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CHURCH OF ST MARY

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Hailsham Church, originally a chapel to the church of Hellingly in the 13th century, replaced by the present church. Chancel with north and south chapels, aisled nave, south porch and west tower. Late 14th/early 15th century, with the chapels rebuilt in 1876-8, the south aisle and porch in 1870, and a clerestory of 1889. A twin foliage capital is a fragment of the 13th century but is probably from a monastic house and not the church's 13th century predecessor. The church was appropriated to Michelham Priory in 1229. Some time after 1260, the abbot of Bayham claimed that this church was a chapel of his church at Hellingley, and four Premonstratensian canons and four lay-brothers were instituted, but they were driven out by the secular arm in 1280. Disputes followed, and these canons again siezed the church in 1287. Bayham's claim was upheld in 1296.

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