TQ5401 : Lullington Heath

taken 9 years ago, near to Litlington, East Sussex, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title Lullington Heath in this square
Lullington Heath
Lullington Heath
One of the largest remaining chalk heathlands left in Britain is now a national nature reserve and is being managed once more to retain this increasingly rare habitat. Chalk heath forms when acid soils thinly overlay the chalk and was added to by the downward movement of soil cultivated by early settlers which was later abandoned when corn growing gave way to sheep folding. Both sheep and rabbits grazing controlled any development of scrub and the removal of these two factors around 1950 resulted in its growth to the extent that the area had changed within 15 years. Grazing and management has been introduced again though this section is still largely scrub.
Litlington and Lullington :: TQ5202

Litlington and Lullington are two small villages that lie on the eastern bank of the Cuckmere River as it makes its way through a valley in the South Downs near to the old market town of Alfriston. Lullington lies almost opposite Alfriston whilst Litlington is located a little to the south. Both villages have shrunk in size over the century though Lullington's is more pronounced.

The original parish of Lullington was bounded by the river to the west, what is now the South Downs Way to the north, Deep Dean and Lullington Heath to the east and another bridleway to the south. A detached portion also lay on the southern slopes of Fore down wedged between Litlington and Westdean. The manor of Lullington was acquired by Battle Abbey during the medieval period and run by their manor at nearby Alciston. There has been a long debate over the extent of the original village and whether it was small to begin with. The church was built towards the end of the 12th century and extended at periods over the next three centuries before a fire destroyed it sometime between 1674 and 1684, not the result of Oliver Cromwell as some local stories suggest. The fact that only the chancel was retained pointed to a long disappeared populace probably a result of changes in Downland agricultural practice, keeping large flocks of sheep do not require many farm labourers, and the Black Death resulting in a shift of the remaining population down to Lullington Farm. Since that time the population has remained small to the extent that the parish was amalgamated with nearby Alfriston in 1927.

Litlington parish is also bounded by the river to the west and a bridleway to the north that heads towards Lullington Heath, another to the south from Clapham Barn to Snap Hill and the current edge of Friston Forest to the east. Litlington has also shrunk in size but not to the extent of Lullington and still retains a village street and a pub. Its church also dates from the 12th century and remains a good example of a small medieval downland church.

FURTHER READING
Peter Brandon - The South Downs (Phillimore,2006)
John Vigar - The Lost Villages of Sussex (Dovecote Press, 1994)

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Grid Square
TQ5401, 60 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Saturday, 1 October, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 4 October, 2011
Category (from Tags)
Chalk Heathland 
Category
Chalk Heathland   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 5407 0153 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:47.5719N 0:11.0782E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 5408 0149
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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