Heathfield is a small market town, and the principal settlement in the civil parish of Heathfield and Waldron in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England.
Heathfield lies near the junction of two main roads: the A267
between Tunbridge Wells
; and the A265
. It lies almost equidistant from Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne: approximately sixteen miles (26 km).
Historically, Heathfield lay on an ancient trackway
(The Ridgeway), 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/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
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.
The crime rates in Heathfield were lower than the national average
Crime rates in Heathfield (per 1000 population) 2005-2006
|| Nationally |
|Theft of a motor vehicle
|Theft from a motor vehicle
|Violence against a person
The parish church in Heathfield is dedicated to All Saints: an example of a Harmer terracotta
decorated gravestone is in the churchyard. The village 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.
Approximately one mile from the town is the Heathfield transmitting station, a 135 m high mast which broadcasts TV and radio signals to East and West Sussex, plus parts of south Kent. Also, Heathfield Park contains a memorial named the Gibraltar Tower.
The village holds an annual fair
named the Heffle Cuckoo Fair each April. Heathfield is the home of Heathfield Community College
. Opposite the college is a leisure centre. There is also a French market held every year on the August Bank Holiday
and a fair that comes to visit during the Summer for about 5 days. There is a fairly large football field, beside it a little playground. At Cross-in-Hand there is a rugby club for adults and children.
There is a small youth centre next door to the local Co-op. Within the town there are two florists, several churches, several restaurants, a couple of hair and beauty salons, three charity shops, two pubs, a green grocer, a butcher, a two antique shops, Budgens and a Tesco Express, and a number of take-aways and restaurants. A large retirement home has recently been built, as well as two luxury flats. About three houses are also due to be completed.
Heathfield Silver Band
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, and eventually came to have female conductor — Frankie Lulham.
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 they march in Uckfield, Crowborough, Mayfield, Lewes, and East Hoathly carnivals, as well as marching on Remembrance Sunday, St. George's Day, and Heathfield's Heffle Cuckoo Fair.
Famous residents include Tom Baker
and Jayne Torvill