John Mason Neale Trail
A Short Tour of East Grinstead taking in places with a connection to John Mason Neale.
The Tour can Start at St Swithun’s Church or Sackville College.
From Sackville College: Follow the High Street to Church Lane and enter the Churchyard via the iron gate: John Mason Neale’s tomb is a few yards in on your right. Retrace your steps and go right. Follow the path to the Church’s South door.
John Mason Neale (b.1818-d.1866) was Warden at Sackville College Almshouse from 1846-1866. He lived there with his wife and family and wrote many well-known hymns and carols, including “Good King Wenceslas”. In St Swithun’s Church, John Mason Neale is depicted in the central panel of the Oxford Movement window on the north or left hand wall of the church as you face the altar.
His prayer desk is in the Lady Chapel, his Crucifix hangs over the altar and his tomb is in the churchyard.
From the Church walk towards the High Street and after passing under the iron arch turn left along the footpath. Just before reaching Church Lane, enter the Churchyard via the iron gate and John Mason Neale’s tomb is a few yards in, on your right. Retrace your steps and go out onto Church Lane, turn right to the High Street and walk east to Sackville College.
St Swithun’s Church is open during the daytime. Free Guided Tours Monday & Thursday afternoons at 2pm during the summer
The Old Convent is now private but used to be St Margaret’s Convent and was founded by John Mason Neale in 1854. It can be viewed from Sister Ann Way which is off the A264, Moat Road opposite King George’s field. Please do not disturb the privacy of the owners.
A pdf version can be downloaded