Gravelroots click for
main index click for
The Rother Valley Guide
West Sussex, England

The Heyshott Book
pages 99 to 101


St James Church

There are four very unusual graves with arched bricks, two of the most prominent being on the south-side of the church.
This one is to the Gadd family.

Gadd family Heyshott

Amongst the many interesting inscriptions is that for William Luff, who died in 1757. It reads:

Afflictions sore long time I bore
Physician sought in vain
Till God did please and Death did seize
And end me of my pain

Although there is no sign of his grave, James Allen of Graffham was buried in the north-east corner of the churchyard in 1807.
It was then unconsecratated ground and he was buried there because he was an army deserter-turned-highwayman who shot and killed Captain George Sergeant at Tegleaze farm on the top of the Downs above Graffham. He was captured in Baxter's Copse on the parish boundary, tried for murder and condemned to death.
There are five First World War headstones. They are still immaculately maintained by the Imperial War Graves Commision.
The church's parish register, recording baptisms, marriages and burials, starts in 1587
Most unfortunately the records from 1950 to 1995 were lost when the Parish Chest was stolen from the vestry in 1995.
The register includes the names of the 62 males over the age of 18 who signed the 'Protestation of Loyalty to the Reformed Church'. This ' Protestation Return' was ordered by Parliament in 1641/42. In Heyshott there was just one brave man who admitted to being a Papist!
The names of all the priests who have served the parish from 1135 to the present day are recorded in a framed list on the south wall of the church by the door. See here
Several of these have already been mentioned.
Another who took over when the Rev Fitz-Simon retired in 1950, was the Rev Harold Godwin who had been Rector of Petworth when Petworth school was bombed in 1942 and 28 of the children were killed. He immediately went to the school site and tore at the rubble with his bare hands, hoping to find a child still alive. He injured himself badly.
See Petworth Bombing here

Page 99

Page 100

The Parish is still fortunate in having its own 'Priest-in-Charge', Chris Boxley.
In spite of also being the Head of the Religious Studies Department at Midhurst Grammar School, he holds three services in Heyshott most Sundays.
If it was not for him, Heyshott would probably be held in plurality and we should revert to being 'somewhere-cum-Heyshott' as we were for seven centuries.
The Rector and Churchwardens' Charity began in 1897 and still exists. Its funds come from money left by several people in their wills. The original purposes were modified and only the gift of coal at Christmas to the most needy remains. But at the beginning, records show that there were gifts for a variety of things from £2 for starting a mothers meeting, to blankets, clothing, a crutch, cod liver oil for a baby, beef tea for scarlet fever and food as well as coal.
Following a long line of church wardens are the present holders of that office, Betty Lovejoy and Olive Thorn.
In 1990 it was found that £8000 was needed for rewiring and repairs to the church. This was a daunting task for the small congregation and so it was decided to appeal to the whole parish to subscribe to a new St. James Heyshott Preservation Trust.
The appeal was launched by a notice in the Parish Newsletter which is circulated to every house in the village monthly and this was followed up by a letter to every householder from Leslie Newsome Davis, the Chairman of the Trust. The response exceeded all expectations. Donations were received from over half the families in the village including those of all demoninations and those who seldom, if ever, enter the church.
When one staunch Roman Catholic was thanked for his very generous donation he replied ' Don't forget this church was ours long before it became yours' which aptly highlighted the historic signification of the church.
As part of the appeal some ladies of the village produced an attractive book of recipes called 'Heyshott Cooks'. It was illustrated by Dodie Masterman who, with the her son, owns 3,4 and 5 Leggs Lane. It is now unfortunatley out of print but it made a profit of nearly £3000.

Heyshott Cooks

Page 100

Page 101

In all a sum of £20,000 was raised from the village in under 6 months, a truly great community effort. During the first five years of the Trust's existence, it gave an average of £1000 a year towards the maintenance of the church building and the trustees believed that this sort of support could be continued almost indefinitely from the interest received on the capital of the trust.
However in 1995 the architect reported that all the tiles on the roof were in danger of falling because the wooden pins had rotted. He estimated the cost of renewal would be up to £38,000!
Since this sum was beyond the Trust's resources, even if all its assets were sold, it was decided to launch another appeal. This brought in a further £10.000. In the end the total cost of repairs to the roof came to about £33,000 and this was met by using the £10,000 from the second appeal, £7,000 from existing trust funds and the balance from various outside charities.
Over the five years 1998-2002, the Trust is repaying by installments a further sum of £10,000 loaned by the Archdeacon's fund to pay for the redecoration of the whole of the inside of the building - 'whitened throughout' - as required in the 1636 reparations report!


This transcription is kindly being written by Deidre Millington, of Nottinghamshire
Page 101

index first in this set previous page next page

Heyshott Book

Heyshott Church
Heyshott index
Vintage Heyshott photos
Modern church photos

Not found it?
try main index
or search site below
use one or two keywords
search index of every word on Gravelroots

Why do we show adverts?
How is the site funded?
Support us

macmillan fund

Visit the Rother Valley Trail
Visit the Vintage Trail



you are viewing pages 99 to 101 of the book 'Heyshott'



The Rother Valley Guide is part of Gravelroots based at Fernhurst on the Sussex, Surrey & Hampshire border.
Information and images are updated throughout this site on a constant daily basis. If you regularly use or
have visited these pages previously remember to refresh the pages for any new entries...Refresh page.
If you are searching for specific information and unable to find it, or you see errors, please let us know.



Many of the images shown on our pages are often available via email without our watermarks and in higher resolution.
click for information.
Our offline archives are extensive, if you are here searching for particular images, let us know.

Todays photos, observations and news are tomorrows history, be part of it.
You can add photos, documents or information to these pages, or even start a new one.
Simply e-mail your material to us & share it with everyone. Your material will be credited to you.
A short selection of links to some of the many other sections from Gravelroots
Vintage Trail - - emergency services archive - - Rother Valley Trail - - Churches - - Headstones - - Venue - Gigs & musicians - - Pubs - - more
This page is part of Gravelroots
Searching for something specific, use the indexes
This site is best viewed full screen, F11, in 1024 x 768 or higher
WaterAids vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation

Why do we show adverts, how is the site funded? - Support us
copyright information
page top
main index

    last page edit Aug.2018
    1st. page edit

Valid CSS
page protected by copy sentry