Fairlight, Sussex

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Fairlight fire hills.jpg
The Fire Hills at Fairlight in 2000
Grid reference: TQ866121
Location: 50°52’48"N, 0°39’0"E
Population: 1,670  (2011, parish)
Post town: Hastings
Postcode: TN35
Dialling code: 01424
Local Government
Council: Rother
Hastings and Rye
Website: http://www.fairlight.org.uk/

Fairlight is a village in Sussex, three miles east of Hastings and running down to the English Channel coast, where it becomes the coastal hamlet of Fairlight Cove.

The village stands on a minor road between Ore, Pett and Winchelsea.

Parish church

St Andrew's Church was built 1845. It has a tall tower and beacon turret, and can be seen for some distance around. The church is one of three in the United Benefice of Fairlight, Guestling and Pett.

Richard D'Oyly Carte, founder of the Savoy Theatre, Savoy Hotel, and D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, which produced the Gilbert and Sullivan light operas, is buried in the churchyard. So also are Thomas Attwood Walmisley, and Sir James Roberts of Saltaire and his wife.[1]

Fairlight Cove

Fairlight Cove, the neighbouring village, is part of the parish and practically contiguous with Fairlight itself. It has suffered from coastal erosion and landslip at Rockmead Road and Sea Road. A number of houses there are very close to the sea edge and, whilst enjoying spectacular views, those roads suffered through demolition and abandonment of a number of properties.

The Fairlight Preservation Trust - a registered charity[2] was set up with a view to combating the loss by erosion and more generally to enhance and protect the village. Sea defences were built in the 90s at Sea Road and at Rockmead Road in 2007. The 2007 works are intended to be effective for 50 years from 2007, and are regularly monitored by the council and by the Trust.

Sights about the village

Hastings Country Park[3] stretches from Hastings to Cliff End, where it gives access to the beach. This is a favoured spot for fossil-hunters; the "Hastings Beds" are part of the Early Cretaceous Wealden Group, aged 140–136 million years.[4] The park also gives access to the beach at Fairlight Glen.

The highest point in the Hastings area, now named 'North's Seat', is at the top of Fairlight Down in Hastings Country Park. It is named after Frederick North who represented the town in Parliament. There used to be a windmill at this location, near which General William Roy erected a 32-foot temporary tower for vital cross-channel observations as part of the Anglo-French Survey of 1784–1790, which used trigonometric measurements to link the Royal Greenwich Observatory with the Paris Observatory.

The country park is part of the larger Site of Special Scientific Interest called 'Hastings Cliffs to Pett Beach' which extends into neighbouring parishes. The site is of both geological and biological interest.[5]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Fairlight, Sussex)


  1. Sir James Roberts and Saltaire
  2. The Fairlight Preservation Trust - Registered Charity no. 1107169 at the Charity Commission
  3. Hastings Country Park
  4. Hopson, P.M., Wilkinson, I.P. and Woods, M.A. (2010) A stratigraphical framework for the Lower Cretaceous of England. Research Report RR/08/03. British Geological Survey, Keyworth.
  5. SSSI listing and designation for Hastings Cliffs to Pett Beach