Church Street has re-opened.

**Church Street reopens this afternoon after repairs carried out**

Church Street in Uckfield has been closed following the appearance of a sinkhole.

The road is closed between Regency Close and The Drive near to the Holy Cross Church.

Last evening Sussex Police and council officials were on the scene.

Traffic is diverted via Snatts Road and London Road.

Over the years there have been several incidents of sink holes in Church Street.

An East Sussex Highways spokesman said: “We were made aware yesterday (Thu 24) that a sink hole had opened up in Church Street and our highways steward attended as a matter of urgency.

“The surface hole was around 600m in diameter but there is a much bigger hole underneath which is almost the width of the carriageway and around 1m deep, which will require significant repair work.

“We attended to make the area safe, which we did by erecting barriers around the hole in question and arranging for the road to be closed.

“Our engineers are now investigating the cause of the sink hole, including the possibility that a collapsed sewer could be to blame, and accordingly are liaising with Southern Water.

“Due to the serious nature of the damage to the road, it will have to remain closed for now but we’d like to assure residents that we’re doing everything we can to ensure it can be repaired as quickly as possible.”

Former Deputy Mayor and town councillor Duncan Bennett said:

“I remember dear Barry Knights showing me the bricked up tunnel entrances in his cellar at Church House.

This would tie in with the vaults at Dawson Hart and down to the Cinque Ports.

Don’t forget that when they built the building where Pipe Dreams is now, they uncovered substantial ecclesiastical dungeons which was connected to the Bishop’s Palace which once stood at the top of Luxford’s Field.

It was in this vault that some of the Protestant Martyrs were held overnight on their transit to Lewes where they were burned at the stake.Uckfield’s sandstone bedrock lent itself to the creation of tunnels and cellars.

I also know of one which went from Rose Cottage (Cooper & Son Funeral Directors) to their former workshop (now houses) next door.

This apparently dated back to the time when Beer was brewed there and the old workshop was a pub, “the slip inn”

Cllr Paul Meakin (left) and Cllr Paul Sparks (right) and John Carvey in the centre discussing the hole
A council spokesperson said ‘he surface hole was around 600m in diameter but there is a much bigger hole underneath which is almost the width of the carriageway and around 1m deep, which will require significant repair work’

Images – Donna French

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