The small village of Robertsbridge is located about 10kms from Battle.
The Village is believed to date back to 1176, when the only Cistercian Abbey in Sussex was built on the site of the current War Memorial. The Abbey was moved to the village of Salehurst.
I found the village quite interesting.
Plenty of history, like the story of Richard the Lionheart, who in 1193 was captured and it was Abbot William of Robertsbridge Abbey who was commisioned by Parliament to find the King. He was located in the Castle of Derstein in Bavaria, and William successfully negotiated his release for 150,000 marks.
I found many nice old homes that are Wealden Hall houses from the 14th and 15th Centuries. These homes show a period of wealth possibly due to the weekly market that was granted the village by Henry III in 1254.
Do you know the Hawkhurst Gang? They were smugglers who killed a Revenue Officer near here. This area was well known for smuggler's and robber's.
In the late 1800's cricket bats and equipment were manufactured in Robertsbridge and still are today.
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Decent locals pub.
If you don't really fancy the rather touristy haunts in the Main Street of Battle, you oculd do worse than pop in here for a drink. It seems to be rather more locally orientated than most places in the village, and was indeed recommended to me by a local.
there's nothing particularly special about it, but service is friendly, and the surroundings pleasant. there is a nice patio area for sitting out. It seems to be child friendly.
A word of warning, though. Whilst I didn't eat there myself, the food prices looked rather steep, even for this area.
If you want to find it, it is in Lower Lake. Walk past the Abbey towards the Railway Station, it's on the right at the junction of the A2100.
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Waiting for a train?
Update August 2013.
Readers of my pages here on Virtual Tourist will know that I like to keep my tips as up to date as possible. Recently, whilst researching other tips, I came upon this entry of mine which was originally written in September 2005. I note that I had attached a web address (not a very complimentary piece from a local newspaper) dating from 2004 and am now happy to append a more up to date website. I shall leave the original tip here as a memory for myself but I am sure the reader, should they be so minded, can find more up to date information than my rather aged entry here.
I shall leave the original submission here.
If you have a few minutes to spare whilst waiting for a train or even fancy a pint before taking on the rigours of the tourist trail, there is a pub fairly near the train station called the Senlac Inn. It's nothing remarkable, although clean and friendly enough.
There is a Thai restaurant within the premises, if you fancy that kind of cuisine, although I didn't eat there, so I can't vouch for the standards.
the address is Station Approach, Battle, TN33 0DE.
As I said, I found the place clean enough, but whilst researching this tip I did find the following webpage attached below.. Admittedly, it's a couple of years old and I believe the place has changed hands, but I though it only fair to include it.
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SHEFFIELD PARK GARDEN'S
About 25miles from Battle, we found the Sheffield Park Garden's.
This is a large informal landscape garden which had many different walkway's to choose from. Lucky they gave me a map!
This garden had lots of magnificent old Tree's, and I could see that Autumn would be probably the best time to visit. I could just imagine viewing the coloured leaves and the reflection's that would be seen on the Lake water. We just missed the main show of Rhododendron and Azalea's, but still enjoyed our walk. I have never seen such huge Rhododendron bushes in my lifetime!
In Spring, it's the Daffodil's and Bluebell's that cause a show!
As we walked we happened to notice the Sheffield Park house which is not open to the public.
Pity, it's impressive from the outside.
Really nice, and if you come, make it Autumn!
14th Feb - 31st October ...10.30 - 5.30 pm. The rest of the year..10.30-4pm
ADMISSION IN 2011....
Garden: adult £7.80) child £3.90, family £19.50
Autumn supplement garden: adult £10, child £5, family £25
Joint ticket with Bluebell Railway available.
As we had the British Heritage Pass, admission was FREE for us.
Midway between East Grinstead and Lewes, 5 miles north-west of Uckfield, on east side of A275 (between A272 and A22)
- Hiking and Walking
The battle town trail
Many visitors just come to see the battlefield and the abbey and continue their tour. But if you have some time, take a small walk around this beautiful old town. For that, I would like to recommend the "Battle town trail". You can download and print out a brochure that points out special buildings in the old town or other places of interest. These places are marked with a special sign, so that you can be sure that you are standing on the right spot.
Don't expect nothing especially exciting, but some nice old buildings in a little old town. It is a nice way to finish your trip to Battle before returning to Hastings, London or wherever you come from.
Walk the Battle fields
Battle is surrounded by the beautiful Sussex countryside. Many people have heard of the Battle of Hastings (1066) but the actual place where William conquered Harold's Saxon army is a few miles from Hastings in the fields around Battle. There are sooo many lovely walks here. Pick up a map/leaflet about the local walks in the Battle Tourist Information office in the High Street. There are short walks and much longer hikes! So take a flask and some sandwiches and walk the ancient battle fields - you never know what you might find!!
St. Mary's church
Next to the abbey ruins, you will find a medieval church which is still preserved. St. Mary's church was built in the 11th century by the Normans in their typical early gothic style. Although it was always connected to the abbey, it survived the destruction of the latter. A larger refurbishment took place in 1845.
The windmill at Caldbec Hill
If you have heard or read about a windmill in Battle, you probably want to visit it. Or perhaps you are too lazy to go there as it is - looking from the abbey - at the other end of the town. Anyway, you should know that this mill stand on private ground and is therefore not accessible to the public. If you want to follow the "Battle town trail" and see it or if you have another reason to do so, follow Mount Street and look out for the sign you see on the second picture. Although you can see the windmill from a distance, it is not very easy to find the path leading to it and also the sign is quite hidden.
The windmill stands on top of Caldbec Hill, which is said to be the place where Harold Godwinson gathered his troops before entering the battle at Senlac Hill.
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