Infobox UK place
region=South East England

static_image_caption=The windmill
area_footnotes=cite web |url=http://www.eastsussexinfigures.org.uk/webview/ |title=East Sussex in Figures |accessdate=2008-04-26 |publisher=East Sussex County Council]
area_total_km2 =7.3
population=8021 (2007)
population_density= Pop density mi2 to km2|2853|precision=0|abbr=yes
london_distance=convert|49|mi NNW
shire_county=East Sussex

Polegate is a town and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England, United Kingdom. It is located five miles (8km) north of the seaside resort of Eastbourne, and is part of the greater area of that town. Although once a railway settlement, its importance as such has now waned with closures of routes. The parish of Polegate had a population of 7929 on the 2001 census of which 37% were aged 65 and over.


Until the coming of the railways in the 1840s, Polegate was a small settlement within the parish of Hailsham. The Roman road from Pevensey to Lewes passed through here, and the turnpike between London and Eastbourne was developed in the 18th century; but it was the opening of the railway between Lewes and Hastings, with later branches to Eastbourne and Hailsham, that meant growth for Polegate. It became a significant junction, with a freight terminal serving both the nearby market town of Hailsham and the local brick making industry. The town grew partly to accommodate the railway employees.

In the 13th century, the Premonstratensian order of monks occupied property in the parish, before they relocated to Bayham Abbey near Lamberhurst.IoE|295526|Otteham Court] Two buildings remain of that time, Otteham Court and its Chapel. [IoE|295527|The chapel at Otteham Court]

In the 21st century, with the closure of the line to Hailsham and the once direct route to Hastings, its importance as a railway hub has gone. It remains a road junction, with the erstwhile turnpike now being the A22 road; the junction with the A27 lies within the town boundary.


Polegate is located on a ridge in the gap between the Weald to the north and the South Downs. To the east lie the Pevensey Levels, the one time bay now converted into farmland with the build up of the coastal shingle bank during the early Middle Ages. Both the roads and the railway use the gap.

The town is gradually becoming part of the greater Eastbourne conurbation, connecting with Willingdon to the south. Many of the town’s working population work away: either in Eastbourne or Willingdon. [http://www.cartoplus.co.uk/wealden/text/17polegt.htm Draft Wealden Local Plan Review]


Polegate is split into two wards for local elections, North and South Polegate. North Polegate with 4000 electors is twice the size of South Polegate's 2000 electors, returning twice as many councillors.cite web |url=http://www.wealden.gov.uk/council/electoral_services/Results/documents/DistrictResults2007.PDF |title=District Council Elections |accessdate=2008-04-19|date=2007-05-03 |format=PDF |publisher=Wealden District Council|pages=pp.4] The Parish is represented at the lowest tier by Polegate Town Council. Fifteen councillors are elected from the two wards every four years. Public meetings are held monthly at the council chambers in Polegate. The 2007 election returned twelve councillors representing the Polegate residents association, two Liberal Democrats and an Independent.cite web |url=http://www.wealden.gov.uk/council/electoral_services/Results/documents/ParishResults2007.PDF |title=Parish Council Elections |accessdate=2008-04-19|date=2007-05-03 |format=PDF |publisher=Wealden District Council|pages=pp.13–14]

The district council for Polegate is Wealden District Council. District council elections are held every four years. Fifty-five councillors in total are elected, three of these from the Polegate wards. The May 2007 election returned 34 Conservative, 12 Liberal Democrat, 3 Independent Democrat, 3 Wealden Independent, 2 Green Party and 1 no party allegiance.cite web
title = Your Councillors
publisher = Wealden District Council
url = http://www.wealden.gov.uk/moderngov/mgMemberIndex.asp?FN=PARTY&VW=TABLE&PIC=1&J=3
accessdate = 2008-02-06
. The Polegate councillors parties were 2 Liberal Democrats and 1 Independent Democrat.

The next tier of government is the East Sussex County Council with responsibility for Education, Libraries, Social Services, Civil Registration, Trading Standards and Transport. Elections for the County Council are held every four years. For these elections Polegate is combined with Willingdon and East Dean to return two seats.cite web
title = County Council Election, 5 May 2005
publisher = East Sussex County Council
url = http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/localelections/electionmap/default.aspx
accessdate = 2008-01-06
The 2005 East Sussex County Council election resulted in 29 Conservatives, 15 Liberal Democrats, 5 Labour and 1 Independent, of which the Polegate, Willingdon and East Dean ward provided two Liberal Democrats councillors.

Polegate is represented in the UK Parliament by the Lewes constituency. The current serving MP is the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker who first won the seat in the 1997 general election.

At European level, Polegate is represented by the South-East region, which holds ten seats in the European Parliament. The June 2004 election returned 4 Conservatives, 2 Liberal Democrats, 2 UK Independence, 1 Labour and 1 Green, none of whom live in East Sussex.cite web
title = UK MEP's
publisher = UK Office of the European Parliament
url = http://www.europarl.org.uk/uk_meps/MembersMain.htm
accessdate = 2007-01-25


Chaucer Industrial Estate is located in Dittons Road where the major part of Polegate's industrial businesses are located [ [http://www.cartoplus.co.uk/wealden/text/17polegt.htm Draft Wealden Local Plan Review] ] ; apart from that the usual small-town shops and businesses occupy the High Street, including the Co-op (supermarket) and the One Stop chainstore and a franchise of Blazes Fireplaces.


The tower windmill was built in 1817, and is now a working museum [ [http://www.polegate-tc.co.uk/pages/useful_info.asp Notes including the windmill] ] ]


The railway arrived in Polegate in 1846, built by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway on the extension from Brighton to Hastings. In 1849 branches extended to Eastbourne and Hailsham (later to Eridge). The line to Hailsham was nicknamed the Cuckoo Line by railway workers. Both that and the direct link to Hastings are now closed.

The long-distance footpath, the Cuckoo Trail passes through the parish, as does the cycleway route #2.

Polegate is served by five transport companies: Cavendish Motor Services (Routes 18 and 56); Cuckmere Community Bus; Eastbourne Buses (Routes 4, 51, 52 and 54); Renown Coaches:(Route 126); and "Stagecoach in Hastings" (Route 98). There is a National Express coach service to London.


State primary education is served by Polegate CE Primary School. Polegate School, an independent school, [ [http://www.polegate.e-sussex.sch.uk/index.htm Polegate School] ] is also located here.


There are four churches in Polegate: the Church of England parish church, dedicated to St John [ [http://www.polegate.org.uk/ St John's Church] ] ; the Roman Catholic church of St George; a Seventh-day Adventist Church; and a United Reformed Church.


Polegate is covered by BBC Southern Counties Radio, as well as independent stations Southern FM and Sovereign Radio. Local newspapers include the "Eastbourne Herald", "Eastbourne Gazette", "Hailsham Gazette" and the "Sussex Express"; all published by "Beckett Newspapers’


Polegate is twinned with two towns
* [http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saintry-sur-Seine Saintry sur Seine] , France
* Appen, Germany.

Notable residents

David Dimbleby (1938– ), TV commentator, who included the town as a destination in his 2007 TV series "How We Built Britain"; and Denis Healey (1917– ), politician and writer, both have links with the town.


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