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Broad Oak

(Smallpox at the Academy)

General Details topsmall

Broad Oak Sussex - High Street facing West
Broad Oak is located on the old Ridgeway, which is now the A265, about 2 miles to the East of the market town of Heathfield .

In the 1816 the most important house in the village was taken on lease by John Francis. He set up a boarding school named the 'Broad Oak Academy'. It had about 60 day scholars and 40 boarders, most were children of prosperous tradesmen and farmers.

Unfortunately an outbreak of smallpox among the children in 1829, caused the Academy to be closed down, and Mr Francis moved over the county border to Cranbrook . Prior to his departure he issued a curious handbill, defending himself against charges of negligence and concealment which had been spread around. It was printed in a variety of type faces, and began
'Mr Francis ..... has deeply to lament, that after a residence in Broad Oak for about 13 years, there should be found one capable of endeavouring to conceal such a dreadful disease in his house, and thereby expose his neighbours and nearly a hundred children under his tuition to its direful contagion.'

One of Broad Oaks more famous villagers was Frank Bruno the boxer, who was resident in the village when he was a child.

Services TopSmall

Broad Oak East Sussex - Down the hill to Mayfield
Broad Oak has few services, and most that are needed can be found in the local town of Heathfield .

The Hawkhurst to Heathfield bus route travels through the village.

The nearest trains can be caught at Stonegate about 7 miles north east.

The nearest major shopping areas are Hastings about 15 miles south east, Tunbridge Wells about 13 miles north and Eastbourne approx 13 miles south.

Views TopSmall

Broad Oak East Sussex - St George church
Just before you enter the village from the East, look to your left, towards Cade Street , across the Heathfield horse racing turf.

Again, coming into the village from the east, turn right down the hill towards Mayfield . The view across the valley towards Wadhurst is quite spectacular.
Name Derivation TopSmall
Broad Oak is most likely derived from a Broad Oak that was a landmark in the area.

Nearby Villages (within 6 miles)
Broad Oak Brede (On the Crossroads) 0.0 miles
Brede (Edward I inspects the Channel Fleet) 0.7 miles
Udimore (Angels move the Church) 2.3 miles
Northiam (Prime Ministers D Day inspection) 2.8 miles
Staplecross (Mothers grudge hangs son) 3.0 miles
Cripps Corner (Home Guard surprises the Army) 3.1 miles
Sedlescombe (Best gunpowder in Europe) 3.1 miles
Westfield (Bonfire Boys under suspicion) 3.1 miles
Beckley (Alfred the Great and Guns !) 3.3 miles
Ewhurst Green (Great Fire of London contributions) 3.5 miles
Guestling (Changing guards at Buckingham Palace) 3.7 miles
Icklesham (Sir Paul McCartney's Recording Studio) 3.7 miles
Peasmarsh (Black Death moves village) 4.1 miles
Bodiam (The finest ruined castle in the Country) 4.3 miles
Pett (End of the Royal Military Canal) 4.3 miles
Whatlington (King Harold's Manor) 4.4 miles
Newenden (Alfred the Great's Fort) 4.9 miles
Hastings Harbour () 5.1 miles
Winchelsea (Inland Cinque Port !!) 5.2 miles
Fairlight (Firehills and Views) 5.5 miles
Hastings Ore () 5.5 miles
Salehurst (Richard the Lion Hearts Gift) 5.5 miles
Battle (William the Conqueror prevails) 5.6 miles
Winchelsea Beach (Holidaymakers and Henry VIIIs Fort) 5.6 miles
Hastings East Cliff () 5.7 miles
Old Winchelsea (Abandoned after the Great Storm) 5.7 miles
Sandhurst (Escape from the Great Plague) 5.8 miles


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