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    East Hoathly
(Another Sussex Cannibal?)

Name Derivation

General Details

East Hoathly was on the main A22 Uckfield to Eastbourne road near Halland until bypassed in 1992 which has now made it a nicer quieter place to live, work and shop.

In the village lived the Sussex Cannibal, Colonel Sir Thomas Lundsford who was said to dine on children, and carry their limbs in his pocket for snacks.

This may have been a smugglers tale ( also see Brede ) designed to scare the general public, or from his reputation in battle. He was charged in 1632 for killing deer in the estate of Sir Thomas Pelham at Halland Place. He tried to kill Sir Thomas at the church, but was fined, and in 1649 sold eveything and emigrated to Virginia.

Thomas Turner (1729 - 1789) lived in East Hoathly and he kept a very comprehensive diary covering eleven years of his life. As he was shopkeeper, churchwarden, Overseer of the Poor and much more, he has a great deal to say about the every day happenings of this small agricultural village.

At the time of his writings nearby Halland House was in existence. It was one of the mansions owned by the influential Pelham family (see also Laughton and Halland ) and their emblem, the Pelham Buckle, can be found over the West door of the church together with the Boars heads which represent the arms of the Lunsford family who lived at Whyly.

The area was in the iron industry as it is close to the Waldron and Heathfield furnaces the results are visible as there are iron milestones in the area with the pelham buckle on them.

East Hoathly church was rebuilt, with the exception of the tower which is fifteenth century perpendicular, in 1855. During the rebuilding a Norman pillar piscina was found in the foundations, and can now be seen near the altar. There are very fine mosaics above the altar. There are also several very good stained glass windows.

East Hoathly churchyard contains two gravestones with plaques by Jonathan Harmer from nearby Heathfield one lies to the east of the porch and the other near the south east corner of the Chancel. There is also a modern imitation on a gravestone in the new burial ground.

East Hoathly was also one of the villages with a Trug making business Rich Trugmakers . Unfortunately their records were destroyed in a fire, so it is a matter of some dispute as to who were the first trugmakers in Sussex Thomas Smith of Herstmonceux or Rich of East Hoathly .

(We are very greatful to Jane Seabrook for providing much of the local information available on this page and on the Halland page.)


The village has a large number of shops and local amenities with a Primary School, Public Houses and Gift shop.

The nearest shopping centre is at nearby Uckfield about 6 miles to the north.

Trains can also be caught from the station at Uckfield .

The nearest major shopping centre is at Lewes about 6 miles south east.


The centre of the village is very attractive and is a conservation area, this used to be on the busy A22 until 1992, and has a 90 degree bend which must have been difficult for large lorries to manouver round.

The Weald Way runs through the village providing quiet walks throughout the surrounding countryside.

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