East Hoathly, a Sussex Village with Lots to Discover!

By Lyn Funnell

On the 10th November we went to Halland and East Hoathly Bonfire Night


And we said that we must come back soon to explore the village.

We started our exploration of East Hoathly in the churchyard.

Church lych gate

Unfortunately the church was locked so we couldn’t see inside. It was probably built in Norman times and there are still traces of the original church although it was extensively rebuilt in the 19th Century.

Outside is the 18th century grave of Thomas Turner, the local diarist.


Next door to the church is the old schoolhouse, which dates back to 1865.

Along the road on the corner is the village store. It’s been run for 25 years by Liz Eustace and her son Charlie. Sadly her husband Guy died a year ago. They stock a lot of local produce.

The building is Georgian and dates back to around 1719. It’s Grade ll listed.  And this time of the year, the cellars are open to the public and stuffed full of delightful gifts that you probably won’t find anywhere else. And the decorations and lights are well worth making the trip to see!

East Hoathly Village Stores

01825 840321


Across the road, next to the King’s Head pub, is an old red phone box. It’s now used as a book exchange. Just open the door and have a browse, and of course, take any of your own unwanted books to add to the collection.

The King’s Head was a school from 1605-1750. It was run by the diarist Thomas Turner but there weren’t enough children to fill it, so then it became the King’s Head in the 1760s.

It’s always been a popular village pub, with long-term landlords. Bob and Tracey Wallace have run the pub since 1996. They also have a micro-brewery next door, where horses used to be stabled for the London to Eastbourne coach.

The blacksmith’s was just around the corner. So there was always a team of horses ready for when the coach stopped there.

Every three weeks the brewery brews 18 barrels at a time. They have five beers that they rotate on their pumps plus seasonal beers.

The grain store is haunted. Every Autumn it is found open with nobody in it!

Owen Corke has been the barman for eight years. He also works in the micro-brewery next door.

The brewery, called the 1648 Brewery, opened in 2000.

Their menu is traditional British food at very reasonable prices.

Bob and Tracey have been awarded the Camra Pub of the Year award three times.

I’m not surprised as they have created a warm, friendly atmosphere in the old pub.

Outside the King’s Head every Wednesday, you can find the Pizza Amore parked from 5-8pm. It’s been run by Andy the Pizza Man for 12 years.

Inside there is a wood-burning pizza oven. The pizzas are cooked to order using the best ingredients.

And when it’s warm enough, you can sit and eat it outside the King’s Head with a drink.

Andy, who is Australian, stopped off in England on a world trip, and he fell in love and got married, so he’s been here ever since!

Pizza Amore is closed for a month after Christmas and is available most weekends for fetes, parties, etc.


We strolled around and discovered interesting old houses and twittens tucked away behind the pub.

Everyone we met was really friendly and chatty. We weren’t treated like nosy intruders at all!

Further along the High Street is the Village Hairdressers.

Apparently the building behind the Hairdressers used to be the village brothel.

The landlord was horrified when he eventually found out!

East Hoathly really is an interesting village to visit and explore. I’m sure there are lots more stories to discover along its side streets.

The Diary of Thomas Turner, 1754-1765


Available from Amazon, or East Hoathly village stores.

An amusing read!

The King’s Head


01825 840238





  • Lyn Funnell

    Lyn is the co-owner of Unknown Kent and Sussex. She lives in Sussex. Lyn has been writing for most of her life, both Fiction & Non-Fiction. She loves cookery & creating original recipes. She's won a lot of prizes, including Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu & on BBC The One Show as a runner-up, making her Britain's Spag Bol Queen! She has had nine books published so far. History, Travel & Restaurant Reviews are her main interests.

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