Preston, (East Sussex)

Parish picture

Preston, literally the priest's settlement, was known as Bishop's Preston in the 13th century when the present church was built.

It was in an important location, at the crossing place of the River Wellesbourne in the valley that now contains the main London Road.

This once rural parish was absorbed by the expansion of Brighton in the 19th century, but once it was an important parish stretching far into what is now Hove, whose church was a chapel of ease to Preston until 1879. The church was seriously damaged by a fire in 1906, but was repaired. Serious consideration was given in the early 20th century concerning enlargement, but in the end a new church, St John's, was built in the vicarage garden with St Peter's then becoming a chapel of ease.

St Peter's Church is known for its medieval wall paintings, depicting the nativity, St Michael weighing souls and the murder of St Thomas of Canterbury.

Parish picture

There is a plaque in the churchyard commemorating the victim of a brutal murder in 1831 of Celia Holloway aged just 32. Her death became a local cause célèbre and brought much unwanted publicity to the rapidly growing town of Brighton.

The church was declared redundant in 1990 and is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The neighbouring Preston Manor is now a museum.

The nearby Preston Park is today well known as the venue for the Brighton Lesbian & Gay Pride Festival, an event which brings thousands of people (and pounds!) into this part of Brighton each year.

Other Preston parishes:

Preston, Good Shepherd, Preston, St Matthias.

Places of worship:

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

Clermont Congregational Church

Elim Pentecostal Church

Florence Road Baptist Church

Our Lady of Lourdes Convent Chapel

Preston Park Methodist Church

Primitive Methodist Chapel

St Augustine

St John the Evangelist

St Mary

St Peter

St Saviour

Stanford Avenue Methodist 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:

2 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1851 census.

3 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1861 census.

1 individual in the OPC Database for the 1881 census.

3 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1891 census.

3 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1901 census.


Grid reference: 530500, 106500 ~ View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.

Poll Registers:

The OPC database contains 29 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 58 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.


There are 96 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 2 postal directory entries for this parish, (breakdown below).

2 entries from the 1791 Universal British Directory.

The OPC database contains the following directory sections which cover this parish.

1791 Universal British Directory for Brighthelmstone.

1867 Kelly's Directory for Preston is available on the GENUKI site


There are no books about this parish in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.

There are 4 articles about this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.

There is 1 person 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 no wills that mention this parish.

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