County of southeast England, created in 1974, formerly part of Sussex (since April 1997 Brighton and Hove has
been a separate unitary authority).
Area 1,725 sq km/666 sq mi
TownsLewes (administrative headquarters), Newhaven (cross-channel port), Eastbourne, Rye, Winchelsea; Bexhill-on-Sea, Hastings, St Leonards, Seaford (all coastal resorts)
Physical Beachy Head, highest headland
on the south coast (180 m/590 ft), the eastern end of the South Downs; the Weald (including Ashdown Forest); Friston Forest; rivers Cuckmere, Ouse, and East Rother (which flows into the sea near Rye); Romney Marsh
Features the ‘Long Man’ chalk hill figure at Wilmington, near Eastbourne; prehistoric earthworks; Iron Age hill fort at Mount Caburn, near Lewes; Roman villas; Herstmonceux, with a 15th-century castle (conference and exhibition centre) and adjacent modern buildings, site of the Greenwich Royal Observatory (1958–90); other castles at Hastings, Lewes (1066), Pevensey (Roman walls and medieval castle), and Bodiam (1385); Bayham Abbey (13th century); Battle Abbey (1090) and the site of the Battle of Hastings; Michelham Priory (1229); Sheffield Park garden; University of Sussex (1961) and University of Brighton (1992, formerly Brighton Polytechnic), both at Falmer, near Brighton
Agriculture cereals, hops, fruit and vegetables; fishing (at Hastings)
Industries electronics, gypsum, light engineering, timber
Population (2001) 492,300
Famous people former homes of Henry James at Rye, Rudyard Kipling at Batemans in Burwash, Thomas Sackville at Buckhurst, Virginia Woolf at Rodmell; Angus Wilson
Topography East Sussex is bounded on the south by the English Channel; on the west by Brighton and Hove and West Sussex; and on the north by Surrey and Kent. It is still one of the most wooded counties in England. Along the South Downs, which lie generally within 15 km/9 mi of the sea, runs the South Downs Way, from Beachy Head through East and West Sussex to the Hampshire border; high points along its path include Ditchling Beacon (248 m/814 ft). The Weald is now a dairy farming area; until the 17th century its iron industry was nationally important. The Ashdown Forest was originally a Norman hunting forest; attempts to cultivate the land have failed because of the forest's sterile soil.
History Two important events that took place in the county are the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the Battle of Lewes in 1264.
East Sussex County Council Home Page
Long Man of Wilmington
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