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(Edward I inspects the Channel Fleet)
Brede is a small village on the A28 midway between Hastings and Tenterden
it is usually tied in with Broad Oak Brede , as it is in the parish of Brede .
The valley below was completely filled with sea-water at the time
and the valley was broad. It is believed that the valley was filled with
sea water up to Sedlescombe .
In 1030 the Manor of Brede was granted to the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy,
and until 1416, Brede was controlled by the Abbey. The church was built by the
Benidictine monks from the Abbey around 1180. Very little of the early
church remains, and the majority stems from the 12th century.
In 1297 on the 9th August, the whole of the channel fleet was inspected by
King Edward I about 1 mile to the east of Brede Bridge in the harbour at
Winchelsea now rich farmland.
An interesting tale from the 16th Century is of Sir Goddard Oxenbridge,
a giant of a man who was said to eat a child every night for supper,
and who could not be killed by metal, but only by wooden weapons. It
is believed that this story was spread by the smugglers in the area,
to scare away the curious from Brede Place, which was one of their bases.
The story ends with a very drunken Sir Goddard being killed with a wooden
saw at Groaning Bridge, between the Church and Brede Place.
The Real Sir Goddard 'The Brede Giant' was a very good and honest man
who was knighted by Henry VIII in 1509.
Brede was famous for its iron works, and manufactured cannon and shot
until the late 1770's, when gunpowder was manufactured. Three major
explosions racked the mills, and finally on 7th March 1808 Brede
Gunpowder Mills was completely destroyed by a large explosion, ending
In modern times the old victorian steam water pumping engines are
being restored by the steam preservation society and can be found
open on the first Saturday in the month.
| The local services are limited, with the main shopping town at Hastings
about 8 miles away. Tenterden is about the same distance to the north east.
The main bus route from Tenterden to Hastings goes through the village.
The nearest trains run from Hastings or Battle on the main London line,
providing 1/2 hourly services.
| The views south towards Westfield are very picturesque, with the steep hill
down to the river providing a pretty vista.
The local steam engines which used to pump water to the resevoir at
Hastings are being restored and are known as the Brede Giants , they
are an attraction well worth visiting with their enormous fly wheels .