The Parish of St John the Evangelist,
Crowborough

Fr Paul Redparth phone number - 01892 668188             e-mail contact@stjohnscrowborough.org.uk

St John the Evangelist, St Johns Road, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 1RZ

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History of St John’s

The Church of St John the Evangelist is located on the edge of the Ashdown Forest on the edge of the growing town of Crowborough in East Sussex - seven miles from Tunbridge Wells, and was built in 1839 by the De La Warr family as a Chapel of Ease within the Parish of Withyham, to serve the small hamlet of Crowborough (known later as Old Town or St John’s).  The Revd Thomas Charlton (Vicar 1926-1931) stated in 1939, on the centenary of the foundation, that it was Elizabeth Countess De La Warr who “considered the responsibility laid upon her family to provide for the spiritual needs of those who lived in this corner of their great domains”.  Fourteen acres of virgin forest-land were enclosed and as well as the church, there was a small house as the residence for a priest. A year later the house was enlarged to incorporate a school and a schoolhouse for the head teacher.  The church was known locally as Crowborough Chapel, and was served by the Curate from the mother parish of Withyham, St Michael and All Angels, three miles to the north, beside the family estate at Old Buckhurst  - the former residence of the Sackville family, Dukes of Dorset,  before they were granted Knole by their cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. . The first Duke of Dorset was Chancellor of the Exchequer and a cousin of Elizabeth I through Anne Boleyn and after his move to Sevenoaks Old Buckhurst passed on through female line to the Earls of De La Warr who were also Barons Buckhurst, a title which by tradition is passed on to the eldest son of the family before he inherits the title of Earl De La Warr.

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