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The hamlet of Brightling is a small farming community built soon after the Norman conquest in 1066. The parish church is dedicated to St Thomas-à-Becket. The tower and the nave are 13th century, a north aisle and new chancel were added in the 14th.
The village is well known as the home of the eccentric Georgian Squire, Mad Jack Fuller. He built a pyramid in the church yard to be a mausoleum where his remains were interred on his death.
He also built several follies around the parish: the Brightling Needle (40' high obelisk); the Sugar Loaf (a conical building built to enable the Squire to win a bet over whether the spire of Dallington Church could be seen from his house); the Greek Temple (in the grounds of his home); the Observatory (where the artist Turner is thought to have created some of his work); and finally the Watch Tower (where Mad Jack is reputed to have watched the rebuilding of Bodiam Castle).
Here is a view of the village from the small hill where one of Jack Fuller's follies stands, the Watch Tower.
The village no longer has a school, although the attractive buildings opposite the church remain, now in use as a dwelling.
Church details, together with baptism, marriage, monumental inscription & burial records can be accessed by clicking on the church name.
692 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1841 census.
1 individual in the OPC Database for the 1841 census.
16 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1851 census.
57 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1861 census.
5 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1881 census.
1 individual in the OPC Database for the 1891 census.
11 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1901 census.
Roll of Honour has a transcription of the war memorial at together with biographical information concerning the individuals listed.
The Life and Times of John "Mad Jack" Fuller , Squire of Brightling, 1757 - 1834. An excellent site containing a genealogy of the Fuller family by Annette Lloyd Thomas.
The OPC database contains 64 poll register entries for people entitled to vote in this parish.
There are no protestation returns for this parish in the OPC database.
The OPC database contains 12 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.
There are 47 images depicting this parish in the OPC database.
The OPC database contains 1 postal directory entry for this parish, (breakdown below).
1 entry from the 1791 Universal British Directory.
1867 Kelly's Directory for Brightling is available on the GENUKI site
There are 3 books about this parish in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.
There are 6 articles about this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.
There are 4 people from this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Society Members Index.
The OPC database contains 2 wills of people who lived in this parish.
The OPC database contains no wills that mention this parish.
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