St Mary the Virgin - Ringmer

There has probably been a church in Ringmer on the present site for at least 1000 years. The earliest part of the fabric to which an estimated date can be given is the nave arcade. The arches are Early English in style and are therefore probably 13th century; the first name on the incomplete list of Vicars is Richard with a date of 1233. The two chapels (the Lady Chapel to the N of the Sanctuary and the Springett Chapel to the S) were built to be chantry chapels shortly before the reformation at the start of the 16th century. The tower, or towers, have the most varied history. There must have been a tower in the 16th century, for there is a record of a bequest to the bell ringers from about 1550. However this tower had disappeared - collapsed or burned down - by 1682 when there is a reference to "the want of a steeple" and a new tower was built about this time. That in turn burned down around 1800 and was replaced by a simple bell turret. The present tower, a gift from Mr William Langham Christie of Glyndebourne, was built in 1884 complete with a ring of 8 bells - of these the second was a "people's bell" and the original list of donations towards its cost hangs in the ringing room. There were about 200 donors (at this time the population of the parish was about 2000) who gave anything from 3d (children) to 2 guineas.   Post Code: BN8 5LA