Life In Lindfield
by Ruth Lawrence
Lindfield has four ingredients traditionally required for an attractive Sussex village; an historic church, picturesque High Street, a tranquil pond with fish, ducks and herons and a large open Common.
Walking past the picture perfect duck pond in Lindfield, it’s obvious why it held the title of ‘Best Kept Village in All Sussex’ for three consecutive years. Not only are there more than forty beautiful medieval and post medieval timber framed buildings in the High Street, but this ancient road is lined with regal lime trees which gave the village its name.
‘Lindfield’ first appeared as ‘Lindefeldia’ meaning ‘open land with lime trees’ in a Saxon charter of 765AD. King Edward III granted Lindfield a royal charter to hold a market every Thursday and two annual eight day fairs. The Common, where cricket has been played since 1747 and which hosted the fairs, festivals and bonfire celebrations over several centuries is now a large recreational and event ground. It was here that Field Marshall Montgomery reviewed troops prior to the D Day Landings in February 1944. Lindfield Bowls Club is one of the oldest lawn bowling clubs in Sussex, being founded in 1903 and has enjoyed success at county and national level.
The pond that gives visitors their first bucolic view of the village is naturally spring fed and is a thriving habitat for fish, ducks and herons. The countryside around the village is part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, preserved for its unique combination of abundant woodlands, small fields, steep narrow valleys and sandstone outcrops. Walkers can enjoy miles of footpaths as the High Weald Landscape Trail and the Sussex Border Path both pass close to the village and naturalists will enjoy the Eastern Road Nature Reserve, home to frogs, newts, dragonflies and a diverse range of birds and plants.
The impressive King Edward Hall is host to the Lindfield Preservation Society that aims to preserve the unique character of the village and was founded back in 1961 when members successfully prevented developers building five tower blocks of flats near the ancient All Saints Church. Another of Lindfield’s thriving groups is the Horticultural Society, formed during the final year of WWII. They hold three flower and vegetable shows every year and host plant sales and coffee mornings as well as talks and coach trips to gardens and attractions. Sport is well catered for in the village. Cricket, football, tennis and bowls all have their own clubs and regular fixtures throughout the year.
Whether you are fascinated by architecture, motivated by sport, addicted to nature or just love beautiful surroundings, Lindfield offers a broad spectrum of interests and activities in an idyllic setting. Graced with the facilities of a small town, it seems a wonderful place to pay an extended visit or perhaps even set down roots and build a life among the limes.