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(The Iron Man)

Name Derivation

General Details

The Church where Richard Woodman was imprisoned.
Warbleton lies about 2 1/2 miles south east of Heathfield and south of Punnetts Town . It is a small village in a very quiet and unspoilt part of East Sussex.

From the 1540's to the late 1700's the area near to Warbleton was in the heart of the Sussex Iron industry, with Cralle furnace creating cannons and other implements. The finished goods were sent by river to the sea at Pevensey for export.

During the reign of Queen Mary (1553 - 1558) the Ironmaster Richard Woodman, who was also a churchwarden, publicly objected to the local Parish Priest changing from Protestant to Roman Catholic, as the Queen had instructed. He was captured, and taken to London to stand trial. At his trial he showed remarkable knowledge of the Bible, and was able to quote from it verbatim. He was condemned by the Bishop of Winchester, and it is believed that he was locked in Warbleton Church Tower. On June 22nd 1557, he was burned to death with nine other martyrs in front of the Star Inn at Lewes.

A local legend claims that the village public house called the Warbill-in-tun was named because a thirsty soldier opened a tun (barrel) of beer with his War Bill(a Halberd).

During the early 1800's two of the tombstones in the churchyard were decorated with Harmer terracotta plaques, these were made by Jonathan Harmer who was a stonemason from Heathfield .


The Warbill-in-ton
The church and Public House are the only services in the village, Heathfield is the nearest market town, with Eastbourne the nearest major shopping centre lying about 10 miles to the South East.

The nearest trains are at Wadhurst about 10 miles north for the London to Hastings service, and Eastbourne for the Hastings , or Brighton services.


Warbleton is on the top of a hill, and has views all round from the churchyard.

Going down from the church towards the old Furnace, the Public House and one other building are all that is within the village.

The South Downs can be seen in all their magnificence from the church.

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