A Little History

When the Church of St Nicolas was first built, Cranley (as it was then spelt) was a tiny hamlet in a clearing of the great forest of the

Weald.  The villagers were retainers or tenants of the great feudal estates, the largest of which was Vachery.  One of the duties of

the Lord of the Manor was to provide a place of worship, and so the first church was built around the year 1170.



At first a simple rectangle occupying the area of the present nave, it was enlarged

later in the 12th century by the addition of side aisles and a tower.  About 1340 a new

chancel was built.  The area was very popular with the early Plantagenet Kings and

several local families played a part in affairs of state.



During the 1860s a clergy vestry and a new porch were built.  The north and south

transepts were extended and an organ chamber was installed.  In 1911 a choir vestry

was added.



Now please continue reading about the various parts of the church itself by clicking

on the drop-down link to the Church Guide page.