A village which is crazy about cricket

Lovers Farmhouse in the village
Lovers Farmhouse in the village

Life was not easy for the people who lived in the Chalvington of feudal times. The lord of the manor did more than keep them in check – they were more or less imprisoned.

He allowed none to pass the parish boundary without payment of a toll. Still, it worked both ways and discouraged visits from undesirable characters. Behind the Yew Tree Inn is a cricket pitch reputed to be one of the oldest in the country. Matches have been played there for at least 200 years and in the 19th century the Sussex XI even used it for county games.

The club had one of the first fatalities ever attributed to the switch from underarm to overarm bowling. An unfortunate batsman was struck on the knee by the ball (no pads in the first half of the 19th century) and died two weeks after having his leg amputated.

Little Chalvington retains its own identity to this day, and has a rare treasure in the church: stained glass from the 13th century.