Beckley, East Sussex

Beckley is a village and civil parish in the Rother district of East Sussex, England. It is located on the B2088 minor road above the Rother Levels five miles (8 km) northwest of Rye and ten miles (16 km) from Hastings. The northern border follows the river Rother.

All Saints Church
Beckley is located in East Sussex
Location within East Sussex
Area22.8 km2 (8.8 sq mi) [1]
Population1,037 (Parish-2011)[2]
• Density115/sq mi (44/km2)
OS grid referenceTQ852239
• London48 miles (77 km) NW
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townRYE
Postcode districtTN31
Dialling code01797
FireEast Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
WebsiteBeckley Council
List of places
East Sussex
50°59′N 0°38′E / 50.99°N 0.64°E / 50.99; 0.64Coordinates: 50°59′N 0°38′E / 50.99°N 0.64°E / 50.99; 0.64


Beckley was part of the Wealden iron industry.[3] An iron furnace was built in 1578, at the small settlement still called Beckley Furnace. A watermill powered the bellows. Production ceased in 1770.[4]

The 1830s saw a mass emigration of Beckley residents to New South Wales. At the time, the developing colony of New South Wales was in need of skilled agricultural labourers, whilst the English labourers were suffering hard times. Various schemes were introduced to provide finance for workers to emigrate. 165 Beckley residents took up the offer and emigrated. Amongst those residents were Thomas and Maria Ann Smith (née Sherwood), the cultivator of the Granny Smith apple.[5] Another of those residents who emigrated at this time was Henry Charles Packham, whose son Charles, in Molong, New South Wales, was the cultivator of the Packham pear.[6][7] A young emigrant who did well was George Fielder (1827-1913) the illegitimate son[8] of Hannah Bowlin and George Parsons of Yew Tree Farm, Northiam. He emigrated in 1838 on the "James Pattison"[9] with his mother and stepfather, became a miller in Tamworth and founded the flour milling company George Fielder & Co. now controlled by the international conglomerate Wilmar

The parish church is the All Saints church, which is located at the far west end of the town. Its isolated position indicating that the main village has relocated during its history.


The lowest level of government is the Beckley parish council which meets once a month. The parish council is responsible for local amenities such as the provision of litter bins, bus shelters and allotments. They also provide a voice into the district council meetings. The parish council comprises seven councillors with elections being held every four years. The May 2007 election was uncontested.[10]

Current details about the Parish can be found on the official Parish Council website.[11]

Rother District council provides the next level of government with services such as refuse collection, planning consent, leisure amenities and council tax collection. Beckley lies within the Rother Levels ward, which provides two councillors. The May 2007 election returned two Conservatives councillors.

East Sussex county council is the third tier of government, providing education, libraries and highway maintenance. Beckley falls within the Northern Rother ward. Peter Jones, Conservative, was elected in the May 2005 election with 49.7% of the vote.

The UK Parliament constituency for Beckley is Bexhill and Battle.

Prior to Brexit in 2020, Buckley was part of the South East England constituency in the European Parliament.


  1. ^ "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Wealden Iron Series 2". Wealden Iron Research Group. 2007. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  4. ^ "Beckley Sussex". Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  5. ^ "Local History". Beckley History Society. Archived from the original on 18 July 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  6. ^ Finn, Rosslyn. Packham, Charles Henry (1842–1909). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  7. ^ "A village claims its slice of history: the birthplace of the Packham Pear". ABC Central West NSW. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  8. ^ East Sussex Record Office, PAR 369/34/3/10
  9. ^ "NRS5316/4_4784/James Pattison_11 Dec 1838/".
  10. ^ Stevens, Derek (4 April 2007). "Election of seven councillors" (PDF). Rother District Council. Retrieved 24 May 2008.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Beckley Parish Council". Beckley Parish Council. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2012.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Beckley at Wikimedia Commons