BurwashBurwash is an attractive East Sussex village with a good number of 15th and 16th century buildings
One of these, half a mile south of Burwash is the fine house of Bateman's, which has helped make Burwash ever-so-slightly famous and something of a good spot for tourists to visit.
Burwash is located near the River Dudwell, which flows into the Rother three miles to the east at Etchingham. The Rother itself flows past the village a mile or so to the north of Burwash.
Burwash HistoryThere's evidence of Roman iron mines in the Burwash area, but so far no evidence of Roman settlement has been discovered.
Burwash started to hold a market and annual fair in 1252.
In the middle ages iron workings made Burwash relatively rich. The village church contains several fine iron memorials to the members of families made wealthy by iron.
Victorian BurwashWhile Burwash is the model of respectability today, the Chiddingly-born writer MA Lower (1814–1876) found Burwash a quite different place in 1870, noting Burwash's lawlessness and remarking that "smuggling, sheep-stealing and burglary" were rampant in the village.
Certainly Burwash had endured a reputation for highway robbery well before Lower's comments, with the toll-road from Heathfield to Hawkhurst providing rich pickings for Burwash bandits.
Bateman'sBateman's has been left more or less untouched since writer Rudyard Kipling and his wife died in the late 1930s.
The National Trust looks after Bateman's and it is very popular and brings many visitors to Burwash each year.
Bateman's had a distinguished history before Kipling arrived from Rottingdean in 1902, having been built in 1634 as the archetypal ironmaster's mansion for John Brittan. It's a lovely place.
Places of interest around BurwashInteresting places in and around Burwash include:
- Rampyndene - a highly distinguished timber-framed merchant's house built in 1699 with the proceeds of Wealden timber.
- St Bartholemew's Church - the oldest parts of the church are Norman and date from 1090. Look out for the smugglers' graves carved with a skull and crossbones, the 16th century Geneva Bible and the memorial to Kipling's son John, killed in the First World War at the ridiculously young age of 18;
- The fine War Memorial in the village;
- Burwash High Street which has many fine buildings and a very pleasant feel to it.
Burwash travel notesBurwash is located on the A265 road between Etchingham and Heathfield which is the nearest town to Burwash.
Railway stations nearby are at Stonegate, Etchingham and Robertsbridge.
© East Sussex.org 2008-10.
Tuesday December 18