Chailey North map
Chailey Common was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and was used over a long period of time for grazing livestock and cutting wood and bracken for fuel. The area belonged to the manor of Balneath, once part of the estates of St Pancras’ Priory, Lewes. The manor was granted to Thomas Cromwell at the Dissolution in 1537, and then passed to Anne of Cleves and subsequently Sir William Goring, with whose descendents it remained until c.1900.
The heath is a mix of bracken, grasses and heather communities, birch and European and dwarf gorse. Chailey Common escaped the 18th Century Enclosure Acts and due to its common land status has remained undeveloped and unimproved. Years of grazing and cutting bracken by commoners resulted in an open lowland heath habitat. During both World Wars, Chailey Common was used for tank training and military manoeuvres. This has left many landscape features, some of which have become important micro-habitats in themselves, as well as being of historical significance.
Mainly runnable natural woodland, heathland and semi-open common land. There are areas with detailed (but generally quite shallow) gully systems.
Last updated: 2022
Map Scale: 1:7,500
Nearest Town: Chailey
Postcode: BN8 4JE *
Grid Ref: TQ391217
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* Postcodes are not very precise in some areas, so don't rely on them for an exact location.