Explore the English village of Burwash, East Sussex

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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).

Burwash on a ridge © French Moments


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: 



Booking.com


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.

In the High Street © French Moments

The High Street © French Moments

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.

Church of St. Bartholomew © French Moments

The church’s Cemetery

The cemetery which flanks the church has some interesting graves.

The cemetery of the church © French Moments

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 smugglers’ graves in Burwash cemetery © French Moments

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 Burwash War Memorial © French Moments

The names of 56 Burwash people killed during WWI are inscribed on the faces of the stone monument.

The Burwash War Memorial © French Moments

At its top is a lantern (lanterne des morts) that is lit to commemorate the death anniversary of each individual recorded on the monument.

The lantern lit up © French Moments

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.

The band – Remembrance Day in Burwash © French Moments

The vicar on Remembrance Day in Burwash © French Moments

The Pubs

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.

The Rose and Crown pub © French Moments

Bateman’s

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.

Kipling Statue in Burwash © French Moments

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.

Bateman’s in Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

Today the National Trust manages the property and opens it to the public.

The landscape

The village offers beautiful walks through the English countryside made up of rolling hills, woods, fields and meadows separated by tight hedgerows…

Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

Loving the countryside of Burwash! © French Moments

Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

Contrast between light and shade © French Moments

The countryside near the village © French Moments

The landscape is dotted with the traditional oasthouses that are equally popular in neighbouring Kent.

An oasthouse © French Moments


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!).

Winter

No snow last year. But the weather was suitable for long walks in the meadows.

The rolling hills of the High Weald © French Moments

Winter in Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

Winter is not always about snow and rain! © French Moments

Winter in Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

Winter in the fields near our village © French Moments

Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

The shade of the trees in winter © French Moments

Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

End of the day, the shade of the trees in winter © French Moments

Sunset in Burwash © French Moments

Sunset in winter © French Moments

Some kind of fantasy in Burwash © French Moments

Spring

Our first Spring in Burwash coincided with Covid-19 lockdown. It was such a treat to see flowers and nature coming back to life.

The church cemetery in spring © French Moments

Spring is here! © French Moments

The Little House on the Prairie © French Moments

A lane in the woods © French Moments

Can you see our village at the top of the hill? © French Moments

My highlight was to discover the famous bluebells in the woods. It gave a beautiful fantasy-look that I deliberately enhanced by photo-processing.

Bluebells in the woods © French Moments

In a wood near our village © French Moments

A path in the forest amidst bluebells © French Moments

The next iconic flower to grow in the woods after bluebells are digitalis (or foxgloves).

Foxgloves in the woods of Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

Foxgloves in the woods © French Moments

Foxgloves in the woods, Burwash East Sussex© French Moments

Foxgloves in the woods © French Moments

Summer

A refreshing pond © French Moments

A stunning flower display at the pub The Rose and the Crown © French Moments

 

Aimée running free in the fields © French Moments

End of a sunny day © French Moments

Autumn

Walking in the countryside © French Moments

The rolling hills of the High Weald in autumn © French Moments

An oasthouse in Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

An oasthouse © French Moments

The colours of autumn in Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

The colours of autumn © French Moments

An autumn walk in Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments

An autumn walk © French Moments

The centre of the village in Autumn © French Moments


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.

The rolling hills of the High Weald © French Moments

The rolling hills of the High Weald © French Moments

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

An old timbered house in Mayfield © French Moments

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam castle in Autumn © French Moments

The historic site of Battle Abbey

Battle Abbey © French Moments

The village of Cranbrook

The old church of Cranbrook © French Moments

The sea-side resorts of Eastbourne and Hastings

Golden Hour in Eastbourne © French Moments

 



More info about Burwash

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Discover the village of Burwash, East Sussex © French Moments


 

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management.

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