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Windmill Hill Mill.jpg
The windmill
Herstmonceux is located in East Sussex
Herstmonceux shown within East Sussex
Area 24.7 km2 (9.5 sq mi) [1]
Population 2,613 (2011)[2]
• Density 273/sq mi (105/km2)
OS grid reference TQ635125
• London 45 miles (72 km) N
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HAILSHAM
Postcode district BN27
Dialling code 01323
Police Sussex
Fire East Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
Website Herstmonceux Parish
List of places
East Sussex
50°53′N 0°19′E / 50.89°N 0.32°E / 50.89; 0.32Coordinates: 50°53′N 0°19′E / 50.89°N 0.32°E / 50.89; 0.32

Herstmonceux (/ˌhɜːrsmənˈz/ hurs-mən-ZOO or /-ˈs/ -SOO)[3] is a village and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. The parish includes Herstmonceux Castle, the village of Cowbeech and a number of smaller hamlets.


The name ’’Herstmonceux’’ comes from Anglo-Saxon hyrst, "wooded hill", plus the name of the Monceux family who were lords of the manor here in the 12th century. In 1086, the manor was simply called Herste, located in the ancient hundred of Foxearle.[4]


In 1677, accounts of Thomas Lennard, 1st Earl of Sussex, 15th Baron Dacre (1654–1715) include an item which refers to £3 being paid to him when he went to a cricket match being played at "ye Dicker", which was a common near Herstmonceux. It is one of the sport's earliest references.[5][6]


The parish council consists of eleven elected members. An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward had a population at the 2011 census of 2,852.[7]


The village (previously called Gardner Street) is part of the larger Herstmonceux civil parish, which includes Cowbeech and the hamlets of Foul Mile, Trolliloes, Cowbeech Hill, Stunts Green, Ginger's Green, Flowers Green and part of Windmill Hill. Cowbeech village is located to the north-west of the parish. The town of Eastbourne is located around 7 miles to the South West of the village, and the city of Brighton and Hove is located 21 miles West South West of Herstmonceux.


Herstmonceux Castle
Former Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Herstmonceux Castle (some 2 miles (3.2 km) south-east of the village) is a former site of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. It is now home to the Bader International Study Centre of Queen's University, Kingston, Canada, and the area therefore enjoys an influx of Canadian and other international students each school year. The castle grounds are also home to the Observatory Science Centre, which is operated by Science Projects Limited, and the Herstmonceux Mediaeval Festival.[8] Buckwell Place was the seat of the Hare family.

There are two Sites of Special Scientific Interest within the Parish. Herstmonceux Park is of importance because of its wetland habitat and fen vegetation. It is the only known location of Milk Parsley (Peucedanum palustre) in the south-east.[9] The second site, Pevensey Levels, lies partially in the parish. The site is of biological interest consisting of low-lying grazing meadows, hosting a wide variety of wetland flora and fauna.[10]


Education is provided at Herstmonceux CE Primary School.[11]


All Saints (Church of England) parish church,[12] with its 12th century west tower and 13th/14th century nave, overlooks the Castle. Herstmonceux Congregational Church, located just outside the village on the way to the castle, was erected in 1811 and is now a listed building.


The Herstmonceux area is famous for the making of trugs – baskets made from split willow boards set in an ash or chestnut frame. A number of local people continue this tradition. There are also a number of local B&Bs which provide lodgings for tourists staying in the area due to its rural nature but close proximity to London, Brighton and other coastal towns and cities.


The Herstmonceux Medieval Festival is held annually in August.[13]


The village is twinned with Varengeville-sur-Mer, in Normandy, France.[14]


  1. ^ "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  2. ^ "Civil Parish 2011". Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Roach & Hartman, eds (1997) English Pronouncing Dictionary, 15th edition. (Cambridge University Press). p. 234
  4. ^ Open Domesday Online: Herste, accessed May 2017.
  5. ^ McCann, p. xl.
  6. ^ Leach, John (2007). "From Lads to Lord's; The History of Cricket: 1300 – 1787". Stumpsite. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Natural England – SSSI (Herstmonceux Park)". English Nature. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "Natural England – SSSI (Pevensey Levels)". English Nature. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  11. ^ Primary school
  12. ^ "Herstmonceux Parish Home Page". 
  13. ^ "England's Medieval Festival - Herstmonceux Castle 29th, 30th and 31st August 2015". 
  14. ^ "Herstmonceux Parish Home Page". 


  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Sussex Record Society. 

External links[edit]