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 (a simple rectangle) was built around the year 1170.
Since then lots of changes have made with significant additions made in the 12th, 14th, 19th and 20th Centuries. St Nicolas Church of today is grade II* listed and as with any old building requires a lot of looking after, with over £250,000 required over the next few years to protect and restore the Church.