The early development of farmstead sites related strongly to landscape features and resources for agriculture, industry and human habitation such as routeways, water sources (ponds, gills streams and wells) and woodland.
Many historic farmsteads in the Weald still retain features such as orchards, wells, ponds, field boundaries and farm holding boundaries, clay pits and stone quarries that tell a story about how the site was used over time.
In our video Jeremy Lake, from English Heritage, explains the history of farmsteads in the Weald.
Many historic drivers for change that have created and maintained this landscape character have been weakened. Over the 20th century, and especially since the 1950s, the demand for 'rural living' has increased just as many farmsteads have become decoupled from food production or - if they have remained as working farms - have expanded and changed as farm holdings have become amalgamated and businesses have adapted to national and global markets.
The High Weald AONB Unit is preparing detailed district maps of the extent of important landscape features - historic routeways; sandstone outcrops; historic boundary features; ancient woodland; rivers and gill streams; heathland and wildlife grassland - across the High Weald.
For further information on this data please contact us.