Want to know where French Moments is currently based? Today I’d like to show you around the English village where we now live. We moved here last summer after spending some years in Paris and in the French Alps. We’ve now experienced the four seasons of the year and have discovered our new playground. Let me present you Burwash, East Sussex, situated only 80 km (50 miles) from the French coast as the crow flies!
Where is Burwash, East Sussex?
First, the Burwash I’m talking about is situated in the UK… because well, there are at least two other Burwashes in North America.
The second Burwash was in Ontario, Canada. It consisted of a new town built for the need of a provincial jail that definitely closed in 1975.
The third Burwash is also in Canada, in the territory of Yukon. Burwash Landing is a small community of about 100 residents.
Our Burwash is situated in the eastern part of East Sussex, in South-East England.
The village (pop. 2,700 in 2011) is equidistant from Royal Tunbridge Wells and Hastings.
It occupies a ridge in the heart of the High Weald, a natural region stretching between the North Downs and the South Downs. The ridge separates two valleys where two rivers flow: the Dudwell (south) and the Rother (north).
Where to stay in Burwash?
Want to stay in the region of Burwash? Check out accommodation in Burwash here (affiliate link) or have a look on the map below:
What to see in Burwash, East Sussex?
Although Burwash is a small village – it consists of a main road, the High Street – there is a number of picturesque places to see. Follow the guide!
The High Street
Very old houses border the High Street. They are listed by English Heritage. Many of the façades are covered with red tiles. There are a few half-timbered houses, some of them thatched roofs.
The old church
The oldest monument of Burwash is the Church of St.Bartholomew. The foundations of the porch tower date back to 1090, from the Norman era.
The church’s Cemetery
The cemetery which flanks the church has some interesting graves.
Look out for the smugglers’ graves carved with a skull and crossbones! Aimée and I call them: les tombes des pirates! There are a few of them scattered across the graveyard, it’s just like playing a treasure hunt to spot them.
The Burwash War Memorial
The Burwash War Memorial rises at the intersection of the High Street and School Hill. It is quite a unique monument, dating from 1920. Its form refers to an Eleanor Cross (an unusual feature for a War memorial).
The names of 56 Burwash people killed during WWI are inscribed on the faces of the stone monument.
At its top is a lantern (lanterne des morts) that is lit to commemorate the death anniversary of each individual recorded on the monument.
This is indeed very rare in England as such a feature is usually found in French cemeteries.
Each year Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November at the Burwash War Memorial.
In the past there were no less than seven public houses (Pubs) in Burwash, not including official and unofficial ale houses. Today the village centre has kept only two: the Bear and the Rose and Crown.
When walking on the High Street, you would have noticed the statue of Kipling. Designed by Burwash-based sculptor Victoria Atkinson and inaugurated in February 2019, the life-size figure in bronze shows the novelist sitting on a bench.
Who is Rudyard Kipling?
No doubt he’s a local celebrity!
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) is best known for his writings such as The Man Who Would Be King (1888) and The Jungle Book (1894) later adapted by Walt Disney (1967).
From 1902 until his death in 1936, Kipling lived in the village of Burwash, more exactly at Bateman’s. The historic mansion in Jacobean-style was built in 1634.
Today the National Trust manages the property and opens it to the public.
The village offers beautiful walks through the English countryside made up of rolling hills, woods, fields and meadows separated by tight hedgerows…
The landscape is dotted with the traditional oasthouses that are equally popular in neighbouring Kent.
The seasons of the year in Burwash, East Sussex
We’ve experienced the four seasons of the year… however there was no snow last winter so I won’t have Winter wonderland photos to show you (maybe next year!).
No snow last year. But the weather was suitable for long walks in the meadows.
Our first Spring in Burwash coincided with Covid-19 lockdown. It was such a treat to see flowers and nature coming back to life.
My highlight was to discover the famous bluebells in the woods. It gave a beautiful fantasy-look that I deliberately enhanced by photo-processing.
The next iconic flower to grow in the woods after bluebells are digitalis (or foxgloves).
What to see around Burwash?
As I mentioned before, Burwash is situated in the heart of the High Weald. This is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a rural region where you’ll find beautiful landscapes.
They consist mainly of rolling hills, some of them forested. The meadows and fields are separated by hedgerows (this is where we pick up blackberries in August-September to make jam!)
Burwash makes a good base to explore the region. A few suggestions:
The village of Mayfield
The historic site of Battle Abbey
The village of Cranbrook
The sea-side resorts of Eastbourne and Hastings
More info about Burwash
- My French blog Un Français en Angleterre now deals with my discoveries of South-East England.
- The history of Burwash
- The official website of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- My article about Le Marché, the Franco-English market in Heathfield
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