SussexEWHURSTGREENStJamesGreat(davidyoungPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1 DavidYoung

St James the Great

A late 12th and early 14th century stone built church with an unusual bullet shaped spire, set in the High Weald AONB on the Kent and Sussex border path.

Ewhurst Green, Sussex

Opening times

Everyday during daylight hours.


Village Street
Ewhurst Green
TN32 5TD

The village of Ewhurst Green enjoys commanding views over the Rother valley and Bodiam Castle to the north.

The church stands at the eastern end of the village opposite The White Dog inn, welcoming walkers along the Kent-Sussex border path. This Grade I listed place of worship is dedicated to St James the Great and built almost entirely of Wealden sandstone, with two major construction periods in the late 12th and early 14th century. From a distance the church can be identified by its unusual bullet shaped spire, the result of a shorter rebuild after a lightning strike in the 18th century.

The font dates from the 12th or 13th century, behind which there is a memorial window dedicated to the memory of young William Jacobson who drowned nearby. Artwork of note includes an Arts & Crafts corona light fitting in the centre of the nave and an attractive painted board adjacent to the font. Clerestory windows in the nave display more contemporary stained glass from the 1970s in memory of the local Daws family. In the Lady Chapel hangs a 19th century painting of the Madonna and Child, thought to be Bavarian and in a similar style to the preRaphaelites.

At the west end of the north aisle is a carved corbel bearing a grinning head, embraced with a pair of folded arms, providing the stonemason’s only exuberant touch. Beneath is a brass commemorating the death in 1520 of William Crysford, a member of an important landowning family. Dr EC Hawtrey, rector of Ewhurst and headmaster of Eton College (1835-1854), presented the organ to the church, which was moved in 1935 to its current position between nave and tower. Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, lived in the village around the start of WWI and two of his children were baptised at St James’s, Arthur Robert Peter and Heather Grace. A tea station was fitted in 2020 in the north aisle and a prayer station is set up in St Stephen’s chapel.

The church is open daily in daylight hours for quiet contemplation and prayer. Dogs welcome.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Wildlife haven

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Café within 500m

  • Dog friendly

  • On street parking at church

  • Ramp or level access available on request

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Holy Communion 9.30am Sunday.

  • Morning prayer twice a week.

  • Monthly local interest talks.

  • Church of England

  • Foundation Grant, £4,575, 2021

  • Our Foundation Grants fund urgent maintenance work and small repairs to help keep churches open.

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Nicholas

Sandhurst, Kent

Built on high ground outside the current village centre with views south across the Rother valley, and north and west across the Weald, with the unusual five sweep Sandhurst windmill on the horizon.

St John the Baptist

Sedlescombe, Sussex

A place of continuous worship since the early half of the 13th century.

St Laurence

Hawkhurst, Kent

It is likely that there has been a church on this site from at least 1100, maybe earlier, when Hawkhurst belonged to the Abbot of Wye, and then of Battle.