It was a beautiful day and we went to a village jumble sale in East Sussex. Little did we expect what we were to find there. Although jumble sales seem to have been disappearing from the British culture in recent times, we have been blessed with at least one, if not two, each weekend since the new year started. So, as usual, we were intent on what would be waiting for us at the jumble.
So, we were unprepared for what awaited us outside the jumble. Firle is a very small village, as the map indicated, but we have been fooled by what looks small on the map and what we might find in real life. Yet, when we drove in, there was no doubt that this was an excessively small village. In fact, there was not even a through street in the entire village. We drove in and found a sign for a free village parking lot. A sign further on thanked us for not parking in the village. We found out, as we got out of the car and walked around, that there were some who did park in the village, but we assumed these must be the villagers who lived there. Who else would have been crazy enough to want to try and drive through to the end of the dead-end street?
Firle was not only small, it was compact. All the houses and shops were close together. Furthermore, it does not look like it has had any recent developments in at least the last 100 years. We had to go into the local shop/post office to get a stamp. It was the quaintest shop I have yet seen, with groceries in the main room and a small post office area in another room. I saw through a couple of doors that the owner must live in the rest of the building, as one looked to be a parlor and another, a dining room. As we came out of the parking lot, we saw a very old looking inn, and on our way to the post office, someone set out a basket of bread for sale in their front yard. There were several farms adjacent to each other and a manor home somewhere in the vicinity, but we could not see it. These farms must supply fresh produce and meat, for we could not see a butcher or greengrocers in the area. Otherwise, it seemed self-sufficient. The place was so quiet, especially considering it was right off of the highway (A27).
Add to this, a nice medieval church (St. Peter’s) at the end of the street, unspoiled by modern technology or buildings surrounding it. It was a perfect picture-postcard view from the street, looking up the path to the church. Unfortunately, we did not have a camera with us today. Inside the church, you could see how old the building was, with the plaster flaking in some areas. We did not buy the guide but looked around briefly. We plan to come back with a camera.
Firle was quite a find for us today. It felt like we had stepped back in time, to a simpler way of life. It is located east, and slightly south, of Lewes. Now that the days are getting nicer, we will have to take our camera with us everyday, in case we run across another village like this. There will be more opportunity for exploring on short days out, and we hope to report on them.