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1550s: 'Nobleman's gates' in the churchyard

William de Warren, 6th Earl of Surrey, gave to the church of the Holy Trinity, of Cuckfield, half an acre of land In the same parish.

On an inquiry made 19th February, 1612, before Sir Walter Covert; Sir John Shirley; Sir Stephen Board; Ninian Burrell, Esq; Henry Word; Richard Chaloner, gent., and others relative to repairs of the church yard inclosures, Thomas Burton the elder, aged 74, said he knew a manifest of two fair gates, as of a nobleman's place, in the south wall joining to the churchyard.

The least of the two standing south, right against the old chapel that did stand in the church yard, off from the church, fit for the gate of state of a nobleman of famous memory, to pass with his retinue; and the other a greater gate, as for a coach, wain, or cart, which stood in the wall, plain south, as it were against the chancel.

And that John Hussey, Esq., grandfather of Nathaniel Hussey, gent.; John Michel, of the town, gent., father of John Michel, of Sidney, gent.: Thomas Burrell, gent., father of Ninian Burrell, Esq., and old Henry Bowyer, Esq., did from time to time, keep in repair the said stone wall; and that the aforesaid Henry Bowyer, building this ancient place, did cause to by carryd stone from the aforesaid place and wall, which win over the Earl Warren's (a nobleman of famous memory); of which stone, in present view, is yet to be seen in the south-east wall of the older garden.

Source: Transcribed from a large folio book, covered with parchment, in the possession of Mr Charles Ashburnham, vicar of Cuckfield, belonging to that parish. Sept. 1772 — Barr. MSS. From The History, Antiquities and Topography of the County of Sussex Volume 1 by Thomas Walker Horsfield 1835

Image: Drawing by Herbert Railton of Gray's Inn Gardens Main Gates, The Inns of Chancery, London 1895. Wikimedia Public Domain image.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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