East Grinstead is a large town in West Sussex about 7 miles to the East of Crawley & Gatwick Airport and 30 Miles South of London.
Home now to around 25,000 residents, East Grinstead is sited between Crawley Down and Copthorne in the West, Felbridge and Lingfield in the North and Ashurst Wood and Forest Row to the South.
The railway came to East Grinstead in 1864 with a single line link to the main London to Brighton line at Three Bridges via Grange Rd and Rowfant. This line was discontinued in 1966 and is now the Worth Way cycle and walking path.
The A22 Purley to Eastbourne main road passes through the town which used to be a massive bottle neck until a short bypass was built called Beeching Way in the early 1970’s. This bypass was named after Doctor Beeching who along with others, closed most of the rural branch lines in the country. Ironically he was a resident of East Grinstead but had the good sense to keep the line to London open as he used it daily to get to the city.
East Grinstead Town FC founded in 1890 are nicknamed “Wasps” and play in the Ryman League Division One. The GAC Stadium is their ground located at East Court next to the Police Station.
Local attractions are: Sackville College, Ashdown Forest, Standen, Hammerwood Park, The Bluebell Railway, Queen Victoria Hospital and Chequer Mead community arts centre
The High Street contains one of the longest continuous runs of 14th-century timber-framed buildings in England.
On the afternoon of Friday 9 July 1943, a Luftwaffe bomber became separated from its squadron, followed the main railway line and circled the town twice, then jettisoned seven bombs. Two bombs, one with a delayed-action fuse, fell on the Whitehall Theatre, a cinema on the London Road.. A total of 108 people were killed in the raid, including many children
This was the largest loss of life of any single air raid in Sussex.
East Grinstead has a wide range of religious and spiritual organisations for a town of its size with several religious groups having connections with the town.
St Swithun’s Church was founded in the 11th century. Near the entrance to the church, three stones mark the supposed ashes of Anne Tree, Thomas Dunngate and John Forman who were burned as martyrs on the opposite side of the High Street on 18 July 1556 because they would not renounce the Protestant faith.
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