History of Mayfield Parish Church: Victorian Restoration
1854: More Free Seats
In 1854 the interior of the church underwent major alterations. The north aisle was extended, principally to provide more free seats. The 14 box pews were converted into bench pews; some of the carvings from the previously private pews are still in evidence on many of the bench pews today. The gallery at the base of the tower, which seated twenty three, was removed. Free seats were increased by 76 bringing the total of free seats to 107 (previously only 31). The new arrangement provided three hundred and seventy seats or adults and seating for twenty children in the chancel.
Evidence that the timber from the former box pews was put to full use can be found in many places. A door complete with the orginial metalwork forms the back of a pew at the west end of the nave. A box pew door, carved Edward Okeover 1778 has been cut to form the base of a pew in the centre of the north aisle.
The Pulpit Moves
During the alterations the pulpit was moved from the north side of the central aisle to its present position on the south side. The font was moved from the south side of the tower base to its present postion at the left of the south aisle entrance doors. The position of the font prior to the reconstruction points to the west door being the main entrance to the church.
Lord of the Manor's Personal Pew
A finely carved placque at the side of the reading desk reads Seates for the Chiefe Lord marking the original position of the Lord of the Manor's personal box pew. The pew directly in front of the pulpit is carved iwtht he name of William Barton, vicar and is dated March 1630.