top of page

1897: Happy swains and rustic females

Scene visualised by Bing Image Creator using AI.

… For 'memories' going back far beyond the days of the cycle, commend me to Cuckfield Place, standing amid groves and avenues, its grey Elizabethan front visible from the road as you leave the town, and go steeply on your way, Cuckfield is a place picturesque even now, but how much more so a hundred years ago, when according to a writer of that period, a fair was held her in September, to which resorted a ‘number of pretty rustic females and a multitude of happy swains’?

Alas! where are those ‘happy swains’, those ‘rustic females’? Gone as irrevocably as the leaves of yesteryear: and with them the fair and its junketings, the coaching age and the gay gallants, who passing this way in coach or post-chaise, ogled those pretty rustics with all the success that the glories of frocked coats, Blucher boots, curly wigs, and the fropperies of Corinthian days deserved.

Cycling, 27 November 1897

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

Visit Cuckfield Museum, follow the link for details


bottom of page