Maresfield shown within East Sussex
|Area||26.3 km2 (10.2 sq mi) |
|– density||320/sq mi (120/km2)|
|OS grid reference|
|– London||36 miles (58 km) NNW|
|Shire county||East Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Maresfield is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. The village itself lies 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north from Uckfield; the nearby villages of Nutley and Fairwarp; and the smaller settlements of Duddleswell and Horney Common; and parts of Ashdown Forest all lie within Maresfield parish.
The name of the village derives from the Old English word for marsh or pool. Iron has also played an important role in the history of the area, during the time when the Wealden iron industry was flourishing. Within 2 miles (3 km) of Maresfield Church in the 16th century were five iron furnaces: Oldlands, Hendall, Old Forge, Lower Marshalls and Maresfield (powder mills). The Levett family owned and worked Oldlands, and it probably controlled Hendall as well, before it passed into the hands of Ralph Hogge, who formerly worked for the Levett family.
Among families long resident in the Maresfield area with historic ties to the old iron industry were the families of Levett, Pope and Chaloner, who had intermarried. William Levett of Buxted, a vicar who was a prime mover behind the iron industry in the Weald, had ties to the Maresfield area during his tenure as an ironmaster and supplier of armaments to Henry VIII. Eventually the vicar's former servant Ralph Hogge, who had become a major ironmaster after Levett's death, operated four furnaces and one or more forges within a couple of miles of Maresfield Church.
The village has expanded in the past twenty years, and three substantial housing developments have helped to increase the village population.
Maresfield is an old village (its church was founded in approx 1100; the present nave and tower were built between 1375 and 1415). Fairwarp and Nutley developed as offshoots from it.
There was a Roman settlement, including a bloomery, and later a Norman village grew up around the church. In the 15th and 16th centuries
Until 1926, it was a largely agricultural village, up to 1914 effectively in the ownership and control of the family in Maresfield Park House, initially the Shelley family and then Count Alexander Münster of Hanover, Germany. The estate was confiscated in 1914 by the government after the start of World War I and the Park and estate houses were sold off in 1924 as reparation for war damage, the Park being broken up into housing plots. In the First World War, a large army camp was developed, and later on parts of the village, at Queen's Drive and the southern part of Parklands, were developed as married quarters for soldiers.
There has been considerable recent development. Since approx 1990, substantial developments at the Cabin Café (now Mulberry Park), Park Farm (now The Paddock, Field End and Maple Close) and at Forest Park have increased the population of the village by about 1/3rd. New development of 80 dwellings is planned for Park Farm, which will further enlarge the village by about 1/6th.
There are 14 members on the Maresfield Parish Council, which has its offices in Nutley.
The Site of Special Scientific Interest Rock Wood falls within the parish. This woodland is of biological interest, with uncommon mosses and ferns growing alongside the stream which flows through the site.
Fairwarp is a small village directly north of Maresfield. The church is Christ Church.
Sport and leisure
Maresfield has a local tennis club, cricket club, bowls club, football club and a gymnastics club all located in less than one mile radius of the Chequers Inn, Maresfield also has its own fishing lake 'Underhill Fishing Lake' and is managed by Crowborough and District Anglers Association.
Maresfield has its own primary school in Bonners CE Primary School, although some children travel to Manor Primary School in Uckfield. Secondary school children travel into Uckfield Community Technology College.
The Constitution of Maresfield Conservation Group, which is a Registered Charity, has as its aims the promotion of the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment in Maresfield and the surrounding area. Presently the Group is involved in a very wide range of projects.
At the centre of the village is the 17th century Chequers Inn. and Maresfield church founded in approx 1100.
There is also the Maresfield recreation ground which is home to the 'Maresfield Cricket Club' established 1756.
- "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
- Maresfield Parish Council: includes photographs, map and notes on the village
- Sussex Archaeological Collections Relating to the History and Antiquities of the County, The Sussex Archaeological Society, George P. Bacon, Lewes, 1862
- Maresfield Local Development Framework (LDF): a considerable amount of useful information about the village
- Parish council members
- "SSSI Citation — Rock Wood" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Nutley village - also LDF
- St James the Less church
- Bonners Primary School
- Chequers Inn
- The Queen's Gunstonemaker: An Account of Ralph Hogge, Elizabethan Ironmaster & Gunfounder, Edmund Teesdale, Lindel Publishing Company, Seaford, Sussex, 1984
Media related to Maresfield at Wikimedia Commons