Beckley goes back a long way. It's a Saxon village once left by King Alfred the Great in his will - called "The manor of Beccanleah" - by the West Saxon cake-burner.
Beckley iron industryLike so many Wealden villages, Beckley was a centre of iron manufacture, with Beckley Furnace being built in the 16th century and operating for nearly 200 years until it closed down in 1770.
The Beckley EmigrationLife in Sussex in the agricultural depressions of the 19th century was tough - this was one of the reasons why smuggling had such a stronghold in Sussex.
Many places in Sussex had schemes to encourage emigaration to the new world and one of the most successful was at Beckley - where 165 people left to take on the challenge of living in New South Wales in the late 1830s.
One of them was Peasmarsh girl called Maria Ann Sherwood who married a man from Beckley, lived there for 19 years before emigrating to Australia and propagating an apple variety that's famous the world over. She's better known by her married name - Smith. Granny Smith.
Other Beckley village informationSome folk say that the village is haunted by the ghost of Sir Reginald Fitz-Urse, who galloped to the village from Canterbury to seek sanctuary after murdering Thomas a Becket.
Places of interest around BeckleyInteresting places in and around Beckley include:
- The Sussex Border Path passes through the village of Beckley where it shares a section with the...;
- ...High Weald Landscape Trail
- All Saints Church in Beckley has a tower which was started in the 11th century, indicating that there was substantial life in Beckley before the heyday of the iron industry,
Beckley travel notesThe nearest regular railway station to Beckley is in Rye, which is also the nearest town to the village.
By road, Beckley lies on the B2088 which joins the A268 main road a mile outside the village.
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Tuesday May 18