beautiful pictures of the church on the Web. Please click on the following link to be see photographs by John Snolw http://saxon.sussexchurches.co.uk/images/lyminster/index.htm