Falmer Parish :: Shared Description

Falmer is a downland village that lies on the outskirts of the conurbation of Brighton. For many centuries the village along with neighbouring Stanmer was an isolated downland estate village on the road to Lewes. Both villages were built around supplies of water, the mere part being old English for pond, and both still retain their village ponds today. The original parish was bounded by Patcham and Stanmer to the west; Plumpton, a detached portion of Chailey, and St John (Without) to the north; St Ann (Without) and Kingston to the east; Rottingdean to the south-east; and Ovingdean and Brighton to the south. A small detached portion known as Patchway straddled the Ditchling Road to the west of Stanmer.

The parish became part of an estate belonging to Lewes Priory during the Norman period and remained in their hands until the dissolution whereby it passed initially to Thomas Cromwell then Anne of Cleves then a number of families before it was purchased by the Pelham family, owners of the neighbouring Stanmer estate. This ownership continued up to the Second World War when the estate was requisitioned by the military then purchased by Brighton Corporation in 1947 who still retain freehold ownership of a number of properties in the village.

The latter's ownership coincided with the growth of the village, part of the former Stanmer park which lay within the parish boundary was given over to the building of the University of Sussex in 1961 whilst land south of the railway was initially developed as a teacher training college before being expanded as the campus of Brighton Polytechnic which gained university status in the early 1990s. Further development occurred in 2010 when Brighton & Hove Albion's new football stadium was built partly on University of Brighton land and now fills the gap between the village and university immediately to the south of the A27.

The main population settlement within the parish was the village itself though there were a couple of other centres most notably at Balmer (Pronounced Bormer) which lies to the north east and was a substantial settlement in the medieval period when it possessed its own chapel. However, the hamlet shrank in size, lost its chapel in the 16th century and is now little more than a farm and a few cottages. To the south west were a couple of isolated farms at Hodshrove and Bevendean which were latter developed into the Brighton suburbs of Moulescoomb and Bevendean after the land was transferred to the corporation between the wars. North of Balmer is a set of fields dating back to the Iron Age with an ancient settlement believed to have once been located at Buckland Hole.

The main road through the parish is the Brighton to Lewes road that runs along at the valley floor of the former Winterbourne Stream, a tributary of the Ouse. Its route through the village has changed over the centuries, originally it ran along what is now Mill Street until the late 18th century when it was diverted a little to the south along Falmer Hill then Middle Street. This remained the case until the late 1970s when a new bypass was constructed that more or less split the village in two, connected only by a footbridge and the B2123 bridge. The latter road follows an old driving route south to Rottingdean. The other ancient droving routes heading northwards from the A27 are now bridleways.

The railway runs parallel to the immediate south of the A27 between Brighton and Lewes and was opened in 1846. The original station was located to the east of the village but was moved at the behest of the Pelham family living at Stanmer House to its current location in 1865. The sleepy country station increased its passenger numbers with the building of the Universities during the 1960s and will be extended in the future to cope with the influx of crowds who use the nearby football stadium.

The village had a National School in the 19th century which survived as a primary until falling rolls forced its closure in 1972 wight he school building becoming the village hall. The growth of the suburb of Moulescoomb saw the building of a secondary school in 1951 initially known as Stanmer Secondary then Westlain Grammar in 1957, Falmer High School and now Brian Aldridge Community Academy (BACA for short). The University of Sussex was opened in 1961 and a few years later was joined by Brighton Polytechnic's Falmer campus. The poly became a university in the early 1990s.
by Simon Carey
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265 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

TQ3410 : St Mary's Farmhouse by Simon Carey
TQ3209 : Pattis Wye (3) by Simon Carey
TQ3508 : Short Bottom by Simon Carey
TQ3607 : Old Enclosure, Loose Bottom by Simon Carey
TQ3209 : Track, Great Wood by Simon Carey
TQ3507 : The Drove by Simon Carey
TQ3509 : Cottages, Balmer by Simon Carey
TQ3407 : Falmer Hill by Simon Carey
TQ3507 : East Wilkins by Simon Carey
TQ3507 : Permissive Bridleway by Simon Carey
TQ3408 : Sports Centre, University of Sussex by Simon Carey
TQ3508 : Village Way, Falmer by Simon Carey
TQ3508 : 43-47 Middle Street, Falmer by Simon Carey
TQ3209 : Pattis Wye (2) by Simon Carey
TQ3510 : East Laine by Simon Carey
TQ3609 : Housedean Farm by Simon Carey
TQ3408 : Westlain Belt by Simon Carey
TQ3507 : Loose Bottom by Simon Carey
TQ3510 : Upper Ridge by Simon Carey
TQ3710 : South Downs Way by Simon Carey
TQ3409 : John Clifford West, University of Sussex by Simon Carey
TQ3209 : Pattis Wye (1) by Simon Carey
TQ3408 : Stanmer Park by Simon Carey
TQ3209 : Patchway Piece by Simon Carey
TQ3508 : Graveyard Extension, East Street, Falmer by Simon Carey

... and 240 more images.

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Created: Fri, 21 Feb 2014, Updated: Sat, 10 Oct 2015

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2014 Simon Carey, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.