When I first saw the wood engraving ‘Sussex Church’ (1924) by the artist Eric Ravilious, I was captivated by its beauty; and eager to find out where this tiny church was located. it had a quality of light, space and foliage reminiscent of the work of Samuel Palmer.
A few weeks later, in a charity shop, I came across a postcard of the same church. It mentioned the name ‘Lullington’, and I traced the village to the area around the East Sussex village of Alfriston.
I was determined to visit this village, and to find this exquisite little church. I made a couple of brief sketches from the photograph on the postcard. My perspective wasn’t brilliant, but I could see after drawing it that it was quite a compact and very ancient building.
When I arrived in Alfriston, I still couldn’t find the church. I had seen road signs to Littlington, but wanted to explore on foot. Very serendipitously, I followed a path to a place called ‘Plank Barn’. The name was curious. I wandered up to a small carpark, by the side of the property, and realised that I was trespassing.
The owner, accompanied by a very ancient, blind cocker spaniel, approached me, and my partner, Gabriel. But, not in anger. He then asked me if I was looking for Lullington church. With surprise, I answered : Yes!
Well, you’ve come to the right place, he answered. ‘Follow me’.
So, we followed him, through his garden, to his home, which he now jokingly referred to as ‘Plonk Barn’. It was a beautiful place, and had formerly been the home of a well-known photographer. He pointed the way to a public path.
‘Go up to the top of the field, and then turn left’, he said.