I WAS surprised to read that Pebsham Countryside Park has been renamed Combe Valley Countryside Park.
Combe means ‘valley’, so it is now the Valley Valley park.
I have researched extensively in historical records for the early history of this valley, which I have known for more than 60 years.
The name Combe Haven for the main stream only appears early in the 19th century, before which it was usually called just The Haven - deriving from the medieval harbour of Bulverhythe, long since silted up.
Another name occasionally used, Asten, originated in a work of fiction.
If the authorities do not for some reason wish to retain the accepted name of Pebsham Countryside Park, which is on the publicity leaflets and guides, then Haven Valley is the more logical name.
Pebsham is well-known as the local name for a major part of the area, and is of very early origin – it is recorded in a 12th century document.
Being Anglo-Saxon it must date from pre-Conquest times, as the ‘ham’ or settlement of a tribal leader of a group of Hastingas whose personal name was probably Pyppel.
A detailed study of the early history of the area appeared in HAARG Journal Summer 2009. Contact details can be found at www.haarg.org.uk.
Sedlescombe Road North