Jevington is an old village nestling in a quiet valley in the South Downs
not far from Eastbourne .
There was a neolithic settlement near the village, and many barrows can
be found on the nearby hills.
The church in the village dates from about 900AD and had a defensive tower
similar to the one at East Dean . The tower was the refuge from the Vikings
when they came raiding the area, probably trying to kill the population
that supplied King Alfred the Great's port at nearby Exceat .
A monastry was founded in the village in 1344 and dedicated to St Lewinna
( see Alfriston ) but was closed by Henry VIII when he dissolved the
monastries in 1538 .
The area was well known for its smuggling connections with a smuggler
James Pettit known as 'Jevington Jigg' organising the smuggling in the
local area. The gang offloaded at nearby Birling Gap and Crowlink , and
brought the contraband up the valleys to Jevington where they were stored
in the cellar of the Rectory and in the inn. Pettit was the local innkeeper
and leader of the local gang in the 1780's . As a criminal he seemed to be
interested in both smuggling and horse thieving as he was imprisoned at
Battle , Horsham and East Grinstead . In 1799 he was convicted of horse
thieving and was deported to Botany Bay.
During the Second World War Winston Churchill visited the village to see
the final prooving of the Churchill tank on the hills above the village
in 1940 .
Jevington has a few local services, mostly dealing with the tourists
who flock into the area in the summer.
The nearest trains are from Polegate about 3 miles north which is
on the coastal line.
The nearest major shopping area is at Eastbourne about 5 miles to the east.
The village is very pretty, and a walk up Church Lane to the church
which lies on the higher ground and overlooks the village is very
The South Downs Way runs through the village for those more daring