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c1933 - Reflecting on some old houses and old habits in Cuckfield

Cuckfield News- c1933

Notes on Some Old Houses in Cuckfield and some smuggling activity


No. 27 South Street.

The last to hang a green Ivy bush from the window at fair times, as a sign to all passers-by that liquor could be bought there on that day without a license.

Amongst oak panelling over fireplace are carvings of conventional trees, and mouldings of the Elizabethan era.

There is a deep salt cupboard on the staircase with carved door and the original hinges.

Said to have been built by two wealthy ladies in Elizabethan times.


No. 27 South Street where liquor could be bought on Fayre days 2024 image

Biggs farm, Cleavers Lane.

Oldest house in Cuckfield.

Originally single-storey with central chimney. Traces of shut on rafters. 14th century


Biggs Farm - the oldest building in Cuckfield? photograph2010

Old Bank House, High Street.

Panelled rooms, a fireplace dated 1623, a James the first secret cupboard in the top room near the chimney.

An old Sun Insurance sign nailed to the facade.


Old Bank House - over 400 years old. image 2024

Picknells

Title deed dated 1611, still exists, when the house was purchased by Thomas Alidor from James Eid, blacksmith.

House at one time divided into two, has two staircases.

Huge attics approached by steep ladder.


Picknells, a Jacobean (or perhaps Elizabethan) building. Image c2024

Harradines, Little London Lane

....had a reputation for being a safe dump for smuggled goods, and the sign of the fixed weathercock on the house nearest the Rose and Crown told those who were in the know about such matters.


Harridines a very old building where dubious activity was reputed to have occurred. Image - 2024

A history of smuggling.....

When the pond at Horsgate was cleaned out, two vessels of foreign shape were found containing spirits of great age.


In 1855 a large consignment of tobacco was brought to Shoreham under a small load of cement, carried to Beeding by water and there loaded onto vans, one of which was traced to Cuckfield.


The excisemen were kept busy, though sometimes inclined to be lenient, Mr Bates’ father used to tell the tale of a man who openly carried a keg of rum up the High Street, and the excise man, who was obliged to charge him, complained that if only the man had covered it with a sack he need not have seen him.

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