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Barcombe Church.JPG
Barcombe Anglican parish church
Barcombe is located in East Sussex
Location within East Sussex
Area17.8 km2 (6.9 sq mi) [1]
Population1,473 (Parish-2011)[2]
• Density211/sq mi (81/km2)
OS grid referenceTQ417144
• London41 miles (66 km) N
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEWES
Postcode districtBN8
Dialling code01273
FireEast Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
East Sussex
50°55′23″N 0°01′05″E / 50.923°N 0.018°E / 50.923; 0.018Coordinates: 50°55′23″N 0°01′05″E / 50.923°N 0.018°E / 50.923; 0.018

Barcombe is an East Sussex village about 4–5 miles (6.4 km) north of Lewes. It more broadly a civil parish in the Lewes District of East Sussex. Barcombe itself is the older of three settlements in the parish; Barcombe Cross is much more populous and the main hub with the amenities and services, where the villagers evacuated during medieval plague the Black Death; and the latter has a near outpost north of Barcombe Mills on the River Ouse. Hamlets are Spithurst in the north east and Town Littleworth in the north west.

Barcombe Cross is known as Barcombe in the local area and is signposted as such, the only government-defined Built-up Area. Only on maps is it shown in its full name.


Barcombe is noted to Sussex residents and tourists for its 'Mills', a reference to an old water-mill complex on the River Ouse at the base of the hill/plateau on which Barcombe Cross sits. These were a favourite Sunday outing for townsfolk from Lewes and Brighton before the Second World War, when the mills burnt down, as well as its pub restaurants.

Barcombe was recorded in the Domesday Book as "Berchamp", if a name first devised by the Normans then with a softer second syllable than k and thus a reference to field(s) of barley, if rooted in an older name then either barley or another description of hill.[3] South of the village, close to the river, remains have been found of a Roman settlement, investigated by the Culver Archaeological Project. An earlier Iron Age roundhouse was found on the same site, Barcombe parish church is dedicated to St Mary, and is in the older village.

Barcombe is home to The Bevern Trust a Sussex Disability Charity and its residential home Bevern View.


Barcombe Bonfire is held annually, two weeks after the Lewes celebration on which it is modelled. The society is largely family-orientated and everyone helps out with torch dipping and bonfire building. There is the Grand Firework Display as well as four processions including the dedicated Children's Procession, visiting societies and a fancy dress competition.[citation needed]


Barcombe is part of the electoral ward Barcombe and Hamsey. The population of this ward at the 2011 census was 2,105, of which 741 lived in the only identified Built-up Area, Barcombe (Cross). The latter had 320 homes, none of which communal establishments.[4][5]



The A26 between Lewes and Uckfield runs south-east of the villages. It can be accessed 2 miles (3.2 km) from the centre of the village via Barcombe Mills Road. The A275 runs north of the villages. This links Lewes and Haywards Heath


Two railway lines ran through the villages: the line between Lewes and Uckfield opened in October 1868; and the line from East Grinstead, part of which is now the Bluebell Railway. There were stations on each of the two lines: Barcombe on the East Grinstead line, and Barcombe Mills on the Uckfield line, with a junction south of the latter before the line continued to Lewes. Barcombe closed on 28 May 1955, whilst Barcombe Mills closed on 4 May 1969. Part of the line is now a cycle track.

The nearest railway station is now Cooksbridge, about 2½ miles away.

Public Rights of Way

There are many bridleways and footpaths in and around the villages, linking to Lewes, Isfield, Newick and many other places. The Sussex Ouse Valley Way runs through Barcombe Mills to the south.


A bus service is provided to the bus stop at the north of Barcombe Cross and outside the junction with the old road at Barcombe Mills. Services are provided by Countryliner: the number is 122. The 121 will diverge from its main route and operate via Barcombe Cross on request; resulting in it visiting Chailey 15 minutes later than usual. The buses connect with the trains at Cooksbridge. There are no buses on Sundays to Barcombe Cross and no buses at all on weekends to Barcombe Mills.


The nearest big airport is London Gatwick, 45 minutes' drive to the north; this offers domestic, European and international flights.

Shoreham Airport is about half an hour's drive to the west. This small Art Deco airport offers flights to France and the Channel Islands. It is mainly used for private planes though.

Fishing lakes[edit]

There is now only one fishable lake in the parish, Cornwell's Reservoir which is controlled by Lewes Angling Club. The main Barcombe Reservoir has been closed to anglers for some years.

Notable residents[edit]

Bernard Holden, veteran of the Burma campaign, president of the Bluebell Railway and father of standard gauge railway preservation was born in Barcombe Station in 1908.

Kim Sears (also Murray), wife of tennis star Andy Murray, was born in the village.


  1. ^ "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  3. ^ Compare Salcombe and Balcombe
  4. ^ "Barcombe and Harnsey ward population 2011". Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  5. ^

External links[edit]