January 23rd, 2019

St Margaret Of Scotland, Buxted

Every month of the year has its own light- or range of lights. January sunlight- when it shows up, which isn't all that often- is arctic, crystalline.

The light lasted for a morning and faded out while we ate a supremely good lunch at the White Hart in Buxted. By afternoon the sky had clouded over to the extent that our sat-nav thought it was nightime.

The object on which the light is falling is the tower of St Margaret of Scotland, Buxted. St Margaret is an unusual dedicatee- at least for England. She was an 11th century Saxon princess, born in Hungary- who married the King of Scotland and had sons who were kings in their turn. I gather from Wikipedia that she was very, very pious and- having grown up on the continent- favoured Roman practices over those of the native Scottish church. She was canonised in 1250- which is around the time Buxted church was going up.

The church stands in the grounds of Buxted Park- an 18th century mansion, titivated by the architect Basil Ionides in the mid 20th century, which is now a hotel. There was once a village round the church but it was moved to an adjoining hill because Lord Liverpool (what was Lord Liverpool doing in East Sussex?) didn't want nasty peasants living so close to his swanky new mansion.