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Crowborough is a town in the Wealdenmarker district of East Sussexmarker, Englandmarker. It is situated on the Wealdmarker and at the edge of Ashdown Forestmarker, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding National Beautymarker 7 miles (12.8 km) south-west of Royal Tunbridge Wellsmarker and 35 miles (56 km) south of Londonmarker. It has road and rail links, and is served by a town council. It is the largest inland town (by population) in East Sussex.


Various derivations for the meaning of the town’s name have been put forward. Before becoming a settlement as such, local documents use the names Crohbergh, Crowbergh, Croweborowghe, Crowbarrow and Crowboro. Croh (Old English: saffron or golden-yellow colour and berg means hill. Gorse, growing in profusion in the Crowborough Beacon area, and its yellow flowers might well have contributed to the meaning.

In 1734, a local benefactor, Sir Henry Fermor bequeathed money for a church and charity school for the benefit of the 'very ignorant and heathenish people' that lived in the part of Rotherfieldmarker “in or near a place called Crowborough and Ashdown Forest“. The church, dedicated to All Saints, and school (primary) still survive today.

In the late 19th century it was promoted as a health resort based on its high elevation, the rolling hills and surrounding forest. Some went as far as to call it Scotland in Sussex.


Crowborough as a place in its own right came into being in 1880, when an ecclesiastical parish was formed from that at nearby Rotherfieldmarker; a civil parish was established on 6 April 1905; which in turn became a Town Council on 24 May 1988.

Crowborough shares the headquarters of Wealdenmarker District Council with Hailshammarker, 13 miles (20.8 km) to the south-west; this sharing is due to transfer Hailsham alone by 2010.


The highest point in the town is 242 metres above sea level. This summit is the highest point of the High Wealdmarker and second highest point in East Sussex (the highest is Ditchling Beaconmarker). Its relative height is 159 m, meaning Crowborough qualifies as one of England's Marilyns. The summit is not marked on the ground.


Crowborough is located on the A26 road between Tunbridge Wellsmarker and Lewesmarker. and near the A21 roadmarker to Londonmarker.

Crowborough railway stationmarker is on the line to Uckfieldmarker which is operated by Southern taking passengers to London Bridge stationmarker; the journey takes approximately one hour.


Crowborough is served by one secondary school: Beacon Community College; and by seven primary schools:
  • Whitehill Infant School
  • Herne Junior School
  • High Hurstwood CE (controlled) School
  • Jarvis Brook County Primary School
  • St Johns CE (aided) School
  • St Mary’s RC School
  • Sir Henry Fermor (aided) CE School
  • Grove Park Special School

There are also two independent preparatory school.

The town's location on the cusp of the Kentmarker/East Sussex border means that the grammar schools in Kent are available for Crowborough pupils.

Sport and leisure

Crowborough has several recreation grounds, perhaps most notably Goldsmiths, which is the site of the local leisure centre. The Goldsmiths Recreation Ground was given to the parish by private owners in 1937. The town council has since purchased additional land and has developed the ground into a much needed recreation centre for the whole community. The ground now houses a sports centre including a swimming pool and a boating lake.

Crowborough Athletic F.C. and Jarvis Brook F.C. are the town's main football clubs, and Crowborough currently play in Sussex County League Division One. They are the 2007–08 Sussex League Champions.

Crowborough Rugby Union Club won promotion from the Sussex leagues in 2006 and now playing in the London 4th division.

Crowborough Scout Group (third largest in the UK) is actively involved with the Crowborough community and is celebrating 100 years of scouting (1908–2008).

Crowborough mini railway is located at goldsmiths centerand is open form 2:30 to 5:00 good friday to 5th november[26556]There is also a boating lake in the middle of the mini railway which was constucted in 2005

Notable people

Luxford House, on Luxford Road at the southern end of town, was once owned by the rock manager Tony Stratton-Smith of Genesis. His own in-house recording studio played host to, among others, Neil Diamond, Genesis and Van Der Graaf Generator, whose "Pawn Hearts" album cover features a photo of the house.

Crowborough is also home of the English Grand Lodge for Europe and Africa of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC.

Local traditions

A main event in the town's calendar is its celebration of Guy Fawkes Night, held annually on 5 November. An average attendance of 5000 people descend upon Goldsmiths Recreation Ground to witness this town council event. However this is overshadowed by the shenanigans of 'Carnival night' which sees the whole of the town taking to the streets. Donations on the night are traditionally collected by the local Lions Club, and donated to the mayor's charity. The town council also puts on a summer fair and a Christmas fair, for which the dates are agreed annually.

Twin towns

The town is twinned with:

External links


  1. A newspaper article of 1933 suggested that, since iron smelting was carried on here , and that the Irish for iron was Croe that explained its derivation
  2. Historical Notes about Crowborough
  3. ’’The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
  4. Crowborough Official Guide

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