The Parish

The Parish of Woolbeding with Redford has a land area of 729 hectares (1801 acres). It is 1km wide and 11km long, such ‘strip parishes’ were a traditional way of dividing the land so that each parish had an equal share of arable land, meadow, heath and woodland. In the 2001 census 158 people lived in 70 households, of whom 83 were economically active.

The biggest landowner in the parish is the National Trust, who own 1,000 acres of which Pound and Woolbeding Commons take up 450 acres, the rest being farmland. Both commons are Open Access Land. The Parish Council plays an important role communicating, supporting and working with the National Trust on all matters which are of concern to the trust and the local residents.

Watercolour of National Trust Woolbeding Common sign

Pound and Woolbeding Commons are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) because the heathland habitat supports some very rare species of birds such as nightjar, woodlark and dartford warbler, as well as insects such as the heath potter wasp. In addition many of the boundaries of the commons are medieval stone faced banks and there are historical sunken lanes running across. Woolbeding is recorded in the Domesday Book as Welbedinge, meaning Wulfbeards people. Woolbeding Bridge, a Grade II Listed, 16th Century bridge, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, crosses the River Rother just south of the village. For further information see British History Online.

Watercolour of Woolbeding House

18th Centrury, Grade I Listed Woolbeding House (owned by the National Trust), was the home of the late Simon Sainsbury of the supermarket family. He and his civil partner Stewart Grimshaw created a spectacular and most unusual garden whose features include a ruined abbey, hermits hut, Chinese bridge, rustic walk, grotto with river god, Gothic summer house, waterfall, rills, stumpery and bubbling source…

The gardens are open to the public, on Thursdays and Fridays from April to September, by pre-booked ticket only. Please note there is no car parking in the vicinity. In May 2013 a coffee bar and shop were added to the visitor amenities. Click on the link for more information: Woolbeding Gardens.

Watercolour of Redford Village

The small village of Redford, nestles between Woolbeding Common and Stedham Marsh. It has a garage and a small, cosy Village Hall on the Village Green, which is used regularly for a broad range of community activities. To find out more about the Village Hall and how to book it click on the link Redford Village Hall. The Civil Parish of Woolbeding with Redford is served by two Ecclesiastical Parishes; St Luke's, Linch and All Hallows, Woolbeding. Follow this link for more information Places of Worship.

The watercolours were painted by the late Patricia Kettle in 2001 for the Parish Map.