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Four more facts you may not know about Cuckfield

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

1. In 1992 Cuckfield boasted six public houses and most in their time have served as coaching inns. But only the Talbot, built in 1763 handled the coaches with the Royal Mail.

The punctuality of the mail was timed by a large wall-mounted pendulum clock, called the Act of Parliament Clock, later removed to the Kings Head and now in Cuckfield Museum.

2. In coaching days, prisoners were often transported from various parts of the county to Lewes prison by Cuckfield. When the coaches stopped in the village, the felons were not permitted to alight for fear of trouble in the village. Instead, the prisoners were let out on open ground to the north of Cuckfield for a meal of pease porridge (a); it is said this is how today's village of Pease Pottage got its name

3. The spire of Holy Trinity Church twice suffered from fire damage in the 20th century. The last occasion was in May 1980, when the 60 foot spire was completely destroyed.

Cuckfield Lithograph with inscription 'February 16 1876, Newman and co., 69 Southwark Bridge Road, London'

4. The village had much involvement with smugglers. Records show quantities of tea, spirits, silk and tobacco passed through Cuckfield.

In the 19th century when a pond was cleaned out in Horsgate, near Hanlye Lane, two sealed vessels were found containing spirits many years old. Doubtless no duty had been paid and they were intended to be ‘found’ by some conniving magistrate or helper as an inducement.

(a) "Pease Pease Hot" or "Pease Pudding Hot" (also known as "Peas Porridge Hot")is a children's singing game and nursery rhyme.

Pease porridge hot,

porridge in the pot,

nine days old;

Some like it hot, some like it cold,

Some like it in the pot, nine days old

The origins of this rhyme are unknown. The name refers to a type of porridge made from peas. Today it is known as pease pudding, and was also known in Middle English as pease pottage. ("Pease" was treated as a mass noun, similar to "oatmeal", and the singular "pea" and plural "peas" arose by back-formation.)

(From 'Cuckfield 900 Souvenir Programme' published by The Mid Sussex Times 1992)



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