Catsfield, (East Sussex)

OPC for Catsfield is : Christine Randall

Email: Christine Randall.

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Catsfield, a small village 3 miles south east from Battle, may have acquired its name from a Saxon tribe, the Catti, or possibly from Saint Cedd who is reputed to have built the church here.

In the Domesday book the area was known as Cedesfille, and was controlled by a Norman priest called Wrenc. Prior to 1066 the area was held by Elfalm, a Saxon. The village was not destroyed as so many other villages in the area were during the Norman invasion, but its value was halved, so clearly a lot of damage was inflicted.

After the reformation in 1536 the advowson for the village was acquired by John Ashburnham from nearby Ashburnham. At the end of the 1500's, it was purchased by Thomas Alfraye, the lord of the Manor of Catsfield, a rich and influential Ironmaster. In the early 18th century the Ashburnham family who had also become rich re-purchased the advowson.

At the end of the 1600's, Catsfield Manor was purchased by the London clock and watch making family, the Markwick's.

As well as the historic St Laurence parish church, Catsfield also boasts a fine former Methodist church (now a residence) which was built by Henry Blackman, a local builder in 1912.

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In 1791 Princess Lamballe one of Marie Antoinette's ladies in waiting, was sent with the queens jewels for safe keeping to Lady Gibbs at Catsfield Place. The princess shared the fate of her queen - being beheaded.

The uncle of Mad Jack Fuller of Brightling, John Fuller, once owned Catsfield house, originally known as Broomham and Parkgate. It remained in the Fuller family until 1865, when it was sold to Thomas Brassey who with his friend George Stephenson laid may of the world's early railways. Thomas is buried at Catsfield.

Places of worship:

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

Methodist Church

St Laurence

Census returns:

People residing in the parish:

580 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.

1 individual in the OPC Database for the 1851 census.

31 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1861 census.


Grid reference: 572500, 113500 ~ View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.

Militia records etc:

Roll of Honour have details of the people commemorated on the War Memorial

Roll of Honour in St Laurence Church

Poll Registers:

The OPC database contains 58 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 52 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.


There are 36 images depicting this parish in the OPC database.

POWPics (The new Roughwood churches album) contains 1 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 35 postal directory entries for this parish, (breakdown below).

2 entries from the 1791 Universal British Directory.

1 entry from the 1832 Pigot's Directory of Sussex.

32 entries from the 1878 Kelly's Directory.

The OPC database contains the following directory sections which cover this parish.

1791 Universal British Directory for Battel.

1878 Kelly's Directory for Catsfield.

1832 Pigot's Directory of Sussex for Battle.

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

1851 Post Office Directory for Catsfield


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

There are no articles about this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.

There are 2 people from this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Society Members Index.


The OPC database contains no wills of people who lived in this parish.

The OPC database contains no wills that mention this parish.

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