Hamsey, (East Sussex)

Parish picture

St Peter's Church, Hamsey lies on an island in the middle of the Ouse valley. During the period of the Black Death the island was abandoned and the population moved across the valley to the south west to Offham which is just on the edge of the downs.

The island was a major Saxon town and port, where at least once during his reign King Ethelstan (925-940) held his court . It would seem likely that the river was navigable up to Hamsey, and that the small island would have been a fortified area surrounded by fresh water, fish and fertile farmland.

Parish picture

The village remained in the valley until 1348 when the Black Death forced the inhabitants to move away from the church. The island remains very sparsely populated to this day, the church being a reminder of the area's past.

In Victorian times many churches were being rebuilt or 'modernised', and the people of Hamsey decided to build a new church at Offham, which had become the main centre of population in the parish, and in 1860 a new church also dedicated to St Peter was consecrated.

Places of worship:

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

St Peter

St Peter, Offham

Census returns:

The OPC Database has no census returns for people residing in this parish yet.

People born in this parish but residing elsewhere:

3 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1851 census.

2 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1861 census.

2 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1871 census.

6 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1891 census.


Grid reference: 541500, 112500 ~ View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.

Militia records etc:

War memorial - a transcription from the plaque on the wall of the church in Offham

Poll Registers:

The OPC database contains 65 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.


The OPC database contains 2 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.

Parish histories:

Hamsey - Sussex Archaeological Society - Community Project project web site contains much of interest to the family historian including a transcript of the 1841 census, historical images and transcriptions of the tombstones in the church yard.


There are 20 images depicting this parish in the OPC database.

POWPics (The new Roughwood churches album) contains 16 photographs of churches in this parish. This album will also display any postcards or other images of churches which are in the Sussex OPC database.

Postal directories:

The OPC database contains no postal directory entries for this parish.

1867 Kelly's Directory for Hamsey is available on the GENUKI site


There are no books about this parish in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.

There are 4 articles about this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.

There are no 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.

Interest in this parish:

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