Brightling in East Sussex

Google map showing area surrounding Brightling
(famous for Mad Jack Fuller)
Location: 50.963928,0.399105
General Details
Brightling East Sussex - St Thomas  Becket churchThe village of Brightling in East Sussex is a small farming community settled soon after the Saxon invasion of 475, the location of the village is probably lower down the hill from the original settlement which was a fortified point on the top of the hill nearer the current Jack Fullers Observatory. In 1757 its most famous resident John Fuller ( also known as Mad Jack ), was born into one of the iron-founding families, who owned the mansion adjoining the Church. The Family became famous for its iron furnace at Heathfield which produced guns and cannons for the navy, and the forge at Burwash Weald which produced a wide range of implements. Mad Jack was one of the great English Eccentrics, a famous politician and patron of science and the arts, who enjoyed building follies.

Brightling has a collection of follies built by Mad Jack , these consist of :-
  • Brightling Needle - a 40 ft high obelisk built on the top of the hill at Brightling, used as a beacon point during the Napoleonic Wars, and now by the ordinance survey as the second highest point in Sussex.
  • The Sugar Loaf - This was known as Fullers Point, and was built to win a wager made by Mad Jack , that he could see the Spire of Dallington Church from his house, which he could not.
  • The Temple - This is a small temple/Summer House, in the grounds of Brightling Park, built to resemble a Greek Temple.
  • The Observatory - This is built on the top of the hill at Brightling, and for many years famous for its instruments. This area is also believed to be the place that Turner, the landscape painter, did many of his paintings.
  • The Watch Tower - Again built by Mad Jack , it was believed that it was built so that he could watch the restoration of Bodiam castle, which he had previously bought.
  • The Pyramid - Built in the churchyard this was to be Mad Jack Fullers mausoleum, it was only allowed to be built by the Rector if a new Public House, replacing the one opposite the church, was to be built 1/2 mile away. This was known until recently as the "Jack Fullers" ;. One final legend of the Pyramid, was that Jack Fuller was buried inside, sitting up wearing a Top hat and holding a bottle of claret, this may or may not be true.
During Mad Jacks era, the famous artist, Turner painted a number of country scenes of Sussex, these were painted on and around Jack Fullers Estate.

The area under Brightling is a rich source of Gypsum, which is mined under the hills, and transported to Mountfield for processing via a 5 mile long conveyor belt, resembling a giant centipede.
Brightling East Sussex - The Pyramid in the churchyardThe best views from Brightling in East Sussex are firstly from outside the church looking North West across the valley towards Burwash.

Secondly from Jack Fullers Observatory, North to the North Downs, and South West across the Pevensey Levels to the South Downs at Eastbourne .
Brightling East Sussex - The villageBrightling in East Sussex as a small village has few local services, with the exception of the St Thomas a Becket C.E. church. The nearest small towns are Battle about 6 miles to the South East, and Heathfield about 8 miles to the North West.

The nearest trains and main buses can be caught at Etchingham about 5 miles, and Robertsbridge about 4 miles. The nearest large town shopping centres are in Hastings about 10 miles South East, and Tunbridge Wells 17 miles to the North.
Brightling is shown as the red symbol on the map.

Nearby Villages

(click on symbol to see the village page)
Village= Town= Recorded in Domesday=
Ashburnham (Last Iron Furnace in Sussex)
3.82 miles
Battle (William the Conqueror prevails)4.92 miles
Bodiam (The finest ruined castle in the Country)
6.66 miles
Bodle Street (White Horse on the roof)4.27 miles
Broad Oak (Smallpox at the Academy)5.01 miles
Burwash (The home of Rudyard Kipling)2.47 miles
Burwash Common (Roughest pub in the South East)2.89 miles
Burwash Weald (Roughest pub in the South East)2.54 miles
Cade Street (Jack Cade and the Kentish rebellion)5.04 miles
Cripps Corner (Home Guard surprises the Army)5.66 miles
Dallington (Custers Last Stand!)
2.16 miles
Etchingham (The oldest Brass Weather Vane in the country)3.59 miles
Heathfield (19th Century Natural Gas)
6.25 miles
Hurst Green (The Youngest Highwayman on record)4.85 miles
Mayfield (Saint Dunstan and the Devil)
7.16 miles
Mountfield (17th Century Coal !!)
3.58 miles
Netherfield (Village at the top of the Hill)
2.10 miles
Penhurst (Beautiful yet Remote)
2.91 miles
Punnetts Town (The Windmill on the Hill)3.47 miles
Robertsbridge (The Home of Modern Cricket)3.56 miles
Rushlake Green (Open Village and Nuclear Bunker)3.96 miles
Salehurst (Richard the Lion Heart's Gift)
4.46 miles
Sedlescombe (Best gunpowder in Europe)
6.27 miles
Staplecross (Mothers grudge hangs son)6.04 miles
Vines Cross (Cannons and Doodlebugs)6.09 miles
Warbleton (The Iron Man)
5.11 miles
Whatlington (King Harold's Manor)
5.02 miles
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