St Andrew’s Church Clock and Crypt

Since I wrote about their formation two years ago, the Friends of St. Andrew’s have certainly been busy.

St. Andrew’s Church on Waterloo Street in Hove now has heating and its rusty clock has been sent away for repair. I had seen most of the building already so this time I set out to see the hidden areas – and I was not disappointed. Removing the heavy clock, even in pieces, must have been quite a task as the climb to it is not exactly straightforward. Once there, I was able to ascend another ladder leading to the belfry which has great views across the rooftops. The Friends will soon be in the satisfying position of having to decide just when the impressive bell, which hasn’t been in operation for many years, will actually strike. See www.visitstandrews.org for more details.

Not to be confused with St. Andrew’s Old Church on Church Road, St. Andrew’s Church was built from 1824 to 1828 to the designs of Charles Barry (later ‘Sir’ Charles Barry after designing the Houses of Parliament). It was built to serve Brunswick Town but the architect of the rest of the development, Charles Augustin Busby, was not used. This was not the only time that Barry was chosen over Busby. Both St. Peter’s Church and the Royal Sussex County Hospital are other examples.

St. Andrew’s is open on Sundays from 2:00-4:00pm but a tour of the crypt is not something that’s generally on offer. Slippery steps on the front of the building lead down to a long tunnel from which the crypt is reached. The crypt is made up of another long tunnel with five vaulted chambers leading off it. 59 coffins are arranged on iron shelves, often by family, and there is space for around 300. It was closed for burials in 1854 so two and a half of the chambers are actually empty. Sadly, because it should really have been his building, Busby was not buried in St. Andrew’s on Waterloo Street. Instead, he was buried at St. Andrew’s Old Church. However, either a road or a building is now above him and the whereabouts of his tombstone is unknown.

At midday on Easter Sunday, a public walk will be taking place from the Peace Statue to raise funds for new toilets followed by a quiz in the Iron Duke pub opposite at 7:00pm – the more, the merrier.