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(Only remaining Ciric in Sussex)

General Details topsmall

Hellingly is a small village just off the A267, consisting only of the church and a few cottages.

The church started in 1190 has been built on the only remaining undamaged ciric in Sussex. A ciric is a circular Celtic burial ground, raised above ground level, to keep the dead dry. The circular form is believed to be the celtic symbol of immortality. The mound at Hellingly is not now circular, but oval as some more land was given to the church in the 12th century. The original wall surrounding the ciric was built during the 13th century, as the Bishops at the time required a churchyard to be surrounded by a wall, ditch or hedge. The wall has been replaced and the current wall was built fairly recently.

In 1541 an illegal deerhunt on the land of Sir Nicholas Pelham ended with a fight in which Lord Pelham's gamekeeper John Busbrig was killed. The hunting party was found guilty of murder, and Lord Thomas Fiennes of Herstmonceux , and three others were hung. It was the first time in English history that a man of noble birth was executed for the death of a commoner. The reason that Lord Thomas who was 23 at the time was killed is more than likely to have been due to greedy peers, who were after the lands owned by the Fiennes.

During the reign of Queen Mary in June 1557 Reverend John Mills was burned at the stake in Lewes for his Protestant beliefs, see also Warbleton .

1792 brought a proposal for a canal to run from Beddingham near Lewes on the River Ouse to Horsebridge Mill, but this was abandoned. The mill continued milling, suffering a major fire in 1908, and was closed in 1969.

The churchyard contains a number of Terracotta enhanced grave stones, created by Jonathan Harmer of Heathfield in the early 1800's. In 1897 400 acres of land were sold by the Earl of Chichester to Sussex Council, to be turned into Hellingly Asylum the East Sussex County Mental Hospital.

Services TopSmall

The village has very few services, except at the church on a Sunday.

The nearest shopping town is in Hailsham a few miles south. Major shopping centres can be found in Eastbourne further south.

The nearest trains are at Polegate about 6 miles south, providing services to Hastings , Eastbourne Lewes and Brighton .

Views TopSmall

Hellingly village is very attractive, with the church on the mound, providing the best views, from all angles.

The Cuckoo Trail passes through the village to Horam and Heathfield in the north and south to Hailsham , and Polegate .
Name Derivation TopSmall
This village is a Saxon village probably settled by the Saxons around 491 AD after the taking of the Roman fort at Pevensey .

Hellingly could be derived from Heall(Hall) ing(fort or stronghold) and leagh(clearing) or ie(island) so it translates into either 'The Hall peoples fort in the clearing' or 'The Hall peoples fort on the island'. as most of these ings were initially strategic defensive positions .
There is another option that it was derived from Haelig(holy) ie(island).

The place names ending in ing,inge or ings were usually found on higher ground, or in places which control strategic points, and appear to surround areas first settled by the Saxons.

Nearby Villages (within 6 miles)
Hailsham (Ropes and Napoleon) 2.1 miles
Horam (Which Station do we get off at ?) 2.8 miles
Chiddingly (Walking on Cheese ??) 3.0 miles
Herstmonceux (Castle and Observatory) 3.1 miles
Upper & Lower Dicker (Michelham Priory) 3.3 miles
Vines Cross (Cannons and Doodlebugs) 3.6 miles
Arlington (Peaceful Village and hectic Stadium) 3.8 miles
Warbleton (The Iron Man) 3.9 miles
Windmill Hill (Largest Post Mill in Sussex) 3.9 miles
Bodle Street (White Horse on the roof) 4.2 miles
Chalvington (The miniature church) 4.4 miles
East Hoathly (Another Sussex Cannibal?) 4.4 miles
Rushlake Green (Open Village and Nuclear Bunker) 4.6 miles
Waldron (Fullers Earth) 4.7 miles
Wartling (World War II defence centre) 4.8 miles
Polegate (Fine old Tower Mill) 4.9 miles
Ripe (Earl Harolds estate) 5.0 miles
Boreham Street (Picturesque village on top of the Ridge) 5.3 miles
Laughton (Knight captures King of France) 5.3 miles
Halland (Ancient Slaughter) 5.5 miles
Heathfield (19th Century Natural Gas) 5.5 miles
Wilmington (The Long Man) 5.5 miles
Cade Street (Jack Cade and the Kentish rebellion) 5.7 miles
Cross in Hand (The Crusaders Assembly) 5.7 miles
Punnetts Town (The Windmill on the Hill) 5.7 miles
Westham (Enclosure for the Castle) 5.7 miles
Folkington (Teasles and Badgers) 5.8 miles
Selmeston (Tomb to store the Contraband) 5.9 miles


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