1989: A sample of the delights of historic Cuckfield

Updated: Jun 29

Cuckfield lies almost northwards as the crow flies from Brighton and is the centre of an administrative area which embraces its neighbour, Haywards Heath.


Cuckfield’s history and it goes back at least to 1254 when it was granted a charter – is that of a former market town, with all the rural charm and bustle such communities displayed.


Church Street c1900 (photograph courtesy of Cuckfield Museum)

The main street still reflects the past. In 1876 Henry Kingsley, the novelist and the younger brother of Charles Kingsley, died at a cottage called Attrees (now Kingsleys), a 17th century half timbered residence at the top of the hill.


North of the parish church is the former Grammar School – founded in 1521. What's left today is largely a 17th-century building, although it has been extensively modified through the years. But it still has an original fireplace and oak beams.


In a lane past the King’s head pub is another time matured building, Ockenden Manor. It dates partly from the 16th century. The church was rebuilt about 1250 on the foundations of a Norman building.


It has a 13th century tower and a 15th century roof, distinctive for its paintings and bosses carrying the arms of the Nevills, once lords of the manor.


From Historic Buildings of West Sussex: a series in the Evening Argus 1989

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