Heathfield, East Sussex
Heathfield High Street
Heathfield shown within East Sussex
|OS grid reference|
|– London||40 miles (64 km) NNW|
|Civil parish||Heathfield and Waldron|
|Shire county||East Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Bexhill and Battle|
Heathfield lies near the junction of two main roads: the A267 between Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne; and the A265 from Hawkhurst. It is almost equidistant from Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne: approximately 16 mi (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 crime rates in Heathfield were lower than the national average:
|Theft of a motor vehicle||1.87||4.04|
|Theft from a motor vehicle||5.35||9.59|
|Violence against a person||10.14||19.97|
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 Sainsburys 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.
Heathfield Detachment - Sussex ACF
Heathfield has an Army Cadet Force (ACF) Detachment) which is part of the Sussex ACF group. This detachment is based in the Youth Centre on the High street, and is affiliated to PWRR. The Detachment meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 19:00 to 21:30 each week.
Heathfield Silver Band
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 rehearsal site on Alexandra Road in Heathfield was extended and refurbished following a steady increase in band membership. TV presenter David Dimbleby officially opened the newly extended band room on 3 September 2005.
The Heathfield Silver 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.