Robertsbridge in East Sussex

Google map showing area surrounding Robertsbridge
(The Home of Modern Cricket)
Location: 50.985538,0.472921
General Details
Robertsbridge in East Sussex is an old settlement probably founded about 1176, when the only Cistercian Abbey in Sussex was built on the site of the current War Memorial . Remnants of the old chapel cellar from the monastry can still be seen in the basement of one of the houses in the high street .

The village remained when the abbey was moved about 1 mile to the East to the village of Salehurst in 1210.

It is believed that the name of the village was derived from the bridge built by the 1st abbot - Robert de St Martin, abbey records show it as 'Pons Roberti' which translates from the Latin to The Bridge of Robert.

In 1193 Richard the Lionheart was returning from the 3rd Crusade across Europe, when he was captured by Duke Leopold of Austria, and handed over to the Holy Roman Emperor who imprisoned him. Abbot William of Robertsbridge Abbey was commisioned by Parliament to find the King. He was located in the Castle of Derstein in Bavaria, and William successfully negotiated his release for 150,000 marks.

The main business of the village was as a stopping and resting place for travellers from Hastings to London. The large numbers of late 14th and 15th Century Wealden Hall Houses show a period of wealth possibly due to the weekly market that was granted the village by Henry III in 1254.

Henry III visited the Abbey in 1225 and 1264, and Edward II in 1295 and 1297, staying in the village.

Robertsbridge Abbey was an important place as the body of Sir John Pelham and his wife were buried here and also Sir Edward Dalyngrigge ( builder of Bodiam castle ) together with his wife.

In 1541 a forge was built by the Churchill family on the old Abbey grounds at Salehurst , this was supplemented by a furnace in 1754. The manufactured goods were despatched from Bodiam bridge, the furthest navigable point up the river Rother. The main production of the furnace was of cannons manufactured by melting down other guns rejected by the navy or from pig iron. The use of pre manufactured iron as a raw material ensured the quality of the castings were better. In 1740, at Silver Hill between Hurst Green and Robertsbridge a Revenue Officer Thomas Carswell was shot and killed while trying to apprehend some of the smugglers from the Hawkhurst Gang . During the 1700 and 1800's women's stays were manufactured in the area, and flour milling was carried out, together with the manufacture of guns for the navy. The area was also well known for smuggling , and the robbing of travellers.

In the late 1800's cricket bats and equipment were manufactured by Gray Nichols, whose factory is still in the village.

Finally the very first Cub Scout Pack was started in Robertsbridge by Baden Powell.

This village is associated with the Sussex Bonfire Societies , who provide noisy processions, unbelievable outfits and fantastic firework displays throughout the month of November - a spectacle not to be missed.
Robertsbridge in East Sussex has a beautiful main high street containing many Wealden Hall Houses, and older dwellings.

If you walk up Fair Lane, to the left of the Seven Stars Public House, and onto the footbridge over the A21, a wide vista of the Rother valley leading to the Church at Salehurst is visible.
Robertsbridge in East Sussex has quite a few local services, for transport the main A21 London to Hastings road provides reasonable links to Hastings(10 miles South), and Tunbridge Wells (15 miles North West), the main local Towns. The main London to Hastings Train Line stops in the village providing a 1 hour 15 minute journey to Cannon Street and Charing Cross. This service runs approximately every 20 minutes in the rush hour, and hourly in between.

The main Hawkhurst to Battle bus service stops in the village providing a frequent service.

A number of Public Houses, and Various shops are available in the village.

The main shopping centres are in Hastings and Tunbridge Wells , with a minor one in Battle .
Robertsbridge is shown as the red symbol on the map.

Nearby Villages

(click on symbol to see the village page)
Village= Town= Recorded in Domesday=
Bodiam (The finest ruined castle in the Country)
3.09 miles
Brede (Edward I inspects the Channel Fleet)6.42 miles
Brightling (famous for Mad Jack Fuller)
3.56 miles
Broad Oak Brede (On the Crossroads)6.02 miles
Burwash (The home of Rudyard Kipling)3.81 miles
Burwash Common (Roughest pub in the South East)5.76 miles
Burwash Weald (Roughest pub in the South East)5.32 miles
Cripps Corner (Home Guard surprises the Army)2.92 miles
Dallington (Custers Last Stand!)
5.71 miles
Etchingham (The oldest Brass Weather Vane in the country)2.21 miles
Ewhurst Green (Great Fire of London contributions)3.61 miles
Hurst Green (The Youngest Highwayman on record)2.26 miles
Mountfield (17th Century Coal !!)
2.06 miles
Netherfield (Village at the top of the Hill)
3.48 miles
Newenden (Alfred the Great's Fort)
6.51 miles
Northiam (Prime Ministers D Day inspection)5.59 miles
Punnetts Town (The Windmill on the Hill)6.92 miles
Salehurst (Richard the Lion Heart's Gift)
0.90 miles
Sandhurst (Escape from the Great Plague)
4.88 miles
Sedlescombe (Best gunpowder in Europe)
4.49 miles
Staplecross (Mothers grudge hangs son)2.89 miles
Stonegate (Ancient Roman Cross Road)5.31 miles
Whatlington (King Harold's Manor)
3.56 miles
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Local Interest
Just click an image
Ninfield History Group
Talk in Code fabulous new Album
Battle Museum of Local History
(Hard to find but worth the Visit)
Battle and District Historical Society
Wealden Iron Research Group
Wadhurst History Society
Hastings Rock the place to listen to
The Bald Explorer for local documentaries
The Rudes as lots of people call us, are an outdoor touring theatre company specialising in taking new & original theatre to mainly small rural communities and a few towns across the South of England. We were founded in 1998 & first toured in the Summer of 1999. Currently we tour only in the summer performing 50+ times nightly during June, July & August.
Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group
For all things mosaic, commissions workshops etc please contact Hannah
World War 2 Vehicle database