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(Alfred the Great and Guns !)

General Details topsmall

Beckley Sussex - All Saints Church
Ten miles to the north of Hastings on the B2088 lies the village of Beckley , referred to in the will of King Alfred the Great as 'The manor of Beccanleah' which he left to his kinsman Osferthe.

It is believed that Sir Reginald Fitz-Urse, one of the murderers of Sir Thomas a Beckett, galloped from Canterbury to Beckley to seek sanctuary. However killing the Arch Bishop of Canterbury, made this an ill informed decision, as sanctary was not given.

Iron was processed at Beckley from 1578 when the iron furnace was built. From the mid 1600's guns and cannons were produced, probably for the shipbuilding carried out at Rye or Smallhythe .

The furnace bellows were water powered, and it is known that in 1743 (a dry season) there was insufficient water to provide a blast, and the workers had to 'tread the mill' to keep the iron in production. The iron works were closed in 1770, due to competition from the coal fired iron industry in Shropshire.

Manufacturing of glass was carried out in the middle ages in the village.

At the western end of the village stands All Saints church, its stumpy tower topped by a fine spire dates from the 11th century.

The great east window is from the 15th century. Below two of the aisle arches can be found carved stone 'Jack in the green' corbels, these are grotesque heads with leaves sprouting out of their mouths.

In the north aisle is a large chest, made from a dug-out tree trunk and banded with iron, it is believed to be more than 800 years old.

The church is some distance from the main village, possibly linking the village relocation away from the church to the Black Death .

Services TopSmall

Beckley East Sussex - Weatherboard house
Beckley is a small village, with a few village shops.

The nearest train service is from Rye with an hourly service to Hastings and Ashford .

The nearest supermarket is in Peasmarsh a few miles south east, with Rye being the nearest shopping centre.

Views TopSmall

Beckley East Sussex - Unusual Dormer Windows
Beckley church has some very pretty aspects with dormer windows built into the roof.

The churchyard contains some graves of Plague sufferers with the skull and crossbones visible on the stones
Name Derivation TopSmall
Beckley is derived from the Anglo Saxon Beccanleah (the woodland cleared by Becca). In 880AD it was recorded as Beccanlea, and was bequethed by Alfred the Great in his will as Beccanleagh.

Nearby Villages (within 6 miles)
Northiam (Prime Ministers D Day inspection) 1.7 miles
Peasmarsh (Black Death moves village) 1.9 miles
Newenden (Alfred the Great's Fort) 2.4 miles
Wittersham (Park your Airship here ?) 3.0 miles
Broad Oak (Smallpox at the Academy) 3.3 miles
Broad Oak Brede (On the Crossroads) 3.3 miles
Udimore (Angels move the Church) 3.5 miles
Brede (Edward I inspects the Channel Fleet) 3.9 miles
Ewhurst Green (Great Fire of London contributions) 3.9 miles
Iden (Sheriff of Kent and Jack Cade) 4.0 miles
Rolvenden (Witches stealing Holy Water) 4.2 miles
Smallhythe (The Ellen Terry Museum) 4.3 miles
Bodiam (The finest ruined castle in the Country) 4.4 miles
Sandhurst (Escape from the Great Plague) 4.4 miles
Staplecross (Mothers grudge hangs son) 4.6 miles
Old Winchelsea (Abandoned after the Great Storm) 4.8 miles
Icklesham (Sir Paul McCartney's Recording Studio) 5.0 miles
Playden (Saltcote and fish) 5.0 miles
Cripps Corner (Home Guard surprises the Army) 5.2 miles
Rye (On the Island) 5.2 miles
East Guldeford (Barn-like Church) 5.6 miles
Reading Street & Ebony (Priory and Shipbuilding) 5.6 miles
Stone in Oxney (Roman stone altar) 5.6 miles
Winchelsea (Inland Cinque Port !!) 5.7 miles
Sedlescombe (Best gunpowder in Europe) 5.9 miles
Tenterden (Centre of the Broadcloth industry) 5.9 miles


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