The oldest tombstone in Wilmington churchyard is dated 1707.
It is interesting to note that all the table tombs are in the vicinity of the porch.
There are certainly no remains of any earlier construction - but this is no proof that a Saxon church never existed, since its timbers, and it would almost certainly have been built of timber, would have been used for other purposes and disintegrated long ago.
It is significant, however, that the Domesday Book of A. 1036, which records the existence of churches, does not record one at Wilmington.
Despite this, however, such was the expertise of native builders and craftsmen, it is much more than the confused sum of its parts - it is a harmonious whole with a marked personality of its own.
Village churches are built generally of that material natural to the locality.
It is well worth walking down to the north-west corner of the churchyard to see the view of Firle Beacon.
On the way you pass a sundial erected in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.This was, in fact, a common practice of small monastic communities.And so the church of Saint Mary and Saint Peter was built, its chancel being used as a monks' quire and its nave to accommodate parishioners.The new church was built to the north of the Priory, possibly because the village or an existing graveyard lay on that side, but probably because it was customary to site monastic living quarters on the sunnier side of church or chapel.It was connected to the Priory by a covered cloister- highly desirable connections in view of England's inclement weather and the fact that Benedictines normally held eight services daily.The magnificent tree has to be supported by props and chains.