Heathfield

Street Map

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Heathfield is a small market town, and the principal settlement in the civil parish of Heathfield and Waldron in the Wealden District of East Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, England.

Heathfield lies near the junction of two main roads: the A267 between Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne; and the A265 from Hawkhurst. It lies almost equidistant from Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne: approximately sixteen miles (26 km).

Historically, Heathfield lay on an ancient trackway (The Ridgeway), connecting the South Downs with the Weald. Its market charter was granted in February 1316 during the reign of Edward II. The Wealden iron brought prosperity to the town during the 16th/17th centuries; the coming of the railway (the Cuckoo Line) in 1880 gave it another new lease of life. The latter was not a financial success and the branch line between Eridge and Polegate closed in 1968. The trackbed is now named the Cuckoo Trail, part of the National Cycle Network.

The original village —Old Heathfield— is now only part of the town, which has expanded over time.

The parish church in Heathfield is dedicated to All Saints: an example of a Harmer terracotta decorated gravestone is in the churchyard. The town is the home of Heathfield Park Cricket Club, formed in 1878, and enjoying one of the most scenic positions of any cricket ground in Sussex.

The nearby mansion of Heathfield Park dates from the seventeenth century. In a corner of the estate stands a memorial named the Gibraltar Tower. To the north-east, on the edge of the parish, Braylsham Castle is a modern house begun in 1993, built in imitation of a moated medieval manor house, complete with working drawbridge.

Approximately one mile from the town is the Heathfield transmitting station, a 135 m high mast which broadcasts TV and radio signals to East and West Sussex, as well as parts of south Kent.

The town holds an annual fair named the Heffle Cuckoo Fair each April, the annual Heathfield show takes place each May in the summer. Heathfield is the home of Heathfield Community College and several primary schools. Opposite the college is a leisure centre. There is an Anglo/French market called Le Marché held every year on the August Bank Holiday and a fair that visits during the Summer. There is a fairly large football field and beside it a little playground. At Cross-in-Hand there is a rugby club for adults and children.

There is a small youth centre next door to the Co-op Supermarket. Within the town there are two florists, several churches, a couple of hair and beauty salons, 2 boutiques, an electrical shop, two bookshops, 2 ironmongers, five charity shops, two pubs, a green grocer, a butcher, a baker, two antique shops, a Sainsbury’s Supermarket and a Tesco Express, and a number of banks, estate agents, take-aways and restaurants. A large retirement home has recently been built, as well as several blocks of flats and new houses.

The Heathfield Silver Band is a silver band headquartered in Heathfield with a history dating back as far as 1880. The band has a large membership, with members spanning the ages of 9 to 80. Although women were not allowed to participate in years past, the band now accepts members regardless of gender. The Band plays at weddings, garden parties, church functions, and fetes and regularly gives concerts. They are also a marching band, taking part in the local bonfire celebrations. During September they march in Uckfield, Crowborough, Mayfield, Lewes, and East Hoathly carnivals, as well as marching on Remembrance Sunday, St. George’s Day, and Heathfield’s Heffle Cuckoo Fair.

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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