The origins of this charming Village date back to Norman times, when the Manor was given to the Count of Eu, by William the Conqueror, in 1096, in recognition of his services in battle. Burwash marks the northern boundary of "1066 Country" being 8 miles from Senlac field. Latterly it gained fame as the home of the late author, Rudyard Kipling. He lived at Batemans, which lies to the south, and was built in 1634 by the Iron Master, John Brittan. Kipling lived at Batemans from 1902 to 1936, when he died. His wife, Carrie, died in 1939, and left Batemans to the National Trust, as a memorial to her husband. Batemans is open to the public from Easter to October, and is well worth a visit, with its small mill, and unique water powered turbine.
There are many interesting buildings in the beautiful tree-lined high street of Burwash, some date from before the 16th century. The Manor House of Burghurst stands opposite the church. In the 18th and 19th centuries Burwash was a haven for smuggling, and one may note that several of the tombstones in the churchyard bear the skull and crossbones. The Church of St Bartholomew was built in 1090 but the tower is all that remains of the original Norman structure. The Church houses the rare 16th century Geneva Bible, discovered in 1954 among a collection of old books in the vestry of the Church. Also to be found in the Church is a cast iron slab on the wall by the Lady Chapel altar. It is 14th Century, and used to be on the floor. It marked the resting place of the local ironmaking family of Collins, and it is believed to be the oldest example of a Sussex grave slab. The churchyard has also some of the Harmer terracotta gravestones from the early 19th century.
1721 brought excitement to the area as the Excise Men caught up with Gabriel Tomkins leader of the Mayfield Gang of Owlers in the village, then chased him to Nutley where he was arrested. Nearby is the market town of Heathfield, which along with the surrounding villages of Waldron and Mayfield was the centre of the Sussex iron industry in the 18th century.