The Chapel of Sothenbury, Scaynes Hill


The 1848 Tithe Map and Apportionment describes plot 1534 as Chapel Lands.  This was the site of the Chapel of Sothenbury held by the Canons of South Malling.  It was a chapel of ease, dedicated to St Peter, as the parish church in Lindfield was a considerable distance away.

The date of the building is unknown but it was in existence during the eleventh century.  By this time a number of farms existed in the area and the chapel served this community for some 500 years.

Perhaps it is most noted for a long running dispute, in the 13th century, over rent and ownership between the Canons of South Malling and the Prior of Lewes Priory.  The dispute reached the Vatican with a decision being made by Pope Honorius II, which was subsequently confirmed by Gregory IX.

After closure the chapel was demolished and tradition says the stone was used in the construction of Massett’s Chapel in the parish church at Lindfield but this is unproven.

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