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Northiam sign (from Rye)
Northiam is located in East Sussex
Location within East Sussex
Area14.5 km2 (5.6 sq mi) [1]
Population2,083 (Parish-2011)[2]
• Density374/sq mi (144/km2)
OS grid referenceTQ825249
• London47 miles (76 km) NW
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townRYE
Postcode districtTN31
Dialling code01797
FireEast Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
List of places
East Sussex
50°59′N 0°36′E / 50.99°N 0.60°E / 50.99; 0.60Coordinates: 50°59′N 0°36′E / 50.99°N 0.60°E / 50.99; 0.60

Northiam is a village and civil parish in the Rother district, in East Sussex, England, 13 miles (21 km) north of Hastings in the valley of the River Rother. The A28 road to Canterbury and Hastings passes through it.


The lowest level of government is the Northiam parish council. The parish council is responsible for local amenities such as the provision of litter bins, bus shelters and allotments. They also provide a voice into the district council meetings. The parish council comprises nine councillors with elections being held every four years. Twelve candidates stood in the May 2007 election.[3]

Rother District council provides the next level of government with services such as refuse collection, planning consent, leisure amenities and council tax collection. Northiam lies within the Rother Levels ward, which provides two councillors. The May 2007 election returned two Conservatives councillors.

East Sussex county council is the third tier of government, providing education, libraries and highway maintenance. Northiam falls within the Northern Rother ward. Peter Jones, Conservative, was elected in the May 2005 election with 49.7% of the vote.

The UK Parliament constituency for Northiam is Bexhill and Battle. Gregory Barker was re-elected in the May 2005 election.

At European level, Northiam is represented by the South-East region, which holds ten seats in the European Parliament. The June 2004 election returned 4 Conservatives, 2 Liberal Democrats, 2 UK Independence, 1 Labour and 1 Green, none of whom lives in East Sussex.[4]


There is a Site of Special Scientific Interest within the parish. Officially designated as Northiam, it refers to a disused and partially flooded quarry on the outskirts of Northiam village. It is of geological, palaeoenvironmental and palaeogeographic interest.[5]

The historic house Great Dixter is found within the village. Many parts of the village are listed including Frewen College (formally Brickwall House School), which is a day and boarding school for dyslexic children. It is believed to have been the first such school in the country, set up by Admiral Frewen. Centred on a Grade 1 listed Jacobean mansion named Brickwall after the extensive boundary walls, many period features have been retained in both the house and gardens.

Brickwall is where Elizabeth I's slippers could for many years be found, given as a memento after she rested under the oak on Church Road. The slippers were retained by the Frewen family when the rest of the property was given to The Frewen Educational Trust in 1972.

Frewen College, Grade I

St. Mary's Church and war memorial[edit]

The parish church is dedicated to St Mary which is home to six bells and over the years was funded and supported by the Frewens (which is now the private school).

Four Prime Ministers for D-Day[edit]

Four Prime Ministers Plaque

On 12 May 1944, four prime ministers visited the troops before D-Day in Normandy. The village field gates were erected to commemorate the visit. The four Prime ministers were:

  • Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill P.C., O.M., C.H., F.R.S. - Great Britain
  • Rt. Hon. Mackenzie King P.C., C.M.G. - Canada
  • Rt. Hon. Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts P.C., O.M., C.H., K.G., F.R.S. - South Africa
  • Hon. Sir Godfrey M. Huggins C.H., K.C.M.G., 78F.R.C.S. - Southern Rhodesia

Notable people[edit]

UK's first green village[edit]

Northiam is in contention to be the UK's First green village. With plans for a biomass power station providing power to the whole village.[6] The first application for planning permission was refused in 2009.

Proposal of Blue Cross Closure[edit]

The Blue Cross animal charity which is within the village has proposed to close the centre after it opened in the 1960s. The Blue Cross chief executive, Kim Hamilton commented on the proposal via a press release on 26 January 2010.

Public transport[edit]

The nearest mainline train station is Rye. However the closest station is Doleham being 6.5 miles, this station is not served by regular stopping trains. Hourly bus services (except Sunday) operates to Tenterden, Rye, and Hastings. The bus services are operated by Stagecoach in Hastings. The bus route 344 runs from Northiam (Coppards Lane) and Hastings, via Rye. Route 340/341 runs from Tenterden to Hastings via the Westfield and the Conquest Hospital. Similarly the bus route 2 runs between Hastings and Ashford International, passing through Westfield, Brede, Broad Oak, Northiam and Tenterden. The Kent and East Sussex Railway manages Northiam station which operates steam trains for tourists between Bodiam and Tenterden.

Road in London[edit]

A residential street in Woodside Park Garden Suburb, North London is named Northiam—this follows the nomenclature of Woodside Park whereby nearly all streets in the suburb are named after villages, rivers and places in East Sussex.

Northiam Parish Council[edit]

Northiam has nine parish councillors elected by the village parishioners. The council usually meet once a month for a general meeting and sometimes twice a month if there are planning applications to be looked at. The Parish Council have an office located at the Village Club in the centre of the village.


There are two main schools in Northiam. Northiam Primary school is located at the southern end of the village. The school has had a new community sports hall built which is used by the school during the day and for community sporting clubs in the evenings and school holidays. The second school is Frewen College which specialises in supporting young people aged from 7 to 19 whose education has been adversely affected by dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder, dyscalculia, or speech and language difficulties. Founded in 1910 we it is believed that Frewen College is the oldest such school in the country.


Northiam is fortunate enough to be located along the route of the Sussex Border Path. Northiam also has public footpath walks to Beckley, Newenden, Ewhurst Green and Staplecross. The local walking group Northiam Footpath Group set up in 1994 provides organised walks for local people while aiming to promote and encourage walking as a healthy, sociable and enjoyable form of exercise, while exploring the surrounding countryside in a safe manner, to keep footpaths open; maintaining the network of local and adjoining Public Rights Of Way.


  1. ^ "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  3. ^ Stevens, Derek (3 May 2007). "Declaration of Result of Poll". Rother District Council. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
  4. ^ "UK MEP's". UK Office of the European Parliament. Archived from the original on 24 January 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  5. ^ "SSSI Citation—Northiam" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
  6. ^ "Andy Hemsley". Hastings & Battle Observer. Retrieved 26 June 2009.