Maresfield

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For the village in Leicestershire, see Marefield.
Maresfield
Maresfield village centre - geograph.org.uk - 1372876.jpg
Maresfield is located in East Sussex
Maresfield
Maresfield
 Maresfield shown within East Sussex
Area  26.3 km2 (10.2 sq mi) [1]
Population 3,247 (Parish-2007)[1]
   – density  320/sq mi (120/km2)
OS grid reference TQ466240
   – London  36 miles (58 km) NNW 
District Wealden
Shire county East Sussex
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town UCKFIELD
Postcode district TN22
Dialling code 01825
Police Sussex
Fire East Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Wealden
Website http://www.maresfieldparish.org.uk/
List of places
UK
England
East Sussex

Coordinates: 51°00′N 0°05′E / 51.00°N 0.09°E / 51.00; 0.09

Maresfield is a village and civil parish[2] 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.

History[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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[5]

Manor[edit]

Maresfield Park, watercolour by Benjamin Dean Wyatt (1775-1850)

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.[5]

Development[edit]

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.[5]

Governance[edit]

There are 14 members on the Maresfield Parish Council, which has its offices in Nutley.[6]

Geography[edit]

Maresfield is on the southern edge of Ashdown Forest which was a deer hunting reserve from the time of King Edward II of England.

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.[7]

Nutley[edit]

Main article: Nutley, East Sussex

Nutley is a village[8] on the main road (A22) north of Maresfield. It has its own church, dedicated to St James the Less, although the benefice is combined with Maresfield.[9]

Fairwarp[edit]

Fairwarp is a small village directly north of Maresfield. The church is Christ Church.[10]

Transport[edit]

The parish lies at the junction of two main roads: the A22 Eastbourne road; and the A272 cross-country road, the main road being on a bypass to the west of the village.

There are two local bus services 31,[11] 256[12] that provide a local connection to surrounding areas.

Sport and leisure[edit]

Maresfield has a local tennis club,[13] cricket club,[14] bowls club,[15] football club[16] and a gymnastics club[17] 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.[18]

Education[edit]

Maresfield has its own primary school in Bonners CE Primary School,[19] although some children travel to Manor Primary School in Uckfield. Secondary school children travel into Uckfield Community Technology College.

Conservation[edit]

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.[20]

Amenities[edit]

At the centre of the village is the 17th century Chequers Inn.[21] and Maresfield church founded in approx 1100.

There is also the Maresfield recreation ground which is home to the 'Maresfield Cricket Club' established 1756.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • The Queen's Gunstonemaker: An Account of Ralph Hogge, Elizabethan Ironmaster & Gunfounder, Edmund Teesdale, Lindel Publishing Company, Seaford, Sussex, 1984

External links[edit]

Media related to Maresfield at Wikimedia Commons