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Crowborough Cross - - 456437.jpg
Crowborough Cross
Grid reference: TQ518312
Location: 51°3’36"N, 0°9’36"E
Population: 20,000  (2007 est.)
Post town: Crowborough
Postcode: TN6
Dialling code: 01892
Local Government
Council: Wealden
Website: Crowborough Town Council

Crowborough is a town in Sussex on the Weald and at the edge of Ashdown Forest. The landscape all around is designated the “High Weald Area of Outstanding National Beauty”.

The town is to be found 7 miles southwest of Royal Tunbridge Wells. It has good road and rail links, which have shaped its fortunes, and it is reckoned one of the largest inland towns in Sussex.

The highest point in the town is 794 feet above sea level. This summit is the highest point of the local hills of the High Weald. It is one of the highest spots in the county, though overtopped by Black Down and Ditchling Beacon. The town’s relative height is 522 feet, meaning Crowborough qualifies to be listed as a “Marilyn”. The summit is not marked on the ground.


Various derivations for the town's name have been put forward. One of the wilder notions was to derive it from the Irish Gaelic word croe, meaning “iron”, since since iron smelting was carried on here, but while smelting was known locally, the Irish language was not.

Early local documents give the names ‘’Crohbergh’’, ‘’Crowbergh’’, ‘’Croweborowghe’’, ‘’Crowbarrow’’ and ‘’Crowboro’’, which suggests the Old English ‘’Croh beorg’’, meaning “Crocus Hill”. Another suggestion is that gorse, growing in profusion on the hills with bright, crocus-yellow flowers, suggested this origin.


In 1734, Sir Henry Fermor, a local benefactor, bequeathed money for a church and charity school for the benefit of the "very ignorant and heathenish people" that lived in the part of Rotherfield "in or near a place called Crowborough and Ashdown Forest". The church, dedicated to All Saints, and the primary school still survive today.

In the late 19th century Crowborough was promoted as a health resort based on its high elevation, the rolling hills and surrounding forest. Estate Agents even called it Scotland in Sussex.

Transport links

Crowborough is located on the A26 road between Tunbridge Wells and Lewes.

Crowborough railway station is on the line to Uckfield, taking passengers to London Bridge station; the journey takes approximately one hour.


Crowborough has several recreation grounds, perhaps most notably Goldsmiths, which is the site of the local leisure centre. The Goldsmiths Recreation Ground was given to the parish by private owners in 1937. The town council has since purchased additional land and has developed the ground into a much needed recreation centre for the whole community. The ground houses a sports centre including a swimming pool, a boating lake and a miniature railway.[1]

Crowborough Common is an ancient common covering over 220 acres to which the public was granted a legal right of access "for the taking of air and exercise" in 1936.[2] The common is owned by Crowborough Beacon Golf Club and several private owners. Most of the common is heathland and woodland, with less than half of the total area comprising golf links. In 2012 the golf club was refused permission to build a new car park in woodland on the common by Wealden District Council after a campaign involving local residents and organisations including the Open Spaces Society.[3][4][5]

Crowborough Country Park is a 16-acre nature reserve located in the southern part of Crowborough. The park started life as a clay quarry serving the Crowborough Brickworks that closed in 1980. Evidence of its industrial past can still be seen by the interesting topography on the site. The site of the brickworks was developed into Farningham Road industrial estate and housing in the area of Osborne Road. For nearly 30 years the quarry was left to natural regeneration and local people used it for informal play, with stories of swimming in the ponds and losing Wellington boots in the wet areas of the site. In 2008 Crowborough Town Council acquired the site with the intention of developing it for use by the Public for informal recreation and also to enhance the site's biodiversity. In 2008 work began in the Country Park with a stone track and bridges installed. The site was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2009 ensuring the future management of the site for the benefit of the wildlife and for people to enjoy quiet recreation.

Big Society

  • The Crowborough Players, established in 1933, are the resident community drama group at the Crowborough Community Centre (opened in June 2012). After resting between 2009 and 2011, the group has 60 members [November 2012]. The Players are putting on their first production in their new home in December 2012; the pantomime, Cinderella.
  • Crowborough Scout Group is the third largest in the United Kingdom.
  • Crowborough Lions Club
  • Crowborough Rotary Club


  • Football:
    • Crowborough Athletic FC
    • Jarvis Brook FC
  • Rugby: Crowborough Rugby Football Club
  • Tennis and squash: Crowborough Tennis and Squash Club

Local traditions

A main event in the town's calendar is its celebration of Guy Fawkes Night, held annually on 5 November. An average attendance of 5000 people descend upon Goldsmiths Recreation Ground to witness this town council event. However this is overshadowed by the shenanigans of 'Carnival night' which sees the whole of the town taking to the streets. Donations on the night are traditionally collected by the local Lions Club and now also the Rotary Club and donated to the mayor's charity. The town council also puts on a summer fair and a Christmas fair, for which the dates are agreed annually. A summer funday is organised by the Crowborough Chamber of Commerce.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Crowborough)