Ifield, West Sussex
Ifield is a former village and now a neighbourhood within the town of Crawley in West Sussex, England. Ifield is in the west of the town and is bordered by Ifield West, Horsham, Langley Green to the north east, West Green to the east across the ring road and Gossops Green and Bewbush to the south across the Arun Valley railway line.
Although many gazetteers describe Ifield as a neighbourhood within Crawley, a small part of the district actually lies outside the Crawley boundary. The boundary in this area follows Ifield Brook, a small stream that flows from Ifield millpond eventually joining the River Mole. The part of Ifield lying west of Ifield Brook is semi-rural and lies under the jurisdiction of Horsham District Council. Residents here pay council tax to Horsham District Council, not to Crawley Borough Council, and their local services are provided from Horsham. Horsham town lies to the west of Crawley.
There are five schools in Ifield neighbourhood:
- Primary Schools: St.Margaret's Church of England Primary School and Mill Primary School
- Secondary School: Ifield Community College
- Special Schools: Manor Green School and Manor Green College
Ifield station is located on the south side of the neighbourhood on the border with Gossops Green neighbourhood. The station is part of the Arun Valley Line and was opened in 1907 as 'Ifield Halt'. Services run to Three Bridges Station and London Victoria on Platform 1 and Horsham on Platform 2. The level crossing that used to be in operation was replaced by the footbridge that now connects the two platforms.
Ifield Water Mill and Mill Pond
Ifield Mill Pond lies between Bewbush, Gossops Green and Ifield West. It is the source of the River Mole which runs north to the River Thames above Teddington Lock. In 1683 Ifield Water Mill, a corn mill, was built in the north of the pond; it used water from the mill pond to turn its water wheel. It was rebuilt in 1817 and is now being restored. An independent website can be found at ifieldmill.moonfruit.com. The Mill Pond is considered to be "the most important wetland site in Crawley" and supports a rich bird community:
- Birds that breed in the Mill Pond:
The name Ifield is derived from "Yew-field". There were many Yew trees in the parish, and some can be seen in the churchyard of St Margaret's Church. Ifield contains some of the most historic parts of Crawley, and there is a mention in the Domesday Book: "it is and was worth 20 shillings", where Ifield was spelt Ifelt. Locally there is much evidence of Saxon iron works and a stretch of Roman Road still exists today known locally as the "Quarter Mile". St Margaret's Church was built in the 13th century. It contains both the grave of Mark Lemon (the first editor of Punch), and the Denzil Holles[disambiguation needed] family vault. The old parish of Ifield contained most of the western part of modern day Crawley, and the old village is on the very western edge of the new town. As well as containing two modern churches - St.Leonards in Langley Green and St.Albans in Gossops Green - Ifield Parish also contains a Friends' Meeting House. Founded in 1676 it was the first purpose-built meeting place for the Quakers anywhere in the world. A V1 flying bomb landed in Ifield during World War II. It damaged the village school and wounded one local man who remained slightly brain damaged for the rest of his life.
Denzil Holles was created Baron Holles of Ifield in 1661, after his part in the restoration of Charles II of England. The peerage became extinct after his grandson died unmarried and without issue. Denzil was buried in Westminster Abbey, but his family are interred here.
- Bracher, P. (1994). Ifield Water Mill: its Owners and Occupiers. Publication Number 3. Crawley: Crawley Museum Society. p. 8.
- "Sussex Windmills and Watermills Open to View". Sussex Mills Group website. Sussex Mills Group. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- "Ifield Mill Pond". Crawley Borough Council website. Crawley Borough Council. 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
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