East Sussex: Local History Resources

Old picture of Eastbopurne Parade from the Wish Tower East Sussex England c1900

East Sussex local history resources to help you discover more about the past.

Page Contents:

Introduction To East Sussex

East Sussex is a county in a region called South East England and is between one and two hours away from London depending on the starting location.

East Sussex is bordered to the north and east by the county of Kent and by Surrey to the north west. Along its southern edge lies the coastline of the English Channel.

The historic county of Sussex was once the kingdom of the South Saxons, which established itself shortly after the departure of the occupying Romans and remained until the arrival of the Normans. The kingdom was subdivided from early on into six ‘rapes’, which gathered in the 12th century into just two rapes. 

In 1865 Parliament formalised the arrangement, creating East Sussex and West Sussex. Then, in 1974 the two areas became non-metropolitan and ceremonial counties, along with some movement of the border between the two counties,

Is Brighton and Hove in East or West Sussex?

Brighton and Hove were formerly two towns in East Sussex, which combined and were granted city status in 2000. The city remains located in East Sussex, however, it is now a unitary authority running its own services and budgets for the area rather than being part of the county council.

What Areas Are In East Sussex?

East Sussex is divided into the following five local government districts:

  • Eastbourne
  • Hastings
  • Lewes
  • Rother
  • Wealden

In addition, East Sussex has 82 parish councils and 10 town councils. 

Cities in East Sussex

Towns & Villages In East Sussex

  • Alciston, Alfriston, Arlington
  • Barcombe, Barcombe Cross, Barcombe Mills, Battle, Beachy Head, Beachlands, Beckley Furnace, Bells Yew Green, Belmont, Berwick, Berwick Station, Bexhill-on-Sea, Birling Gap, Bishopstone, Blackness, Boars Head, Bodiam, Brede, Broadland Row, Broad Oak Brede, Broad Oak Heathfield, Broomgrove, Burwash, Buxted
  • Cackle Street, Camber, Chitcombe, Clive Vale, Cock Marling, Cripp’s Corner, Crowborough, Crowlink, Chiddingly
  • Chailey, Cooksbridge
  • Denton, Ditchling, Downside
  • Eastbourne, East Dean, East End, East Guldeford, Eridge Green, Etchingham, Exceat
  • Fairwarp, Falmer, Filching, Five Ash Down, Folkington, Forest Row, Four Oaks, Frant, Friday Street
  • Goatham, Groombridge
  • Hadlow Down, Hailsham, Halton, Hampden Park, Hangleton, Hankham, Hartfield, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, High Wickham, Hollington, Hirle
  • Icklesham, Iford, Isfield
  • Jenkins’ Green, Jevington
  • Kingston near Lewes
  • Langney, Langney Village, Lewes, Lower Dicker, Lower Willingdon Litlington
  • Maresfield, Mayfield, Meads, Mill Hill, Milton Street, Mount Pleasant
  • Newhaven, Newick, Northiam, Norton, Nutley
  • Old Town (Bexhill-on-Sea), Old Town (Eastbourne), Old Town (Hastings), Ore Valley (Hastings)
  • Peacehaven, Peacehaven Heights, Pevensey, Pevensey Bay, Piddinghoe, Playden, Polegate, Portslade
  • Ringmer, Robertsbridge, Rodmell, Roselands, Rottingdean, Rye, Rye Harbour
  • Saltdean, Seaford, Sedlescombe, Sidley, Silver Hill, Southease, South Heighton, St Leonards-on-Sea, Stone-Cum-Ebony, Sunnyside, Sutton, St Anthony’s Hill, Stone Cross, Swaile’s Green, Southease
  • Telscombe, Telscombe Cliffs, Ticehurst, Tarring Neville, Three Cups Corner
  • Uckfield, Udimore, Upperton
  • Wadhurst, Wannock, Westham, Willingdon, West Hill, Wilmington, Wilmington Green, Winchelsea, Withyham
  • Yiddlington

East Sussex History On Facebook

The number of UK resources for local history and family history searches is long enough to justify a separate page. Many of them contain information about the people and places of East Sussex.

In addition, the following centres, websites and societies exist to focus on the history specifically of East Sussex communities:

  • Hastings Historical Society
  • Rye in Old Photos

East Sussex Local History Resources

In addition to the extensive UK resources which also cover East Sussex, the following groups and resources exist to record and discuss the people and places in the county’s history:

  • Amberley Working Museum
  • Angmering Village Life
  • Ardingly History Society
  • Arundel Museum Society
  • Ashurst Wood Historians
  • Battle & District Historical Society
  • The Beeding and Bramber Local History Society
  • Bexhill Museum Research Group
  • Billingshurst Local History Society
  • Bognor Regis Local History Society
  • Bolney Local History Society
  • The Brewery History Society
  • Brickmakers Index
  • Brighton Fishing Museum
  • Brighton History Centre
  • Burgess Hill Local History Society
  • Chichester Local History Society
  • Chichester District Museum
  • Coastguards Index
  • Cowfold Village History Society
  • Crawley Museum
  • Crowborough Field Society
  • Customs Officers Superannuated between 1841 and 1891
  • Danehill Parish Historical Society
  • Ditchling History Project
  • Ditchling Museum Friends’ Association
  • The East Grinstead Society
  • East Grinstead Town Museum
  • East Hoathly & District Preservation Society
  • East Preston & Kingston Local History
  • East Sussex Community Information Service – Local & Family History
  • Felbridge and District History Group
  • Felpham and Middleton Local History Workshop
  • The Fernhurst Society
  • Ferring History Group
  • Hailsham Historical and Natural History Society
  • Hartfield and District History Group
  • Hastings Local History Group
  • Hastings Fishermen’s Museum
  • Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
  • Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group
  • Heathfield & District History Society
  • Henfield History Group
  • Horsham Museum Society
  • Hurstpierpoint Historical Society
  • Ifold Local History Society
  • Lancing and Sompting Pastfinders
  • Lewes History Group
  • Littlehampton Local History Society
  • Friends of Lowfield Heath Windmill
  • Macclesfield Museums Trust
  • Mayfield Local History Society
  • Newhaven Historical Society
  • Northiam and District Historical and Literary Society
  • Nutley Local History Society
  • Pagham Local History Group
  • Peacehaven and Telscombe Historical Society
  • Petworth Society
  • Pevensey and Westham Historical Society
  • Regency Town House
  • Ringmer History Study Group
  • Rogate Society
  • Friends of Romney Marsh Research Trust
  • Rottingdean Preservation Society
  • Rudgwick Preservation Society
  • Rustington Heritage Association
  • Rye Castle Museum
  • The Selsey Society
  • The Shoreham Society
  • Southwater Local History Group
  • Southwick (Sussex) Society
  • Steyning Museum Trust
  • Storrington and District Museum Society
  • Society
  • Sussex Mills Group
  • Sussex Record Society
  • Tools and Trades History Society
  • Uckfield & District Preservation Society Local History Group
  • The Wadhurst History Society
  • Warbleton and District History Group
  • The Warnham Society
  • Weald & Downland Open Air Museum
  • Wealden Iron Research Group
  • West Hoathly Local History Group
  • West Sussex County Council Library Service Local Studies Library
  • Westbourne Local History Group
  • Wivelsfield History Study Group
  • The Worthing Society

More about East Sussex

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