TQ4303 : St John's Cottage
near to Piddinghoe, East Sussex, Great Britain
Piddinghoe is a downland parish that lies on the western side of the Ouse valley a mile or so to the north of Newhaven. Originally the parish was bounded by Telscombe to the west, Southease to the north, the river to the north east, Newhaven to the south east and the sea to the south. When the farms at Courthouse and Hoddern were sold in 1911-12 much of the downland to the south was acquired by developer Charles Neville who planned and sold plots to a new town initially known as Anzac by Sea but soon changed to Peacehaven. The rapid growth of the town gave rise to the formation of a new parish which thus decreased the size of Piddinghoe by more than half the new boundary following field boundaries and the edge of Peacehaven. Much of this article pertains to the ancient boundaries of the parish unless stated.
The original village was built on a spur of land next to what was then a wide tidal estuary and for many years part of the villages population was engaged in the fishing industry particularly that of the medieval herring trade though this would end due to a combination of the collapse of the Yarmouth herring trade and the gradual shrinking of the estuary as the mouth of the river moved and silted. However, the bulk of the population engaged in agriculture particularly sheep farming on the empty downland that ran south to the sea and for many centuries the vast majority of the population lived in or around the village with a few scattered farmsteads to the south which remained the case until the First World War.
What little industry there was was based around brick and tile making which used local clay from the flood plain. The main works situated a little to the north of the village opened in the early part of the 19th century and supplied some of the bricks that were used to make the Ouse Valley Viaduct near Balcombe. These old brickworks eventually became a whiting works that utilised the nearby chalk. These eventually closed in 1913. What is now Piddinghoe Pond began life as a clay pit that was excavated from the early 20th century until the 1950s. Both used the river which canalised in the last decade of the 18th century to transport their cargoes. Ironically, one of the last major movements undertaken by the canal company was the shifting of bricks northwards to build various structures on the new railway connecting London to Brighton. Piddinghoe's remaining wharf is now used for leisure activities.
Two major roads ran through the old parish; that along the coast, now the current A259, ran through open downland, was turnpiked in 1824 and was originally known as the Dover Road. It is now the main road through Peacehaven. The other, now known locally, as the C7, is the old medieval road connecting Lewes to Newhaven that ran along the higher ground on the western side of the Ouse valley, linking a number of villages along the way. For many years it was the A275 but was downgraded after both the Lewes by-pass and ring road in Newhaven were completed sending port traffic up the eastern side of the valley and away from the narrow streets of Lewes. An early bypass was constructed in the 1920s to take traffic away from the narrow meandering village street. All other routes are either bridleways or footpaths though many of these are of some antiquity having once been droveways across the open downland.
Within the village the church still retains its 12th century circular tower and stands on a mound next to the river. Their are no shops or pubs, the last burnt down in the early 1990s and was not reopened. A school operated from 1839 until closure in 1953.
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- Grid Square
- TQ4303, 96 images (more nearby)
- Simon Carey (find more nearby)
- Image classification?
- Date Taken
- Saturday, 16 June, 2012 (more nearby)
- Sunday, 17 June, 2012
- Cottage (more nearby)
- Subject Location
OSGB36: TQ 4345 0304 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:48.5496N 0:2.0790E
- Photographer Location
- OSGB36: TQ 4345 0307
- View Direction
- SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
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