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On Your Door Step

Alfriston Village



The Alfriston parish church, dedicated to St Andrew, has Saxon origins, although most of the building dates from the 14th century. it is known, because of its size, as The Cathedral of the South Downs. It sits on a small, flint-walled mound in the middle of "the Tye" (the local village green) overlooking the River Cuckmere and is surrounded by a flowered graveyard and is built in the form of a cross. Today it is part of the united benefice which includes Litlington St Michael and West Dean All Saints churches. The United Reformed Church at Alfriston is included in that grouping. The Alfriston Clergy House, once the vicarage, was the first property acquired by The National Trust. 


There is strong evidence of ancient occupation of the area, since several Neolithic long barrows (burial mounds) have been discovered on the surrounding Downs. Among them, to the west, is the fairly well-preserved Long Burgh. In Saxon times the village was recorded as Aelfrictun (the town of Alfric), from which the Domesday Book records the town as 'Elfricesh-tun'.

One building of historical importance is the Star Inn which became an inn in the 16th century. Originally it was a religious hostel built in 1345 and was used to accommodate monks and pilgrims en route from Battle Abbey to the shrine, at Chichester Cathedral, of St Richard patron saint of Sussex. Wooden figures grace the upper part of the building, whilst in the front is a one-time ship's figurehead representing a red lion.

- Excerpt from Wikipedia entry.

Alfriston - once a Market Town

In 1406 Alfriston was presented with a Market Charter. Today there are many gift shops to browse through and a traditional Village Store selling a wide range of produce, including fresh local vegetables and meat and a great variety of gifts too.