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10 facts you may not know about Cuckfield

1. In 1294 William de Strones, Vicar of Cuckfield, was sentenced for poaching deer in Cuckfield Park, and Walter de la Mare was drowned in Cuckfield Park in 1287 while hunting a wounded deer.

2. In 1800 the Hound, an alehouse was enlarged and renamed the Talbot. It was rebuilt by 1830

3. In 1804 the stagecoach fare to Cuckfield from London was 10s 6d. (about £23 in today's money) George IV came to Cuckfield regularly on route to his new residence in Brighton (the Pavillion).

4. 1845 saw the last commercial stagecoach call through Cuckfield. (1)

5. A sundial that stood until the late nineteen sixties where the roundabout is at the bottom of the drive to the recreation ground was presented by Miss Payne, who lived at Winchester Lodge; it originally formed part of the balustrade of the old London Bridge

6. A Roman road from London used to skirt Cuckfield and crossed where the Cuckfield to Haywards Heath Road is now near Steeple Cottage

The Lamb Inn

7. Valentine cottage held a license to make beer and there was a brewery in Ockenden Lane just over 100 years ago. In the past several other Inns existed, including Lamb cottage, Whitemans Green which was an ale house.

8. The White Hart is believed to be the oldest building now used as a public house. Parts of it had been dated as the beginning of the 13th century.

9. Buried in Cuckfield churchyard is Henry Kingsley, writer and brother of Charles Kingsley. The titles of his books are carved at the foot of the memorial.

The White Harte

10. A smuggler’s cash was found upstairs when 25 High Street was being restored. It consisted of two dozen handmade spirit bottles from the continent – the contents unfortunately long since evaporated. It seems most likely the bottles were shipped into Newhaven or Piddinghoe and the smugglers were followed to closely by the exciseman

From This is Cuckfield, Published by the Cuckfield Society March 1967, Printed by Craftsman Press, Hailsham, Sussex

(1) As far as strictly commercial travel is concerned, the arrival of the railway in Haywards Heath brought a swift end to the stage coach through Cuckfield. However in 1908 Mr Alfred Vanderbilt, an American millionaire, came to England bringing with him some 80 of his horses in order to re-create the atmosphere of the old coaching days before the railways took away much of the trade in the 1840s. On 4th May 1908, he made a trial run of the journey from London to Brighton in “Meteor” with himself driving. Subsequent regular trips were made in the “Venture”.

Vanderbilt drives the stagecoach 'Venture' by The Kings Head circa 1908



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