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Eridge Park
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Eridge Park.JPG
Area of Search East Sussex
Interest Biological
Area 396.8 hectares (981 acres)
Notification 1986
Location map Magic Map

Eridge Park (/ˈɛrɪ/) is a village and historic park located north of the parish of Rotherfield, to the north-east of Crowborough in East Sussex, England. The adjoining home of the same name is the seat of the Marquess of Abergavenny. The area is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.

History

The name Eridge derives from 'Eagle ridge', or 'ridge frequented by eagles'.

Eridge was the seat (main home) of the Earls and Marquesses of Abergavenny. In 1792 Henry Nevill, 2nd Earl of Abergavenny converted the old Eridge House into a Gothic castle, which he named Eridge Castle. The castle was replaced by a neo-Georgian mansion in the 1930s. As a 20th-century structure on an ancient site, the house is not a listed building.

Parkland and woodland

The area is with Eridge Green, a 396.8-hectare (981-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is a Nature Conservation Review site, Grade I, and is Grade II* listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.

Eridge Park's undulating parkland is densely wooded to its north (Whitehill Wood) and south (Saxonbury Hill). The site includes gardens, parkland, and ancient woodland. It is of national importance for its lichens, with 167 recorded species in one of the richest epiphytic lichen floras of any park in Britain. It is also of interest for its 22 species of dragonflies and 60 species of breeding birds.

Village and surroundings

Eridge Park is directly north of Rotherfield, and largely overlaps the ecclesiastical parish of Eridge Green. Eridge Castle, the predecessor property, had its own ecclesiastical parish until 1856.

On the village street of Eridge Park is the church, which is Grade II listed, and six other listed buildings including the public house, the Nevill Crest and Gun.

The area also contains several follies, including the Saxonbury Tower and several ornamental buildings near the Sham Farm industrial estate. Sham Farm, an arable farm, gets its name from a wall built there to hide imposing farm buildings, which was intended to make the farm look like a very large house when viewed from Eridge Castle. The industrial estate at Sham Farm includes businesses such as Chalybeate Springs Trout Fishery and the Speldhurst Quality Foods sausage factory.

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