TQ3908 : The Village Green
near to Kingston Near Lewes, East Sussex, Great Britain
Kingston Near Lewes
Kingston is a small parish at the north western end of the lower Ouse valley and originally bordered the parishes of St Anne's (Without) to the north; Southover to the east; Iford to the south east; Rottingdean to the south west; and Falmer to the west. Part of the north-east corner bordering the Lewes-Newhaven road became Kingston Urban in 1894 and was transferred to Lewes in 1934. The land is made up of downland, the fertile greensand at the base of the scarp slope and an area of brookland reclaimed over the centuries from what was the tidal estuary of the River Ouse. The parish itself originated towards the end of the 12th century having initially been part of Iford. In the aftermath of the Norman invasion the manor of Kingston was given to one of William's main supporters, William de Warenne, he in turn instigated the building of Lewes Priory and gave some the lands to them which included a small parcel of land to build a church, dedicated like the priory to St Pancras.
The small village was an archetypal linear construction lying along a single street from the junction of lanes at the eastern end to the foot of the Downs at the west. The village street was surrounded by the three main fields of the village, known as laines, which was divided into subunits called furlongs which themselves were divided into individual strips sometimes known as selions. Three more smaller fields were added later straddling the Lewes-Newhaven road. Sheep were pastured both on the Downs and as reclamation gathered pace, on the brooks. A small open piece of land called Well Green acted as the local common. This system remained in operation until 1834 when all the fields were enclosed and the land was consolidated under a couple of landowners, later reduced to one, the Goring family based at Wiston House. The Gorings retained ownership until 1908 when the estate was broken up. From this point the village, which had been a poor rural parish throughout the 19th century, began to develop. After the First World War, plots were developed along Kingston Ridge whilst houses began to appear along Well Green Lane eventually reaching the junction with the Lewes-Newhaven road. Building increased after the war with new estates constructed between The Street and Kingston Ridge during the 1960s and 70s.
The main road through the parish actually skirts the village, this being the Lewes-Newhaven road an old north-south that connected the farms and villages that grew along the sheltered spring line of the western half of the lower Ouse valley. This ancient route became the A275 during the interwar years until it was downgraded to C status in the late 1970s to encourage traffic to take the newly designated A26 up the eastern side and avoid congestion in the narrow streets of Lewes. The road is known locally by its designation, the C7. Wellgreen Lane heads west from this road to the junction with The Street, whereupon it becomes Ashcombe Lane and heads north towards the A27 which it joins at Ashcombe Roundabout. Needless to say this route is a bit of a rat run used by many locals to avoid the centre of Lewes. A much more ancient route was the Jugg's Road which was part of the old Lewes-Brighton road that ran along the ridge of the South Downs and named after the baskets used by many women to carry fresh fish from the old fishing village of Brighton to the county town of Lewes. This road crosses Ashcombe Lane at Nan Kemp's Corner becoming Kingston Ridge before it climbs Kingston Hill. This route is now little more than a bridleway.
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- Grid Square
- TQ3908, 122 images (more nearby)
- Simon Carey (find more nearby)
- Image classification?
- Date Taken
- Thursday, 26 July, 2012 (more nearby)
- Saturday, 28 July, 2012
- Leisure Facilities > Recreation ground (more nearby)
- Subject Location
OSGB36: TQ 3931 0833 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:51.4626N 0:1.3238W
- Photographer Location
- OSGB36: TQ 3935 0831
- View Direction
- West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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