Crowhurst, Sussex

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Blacksmiths Cottage - - 1357274.jpg
Blacksmith's Cottage, Crowhurst
Grid reference: TQ755125
Location: 50°53’24"N, 1°-30’0"E
Population: 891  (2011)
Post town: Battle
Postcode: TN33
Dialling code: 01424
Local Government
Council: Rother
Bexhill and Battle
Website: Crowhurst Village

Crowhurst is an isolated village in Sussex, inland from the coast, some five miles north-west of the coastal resort town of Hastings.

Although small, the village does have a railway station, built in 1902 as a junction station for a branch line to Bexhill. The line crossed nearby marshes on a 17-arch viaduct; the line was closed under the Beeching Axe in 1964, and the viaduct was demolished in 1969.

There is a single pub in Crowhurst, The Plough; until 1998 there was a second pub, The Inn at Crowhurst. The village has a primary school. The post office / convenience store closed in March 2008[1]


Crowhurst in 1820, by Henry Harris Lines

The earliest mention of the settlement is in 771, when King Offa of Mercia gave the Bishop of Selsey a piece of land here; a church was then built by the Bishop. Crowhurst (then called Croghyrst) itself remained the king's land until 1412, although various landowners were given possession of it over that time:

  • Robert Count of Eu, after the Norman Conquest
  • The Fitz-Lambert family, until the 12th century
  • Walter de Scotney, granted by King Richard I after the Third Crusade, although Walter forfeited it in 1259, having been found guilty of a felony
  • Sir John Pelham, given to him by King Henry IV in 1412; Pelham built the present parish church

Parish church

St George's Churchyard

The parish church is dedicated to St George.[2] The ruins of the manor house lie to the south of it.


Close by Crowhurst is Fore Wood, an RSPB reserve, part of which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its ghyll habitat; steep ravines cut into the underlying sandstone.[3] The site is a rich breeding area for birds.

Crowhurst also has an ancient yew tree in the church grounds (as, coincidentally, does its namesake, Crowhurst in Surrey. The yew is cordoned off by iron railings and reinforced with steel wires to prevent collapse. Its age is uncertain.

Another site of special scientific interest within the parish is Combe Haven. This site is deemed to be of biological importance due to its diversity of habitat supporting many species of flora and fauna. Alluvial meadows and reed beds cover a large section of the area.[4]

Crowhurst is located within the heart of the Sussex Weald in the designated High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In film

A fictionalised version of mediæval Crowhurst was presented in the 2009 docudrama 1066 The Battle for Middle Earth, produced by Channel 4.


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