SussexWILMINGTONStMaryStPeter(johnsalmonCC-BY-SA2.0)2 JohnSalmon

St Mary & St Peter

Wilmington is a Downland village of Saxon origin, the present church was first built around 1200 as a chapel to the adjacent Priory and a feature of the churchyard is the ancient Yew tree, estimated to be 1600 years old, the trunk having a girth of 23ft.

Wilmington, Sussex

Opening times

Winter 9am to 4pm.
Summer 9am to 6pm.


The Street
BN26 5SL

The church is built from local flint and imported Caen stone. Internally the architecture is a mixture of Norman and Gothic styles, with a 14th century font, carved Jacobean pulpit with sounding board, and a small medieval ‘gargoyle’ depicting the Madonna and Child.

In 2002 a disastrous fire destroyed the north transept including the pipe organ and the beautiful ‘bee and butterfly’ window. Now completely refurbished, the window has been replaced by the wonderful work of stained glass artist Paul San Casciani (see picture) featuring a phoenix as a symbol of the church rising again from the ashes. Mr Casciani also designed a new resurrection window for the West end inspired by the churchyard yew as the Tree of Life; with the quotation, from the Book of Saint Thomas in the Apocrypha ‘Raise the Stone and thou shalt find Me, Cleave the Wood and I am there’.

There are also a number of fine Victorian stained glass windows around the church. The excellent church guide gives a full description of these and many other interesting features of the building.

The 'Wilmington Yew' stands in the churchyard and is believed to be one of the oldest yew trees in Sussex, certainly older than the church itself, since it has recently been dated at around 1600 years old. Its gnarled double stem is a study for many painters and photographers and its girth near the ground is 23 feet. At the foot lies an old Roman stone said to have been found at the bottom of the vicarage well by the village well digger. It now lies over his grave.

  • Wildlife haven

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

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St Pancras

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