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Hailsham is located in the Wealden district of East Sussex, about ten miles North of Eastbourne.

The town has had a long term dependence on agriculture, for its importance.  The history of the town goes back a long way.  In 1252  Hailsham was granted a royal charter by King Henry III to open the cattle market. This market has been in existence ever since, and - even though its future remains unclear - it is still here today,  mainly because the nearest alternative market is many miles away. 

Another important part of Hailsham's history, is the rope industry, which flourished in the town for many centuries.  The ropes were used for many purposes, including those used in the public hangings.

The town was connected to the national railway network from 1849, and used used to have its own station, but suffered the loss of the railway in 1968.  The tracks were removed, and replaced by a bicycle track, called the Cuckoo trail, which still runs from Polegate up the hill, all the way to Heathfield.  It is a popular route for the locals.

The town centre is home to several shops, supermarkets and a modern leisure centre.  Small industry remains at the Diplocks Industrial estate.  Notable tourist attractions include the nearby Abbott's Wood, and Michelham Priory, the biggest water-filled medieval moat in the country.