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Living in Etchingham: The local area guide

Etchingham is a pretty, classically English village in the East Sussex countryside. It is a popular place to live, with a rich community spirit to complement its beautiful setting and convenient proximity to Hastings, which is only 12 miles away.

Resting comfortably in a valley at the meeting point of three rivers, Etchingham has a long history dating back to Anglo Saxon times, when it is likely it got its name. For many years before the Norman invasion there was a manor house with a moat, which was passed by the Norman rulers to favoured nobles. The manor house has been gone for centuries, but the church built in the 14th century within its grounds remains. A beautiful building, it claims to have the oldest brass weathervane still in use in England.

Like so many other historic villages in England, it is full of its own quirky stories and tales. One such tale tells of a gigantic bell which was dropped into the old moat, to remain there until someone enterprising enough brought six white oxen to bring it back up. The moat is long gone, and there is no sign of the bell, but who knows what would happen should someone arrive with those oxen!

Etchingham is a tight-knit village, but welcoming. The local community is very friendly and sociable, and are known to regularly band together for events and projects.


Etchingham's 800 residents are a little older than the average for the rest of East Sussex and England. The mean age is 47.2, 4 years above that for the rest of the county and nearly 10 years above the national average. Less than 1 in 5 are under 18 years of age, while over half are older than 50.

Nevertheless, the country air does them well and 94% of the population self-report their health as very good, good, or fair.

Etchingham is a little better off, economically, than the average for the country but only by a little. A little over half of the locals belong to the upper social grades - AB or C1. That means they live in a household in which the main earner works a job considered Higher or Intermediate administrative, managerial, or professional.

Nearly 75% of Etchingham residents own their own home, and just 2.3% are unemployed, which compares to 3.3% for the rest of the country.

The village is an exceptionally sociable one. There are several groups which meet in the village hall regularly, and many of the residents play for the local cricket team every summer. The people of Etchingham are well known for their work in reviving their 150 year old convenience store, which was closed due to flooding in the year 2000. They banded together to raise the funds to buy the building and run the shop as a cooperative, re-opening in 2003, and the shop still goes strong today.


Etchingham has its own community school - the Etchingham Church of England Primary School. It is a popular, integral part of the village and tries to offer its children an education that balances modern academic curriculums with traditional values and plenty of extra activities.

After the age of 11, there are plenty of nearby schools for children to attend. One of the most popular, which opened in 2011, is the Hastings Academy. It is only a few minutes drive away, and has performed very well under inspection.


Etching Railway Station, on the Hastings Line, provides a great service to the community. It takes locals to London Charing Cross fairly quickly, with trains leaving every hour, and also offers regular services to Hastings. It is run by Southeastern Trains. There are also regular buses to all local towns.

For drivers, the A265 is very convenient and links with the A21 just half a mile from the village.

Amenities and shopping

Etchingham, as well as the village-run convenience store, has some good basic essentials.

More extensive shopping choices can be found a few minutes down the road at Hastings, which has plenty of fashionable brands as well as quirky speciality shops all over town.


Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.


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