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(Simon de Montfort and the Lavender Line)
Domesday Community

Name Derivation

General Details

Isfield lies just off the main A26 Uckfield to Lewes main road, and is well hidden in the Ouse valley.

The Romans established a staging post in the village, near a ford across the Ouse, this was on a section of Ermine Street which ran from Newhaven to London , passing through Lewes and Isfield and Maresfield .

The village was recorded as Sifelle in the Domesday book , and whose original owner was Earl Harold Godwin later to become King Harold who died at Battle .

Simon de Montfort passed through the village on the way back to London after the Battle of Lewes with King Henry III in 1264. He must have come down this route as well as his troops prayed before the Battle at nearby Fletching .

The present church was started in the late 1100's and was located in the middle of the village, but the Black Death of 1348 saw the village move away from the church to its current location. The roof of the church is an example of local buildings roofed with Horsham Tiles .

Nicholas Culpepper was raised in the village of Isfield. His grandfather William Attersole. was the rector of St Margarets, His father had died 19 days before his birth so as a new born, in 1616, he came to reside at Isfield Rectory.

Nicholas Culpepper is the most famous English herbalist writing in English. His book The English Physitian, or 'An Astrologo-Physical Discourse of the Vulgar Herbs of this Nation' -remains in production, as it has done in countless forms since it was first published in 1653.

Many thanks for the above details to Haskel Adamson - Medical Herbalist Bsc (hons) Herbal Medicine. Lewes, Sussex

In the 1770's Reverend William Clarke from nearby Buxted , discovered a black marble slab in the Church, which was believed to be from the tomb of Gundrada the daughter of William the Conqueror . It was borrowed or looted depending on your outlook by the Shurleys (The local landowners) from the Priory of St Pancras at Lewes during the Dissolution of the Monastries by King Henry VIII.

On October 18th 1858 the station was opened, and was a stop on the Uckfield to Lewes line which provided access for the local produce to the towns in the area, but was shut on 23rd February 1969. Nowadays the Lavender Line Preservation Society runs the 600 yds of track as a memorial to the ages of the Southern Region Railway. The line is named after the local coal merchant who used the line until it closed. Trains run on the line at weekends in the summer and a visit to the well preserved station and track should be put on your agenda.


Isfield has a few local services, but the main shopping centres are at Uckfield to the north and Lewes to the south.

The nearest trains run from Uckfield to stations to London , and Lewes with trains along the coast.


Isfield is a very spread out village, and runs along the Ouse valley. The old church which used to be be in the village now lies alone in a water meadow, which in spring and summer is a place to relax.

The Lavender Railway Preservation Society owns about 1 mile of trackbed towards Uckfield , and has various trains running up and down mostly from April to October . The station is a beautifully restored Southern Region station , and is well worth a visit.

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