Chailey is a village and civil parish in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. It is located 7 miles north of Lewes, on the A272 road from Winchester to Canterbury. The Prime Meridian passes just to the east of Chailey.

Chailey, East Sussex.JPG
The Green
Chailey is located in East Sussex
Location within East Sussex
Area24.9 km2 (9.6 sq mi) [1]
Population3,088 (2011) [2]
• Density281/sq mi (108/km2)
OS grid referenceTQ395194
• London30 miles (48 km) north
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEWES
Postcode districtBN8
Dialling code01273
FireEast Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
East Sussex
50°58′N 0°01′W / 50.96°N 0.01°W / 50.96; -0.01Coordinates: 50°58′N 0°01′W / 50.96°N 0.01°W / 50.96; -0.01

The parish consists of the settlements: South Chailey (which also incorporates South Common), South Street, Chailey (also known as Chailey Green) and North Chailey (which incorporates the North Common).

The windmill is situated on the Red House Common. There used to be a mill on the South Common in South Chailey, opposite where Chailey School is situated, but it has worn away over time. The parish church is dedicated to St. Peter and is recorded as having been built in 1256. Recently a special service was held to commemorate its 750 years. At one time Chailey had more churches than pubs. The churches being St Peter's, St Martin's (within Chailey Heritage), Chailey Free Church, St John's (now housing in South Common), and St Mary's (now housing in North Common), and the pubs being the King's Head, Five Bells, Horns Lodge and the Swan House. In addition it is believed another chapel was sited near the Bluebell railway.

Chailey is reputed to be the inspiration for the 1969 children's television series Chigley by Gordon Murray, (along with nearby Plumpton as Trumpton and Wivelsfield Green as Camberwick Green).[3]


Chailey is governed at the local level by Chailey Parish Council which consists of eleven councillors meeting twice monthly. 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 May 2007 election was uncontested due to only eight candidates standing.[4] Three more councillors were later co-opted to the council.[5]

The next level of government is Lewes District Council. The District council supplies services such as refuse collection, planning consent, leisure amenities and council tax collection. Chailey is covered by the Chailey and Wivelsfield ward which returns two seats. In the May 2007 election, two councillors from the local Conservative party were elected.[6] This ward is called Chailey and Wivelsfield and had a population of 5,068 at the 2011 Census.[7]

Chailey lies within the Chailey ward for the next tier of government, East Sussex County Council. The ward also includes Ditchling, East Chiltington, Newick, Plumpton, St John Without, Streat, Westmeston and Wivelsfield. The County Council provides services such as roads and transport, social services, libraries and trading standards. The June 2009 election resulted in a win for the Conservative Meg Stroude.[8]

The UK Parliament constituency for Chailey is Lewes. The Liberal Democrat Norman Baker served as the constituency MP from 1997 to 2015 when it was won by Maria Caulfield.

At European level, Chailey is represented by the South-East region, which holds ten seats in the European Parliament. The June 2004 election returned four Conservatives, two Liberal Democrats, two UK Independence, one Labour and one Green, none of whom live in East Sussex.[9]


The Heritage windmill

Chailey Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest that is located within the parish. The site, which is part of a nature reserve, is of biological interest due to its heath habitat.[10]

Chailey Moat, the former rectory, is a two-storey moated house to the west of the village.


There are three schools in the village: Chailey St Peters Primary School, which is the primary school in South Chailey; Chailey School, which is the secondary school in South Chailey; and Chailey Heritage School, which is a special needs school on Chailey Common.


  1. ^ "East Sussex in Figures". East Sussex County Council. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  3. ^ "In Search of the Real Trumptonshire". Trumptonshire Web. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Candidates - Town and Parish Council Elections" (PDF). Lewes District Council. 3 May 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
  5. ^ "Chailey Parish Council News". Chailey Parish Council. 3 March 2008. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
  6. ^ "Election Results: 4 May 2007". Lewes District Council. Archived from the original on 3 March 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
  7. ^ "Chailey and Wivelsfield ward population 2011". Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Find your councillor". Lewes District Council. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  9. ^ "UK MEP's". UK Office of the European Parliament. Archived from the original on 24 January 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  10. ^ "Natural England - SSSI". English Nature. Retrieved 3 October 2008.

External linksEdit


  • Chailey is also a modern-day female Christian name which derived from the original Latin spelling is Coeli, meaning "Of Heaven."
    • Chailey has taken on several spellings such as Coeli, Caeli, and Ceali. All derivatives of the original name "Coeli".