|Area||11.26 km2 (4.35 sq mi) -Rodmell & Southease|
|• Density||115.5/sq mi (44.6/km2)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||47 miles (76 km) N|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Southease is a small village and civil parish in East Sussex, in South East England between the A26 road and the road from Lewes to Newhaven. The village is to the west of the River Ouse, Sussex and has a church dedicated to Saint Peter. Southease railway station lies roughly a kilometre east over the river and may be reached via a swing bridge. It is in the civil parish of Rodmell.
The church has one of only three round towers in Sussex, all of which are located in the Ouse Valley and all three built in the first half of the 12th century.
It is downstream of Lewes, the county town of East Sussex and upstream of Piddinghoe and Newhaven. Paths along both the banks of the river allow hiking in either direction along the river. The remains of a slipway on the west bank of the Ouse just north of the bridge faces Mount Caburn. The nearest village is Rodmell, about a kilometre to the northwest.
Most cottages in the village date from the 17th century.
The population of the village is about forty.
King Eadred was reputed to have granted the manor of Southease (including Southease parish, 38 hides, a church and part of South Heighton) to Hyde Abbey. It was granted to the abbey again by King Æthelred in 996. The church dates from the year 966.
At the time of the Domesday Book a thriving community was in place and the village appears to have been the biggest herring fishery in the district, having been assessed for 38,500 herring while Brighton had a mere 4,000.
After the dissolution of the monasteries, the manor probably remained in possession of the King and in 1546 one John Kerne was appointed bailiff and collector of the manors of Southease, Telscombe and Heighton. There was never a manor house in Southease as it was always owned by absentee landlords.
The church bells were rehung in 2000.
Southease swing bridge
The bridge was built in the 1880s, is the second bridge on the site and though the swing mechanism remains, it has not been opened since 1967. In September 2009 the bridge was granted Grade II listed building status. The bridge was closed from 8 June to 26 November 2010 and a scaffold bridge was put in place for walkers and cyclists while the original bridge structure was lifted into the adjacent Environment Agency yard, restored and then replaced. Before bridges spanned the Ouse, the Stock Ferry, several hundred yards down stream of the current bridge, was the usual way of crossing.
On a local level, Southease parish is governed as a Parish Meeting with twice yearly meetings of the parish electorate.
The next level of government is the district council. The parish of Southease lies within the Kingston ward of Lewes District Council, which returns a single seat to the council. The election on 12 May 2015 elected a Liberal Democrat
East Sussex County Council is the next tier of government, for which Southease 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 Carla Butler was elected in the 2013 election.
At European level, Southease is represented by the South-East region, which holds ten seats in the European Parliament. The June 2014 election returned 3 Conservatives, 1 Liberal Democrats, 4 UK Independence, 1 Labour and 1 Green, none of whom live in East Sussex.
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- Alan H.J. Green. "Southease Swing Bridge Reopens" (PDF). Sussex Industrial Archaeology Newsletter. Sussex Industrial Archaeology Society (149): 7–10.
- "Bus Services". Southease Village Website. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
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- "UK MEP's". UK Office of the European Parliament. Archived from the original on 17 September 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
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