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c1850s: Loitering ghost in Cuckfield Park

The Old Mill House c1908 (Colourised postcard - with an addition!)

Mrs Ann Pritchard Sergison, who moved into the [Cuckfield Park] mansion after winning a lawsuit in about 1820, took over the mill [on the estate] and tried to ruin her competitor Jacob Caffyn lower downstream by cutting off his water supply. Stoner, a cowman who was living in the millhouse after her death, claimed that he saw her ghost loitering in a clump of walnut trees in the Park when he was walking home from the mansion at dusk.

Note: Mrs Ann Pritchard Sergison died at the age of 85 in 1848 at her home, Cuckfield Park.

After her death, ghost stories began to circulate about her - local people said she was too wicked to rest, and her spirit was supposed to have been seen swinging on the gate at the entrance to Cuckfield Park. After some time, three local churchmen were supposed to have held a service of exorcism in Cuckfield church at midnight. The story continued that the ghost was then drowned in the font, and the manifestations came to an end.


Cuckfield in old postcards, by Maisie Wright, 1984

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.



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