As late as the 1870's an observer reported 'roads being mended with the plough, the mire being turned up on the side to dry whilst a new bottom is meanwhile obtained'.
Mending roads was often a matter of some desperate farmer tipping a cart load of flints in the worst spots; often even this rough method was limited to piling whole bushes or tree branches in the roadway.
The mud meant a constant battle for housewives and sometimes whole birch brooms were staked in the doorways of Wealden houses to act as boot scrapers.
Daniel Defoe, A tour through the whole Island of Great Britain, 1724-6, p378, 441
Quote found in Scarpfoot Parish: Plumpton 1830-1880 by Prof. Brian Short, University of Sussex, 1981 published by the University.
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.