Yes, Uckfield does have history, Observer admits

I was roundly ticked off some while back for suggesting Uckfield did not have a lot of history.

Mick Harker, of the preservation society, rightly put me in my place and since then I have had my head in a few books to buff up the studies in case the history of Uckfield comes up in any pub quiz I attend.

With that in mind, I was interested to see the town’s conservation area had been extended by Wealden District Council.

High Street

Looking at the map, the area stretches both sides of the main (shopping) High Street, apart from what appear to be the obviously new-builds, such as approaching the traffic lights at Bell Lane and those south of the old post office.

The area runs some way north of the Church Street traffic lights and to the east beyond the church and then south of the church towards Holy Cross Church and beyond.

Yes, it is quite an extensive area and shows that Uckfield has history that is worth preserving.

Restrictions

The conservation area is immediately effective which will bring in some restrictions about what can and cannot be done.

Further restrictions on the types of windows, tiles, boundary walls and other key details will need a further directive from the council.

Wealden officers will work with the town council on this with an intention also to put together a local list of buildings which are not statutorily listed but are regarded as of local importance.

It is good to see the district will work with the town on this issue.

Other important properties

I am also wondering whether this list of properties of local importance can be extended beyond the boundaries of the conservation area.

There are splendid properties elsewhere which help define the history of Uckfield and it would be good to know they had some sort of protection.

The houses going up on the old convent site, to be known as Field Place, is a sad reminder that some of our history can be demolished if not properly protected.

Attempts were made to save this piece of history, once a pioneering agricultural college, but the bulldozers won.

From our files:

History of St Michael’s Convent

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