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Lindfield: Sussex towns and villages

PUBLISHED: 11:10 27 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:10 27 June 2013

Lindfield

Lindfield

Archant

Lindfield was once at the centre of the thriving Wealden iron industry

Streetwise

The name Lindfield is from Lindefeldia, meaning “open land with lime trees” in Saxon, and the ancient high street, lined with lime trees, means there’s no need to ask why. On this same street lie over forty medieval and post medieval timber-framed houses. Lindfield won the Best Kept Village in Sussex award so many times that it was persuaded to withdraw at one point just to give everyone else a chance.

The Common touch

Lindfield Common has witnessed many events over the centuries, including fairs, festivals, bonfire celebrations and sports – cricket has been played there since 1747. King Edward III recognised the importance of medieval Lindfield in 1343, granting the town a royal charter to hold a market every Thursday and two annual eight day fairs. For centuries the fairs continued each April and August with the summer fair becoming one of the largest sheep sales in Sussex.

The nature of things

The Eastern Road Nature Reserve runs alongside the Scrase Stream. It is managed, to encourage diverse vegetation and wildlife. Myriads of insects and butterflies and an abundance autumn fruits provide food for resident and visiting birds, incliding warblers, finches and siskins. The wetland areas sustain healthy populations of frogs, newts, dragonflies, alongisde many other aquatic insects.

Strike while it’s hot

Lindfield was once at the centre of the thriving Wealden iron industry, with iron ore being extracted here on records in 1539. There are still four post-medieval blast furnaces in the area.

Go

Wakehurst Place

Home to the largest growing Christmas tree in England, and one of the National Trust’s most popular paid-for sites

01444 894066; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wakehurst-place)

Eat

Paulino

Gorgeous Italian fare in a simple, modern setting

01444 484824; paolinoitalianrestaurant.com)

Drink

The Witch Inn

A beautifully decorated pub, serving ocal lager and ales and a great selection of ciders and wines

01444 414504; www.thewitchinn.com)

Sleep

The Hyde Granary

A sprawling estate with super converted grain store, bird-filled garden and homeopathist owner

01444 401930; www.thehydegranary.com)

***

Notable neighbours: Charles Eamer Kempe, a leading church stained glass designer and manufacturer, lived in Lindfield

Getting there: The nearest train station is in Haywards Heath, and the A272 is the closest main road

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