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Crowborough is a town in the Wealden district of East Sussex, England. It is situated on the Weald and at the edge of Ashdown Forest, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding National Beauty 7 miles (12.8 km) south-west of Royal Tunbridge Wells and 35 miles (56 km) south of London. It has road and rail links and is served by a town council. It is the largest inland town (by population) in East Sussex.

Various derivations for the meaning of the town’s name have been put forward. Before becoming a settlement as such, local documents use the names Crohbergh, Crowbergh, Croweborowghe, Crowbarrow and Crowboro. Croh (Old English: saffron or golden-yellow colour and berg means hill). Gorse, growing in profusion in the Crowborough Beacon area, and its yellow flowers might well have contributed to the meaning.

In 1734, a local benefactor, Sir Henry Fermor bequeathed money for a church and charity school for the benefit of the “very ignorant and heathenish people” that lived in the part of Rotherfield “in or near a place called Crowborough and Ashdown Forest”. The church, dedicated to All Saints, and school (primary) still survive today.

In the late 19th century it was promoted as a health resort based on its high elevation, the rolling hills and surrounding forest. Estate Agents of the time went as far as to call it Scotland in Sussex.

Crowborough as a place in its own right came into being in 1880, when an ecclesiastical parish was formed from that at nearby Rotherfield; a civil parish was established on 6 April 1905; which in turn became a Town Council on 24 May 1988.

Crowborough shares the headquarters of Wealden District Council with Hailsham, 13 miles (20.8 km) to the south-west; this sharing is due to transfer Hailsham alone by 2010.

The highest point in the town is 242 metres above sea level. This summit is the highest point of the High Weald and second highest point in East Sussex (the highest is Ditchling Beacon). Its relative height is 159m, meaning Crowborough qualifies as one of England’s Marilyns. The summit is not marked on the ground.

Crowborough is located on the A26 road between Tunbridge Wells and Lewes.

Crowborough railway station is on the line to Uckfield which is operated by Southern taking passengers to London Bridge station; the journey takes approximately one hour.

A WWII short story called ‘The News in English’ from Graham Greene’s book The Last Word (1990) is set on a winter morning in Crowborough. Greene’s parents lived in Crowborough through WWII.

A main event in the town’s calendar is its celebration of Guy Fawkes Night, held annually on 5 November. An average attendance of 5000 people descend upon Goldsmiths Recreation Ground to witness this town council event. However this is overshadowed by the shenanigans of ‘Carnival night’ which sees the whole of the town taking to the streets. Donations on the night are traditionally collected by the local Lions Club, and donated to the mayor’s charity. The town council also puts on a summer fair and a Christmas fair, for which the dates are agreed annually.

The town is twinned with Montargis, France; Horwich, England.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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