Ringmer shown within East Sussex
|Area||25.9 km2 (10.0 sq mi) |
|- Density||459 /sq mi (177 /km2)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||43 miles (69 km) N|
|Shire county||East Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||Ringmer Parish Council|
Ringmer is a village and civil parish in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. The village is located 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Lewes. Other small settlements in the parish include Upper Wellingham, Ashton Green, Broyle Side, Little Norlington and Shortgate.
Ringmer is one of the largest villages in the south of England. There has been human habitation since at least Roman times. The village church, dedicated to St Mary, was probably built in the 13th century. One of its rectors, named to the living in 1533, was William Levett, named in the same year as rector of Buxted, and one of the most improbable figures in English ecclesiastical history. While serving as rector, Levett took over the iron foundry business of his deceased brother John, and became the leading manufacturer of armaments in England, as well as the first to cast iron cannons in modern blast furnaces.
Ringmer has two schools, Ringmer Primary School for ages 4–11 and Ringmer Community College for students aged 11–18. Ringmer Community College houses the local swimming pool which is run by Wave Leisure.
The symbol of Ringmer is a tortoise named Timothy, after the female tortoise that the naturalist Gilbert White carried back to Selborne in Hampshire in 1780. White’s aunt Rebecca Snooke lived in Delves House where Timothy had the run of the courtyard garden. Timothy died in 1794, a year after Gilbert White.
Ringmer Mill stood for centuries on Mill Plain overlooking Ringmer. This post mill was in operation until 1921 but collapsed in 1925 leaving the mill post, on which the body of the mill rotated, remaining as a local landmark.
Plashett Park Wood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest partly in the parish. It is a site of biological importance as an area of ancient woodland. Plashett Wood and the adjolining Plashett Park Farm provide habitats for a wide variety of breeding birds and bats, plus a number of rarer invertebrates and flora.
Sport and leisure
- James Callaghan, British Prime Minister, and his wife Audrey Callaghan bought Upper Clayhill Farm, Ringmer, in 1967. They moved there permanently after Callaghan's election defeat in 1979; Audrey moved into a care home in 2001, but James lived there until his death in March 2005, just 11 days after the death of his wife.
- H. Dormer Legge, RAF and Army officer and philatelist, born in Ringmer
- John Harvard, after whom Harvard University is named, married in 1636 Ann Sadler, daughter of the Rev John Sadler, Vicar of Ringmer 1626-1640.
- Wendy James, lead singer of Transvision Vamp and later Racine
- Gideon Mantell, pioneer geologist & Palaeontologist, was a Lewes surgeon who held contracts to serve the poor of Ringmer and the Royal Horse Artillery hospital at Ringmer barracks.
- Frederick Parris, cricketer and Test Match umpire
- William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, married Gulielma Springett, a member of the Springett family of Broyle Place, Ringmer.
2006 fireworks factory fire
On 3 December 2006 the Festival Fireworks factory which is located in the parish, near Shortgate, caught fire detonating the display pyrotechnics stored on the site. Successive explosions then followed for more than eight hours. Sussex Police, which described it as "a serious incident", established a 200 metres (660 ft) exclusion zone around the factory. Television pictures showed a large fireball at the centre of the blaze. Two members of Sussex fire services died and nine fire service workers were injured along with two members of the public and a police officer. Hundreds of rockets continued to explode more than five hours after the initial blasts.
- "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
- Sussex Archaeological Collections, Vol. XXVI, Sussex Archaeological Society, George P. Bacon, Lewes, 1875
- SSSI Citation — Plashett Park Wood (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
- "Lady Callaghan of Cardiff". The Independent (London). 30 March 2005.
- "Obituary: Lord Callaghan". BBC News. 26 March 2005.
- "Fireworks depot blaze kills two". BBC Southern Counties News (BBC). 3 December 2006. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
Media related to Ringmer at Wikimedia Commons