Ardingly is a parish of around 700 dwellings lying in most attractive wooded scenery within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The village sign was erected as a memorial to Viscountess Wolseley, and marks the site of the original toll-gate.
St. Peter’s Church dates from around 1330, with a massive tower and well-timbered south porch added later. In the Church there is an effigy of a priest in vestments, five good brasses and ancient stairs can also be found. The bells were recast in 2010.
Ardingly is home to Wakehurst Place which has been described as one of the most beautiful gardens in England, and is known as ‘Kew in the Country’. Open throughout the year, it is the most visited National Trust property with over 400,000 visitors pa. Nearby the Millennium Seed Bank, an international seed conservation project, was opened in 2000 and welcomes botanists from around the world.
Ardingly College, a public school with 800 students, has a noble chapel, and provides employment for around 380 staff. Ardingly also boasts the South of England Showground which hosts a range of events throughout the year, including the South of England Agricultural Show each June. Ardingly Activity Centre, based at the reservoir, caters for a wide range of water sports and is a conservation area supporting a large variety of bird life.
There are three Public Houses, The Oak Inn dating back to the 17th century, The Gardeners Arms, also 17th century and the Ardingly Inn (B&B).