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Firehills and Rother Levels
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Firehills and Rother Levels
Firehills and Rother Levels

We have named this area Firehills and Rother Levels because the area in general is influenced by the river Rother and its tributaries, with the cliffs along the coast from Fairlight to Hastings being known as the Firehills . This is due to the number of fires started in the gorse during the summer months.

The area mostly consists of small villages, with many ancient churches, and a few towns with historic connections such as Rye and Winchelsea .

The area covers villages both in Kent and Sussex, and is well known for its smuggling and piracy in times gone by. The Cinque Ports federation influenced the coastal area, and smuggling spread inland as the power of the Cinque Ports declined.

The area was badly effected by the Black Death in the 14th century, and this can be seen by the many churches that are located a long distance away from the villages.

Rudyard Kipling, who lived in Burwash provided a poem from Puck of Pooks Hill , an excerpt of which covers the Firehills and Rother Levels.

Puck of Pooks Hill .

See you the windy levels spread
About the gates of Rye?
O that was where the Northmen Fled
When Alfred's ships came by.

See you our pastures wide and lone,
Where the red oxen browse?
O there was a city thronged and known
Ere London boasted a house.

Trackway and Camp and City lost,
Salt Marsh where now is corn
Old Wars, old Peace, old arts that cease
And so was England born.

She is not any common Earth
Water or Wood or Air,
But Merlin's Isle of Gramarye,
Where you and I will fare..


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