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1868: Great coach horses

The Mails meeting


Having attempted a short notice of the journey to Sevenoaks last week, I now come to a short description of the Brighton coach, which leaves Hatchett's hotel at 11:00 am daily for Brighton, and a very beautiful ride it is; the team of grays to Lower Streatham is superb.

With then take in a mixed galloping team, wonderfully quick on their legs, to Croydon; on quietly threading the town, we commence galloping again to the Stoat's Nest Farm hovels, where we take in a bay team belonging to Mr Chandos Pole.

One of the pretty bay leaders only cost £7 at the Birmingham repository, having run away with the Dean of Litchfield's daughter. These deliver us quick as lightning at the Cottage of Content Merstham. Here there is a fine team of trotters and gallopers to Lovell Heath for luncheon, where twenty minutes are allowed, and the up coach meets the down coach (a very pretty sight).

There are fresh teams for both coaches, which only do the one journey a day, on the Priory Heath below Cuckfield; and into Brighton there is a splendid team of chestnuts for one coach, and a fine mix team, with a superb old chestnut hunter of Mr Chandos Pole's, and for which two years ago he refused 500 guineas.

They generally do the journey in five hours and a half to the minute by the church clock on the Steine. I wish Mr Paul and his brother every success, although they do it for amusement almost solely.

The Field, The Country Gentleman's Newspaper, 16 May 1868

Illustration: Annals of the road : or, Notes on mail and stage coaching in Great Britain. Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine. Wikimedia public domain image.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.


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