Facts about Polegate
Polegate is a town and civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England, United Kingdom. It is located five miles (8 km) north of the seaside resort of Eastbourne and is part of the greater area of that town. Although once a railway settlement, its rail links were closed as part of the Beeching cuts. The 2011 census put the civil parish of Polegate at a population of 8,586, with 41.2% 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 12th century, the Premonstratensian order of monks occupied Otham Abbey in the parish, before relocating around 1208 to Bayham Abbey, near Lamberhurst. Two buildings remain of that time, Otteham Court and its Chapel. In 1851 a church school was established in Polegate.