BREDE

Down a narrow finger of Romney Marsh, a wave of hills marks the location of the isle of Oxney, crowned by the village of Wittersham. Four miles on from Udimore lies the village of Brede. It is noteworthy for it’s fine church and Brede Place, the ancient stone manor house which was owned by a succession of wealthy families. In the eleventh Century, after the Norman Conquest, The Manor of Brede was granted to the Abbey of Fecamp and remained under its control until 1416. Robert Oxenbridge then rebuilt it in sandstone and additions were made the following century by Goddard Oxenbridge. The house then passed to the Frewen family of Northiam. Morton Frewen returned from America after a failed attempt at cattle ranching where he married Clara, the daughter of an American millionaire Leonard Jerome. Her sister Jennie, who married Lord Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill, apparently fell in love with Brede Place even though it was by then in a ruinous state and bought it from Morton Frewn.

Brede High Woods are in an area of ancient woodland and the open heath, ponds, and modern planting and were acquired by the Woodland Trust in 2007. The Woodland is free to visitors and home to many rare plants, insects and wild birds. Brede waterworks, now a heritage site, was built to supply drinking water though the rapidly expanding town of Hastings and opened in 1904. Leafy lanes run alongside the river Brede and for such a small village it has a fascinating history. With its many holiday cottages, it is an ideal place to use as a base for exploring the many coastal and country towns and villages. It is only a few miles from Battle.