East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.
East Sussex is part of the historic county of Sussex, which has its roots in the ancient kingdom of the South Saxons, who established themselves there in the fifth century AD, after the departure of the Romans. Archaeological remains are plentiful, especially in the upland areas. The area's position on the coast has also meant that there were many invaders, including the Romans and later the Normans. Earlier industries have included fishing, iron-making, and the wool trade, all of which have declined, or been lost completely.
Sussex is traditionally divided into six sub-divisions known as rapes. From the 12th century the three eastern rapes and the three western rapes each had separate quarter sessions, with the county town of the three eastern rapes being Lewes. This situation was formalised by Parliament in 1865, and the two parts were made into administrative counties, each with distinct elected county councils in 1889 under the Local Government Act 1888. In East Sussex there were also three self-administered county boroughs: Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings.
In 1974 East Sussex was made a ceremonial county, and the three county boroughs became districts within the county. At the same time the western boundary was altered, so that the Mid Sussex region (including Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath) was transferred to the county of West Sussex. In 1997, Brighton and Hove became a self-administered unitary authority; it was granted city status in 2000, whilst remaining part of the ceremonial county of East Sussex.