Brightling, (East Sussex)

Parish picture

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.

Parish picture

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).

Parish picture

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.

Parish picture

Here is another view of the church, this time from the south during the snow of January 2010 - making this already attractive building quite magical.

Places of worship:

Church details, together with baptism, marriage, monumental inscription & burial records can be accessed by clicking on the church name.

Congregational Church, Hollingrove

St Thomas à Becket

Census returns:

People residing in the parish:

692 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1841 census.

People born in this parish but residing elsewhere:

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.

Maps:

Grid reference: 568500, 121247 ~ View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, streetmap, bing or oldmaps.

Militia records etc:

Roll of Honour has a transcription of the war memorial at together with biographical information concerning the individuals listed.

Other links relating to this parish:

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.

Poll Registers:

The OPC database contains 64 poll register entries for people entitled to vote in this parish.

1641 Protestation Returns:

There are no protestation returns for this parish in the OPC database.

Gazettes:

The OPC database contains 12 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.

Photographs:

There are 35 images depicting this parish in the OPC database.

Postal directories:

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

Publications:

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.

Wills:

The OPC database contains 2 wills of people who lived in this parish.

The OPC database contains no wills that mention this parish.

Interest in this parish:

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