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(17th Century Coal !!)
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Name Derivation

General Details

Mountfield is a small village lying between Battle and Robertsbridge.

The village is mentioned in the Domesday book "Reinbert holds Mountfield from the Court, Goda held it before 1066 . There is enough land for 8 ploughs, 2 for the manor house, and 6 worked by 9 serfs and 2 cottagers. A further 8 acres of meadow, and woodland for 10 pigs".

Most of the area surrounding Battle was laid to waste by William the Conqueror 's men before the Battle of Hastings , Mountfield was no exception, and most of the local population were killed.

In the 17th Century, the area around Mountfield was believed to have large seams of coal deposits.

A bore hole was sunk, the engineers found no coal, but they discovered large deposits of gypsum (Calcium Sulphate). This material is used to manufacture plaster, plaster of paris, plasterboard, and cement.

A mine was set up in the woods, now known as Limekiln Woods, and the underground workings spread for a wide area under the Sussex landscape. Since then, a large manufacturing plant has been set up, and is hidden in the woodland surrounding the area, the goods are usually shipped out via the Railway.

The only view of the factory is a plume of steam, which climbs up from the works, and is visible from surrounding hills. A 5 mile long conveyor belt looking similar to a centipede, crawls across the landscape from Mountfield to Brightling where there is a second mine.

The Tapsell Gate was invented by a localcarpenter from Mountfield in the mid 1700's. The gate was designed to stop cattle straying into the Church Yard. It rotates on a post, in a similar way to the design of a Post Mill .

In 1863 a farmer William Butcher was ploughing his field in the village, when he found a number of yellow metal items. He thought it was brass and sold it on to local ironmonger for scrap. In fact it was gold, as the ironmonger soon discovered. Due to the law the items would have been claimed as treasure trove, the ironmonger melted the pieces down and sold it as bullion. There are only two small pieces of the Mountfield Hoard left, these can be found in the British Museum.

The Darwell Resevoir is found nearby via a tiny country lane, and is a haven for fishermen, and wild fowl.


Mountfield has limited services, and to to get anywhere a car is needed. A primary school is located in the area known as John's Cross, after an inn of the same name, which has provided for travellers for many centuries.

The main Hawkhurst to Battle bus service stops in Johns Cross providing a frequent service.

The nearest large town is Hastings about 7 miles South, the smaller town of Battle approx 3 miles South provides additional services.


The very best views within the Mountfield area are down the Brightling road past the village duck pond, and then further on until you see the Darwell Resevoir on your right.

If you prefer tree lined secret back lanes, then take the Netherfield road across the railway line, and into the woods.

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