Heathfield, East Sussex

Coordinates: 50°58′N 0°16′E / 50.97°N 0.26°E / 50.97; 0.26
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heathfield High Street
Flag of Heathfield[1]
Heathfield is located in East Sussex
Location within East Sussex
Area0.95 sq mi (2.5 km2)
Population7,732 (2011)
• Density8,139/sq mi (3,142/km2)
OS grid referenceTQ586209
• London40 miles (64 km) NNW
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTN21
Dialling code01435
FireEast Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
East Sussex
50°58′N 0°16′E / 50.97°N 0.26°E / 50.97; 0.26

Heathfield is a market town and former civil parish, now in the parish of Heathfield and Waldron, in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. The town had a population of 7,732 in 2011.


Heathfield lies near the junction of two main roads: the A267 between Royal 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 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 and the 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.

In 1961 the parish had a population of 3244.[2] On 1 April 1990 the parish was abolished and merged with Waldron to form "Heathfield and Waldron".[3]


The crime rates in Heathfield were lower than the national average:[4]

Crime rates in Heathfield (per 1000 population) 2005-2006
Offence Locally Nationally
Robbery 0.25 1.85
Theft of a motor vehicle 1.87 4.04
Theft from a motor vehicle 5.35 9.59
Sexual offences 0.52 1.17
Violence against a person 10.14 19.97
Burglary 2.82 5.67


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.

Braylsham Castle

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 using traditional materials and building techniques, 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 145 m high mast (135 m to the bottom of the antenna shroud) 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 Agricultural Show takes place each summer.[5] Heathfield is the home of Heathfield Community College, several primary schools in the area and 2 pre-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.

Heathfield Detachment - Sussex Army Cadet Force[edit]

Heathfield has an army cadet force detachment that is part of the Sussex Army Cadet Force group. This detachment is based in the Youth Centre on High Street, and is affiliated to Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.[6] The Detachment meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 19:00 to 21:30 each week.[6]

Heathfield Silver Band[edit]

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–November they march in Uckfield, Crowborough, Mayfield, Lewes, and East Hoathly carnivals, as well as for their hometown Heathfield & District Bonfire Society. They also march on Remembrance Sunday, St. George's Day, and at Heathfield's Heffle Cuckoo Fair.

Heathfield & District Bonfire Society[edit]

Reformed in 2018 by a group of local enthusiasts (Founders Steve Thomas, Dave Shoebridge, Thomas Keep, Rachel Keep, Ken Brewster and Halina Keep), HDBS aims to enhance the sense of community in their town and surrounding area by holding the traditional celebration of bonfire and torchlight procession and joining in the annual season of events around Sussex representing Heathfield & District at other societies bonfire events. HDBS is a non-profit organisation so any surplus money goes back into the community to help local charities and groups. 2019 was the first official HDBS Bonfire Night in 62 years to the day, bringing bonfire back to Heathfield. HDBS hopes to put on more bonfire nights for the community and are looking forward to building on and creating more connections with local organisations, businesses & schools in Heathfield.[7]


Local news and television programmes are provided by BBC South East and ITV Meridian. Television signals are received from the nearby Heathfield TV transmitter.[8]

Local radio stations are BBC Radio Sussex on 104.5 FM, Heart South on 102.4 FM and Ashdown Radio, a community based radio station which broadcast from its studio in Uckfield on 105 FM.[9]

The town's local newspaper is The Heathfield News, which publishes online.[10]

Notable people[edit]

Famous residents include Olympic gold medallist Jayne Torvill, England rugby international Joe Marler, former Doctor Who actor Tom Baker, guitarist Fred Frith, musician and singer-songwriter Mark Hollis, national badminton player Heather Olver and singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UK Flag Registry- Heathfield". Flag Institute. 2016. Archived from the original on 23 January 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Population statistics Heathfield CP/AP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  3. ^ "The Wealden (Parishes) Order 1990" (PDF). Local Government Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 3 February 2023.
  4. ^ "Heathfield Crime Figures at Findanewhome.com". Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
  5. ^ "A Real Look At Country Life | Welcome to Heathfield Show". Heathfield Agricultural Show. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Heathfield ACF Home". Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Committee & Captains". HEATHFIELD & DISTRICT BONFIRE SOCIETY. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Full Freeview on the Heathfield (East Sussex, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  9. ^ "Newly rebranded Ashdown Radio has extended and improved its reach to Heathfield and Cross in Hand". The Heathfield News. 24 February 2023. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  10. ^ "About Us-The Heathfield News". Retrieved 30 October 2023.

External links[edit]