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Withyham Civil Parish
Withyham (East Sussex)

Withyham Civil Parish shown within East Sussex
Area[1] 14.2 sq mi (36.8 km²)
Population 2651 (2007)[1]
 - Density 187/sq mi (72/km²)
OS grid reference TQ495356
 - London 30 miles (48 km) NNW
District Wealden
Shire county East Sussex
Region South East
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TN7 4
Dialling code 01892
Police Sussex
Fire East Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
European Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Wealden
List of places: UKEnglandEast Sussex

Coordinates: 51°06'N 0°08'E? / ?51.1, 0.13

Withyham is a village and large civil parish in the Wealden district of East Sussex, England[2]. The village is situated 10 miles (16 km) south west of Tunbridge Wells and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from Crowborough; the parish covers approximately 7500 acres (3000 ha).


[edit] Geography

Withyham parish lies on the edge of Weald, in the valley of the River Medway, where a group of tributaries enter from the south, and to the north of Ashdown Forest. The B2110 road passes through the village, between Groombridge and Forest Row. Much of the area is rural; the hamlet of Buckhurst, part of the parish, contains ‘’Buckhurst Park‘’, where Earl de la Warr lives. New Groombridge is also within the parish[3]

Withyham village itself is very small, containing a few houses, the church and the village pub, the Dorset Arms, which was once a farmhouse. [4].

[edit] History

There is good deal of available local history available: See the website The Weald of Kent, Sussex and Surrey; much of that information is, however, concerned with the parish church[5]

Withyham is not included in the Domesday Book, although the manor of Buckhurst is, as ‘’Biochest’’ (probably from the Saxon ‘’boc hyrst’’ or beech wood]]. There have been two houses at Buckhurst for many centuries: the older Buckhurst House, now no more, and the present day ‘’Buckhurst Park’’: both have been in the hands of the Sackville family for generations; today Earl de la Warr, a member of the family, lives there. Many of the other houses in the village were probably built to contain estate workers.

Withyham parish is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

[edit] Groombridge church

The village church is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels[6]; the present incumbent is the Reverend Adrian Leak. An early record of it is in the late 13th century; it was almost completely rebuilt in the 14th century to contain a Sackville chapel.

On 16 June 1663 the church was struck by lightning, melting the bells, and causing a great deal of damage; few parts of the building survived. The rebuilding of the church does not seem to have been finished until 1672 and the Sackville Chapel was not completed for another eight years. Of the old church only the lower part of the tower, the west wall from the belfry door to the north-west corner and the north and south east walls remained to be incorporated into the new building. It was also around this time that the Rectory was built.

Later important alterations were carried out in the 19th century, including a new south aisle, the removal of the low ceiling and a new south porch. In 1849 a set of four paintings was donated to the church: it is thought they are the work of Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (c1340–1414).

There are eight bells in the tower: five recast after the rebuilding in 1674; and a sixth (treble) bell added in 1715. These bells remained until 1908 when they were recast and a further two added.

[edit] Governance

Withyham is a large parish, and is therefore divided into three electoral wards: Groombridge; Withyham, including Blackman; and St Johns (Withyham). [7]

[edit] The Millennium in Withyham

To celebrate the millennium in Withyham, the vicar at that time Richard Parish planted a yew sapling taken from a tree said to be 2000 years old — ie from the time of Christ. Sadly, the sapling was uprooted by vandals. A millennium map was also commissioned by the Church to commemorate almost 1000 years of Withyham.

[edit] Literary links

The village of Withyham features in Arthur Conan Doyle's short story The Horror of the Heights as the finding place of the Joyce-Armstrong Fragment, a supposedly real fragment of a diary detailing the airborne adventures of the author of the diary.

[edit] References

(Source: Wikipedia)
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