Place:Telscombe, Sussex, England

Alt namesTelscombe villagesource: village in parish
Telscombe Cliffssource: large settlement at the eastern end of the parish
Coordinates50.803°N 0.01°W
Located inSussex, England
Also located inEast Sussex, England     (1865 - )
See alsoLewes Rape, Sussex, Englandrape in which it was located
Holmstrow Hundred, Sussex, Englandhundred in which it was located
Newhaven Rural, Sussex, Englandrural district 1894-1934
Chailey Rural, Sussex, Englandrural district 1934-1974
Lewes District, East Sussex, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Telscombe is a civil parish and electoral ward (called East Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs) with the status of a town in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. It consists of three distinct settlements, separated from each other by an open area of downland called Telscombe Tye.

Telscombe village is a small village on the South Downs, six miles (10 km) south of the town of Lewes. It includes the parish church, with origins dating back to the 10th century. The village has a population of fewer than 50 people.

The parish retains its ancient boundaries, which reach from the village to the coast, and the major part of the population is in the two coastal settlements. At the eastern end of the parish, about 4,500 people live at Telscombe Cliffs, developed in the 20th century effectively as a western extension of the parish of Peacehaven. At the western end of Telscombe Cliffs, the remaining 2500 population forms part of the community of Saltdean, the remainder of Saltdean being within the City of Brighton and Hove.

In 1929, thanks to the growth in population, Telscombe gained a parish council; in 1974 it became a town. Telscombe parish covers an area of 4.7 km2 (1.8 sq mi) and in the UK census of 2011 it had a population of 7,477.

The Prime Meridian crosses the northeast corner of Telscombe parish.


The manor of Telscombe is recorded as early as the 10th century, when it was given by King Edgar to the Hyde Abbey, and remained in those hands until the dissolution of the monestaries in 1538. The manor and village passed through many hands in the following centuries; in 1900 James Andrew Harman became Lord of the Manor, and in 1924 it was acquired by Charles Willam Neville (born Charles William Neville Ussher in 1881), the developer who had founded Peacehaven in 1916.

Telscombe village is ancient and lies less than two miles (3 km) from the coast, but there is no public road linking the village with the coastal part of the parish. It is now found at the end of a winding dead-end road leaving the Lewes—Newhaven road at Southease. The village is a small cluster of buildings around a church dedicated to St. Laurence which is a 10th-century foundation with a 13th-century font, largely rebuilt and decorated in the 20th century.

Telscombe Tye is an area of open land with the status of common, extending from Telscombe village to the coast. The Tye forms a natural break between the settlements of Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs/Peacehaven, and marks the eastern end of a continuously built up area stretching from Shoreham in West Sussex through Brighton and Hove. The Tye is contained within the South Downs National Park, and is one of the few places where the park boundary reaches the seafront. As designated common, the land was unenclosed and on a map dated 1811 is shown as "Sheep Down" on which local stockholders had grazing rights.

Research Tips

  • The East Sussex Record Office, The Keep, Woollards Way, Brighton, BN1 9BP, United Kingdom (email holds material for the Archdeaconry of Lewes, present-day East Sussex, and therefore generally holds historical material for East Sussex parishes only. An on-line catalogue for some of the collections held by the East Sussex Record Office (ESRO) is available under the Access to Archives (A2A) project (a nationwide facility housed at The National Archives, Kew).
  • The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies' Sussex Collection (PDF). This is a 9-page PDF naming the files relating to Sussex in their collection-a possible first step in a course of research.
  • Further resources may be found on GENUKI's main page on Sussex.
  • The National Library of Scotland has a website which provides maps taken from the Ordnance Survey England & Wales One-Inch to the Mile series of 1892-1908 as well as equivalent maps for Scotland itself. The immediate presentation is a "help" screen and a place selection screen prompting the entry of a location down to town, village or parish level. These screens can be removed by a click of the "X". The map is very clear and shows parish and county boundaries and many large buildings and estates that existed at the turn of the 20th century. Magnification can be adjusted and an "overlay feature" allows inspection of the area today along with that of 1900. The specific map from the series can be viewed as a whole ("View this map") and this allows the inspection of the map legend (found in the left hand bottom corner. Becoming familiar with the various facilities of these maps is well worth the trouble.
  • GENUKI on Telscombe
  • British History Online. A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, Lewes Hundred, section on Telscombe
  • Maps of the local area are to be found on the WeRelate page for Lewes Rape and on that for Newhaven Rural District.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Telscombe. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.