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Village History

Crowhurst is located in Rother District in East Sussex. It is north-west of Hastings and north-east of Bexhill, approximately half-way between Hastings and Battle.

As a village, Crowhurst has definitely been around since 771AD when King Offa of Mercia gave the Bishop of Selsey a piece of land. Although the main building has been rebuilt several times, the church tower dates back to the 15th century and is Grade I listed. In 2010 a new Parish room, kitchen and toilets were added. This has enabled a very successful Friday morning breakfast/coffee shop to be established. It has become an excellent informal location to meet friends. The church grounds contain a Yew Tree believed to be well over 1000 years old (and possibly up to 2000 yrs) – there is mention of the Reeve being hung from the Yew Tree in the accounts of the destruction of Crowhurst during the Norman Conquest in 1066.

There are 25 listed buildings in the Parish – mostly 17th century but some from as early as the 14th century. The ruins of the Manor House date from the 13th century and is a scheduled monument. Hye House, from which a weight loss retreat is run, is a Grade II* listed building. More information on the character and heritage of Crowhurst can be found in the Neighbourhood Plan.

The Fore Wood, now a peaceful RSPB reserve and SSSI used to be a well managed area for iron extraction with iron mills based in Crowhurst and surrounding villages during the 16th and 17th centuries. However, there is some evidence that iron may have been extracted in this area from as early as the Roman period. (1st Century AD)

In the 17th and 18th centuries there was also a gunpowder mill at the bottom of what is now Station Road. As part of the NDP a booklet “The Asten Gunpowder Trail” has been produced to take hikers on a historical walk of the area.

However, there are indications of activity in the area from much, much earlier. The Combe Valley Way (A2690), opened in late 2015 and, running through the Southern part of the Parish, provided a bountiful source of archaeological finds (flint scatters etc) . These finds point to settlements in the area dating back to the last Ice Age.

More recently, the building of a train station on the London-Hastings main line, with a branch line to Bexhill, in the early 1900’s encouraged more development in the village. Houses were built up Station Road (although the hotel has long since disappeared), to the North of the railway line and a “new” development at Forewood Rise built. In the late 60’s the branch line was closed, resulting in a much smaller station. In the last couple of decades a pub, shop and post office have all closed leaving just one pub in the village.

Crowhurst Parish Council

Old School House, Brightling, Robertsbridge, TN32 5HH

Tel: 01424 830331