Iford :: Shared Description
Iford is a parish on the western side of the lower Ouse valley that is bounded by Rottingdean to the west; Kingston near Lewes
to the north; the River Ouse to the east; and Rodmell
to the south. The parish boundary has remained unchanged for many centuries until 1934 when the former parish of Southover was dissolved and its rural area including both Upper and Lower Rises were added. Like many downland parishes it runs in a strip that includes the chalk downs, the greensand at the foot, and the brooklands once reclaimed from the river's former tidal estuary.
The village itself comprises of Norton and Sutton which straggles around a looped village lane off the eastern side of the old Lewes-Newhaven road. Norton was for centuries part of the old manor of Swanborough which was developed by the monks of Lewes Priory from 1200 until the Reformation when the land eventually fell into the hands of the Dukes of Dorset where it remained until 1879 when it came into the hands of the Robinson family who still work the farm at Iford today. The small hamlet of Swanborough, for many years just a farm, grew up from the 19th century along Swanborough Drove, a track linking the Lewes-Newhaven road with the top of the Downs. Sutton eventually came under the manor of Northease, part of neighbouring Rodmell
parish, where it too fell into the hands of a local landowner, the Abergavennys, until the beginning of the 20th century. The boundary between the two could still be made out through field boundaries until the last twenty years or so.
Communications wise, the parish is traversed by Swanborough Hollow, the main Lewes-Newhaven road formed many centuries ago to link the farms and settlements that lie on the sheltered western side of the lower Ouse valley. During the 1920s it became the A275 until it was downgraded in the 1970s to C status to encourage port traffic from Newhaven up the newly designated A26 on the eastern side and thus preventing it trying to negotiate the narrow streets of Lewes. The unnamed village street runs in a loop starting an finishing on Swanborough Hollow and was extended in the late 19th century by the owners of Iford Manor away from their front door. Swanborough Drove is now a restricted byway leading from Swanborough Hollow up onto the downs splitting into Breach Road and Dencher Road halfway up. All tracks are restricted byways.
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Created: Sat, 28 Jul 2012, Updated: Tue, 24 May 2016
The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2012 Simon Carey, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.