Lewes, St Thomas at Cliffe, (East Sussex)

Parish picture

St Thomas, Cliffe is situated at the bottom of Lewes, near the tunnel that now carries the road around the old village of Cliffe.

This church was thought to be founded by the Canons of Malling who came under Christchurch Canterbury. Like the church of St Michael's in South Malling, St Thomas in the Cliffe came under the Rape of Pevensey, the River Ouse being the boundary between the Rapes of Pevensey and Lewes.

The church was built in honour of the martyred Archbishop in the late 12th century. According to legend, after the murder of Becket by the knights of Henry II, the guilty knights fled from Canterbury to the Benedictine.

Parish picture

Inside the church there is a copy of a charter granted to the Archbishop in 1409 by Henry IV enabling the parish to hold a weekly market in the market house on the High Street, east of the chancel; and two annul fairs in the fair place to the north where stand the church hall and the Fire Engine Shed.

Nowadays the church is surrounded by small boutiques and shops - a nice place for a stroll.

Ancient parish:

Lewes, St Thomas at Cliffe was created from the parish of Lewes.

Places of worship:

Church details, together with baptism, marriage, monumental inscription & burial records can be accessed by clicking on the church name.

Baptist Church

Cliffe Old Chapel

Countess of Huntingdon Chapel

Jireh Strict Baptist Chapel

Methodist Church

Presbyterian (Hamilton Memorial) Church

St Thomas à Becket, Cliffe

Tabernacle Congregational Church

Census returns:

The OPC Database has no census returns for people residing in this parish yet.

People born in this parish but residing elsewhere:

1 individual in the OPC Database for the 1851 census.

1 individual in the OPC Database for the 1861 census.


Grid reference: 542500, 110500 ~ View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.

Poll Registers:

The OPC database contains 247 poll register entries for people entitled to vote in this parish.

1641 Protestation Returns:

There are no protestation returns for this parish in the OPC database.


The OPC database contains 17 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.


There are 29 images depicting this parish in the OPC database.

POWPics (The new Roughwood churches album) contains 2 photographs of churches in this parish. This album will also display any postcards or other images of churches which are in the Sussex OPC database.

Postal directories:

The OPC database contains no postal directory entries for this parish.


There is 1 book about this parish in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.

There are 2 articles about this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.

There are no people from this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Society Members Index.


The OPC database contains no wills of people who lived in this parish.

The OPC database contains 3 wills which mention this parish.

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