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Rodmell, Iford and Kingston from Itford Hill, Southease - - 1118880.jpg
Rodmell, Iford and Kingston from Itford Hill, Southease
Rodmell is located in East Sussex
 Rodmell shown within East Sussex
Area  11.3 km2 (4.4 sq mi) -inc Southease[1]
Population 527 (Parish-2011)[2]
   – density  116/sq mi (45/km2)
OS grid reference TQ418059
   – London  46 miles (74 km) N 
District Lewes
Shire county East Sussex
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEWES
Postcode district BN7
Dialling code 01273
Police Sussex
Fire East Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Lewes
List of places
East Sussex

Coordinates: 50°50′N 0°01′E / 50.84°N 0.01°E / 50.84; 0.01

Rodmell is a small village and civil parish in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. It is located three miles (4.8 km) south-west of Lewes, on the Lewes to Newhaven road and six and a half miles from the City of Brighton & Hove and is situated by the west banks of the River Ouse. The village is served by Southease railway station, opened in 1906. The Prime Meridian passes just to the west of the village.

The village name has been variously spelled as Ramelle or Redmelle (11th century), Redmelde (12th century), Radmelde (13th century) and Radmill (18th century).[3] It likely derives from Old English read *mylde, "[place with] red soil".[4] Before the time of the Norman conquest the manor of Rodmell was held by King Harold II.[3] At the time the Domesday Book was compiled, there was a church in Rodmell, which was granted to Lewes Priory by William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey.[3] The early Norman church is dedicated to St. Peter. The font is believed to be Saxon, predating the building itself.[5] More recently, Monk's House was the home of the author Virginia Woolf for twenty-one years until her death in 1941.

The village is bisected by the road from Lewes to Newhaven which passes through Iford. This road also passes the neighbouring village of Southease.

The village was part of the Holmstrow hundred until the abolition of hundreds in the 19th century.[6]


At a local level Rodmell is governed by Rodmell Parish Council. Their responsibilities include footpaths, street lighting, playgrounds and minor planning applications. The parish council has seven seats available [7] although only six were filled in the uncontested May 2007 election.[8]

The next level of government is the district council. The parish of Rodmell lies within the Kingston ward of Lewes District Council, which returns a single seat to the council. The election on 4 May 2007 elected a Liberal Democrat[9]

East Sussex County Council is the next tier of government, for which Rodmell is within the Newhaven and Ouse Valley West division, with responsibility for Education, Libraries, Social Services, Civil Registration, Trading Standards and Transport. Elections for the County Council are held every four years. The Liberal Democrat David Rogers OBE was elected in the 2005 election.[10]

The UK Parliament constituency for Rodmell is Lewes. The Liberal Democrat Norman Baker served as the constituency MP from 1997 but the Conservative Maria Caulfield was elected in 2015.

At European level, Rodmell 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 live in East Sussex.[11]


There is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the parish. Lewes Brooks is of biological importance and is part of the flood plain of the River Ouse. It provides a habitat for many other invertebrates such as water beetles and snails.[12]

Breaky Bottom is the name of a valley within the parish. Breaky Bottom vineyard produces a well-known English wine and former gold medallist in the Wine Magazine International Wine Challenge.[13]

The historic Northease Manor is located between Rodmell and Southease. Originally a chapelry and then a private house, it has been a private school since the late 1960s. The main building dates from the 17th Century; a large thatched barn known as the "Tudor Hall" and the walls of an adjacent building are significantly older.[14]

The Abergavenny Arms is a public house that has run in the village for a very long time under many managements. The pub temporarily ceased trading at 6pm on 1 January 2009, and re-opened in November 2009.[15]

Notable people[edit]

  • The lyrical novelist Virginia Woolf lived in Monk's House for twenty-one years until her death. She left the house for the last time on 28 March 1941, took a walk through the local fields, and drowned herself in the nearby River Ouse. Her husband Leonard Woolf continued to live there until his death in 1969. The house was bought by the University of Sussex as Virginia's papers had been left to the university. It was acquired and restored by the National Trust.
  • Captain F W Hartman and his wife Dorothy C M Hartman lived at Northease Manor[16] during the 1930s. Captain Hartman was Master of the Southdown Hunt now the Southdown and Eridge Hunt. As Master of Fox Hounds, he hosted a Hunt Ball at Northease in January 1938 which was reported in the Times. He and his wife were directors of Lendrun & Hartman Limited, London, sole concessionaires of imported Buick and Cadillac cars from America. They supplied King Edward VIII with a custom built Buick in 1936, which was transported with him by warship to France on his abdication.[17]
  • The Rev. Henry Goodman, a Nonconformist preacher, who was expelled from the church at the Restoration (Charles II). Subsequently on 29 May 1670 he went down to Lewes to preach at the request of his friends. 'Great caution was used to prevent danger; but some informers slyly mixed with the audience. He preached on Eph. v. 16, "Redeeming the time", whereas they fixed on the words following "because the days are evil". Mr. Goodman, living at a distance, escaped the fine; but unconscionable fines were levied on many of his hearers, and they were levied still more unconscionably.'[16]

In popular culture[edit]

Rodmell, was the venue of local cricket match which was immortalised by A. G. Macdonell in his humorous novel England, Their England, in which it was called "Fordenden, Kent".[18]


  1. ^ "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 26 April 2008. 
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Rodmell, A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, L. F. Salzman (editor), retrieved 21 April 2009
  4. ^ Mills, A. D. (1993). A Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford University Press. p. 274. 
  5. ^ "Places to visit". Tourism and Travel. Lewes District Council. Archived from the original on August 6, 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2009. 
  6. ^ Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 11. H M Stationery Office. 1831. 
  7. ^ Crawford, John (19 March 2007). "Notice of Election" (PDF). Lewes District Council. Retrieved 15 November 2008. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Results – Town and Parish Council Elections" (PDF). Lewes District Council. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "Election Results". Lewes District Council. 2007-05-04. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  10. ^ "Councillor David Rogers OBE". Find your Councillor. East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  11. ^ "UK MEP's". UK Office of the European Parliament. Archived from the original on 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
  12. ^ "SSSI Citation — Lewes Brooks" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  13. ^ Breaky Bottom Winery website
  14. ^ History Online citing Salzman, L.F., Parishes: Rodmell, A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7: The rape of Lewes (1940), pp. 69-73.
  15. ^ Abergavenny Arms,, 26 November 2009, retrieved 1 December 2009.
  16. ^ a b British History: Captain Hartman
  17. ^ GM History: The Vansittarts
  18. ^ L. J. Hurst, 'A.G. Macdonell's England, Their England (1933) Who was who?', The L. J. Hurst Home Pages

External links[edit]