Hailsham: A market town for commuters in the country

Posted 10 October 2016 by Ben Salisbury

Hailsham is a historic market town in East Sussex, near the coast, along the Wealdway, in the heart of the countryside but also serving commuters

Hailsham is the largest of the five towns in the Wealden district of East Sussex and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.  The town has a history of industry and agriculture which included rope making and ropes were supplied for public hanging to Great Britain and the Colonies.

Hailsham is six miles from the coast and set between the southern Forest Ridge and the undulating chalk countryside of the South Downs. Its population is just over 20,000. The nearest railway station is at Polegate three miles south of the town.

Henry III granted the town a Market Charter in 1252. Originally, the market was held in the High Street and in Market Square. Sheep and cattle were driven from miles around along the various ancient droves until the arrival of the railways and road transport. Today, weekly livestock markets are still held, together with the monthly farmers’ market and a weekly market in the town centre on Saturdays or Thursdays. Supermarkets include ASDA, Waitrose and Tesco.

Hailsham has a variety of local and high street shops and restaurants. The main shopping area has developed along the High Street and George Street. The Quintins shopping centre was named after Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, the late British politician who lived at the 17th century Carter's Corner House.

The town also boasts ample leisure facilities, including the Hailsham Leisure Centre offering a range of activities including a soft play area and bowling lanes. The Hailsham Pavilion Theatre is a fully independent cinema, live music venue and theatre. Hailsham Country Park covers approximately 22 acres and incorporates woodland, an open field area, wildflower meadow, two ponds and a lake.

The Cuckoo Trail runs for 11 miles along the route of the old railway, linking three of the district's larger towns - Heathfield, Hailsham and Polegate.  This leisure route used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders passes through some beautiful countryside and is extremely popular with some 250,000 visitors annually.  

Hailsham has several primary schools, including Hawkes Farm, Grovelands, Marshlands Academy, Hailsham Academy and White House Academy. Hailsham Academy opened in September 2015 in brand new buildings on its campus on Oaklands Way. The town has one secondary comprehensive school, Hailsham Community College, which is a specialist sports college. The town also has the renowned independent secondary school, Bede's School.

A monthly season ticket to London costs £432.40 from Polegate (£4,504 annually) with the fastest journey time to London Victoria 1hr and 26 minutes. Trains to London Bridge take 1hr 31 minutes (£432.40 monthly, £4,504 annually); East Croydon takes 1hr 6 minutes (£275.80 monthly, £2,872 annually); Gatwick Airport takes 51 minutes (£212.80 monthly, £2,216 annually).

Hailsham is seven miles north of Eastbourne and 11 miles east of Lewes. London is 48 miles away. Gatwick Airport and Heathrow Airport can be reached via the M23 and M25 motorways.

 Here’s a round-up of great new homes to buy in Hailsham:

Burfield Valley (Charles Church) - A beautiful development of two-, three- and four-bedroom family homes surrounded by beautiful, rolling landscapes and within easy reach of the South Coast. It’s ideally located within walking distance of the historic town of Hailsham. Price on application. Find out more about Burfield Valley from Charles Church 

Burfield Valley (Charles Church)

Burfield Grange (Bovis Homes) - This attractive new development is on the edge of the market town of Hailsham which has a range of shops, supermarkets, pubs and restaurants as well as weekly markets. There’s a choice of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes to meet the needs of family living. Prices from £284,995. Read more about Burfield Grange from Bovis Homes 

Burfield Grange (Bovis Homes)
Mill Valley in Westham (Persimmon Homes) - A choice of two-, three-, four- and five- bedroom homes close to a direct train line to London Victoria. The homes are in a sought-after rural location and just five miles from Eastbourne, perfect for families, those looking to downsize and first-time buyers. Prices from £225,500. Find out more about Mill Valley from Persimmon Homes Mill Valley (Persimmon Homes)

Meadows View (Bovis Homes) – With easy access to schools, shopping and other local amenities as well as from the South Downs creating easy access to stunning views and breath taking countryside. Prices from £219,995. Find out more about Meadows View from Bovis Homes 

Meadows View (Bovis Homes)

Wolsey Place (McCarthy & Stone) – A range of one- and two-bedroom apartments designed specifically for the over 60s. Benefiting from a residents’ club lounge, there is also a guest suite for visitors and beautiful landscaped gardens. Prices range from £210,450 for a one-bedroom home, from £310,450 for a two-bedroom property. Find out more about McCarthy & Stone's developments

​​​​​​Wolsey Place (McCarthy & Stone)​​​​​​​​
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