ALFRISTON

 

HOME | BIOLOGY | FILMS | GEOGRAPHY | HISTORY | INDEX | INVESTORS | MUSIC | SOLAR BOATS | SPORT

 

 

Alfriston is a village and civil parish in the East Sussex district of Wealden, England in

the Cuckmere Valley, on the River Cuckmere, about four miles north-east of Seaford. The parish has a population of 769 (2001 census).

 

I've had many a good meal at the Star Inn, where my father would take us on Sundays to enjoy the special roast lunch menu and give mother a day from the kitchen.  It was here I bought a copy of Edward Heath's book on sailing and his 'Morning Cloud,' which the former prime minister kindly signed. 

 

In 1931 Eleanor Farjeon wrote the popular hymn Morning Has Broken in Alfriston, supposedly about the beauty she saw around her in this village. The song was later recorded by Cat Stevens in the 1970's reaching a wider audience.

 

The Valley offers fun for families in attractions such as Drusilla's Zoo. For the more culturally-minded, Charlestone Farmhouse is a treasure house displaying the works of the Bloomsbury Group-artists and authors whose lives centred on this Sussex farmhouse.

 

 

 

Alfriston High Street

 

 

The Cuckmere Valley is bisected by a winding river and crossed by the famous South Downs Way, as well as numerous other trails. For hikers and walkers, for cyclists and equestrians, for naturalists of all abilities it offers a wealth of pleasures.

 

The Cuckmere Valley's attractions are best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. The outstanding natural beauty reveals itself to walkers more readily than to visitors speeding past in cars.

 

The pubs are fine retreats from modern life; meals in the restaurants are to be savoured rather than gulped. Whether on Alfriston's high street or in neigbouring villages, the shops will reward browsers with memorable treasures.

 

 

ATTRACTIONS

 

Historians amateur or professional will relish the area, where almost every building offers a record of generations past. Alfriston boasts an extraordinary concentration of Medieval buildings, as well as one of the most famous churces in Sussex - St Andrews so imposing it is often called 'The Cathedral of the Downs'. The Clergy House, next to St Andrew's, was the first building acquired by The National Trust.

 

Visitors will especially enjoy the Alfriston Festival, held annually during the last week in August and highlighted by a weekend of traditional games on the Tye, or village green. Alfriston's Dickensian Evening, held the first Saturday in December, is a memorable occasion boasting costumed revellers, music, food and more. 

 

Alfriston has many beautiful views within the village, looking at the Star Inn can keep you occupied for quite a while with its figures. The high street is a beautiful example of an old Sussex village, and has many beautiful old buildings.

The area near the church and river Cuckmere is very pretty and it is enjoyable just walking around the village. Above the Grizzly Bear shop is a very interesting historical exhibition of the village and this is worth visiting.

 

Alfriston has a wide range of shops with the emphasis on gift shops, antiques and food establishments, showing the influence that tourism now has on the area.

The nearest trains run from the station at Berwick about 2 miles to the north.  The shopping centre of Lewes lies about 6 miles to the north west.

 

 

LOCAL PARISH COUNCIL

 

 

Philip Ayers

Clerk

Geoff Knights

Chairman

Jan Apps

Recreation Ground, Planning, Public Transport

Tony Banham

Allotments, Planning

Sheila Charlton

Highways & Twittens, Tourism, Planning

John Kegg

The Tye

Andrew Lloyd

Car & Coach Parks, Parish Plan

Diana Monteath-Wilson

Vice Chairman, Rights of Way

 

 

HISTORY

 

The area around Alfriston must have been occupied from neolithic times as a number of barrows from this period have been found higher up the surrounding Downs .

Alfriston originally known as Aelfrictun the 'town of Alfric' in Saxon times, was recorded in the Domesday Book as Alvriceston and had a range of other names including Alvericheston and Aveston. It lies in the Cuckmere valley just off the main A27 Eastbourne to Lewes road.

The village was settled long before the Norman invasion of 1066 , as the mound that the church lies on was an old Saxon burial ground. St Lewinna a Saxon virgin Christian was killed by the Saxons in 690AD and her body was kept at the church, her relics were attributed to a number of miracles. They were stolen by a monk from Belgium and transported to the Priory of Bergue St Winox in 1058.

 

 

 

Alfriston Clergy House



The majority of the church of St Andrews was built in the 1300's and is known as The Cathedral of the Downs. The rectory was built in the 14th century and is of wattle and daub construction. This building is now owned by the National Trust, and is open to the public.

The Star Inn it is believed was built as a hostel by the Abbot of Battle. In the 1500's it was turned into an Inn with numerous wooden figures looking down on passing travellers, these figures still remain watching. Outside the Inn is a red Lion, once the figurehead of a Dutch ship which was wrecked in the 1800's and was raided by Stanton Collins and his smugglers. Many of the old buildings in the village are tiled in Horsham Tiles .

Towards the end of the 1700's the son and heir of the Chowne family, who owned Place House Estate, went for a walk with his dog, and was attacked by thieves. He was killed by a blow to the head, and the thieves buried the young man. Seven years later, a couple were walking along the road, and saw a small white dog that walked into the bank of the read. Every seven years the phantom dog returned until the early 1800 when the skeleton of a young man was found while the road was being widened, his bones were moved to the church and the ghostly dog never reappeared.

During the Napoleonic Wars Alfriston was the home to a large number of troops, they were to have been there to repel the invaders should they have got past the Martello towers and the cliffs on the coast. The village gained from this friendly invasion by providing food drink and other services to the troops.

After the Napoleonic wars the village turned to smuggling, and the Alfriston gang, well known for their violence, used the Cuckmere river to bring the illegal goods in to the village. The gang was broken up when the leader Stanton Collins was caught for sheep rustling in the early 1830's and transported to Australia.

Nowadays the village is a tourist attraction with its many old buildings and its feel of an ancient time.

 

 

 

CONTACTS

For general information, queries or comments please email:

info@alfriston-village.co.uk

       

To advertise your business or organisation locally, please email:

advertising@alfriston-village.co.uk

       

If you are a local non-profit group or club who wishes to have a page on a local website, please email: groups@alfriston-village.co.uk

       

To suggest reviews of recent and upcoming events in the village, or to submit your own to the site, please email: events@alfriston-village.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Flint monument at Alfriston thought to be a lock-up

 

 


 

 

LINKS:

 

 

 

SUSSEX INDEX A - Z

 

 

ALFRISTON

ARUNDEL CASTLE

BATTLE

BATTLE ABBEY

BATTLE OF HASTINGS

BEACHY HEAD - BELL TOOT (BELLE TOUT) LIGHTHOUSE

BEXHILL

BIRLING GAP

BODIAM CASTLE

BRIGHTON

CHICHESTER

CHIDDINGLY - HORSE SHOW and GYMKHANA

CROWBOROUGH

CUCKMERE VALLEY - EXCEAT

DISTRICT AND BOROUGH COUNCILS

EAST SUSSEX
EASTBOURNE - EASTBOURNE PIER

FIRLE

FIRLE BONFIRE SOCIETY

GLYNDE

GUY FAWKES

HAILSHAM

HASTINGS

HEATHFIELD

HERSTMONCEUX

LEWES

LEWES DISTRICT COUNCIL

NEWHAVEN

PEVENSEY CASTLE

RYE

SEAFORD

SEVEN SISTERS

SUSSEX

SUSSEX THINGS TO DO GUIDE

THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS

TRUGS

TWISSELLS MILL, OLD HEATHFIELD

UCKFIELD

WEALD

 

 

 


 

A taste for adventure capitalists

 

 

Solar Cola - a healthier alternative

 

 

This website is Copyright 1999 & 2006  NJK.   The bird logo and name Solar Navigator are trademarks. All rights reserved.  All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged.       Max Energy Limited is an educational charity.

 AUTOMOTIVE  |  BLUEBIRD  |  ELECTRIC CARS  |  ELECTRIC CYCLES  |  SOLAR CARS