Cross is now more a stump

Rouser 2012
Rouser 2012
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A GROUP of visitors bestride Alfriston’s Market Cross on April 2, 1904. It looks a lot more delapidated now.

The cross is but one of two surviving examples, the other being in Chichester and still intact, compared to the stump at Alfriston.

The cross was probably first erected about 1405 when King Henry IV allowed a market in Alfriston every Tuesday and two annual fairs on the feasts of Saint Andrew (November 29) and Saints Philip and James (April 30).

It lost the steps surrounding it in the early 19th century and in the 1870s the base was replaced with some stone from St. Andrews Church which was undergoing restoration at the time.

In 1955 a lorry crashed into it, destroying the shaft. Today’s shaft is a modern replica topped by a carving of a Shepherds Crown, a form of sea urchin carried by downland shepherds for good luck.

Alfriston has not grown much over the years, mainly due to the bounds of the South Downs either side, though the tourists have certainly changed the face of the main streets.

l The photograph was sent in by J. Williams of Uckfield.