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HAILSHAM is a parish, market, and union town, and a polling place for the Eastern division of the county, 64¼ miles from London, 3 north from Polegate station, 12 south-east from Uckfield, 14 south-west from Battle, and 7 north from Eastbourne, in Dill hundred, Lewes county court district and archdeaconry, Pevensey rape, diocese of Chichester, and rural deanery of Battle, situate near the river Cuckmere. The church of St. Mary the Virgin is in the Later English style, and consists of a nave and two aisles, with a square pinnacled tower, with 5 bells. The register dates from 1558. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £356, with residence, in the gift of Thomas Sheppard, Esq., and held by the Rev. George Gayton Harvey, B.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge. The cattle and sheep market, held on alternate Wednesdays, is one of the largest in the shire. The county police-court, which was erected in 1861, is a neat building, and consists of court room, a superintendent's office, which is also used as a retiring room for the magistrates, and a residence for the superintendent. The county police force of the Hailsham division comprises a superintendent, one sergeant and twelve men. Petty sessions are held here every alternate Wednesday. The union comprises eleven parishes, viz.:- Arlington, Chiddingly, Hailsham, Heathfield, Hellingly, Hurstmonceux, Hove, Laughton, Ninfield, Warbleton, and Wartling, with a population 12,669 in 1861. The guardians meet at the Union House every alternate Monday; William Barber, of is clerk: the Union Workhouse, which is in the parish of Hellingly, will contain 300 inmates. Michelham Priory, on the river Cuckmere, near here, was founded in the reign of Henry III., and is a farmhouse: there is a tower remaining, and a bridge of eight arches over the river, and a corn mill. At Otham was a religious house of monks of the Premonstratensian order, founded by Ralfe de Dene and Sibilla his wife, and afterwards removed to Bayham: the walls are still to be traced. Gas works have been established. The Brighton and South Coast Railway Company have a station here, at the terminus of their branch line from Polegate station, 3 miles south. The manufacture of rope, twins and sacking is carried on here to a considerable extent. The town is within the Duchy of Lancaster. Mrs. E. Hooper, in 1819, bequeathed £330 New £3½ per Cents., £315 New £3 per Cents., and £100 £3 per Cent. Consols to the poor and National schools. The area is 5,283 acres, and the population in 1861 was 2,098.
DOWN ASH is a mile and a half south-east; HAREBEATING, One mile north; HORSE EYE, 2 miles east; SUMMER HILL, ERSHAM, and MAGHAM DOWNS are in the parish.