APRIL 2021 – THE HILLTOP BLUEBELLS OF IFIELD WOOD – A HIDDEN SUSSEX HERITAGE SITE

THE HILLTOP BLUEBELLS OF IFIELD WOOD – A HIDDEN SUSSEX HERITAGE SITE

 

Calling all springtime lovers of nature! Visit the beauty of Ifield Wood’s hilltop bluebells in the next few weeks. It’s a wonderful sight to behold at this time of year, but, like the daffodils, the bluebells disappear as quickly as they appear. Seize the moment and go see them now – it’s well worth the effort. Boots are strongly advised [very muddy in parts] and the public footpath stiles are not user-friendly,  If you want others to join you, remember, no more than six. For further information please contact Richard at info@ifieldsociety.org.uk

 

THE ROUTE

WITHIN THE ANCIENT PARISH OF IFIELD

Circular walk from – and back to – the Plough in Ifield village [2 hrs approx]

[ For further information please contact info@ifieldsociety.org.uk ]

 

 

The Plough in Ifield village – 2020

 

Village meeting-point opposite the Plough

 

From the Plough in Ifield village, walk along Ifield Street towards St Margaret’s 13th century parish church [passing Old Plough Cottage, Harrow Cottage, Church Cottages and Lychgate Cottages on the right, and the Old Vicarage on the left]. 

The Plough and Old Plough Cottage

 

Harrow Cottage and [part of] Old Plough Cottage – 2020

 

Harrow Cottage and [part of] the Old Plough – circa 1905
The Old Vicarage

 

Ifield Vicarage [rear of] – circa 1910 ?
Ifield Street – 2021

 

Ifield Street – circa 1905

 

1 Church Cottages

 

Church Cottages garden

 

Lychgate Cottages

 

The Lychgate and War Memorial

 

St Margaret’s Parish Church

 

Wall along the left side of the church, through the gate by the cemetery wall. Pass the ‘flooding’ bridge and head towards the bridge over Ifield Brook.

 

 

 

‘Ifield Brook Bridge’

 

Ifield Brook

Cross the bridge and on to ‘Havers Field’. Listen out for the skylarks and watch out for the butterflies. Keep straight for 100 yards or so, then turn right, cutting across the middle of the field along a wide, straight track towards the ‘Herb Wood’ [some consider this to be ‘The Quarter Mile’ Roman Road, but it is yet to be proven conclusively]. These ancient parish fields are threatened by a planned housing development – called ‘The Meadows’.

 

 

Skylark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Jacqueline Hale

 

 

 

At the end of the track, take a left and hug the side of the Herb Wood, walking into the next field along the hedges to the right. A ‘hidden’ gap is reached where there is a bridge crossing the River Mole.

 

 

Photo by Emma Louise Bloomfield

 

Chiff Chaff – Photo by Dylan Solley

 

Photo by Antony Cooper

 

 

Walk across the tree-lined field [where a proposed new relief road is planned], through a gate, passing a duck pond on the left. Clamber over a stile to Ifield Wood road. Turn left, carefully walking along the right-hand side of the road for some distance until a gap is reached opposite Rose Cottage – signposted as a public footpath to the right.

 

Flowers along Ifield Wood road

 

Photo by Emma Louise Bloomfield

 

Walk straight on up to the Bluebell Wood Hilltop.

Enjoy the Bluebells!

 

 

The Bluebell Wood Hilltop

 

 

 

Ifield Wood – Irene Wakeham

 

 

 

Photo: Crawley Observer

 

 

Photo by Antony Cooper – April 21 2021

 

Photo by Antony Cooper

 

Photo by Anthony Cooper – April 23 2021

 

Photo by Antony Cooper

 

 

Glenn Norris – Sussex Wildlife Trust

 

Photo by Bel Helm – April 23 2021

 

 

 

Exit the Bluebell Wood. Spot the Control Tower at Gatwick. Keep walking straight down the tree-lined footpath, passing the horses and cows, crossing Ifield Wood road and along the drive to the Druids. Keep walking straight down, through the gate [very muddy] until the bridge over Ifield Brook is reached. Turn right after the bridge, and across the meadows to Ifield village and the Plough.