A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1940.
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The River Ouse in places forms the northern boundary of Cuckfield, and in the east corner it is crossed by the Southern Railway and part of the Ouse Valley viaduct, the nearest station being at Haywards Heath, 2 miles east of the town. In the north of the parish is Great Bentley Farm, and the ground slopes upward from the Ouse Valley to Little Bentley Farm and Wood, at an altitude of 200 ft. The centre of the parish lies from 300 to 400 ft. high, where the town is situated, but falls again to below 100 ft. in the south. There is a triangle of roads in the centre of the little town, that from Haywards Heath coming in from the east and branching to meet the main road from north to south in two places. This road runs north to Whiteman's Green, where a branch turns off westward to Slough Green. The north road passes through Brook Street, where there is a Mission Church. South of the town it runs south-west along the side of Cuckfield Park (to the north-west) to Anstye, where there is St. John's Mission Church, and where five roads meet. One of these leads south to Legh Manor. Hanlye Lane turns east from the main street before it reaches Whiteman's Green, and leads past the Cuckfield Institution and Hanlye Farm to Borde Hill Lane, leading from Haywards Heath to Balcombe, which forms the eastern boundary. Holy Trinity Church lies at the south end of the main street. A stream winds across this part of the parish, forming the southern boundary of Cuckfield Park and then runs southward. The Baptist chapel was established about 1776; a Congregational chapel was built in 1832 and rebuilt in 1869, and there is also a Methodist chapel.
The ancient parish of Cuckfield had an extent of about 10,500 acres. About 1875 the central portion was constituted a separate local government district, afterwards (1894–1934) known as Cuckfield Urban District. Soon afterwards the eastern portion was formed into what became the Haywards Heath Urban District. In 1934 these, with parts of Lindfield and Wivelsfield, were amalgamated to form the enlarged Cuckfield Urban District, with four wards. The rest of the old parish with detached portions of Balcombe, Clayton, and Keymer, became Cuckfield Rural Parish, including Staplefield, which had been made an ecclesiastical parish in 1848.
HAYWARDS HEATH, (fn. 1) a separate ecclesiastical parish, carved out of Cuckfield in 1865, was formed into a civil parish in 1894. It now has two ecclesiastical parishes, St. Wilfred's and St. Richard's. The station, opened in 1841, is a junction on the Southern Railway from London to Brighton for Lewes and East Grinstead lines. The Roman Catholic Priory of Our Lady of Good Counsel, a house of Augustinian Canonesses, was founded in 1886, and the church consecrated in 1897. The Roman Catholic church of St. Paul was built in 1930. There is also a Convent of the Holy Cross in Bolnore Road. There are Congregational, Methodist, and Baptist chapels. A weekly stock-market has been held on Tuesdays since 1868.
The older part of Cuckfield village lies chiefly along the main street, which runs north and south, with a deflection at the south end to avoid the church, school, and other buildings about them. There are in the village a number of houses which retain chimneystacks and other features of the 17th century, as, for instance, Marshall's, which has an ashlar front, Maltman's and Maberley's, which are timber-framed with tile-hanging, and a group of cottages near the church.
The Old Grammar School, (fn. 2) founded c. 1510, is still in use and has modern extensions to the east of it. It stands immediately north of the churchyard and is of a rectangular plan, about 60 ft. by 24 ft., with 2-ft. walls of ashlar sandstone, and is of two stories: there was formerly an attic. The roof is covered with Horsham slabs on the south side and tiles on the north. The building, which has beams like those at Legh Manor, Old Beech Farm, &c., is of the second half of the 16th century. It is of six bays from east to west. (fn. 3) The south wall has a chamfered plinth and a moulded stringcourse at the first-floor level. In it are six windows, with moulded features, to each floor, all of three lights excepting the second from the east in the ground floor: this is of two lights and occupies the position of the original doorway, which has been re-set in a low wall east of the south wall. The east and west walls are gabled and have diamond-panelled and corbelled kneelers and the stumps of apex-pinnacles. The west wall has a three-light window to each story, and the east wall one to the upper story. On the north side is a projecting chimney-stack with two detached square shafts of thin bricks: it retains an original stone fireplace on the first floor. The bays of the ground floor are divided by moulded ceiling-beams with channelled soffits and carved stops, and between them are two lighter longitudinal beams of the same kind. The attic story was occupied until late in the 19th century by the schoolmasters. It has now been abolished and the roof to some extent reconstructed. The original transverse ceiling-beams were raised to a higher level: they are moulded like those below and have mortices for former longitudinal ceiling-beams. The beams now serve as tie-beams to the trusses of the open roof. The trusses are of queen-post type and at least one seems to be ancient, although probably remodelled.
A house, now two tenements and shops, just north of the church on the east side of the main street, has a 15th-century south wing and an early-16th-century main block and north wing. The west front shows little detail of age: the two wings have gabled ends; the north gable retains an elaborately carved bargeboard of c. 1500, the southern has been brought forward in brick, but the beams inside show that it formerly lined with the other. The upper story of the middle block appears to have been jettied flush with the faces of the wings. The interior of the south wing has heavy, wide, flat ceiling-joists to the lower story and in the roof space are two 15th-century king-post trusses dividing the three bays of the roof; the front bay of the roof has been modernized. The middle block—now much cut up by modern alterations—was of two-story hall-type of two bays. The lower ceiling preserves the original moulded main beams of c. 1500, one crossing the other, and the original hollow-chamfered joists remain except where they have been removed for the modern shop. The roof of the middle block has plain trusses and side-purlins with wind-braces of ogee curved form. One braced tie-beam is built close to the side of the earlier south wing, which here shows some of its original framing with curved braces. There is a roof of similar type over the north wing. Of later work are the fire-places and parts of a 17th-century staircase in the south wing.
Farther north on the west side of the street is 'Attrees', the residence for a short time of Henry Kingsley, the novelist, and popularly called 'Kingsley's Cottage'. The walls show early-16th-century framing in the front, partly restored, and there are open-timbered ceilings with plain beams and joists to both floors. The plan is T-shaped and there are inserted chimney-stacks with wide fire-places in the middle of the front range and at the west end of the back wing. The roof over the front range is of the 16th-century wind-braced side-purlin construction.
The Rose and Crown Inn, at the north corner of the loop-road to Haywards Heath, retains a late-16th-century projecting chimney-stack at its north end, with three detached square shafts set close together under a single capping.
Macaulay House, formerly Ockenden House, the seat of the Burrell family, stands west of the village and is mostly of 16th-century timber-framing but has a short wing at the south end, of stone, probably added after a fire in 1608. (fn. 4) The plan extends back, to the west, behind the east range, in an irregular fashion and contains the principal entrance to the north, and west of it the main staircase, while beyond are the kitchen and offices. Some part of these buildings is probably of the 17th century, but a fire-place on the first floor suggests that here also may have been some of the earlier 16th-century house. Additions and alterations were made in 1858. The south wing of ashlar projects eastwards from the main front and is of two stories and attics, marked by moulded string-courses, and has a gable head with corbelled kneelers and ball-finials. The windows are original, as is the four-centred doorway. On the south side is a projecting chimney-stack which carries a fine range of five detached square shafts of brick. The east range, of timber-framing covered with rough-cast cement, is low, the upper windows being semi-dormers in the roof. In the middle bay is a gablehead and in front of it is a gabled porch-wing with an overhanging upper story on moulded bressummers, and a moulded barge-board. The outer entrance is now filled in, but the old four-centred inner doorway of oak can be seen inside the present library, which has a stone fire-place with a four-centred head and some plain late16th-century panelling with fluted pilasters; the room next south and the rooms above them are similarly treated. The room in the stone-built part has a stone fire-place with carved mouldings, foliage spandrels, and a key-block with the initial B, probably of the 18th century. The room has early-17th-century panelling with fluted pilasters, and a plaster ceiling of exotic character. The rooms above, on the first and second floors, have similar panelling, and another bedroom in the westernmost wing also has a Tudor fire-place and panelling.
Cuckfield Park dates from c. 1580. The plan is now rectangular about a long and narrow courtyard the longer sides facing approximately north and south and entrance being in the east front. The original plan was probably L-shaped, consisting of the present east range and the range north of the courtyard, with the stair-hall in the angle; but the north range has been much altered externally. The pantry, &c., closing the west end of the courtyard, seems to be of the 18th century. There are some rain-water heads dated 1738 which may be contemporary with this west range as well as with much of the fenestration in the north front. The south range, containing the drawing-room and dining-room, was added in 1848–51. (fn. 5) The two wings extending from the west end, containing a conservatory and the kitchen and offices, are modern.
The building consists of a basement—mostly cellars under the east range, but with windows in the other ranges—and two stories above, and there are attics to the east range. The ground floor of the south range is level with that of the east range, but that of the north range is level with the first quarter-landing of the staircase, five steps above the entrance hall, the basement being loftier than the east cellars. This change of levels is probably the result of 18th-century alterations.
The east elevation is symmetrical, with a two-storied porch-wing in the middle. The entrance to the porch, which seems to be modern, (fn. 6) has moulded jambs and a four-centred arch all cemented. The inner doorway has chamfered jambs and arch. The first-floor window is of two lights. Above the entrance and below the upper sill-level are two moulded string-courses: the wall-face is recessed deeply between them and has a square stone with a panel carved with a shield of the arms of Sergison. The angles of the porch have threequarter octagonal pilasters, with pepper-pot finials rising above the embattled parapet.
In the main wall on either side of the porch are four windows, the nearest narrow and the others of two lights with wooden frames, mullions, and transoms and with moulded labels of cement, like the wall-face. The first-floor windows are similar but without the labels, and the wall has a moulded eaves-course and deep frieze. In the roof are five dormer windows, each of two lights and with extraordinarily large moulded cornices and gabled heads with tall oak pinnacle-posts at the bases and apices. Both the cornice and gable of each are covered with lead and in the tympana are coats of arms also in lead. Above the ridge of the roof of this range is the tip of a higher gable of the main staircase wing: it has a barge-board carved with a guilloche ornament and an apex pinnacle-post and pendant. A similar gable-tip is in line with the south range but here the barge-board is plain and the gable is probably later. In the north elevation the end of the east range is gabled and has a pepper-pot pinnacle at the apex. The end of the west range is also gabled; it has a modern basement (kitchen) window, where the ground-level outside has been lowered. Between the gabled bays is a range of seven mid-18th-century sashwindows to the ground and first floors. The roof for the eastern two-thirds of the range is lower than that of the east range and covered with old slabs: in the western third—beyond the chimney-stack above the boudoir fire-place—it is still lower and covered with tiles.
The back (west) wall has modern windows to the pantry and the back staircase. A small patch of exposed brick-work near the north-west corner shows late-17thcentury red bricks with some random blue bricks. The chimney-stacks generally are rectangular and of old thin bricks, but most of them have modern square and twisted shafts above them. The south wall of the north range towards the courtyard is cemented; it has a doorway and modern window to the basement, three windows to the ground of two lights with wood mullions and transoms and plastered labels to the heads, and three similar first-floor windows, of which two are carried above the eaves as half-dormers with gabled heads. The north side of the south range towards the court is of whitened bricks and has somewhat similar windows. The east side of the court, the stair hall, is tile-hung, and the west side of brick.
The hall is the original middle hall and northern room now thrown into one chamber of about 42 ft. long. The original ceiling of the (former) north room is in place and it has been copied in the ceiling of the remainder. Between the hall and the south morningroom is a carved oak screen, and both this room and the former north room have original fire-places in the west wall. In the same wall are archways opening from the hall to the main staircase and to the corridor running down the north side of the south range. The old ceiling is divided into square panels by moulded ribs and is decorated with moulded pendants and designs in relief, floral, grotesque, and heraldic. The central square panel contains a shield with the arms and initials of Queen Elizabeth. The panels flanking the square contain a rose, fleur de lis, pomegranate, and portcullis respectively; other squares have a checky shield, devices of an eagle, a horse rampant with a slip of oak in its mouth, a chained bull, and a spotted leopard; also a shield with a lion rampant, and a roundel enclosing a mounted knight wearing a checky cloak and bearing a checky shield. (fn. 7)
The fire-place has moulded stone jambs and a four-centred arch in a square head with plain spandrels. In it is an iron fire-back with the royal arms, the initials ER, and date 1585. Above the fire-place is an overmantel of three bays and two tiers divided by fluted pilasters and carved acanthus-leaf consoles: the lower panels have moulded and dentilled frames and the middle one is inlaid with lines of holly wood and ebony; the upper panels have enriched moulded frames and raised centres of mouldings and roundels with high relief lions' heads; a moulded and embattled capping above the lower panels breaks forward over the pilasters. The walls are lined with four tiers of early-17th-century panelling: there is a moulded cornice with beaded enrichment and over that a painted frieze of scrolled foliage.
The west wall of the south part of the hall—the former entrance hall—is lined with four tiers of late-16th-century panelling with a moulded capping and then another tier of panels inlaid with frames of alternate pieces of ebony and holly and divided by fluted pilasters, mostly replaced by plain muntins. The opening to the staircase is a segmental arch of oak with a middle pendant post and half-pendants against the reveals. The opening to the corridor is similarly treated, but the sidependants are modern.
At the south end of the hall is the carved screen between it and the morning-room: the plain back of it is towards the hall, probably not the original arrangement: it is just plain panelling with two doorways containing 18th-century doors. The face towards the morningroom is divided into five bays by detached fluted shafts with Corinthian capitals; these carry an entablature which breaks forward over them: the frieze is fluted and beaded and on the projecting parts of it are carved in high relief the heads of various beasts—pigs, bulls, lions, and sheep. The second and fourth bays are the doorways and have enriched segmental arches with circular sinkings in the spandrels. The other bays are closed and have plinth panels with jewelled ornament, and upper panels with fluted pilasters having moulded caps, and enriched round arches; the tympana are filled with radiating fluting and the Sergison crest of a dolphin. The surface of each below the springing-line is treated with raised rectangular compartments seven in height and four in width, each with a jewelled or diamond-shaped facet. Above the entablature are five bays of panelling separated by pilasters carved as terminal figures of men carrying on their heads bunches of fruit, &c. The upper cornice breaks forward over them and between them the soffit is carved with jewelled ornament. The panels are carved: the middle bay has a very elaborate oval cartouche with seated allegorical figures above holding swords, winged cherubs below, masks, &c., round the date 1581: a scroll above bears the words PIETATE LVSTRA. The others have enriched strap-work frames with monsters' heads, &c., about shields and badges. On either side of the middle are the arms of Bowyer (fn. 8) and Vaux; and the westernmost panel has a lion crest with the motto 'Guardez la foy'.
The fire-place is of stone and is flanked by oak fluted pilasters, carried up to enclose the overmantel, of which the lower panels are inlaid with lozenge patterns in lines; the upper have enriched round arches and foliage spandrels; a frieze above is decorated with inlaid patterns and jewel ornament. The room is lined with six tiers of panelling, some of it of the late 16th century and some modern. The ceiling is open-timbered, with old stop-chamfered beams and modern joists.
The main staircase, which rises from the basement to the second floor, is of open well type with equal flights of five steps on four sides. It has 7¾-inch square newels with turned square moulded heads and pendants, 3¼-inch turned symmetrical balusters, and moulded handrails. In the north wall in the basement is a good original oak doorway with a moulded frame having base-stops carved with double scrolls: it has an ancient plain door with an original iron lock with strap scutcheon-plates. Another ancient chamfered oak doorway opens into the cellar under the hall. The ground floor of the north range is level with the first landing of the stair above the hall: it has a lobby with late-16th-century panelling from elsewhere, and a passage along the south side with 18th-century panelling. The boudoir, entered from the passage, has a modern stone fire-place flanked by pairs of fluted Ionic shafts of oak on pedestals carved with strap ornament. The mantel moulding is enriched with carving and has the date 1579: it breaks forward over the pairs of shafts where it is carved (south) with the initials HB tied together by a knot and (north) H E also knotted, for Henry and Elizabeth Bowyer. The three bays of the overmantel contain frames of strap ornament: the middle has a shield carved with the arms of Bowyer, impaling Vaux with five quarterings. The room is lined with Elizabethan panelling in bays, with doors to match. In the angles are fluted pilasters with Ionic caps and panelled pedestals: a frieze is divided in panels of strap-work and jewel ornament; probably the whole of the panelling is re-set work. The room next west, an office also entered from the passage, is lined with late-16th-century panelling, a little later than that of the bounoir, and a fluted frieze.
The modern drawing-room, forming the middle part of the south range, contains a late-17th-century north chimney-piece. The fire-place is of marble with a deal surround, having side-pilasters with consoles and applied festoons of foliage, a frieze also with applied carving of fruit and flowers, and a moulded and dentilled mantel-shelf. The overmantel is a large panel with an applied cartouche having palms and swags of fruit and foliage and pendants, all of the Grinling Gibbons style of carving. The dining-room—the westernmost chamber of the south range—has a fire-place of stone, dated 1594, re-set from elsewhere. It has side-pilasters with trophies of fruit, &c., and a mantel or lintel with the date in a small middle panel flanked by trophies of musical instruments, &c., two oval panels with the initials [H B E] tied by ribands, &c. An iron fire-back with the Stuart royal arms and supporters is dated 1618. The mantel-shelf is modern. The overmantel is of two deep oak panels with carved moulded frames, divided and flanked by pilasters carved with foliage. The room is lined with early-17th-century panelling in seven tiers, not all of one period, and partly modern.
On the first floor the room over the boudoir, in the north range, is lined with late-16th-century panelling and has a west fire-place with fluted pilasters and a plain overmantel. The room next west is also lined with like panelling and has a west overmantel in two tiers of two dates of late-16th-century panelling, three bays wide, the middle lower bay having an applied central carving of the half figure of a man and grape ornament. The passage cut off the south side of this range is lined with 18th-century panelling, but at its west end is an original (16th-century) moulded oak door-frame with moulded base-stops. There is some early-18th-century bolection-moulded panelling in the rooms of the east front and in rooms over the drawing-room.
The second floor of the east front is a range of five attic bedrooms, all entered from a corridor by moulded oak door-frames of the 16th century, with battened doors hung by ornamental strap-hinges. No distinctive roof construction is visible.
Some way in front of the east entrance is the isolated gate-house of late-16th-century brick and of two stories; it has octagonal angle-turrets rising above the main roof and lighted by loops: those to the first floor are bulls-eyes and round-headed lights. The gateways have cemented four-centred arches in square heads with hooks for former gates, and the first floor has east and west windows of three square-headed lights with moulded mullions, jambs, and labels. The parapets of both main part and turrets have an odd collection of pinnacles on them, some with moulded finials and some shorter with lozenge facets. The gateway inside is paved with Purbeck slabs. The south-east turret contains a stair-vice, the others are cupboards: the upper part of the south-west turret has a clock with a wooden dial towards the house, and over it is a lead cupola for a bell. In the north-east turret, first floor, is a small arched fire-place. The upper main chamber has an open-timbered ceiling with plain beams and small joists: the turrets have heavy flat ceiling-joists.
An avenue of lime-trees leads up to the gate-house from the main road. A garden wall setting back, along the north side of the avenue, is partly of 16th-century bricks and contains a square window of some former building.
Slough Place, a mile north-west of the village, is a much altered house of which the back wing, facing south, dates from about 1540: the lower story of this front is of 18th-century brick; the upper story is tilehung, but the old timber-framing is exposed inside. The west end retains an original chimney-stack: it has a great fire-place, 11½ ft. wide, and is built of red brick with diaper ornament in blue headers. It has a crow-stepped gable and a great square shaft with a V-shaped pilaster on each face. The room which it serves is now a kitchen, but appears to have been the original hall, with the passage next east of it, and has chamfered ceiling beams: another beam on the first floor is stop-moulded. A door on the first floor was probably the original front door: it is of three long panels with moulded styles and muntins and moulded back-rails: it has plain straphinges and had an oak lock. A lower wing to the north of the kitchen seems to have been an early outbuilding; it is built of 16th-century bricks on stone foundations and has an 8-ft. fire-place and a similar chimney shaft.
Whitehouse Farm, about 1 mile west of Slough Place, is a mid-16th-century house. The lower story has walls of late 17th-century red and black bricks; the upper story is tile-hung, but the timber-framing has lately been exposed internally and shows several curved braces of the period. The roof over the north-east end has the typical wind-braced purlins and wide flat rafters, but over the other part the timbers appear to be of somewhat later alteration. The great chimneystack is at the south-east end and has a wide fire-place and rebated shaft of thin bricks with a V-shaped pilaster on the other face. The chimney-stack at the other end is a later addition, as it covers (above) the original framing and plaster infilling of the gable-head. Some of the original plaster, on interlacing lathing, is decorated with dotted markings made with the point of a five-toothed comb instead of the more usual lined combing.
Pain's Place, about 2 miles south of the village, is of L-shaped plan; the main block, facing south, is of about the same age as Slough Place and has an end chimneystack of the same design, except that the crow-stepping of half the gable has been removed. In it is a wide fire-place on the ground floor and a Tudor stone fireplace of plain design on the first floor. The back wing, extending northwards from the east end with a central chimney-stack, is an early-17th-century addition, as is probably the westernmost bay of the main block, as well as a semi-winding staircase built in the angle of the two ranges. The house has suffered many changes in later times: no timber-framing is visible externally, but within the angle staircase both wings show the framing with curved braces, and the south range has a moulded oak window-frame on the first floor, evidently put out of use when the stair was added.
Lyes Farm, east of Pain's Place, was a small late16th-century house of timber framing, facing south and with a projecting chimney-stack of stone on its north side. This was enclosed by a late-17th-century enlargement. Above it is the original brick shaft, of a cross plan, with the late-17th-century shaft built against its north side. Hook House, farther east, is a much repaired house with a chimney-stack of c. 1600 projecting at the west end. The front of the house is of modern brick, but some of the ancient timberframing is exposed in the back wall, enclosed by a lean-to addition. Above the tiled roof is a modern central chimney-stack. Near by are Bridge House and Lower Ridges Farm, both of which have 17th-century chimney-stacks.
Legh Manor (fn. 9) stands about 1½ miles south-west of the parish church. The oldest part of the house is the present south range, with a south porch-wing which dates from about 1540–50. On the north side, opposite the porch, was a small square vestibule which probably served as a combined entrance and stair-hall. The construction of the upper story of the range suggests that it was originally one long gallery, subsequently divided into two rooms with a middle passage. Later in the century the short north wing, probably for kitchen and offices, was added beyond the vestibule, pairing on the east side with the south range, to make the plan a modified H-shape. Probably the staircase was not removed from the vestibule to its present position in the north wing until later. There was a porch east of the vestibule before the present entrancehall was built, but its date is uncertain. The entrancehall and east porch were built for the late Sir William Chance, and other repairs and alterations carried out. The house and farm of about 100 acres have now been presented by Lady Chance to the Sussex Archaeological Trust and the house is open to visitors: it contains interesting tapestries and furniture of various periods.
The south front has a brick plinth in which are two stone windows of two lights to the long cellar below the range, a later excavation; the entrance is in the east wall. Above the plinth the front is wholly tile-hung. The middle porch is gabled and has a moulded barge-board; the entrance has a moulded square frame but modern doors. None of the windows in this front is old. The roof is covered with Horsham slabs. The east and west ends of the range are of brick and have projecting chimney-stacks of diapered brickwork, each with two square shafts set diagonally. The main roof encroaches on the bottoms of the shafts, having been raised later. The east end of the north wing has a similar stack without the diaper. Between the ranges is the modern porch with a pent-roof against the modern east wall of the entrance hall. The north side is of plain brickwork below and has a stone mullioned window of five lights with a transom, all restored; the upper story, of timberframing, is tile-hung and has an Elizabethan woodframed window of five lights. In the west half of the wall is a similar four-light window to the lower story and above it a small two-light window. West of this, on the first floor, was a doorway into some further extension that has disappeared.
The lower story of the south range formed two chambers, the eastern a hall of three bays and the western a parlour of two bays, the screens-passage of the hall with north and south doorways being in the middle bay of the five. The hall has a moulded anglepost in each corner and the bays are marked by moulded transverse ceiling-beams, which meet a similarly moulded longitudinal beam, and wall-beams; all have channelled soffits, except that between the middle and west bays, which is carried on plain projecting storyposts and marks the position of the former hall-screen. The original north window is of six lights with a moulded middle master mullion. The south doorway has a moulded square frame with sunk facings and contains a fine old door of twenty panels formed by moulded and channelled muntins and rails, nailstudded: the back of the door is of sloping battens. It is hung by strap-hinges and has an iron knocker. The north doorway, to the vestibule, also has a moulded and channelled frame; in it is a plain old battened door. The east fire-place is modern. The parlour has similar moulded beams, partly renewed; the ceiling is plastered.
The south window is modern, but the moulded posts flanking it are ancient. In the west wall is a stone fireplace with moulded jambs and flat four-centred arch in a square head. The spandrels are carved with foliage and shields, the southern with I H and the northern with M H: (fn. 10) above the arch is a frieze of fluted and dart ornament. (fn. 11)
The upper story has a cross-passage occupying the middle bay, between the two bedrooms. The east bedroom—above the hall—has moulded story-posts in the angles; the western pair have shaped brackets at the top, now partly hidden by the partition. Against the flat plastered ceiling are moulded beams against the walls with deeper modern cornices above them. The west room is similar; but above the middle passage is a coved ceiling springing from the north and south walls, said to be continued over the two bedrooms, but hidden from view. It is doubtful if the coving is original. The partitions between passage and bedrooms have each a moulded doorway with an old battened door. The west bedroom has a blocked north window of six lights with moulded mullions and iron middle stanchions. The exposed framing in the east room shows that there was a similar window there, and each room had two small high windows flanking the existing south windows; their stone fire-places are like that to the west parlour but have no initials. The middle passage has a moulded doorway in the north wall but no door. The south wall has an old chamfered doorframe and moulded two-panelled door opening into the room over the porch. Above the doorway is an open balustrade with short symmetrically turned balusters of about 1600.
The middle part of the plan consists of the modern entrance hall and the old vestibule behind it, with the rooms over them. The wall between the hall and the vestibule has been removed. The beam above it has a stopped moulding in the middle of it, indicating probably the position of the former wide entrance. A doorway, with old nail-studded door, from the hall into the east room of the north wing, was moved here from the north wall of the vestibule. The north doorway in the vestibule, formerly in the abolished east wall, with moulded posts and carved base-stops, leads to the staircase.
In the north wing the east room has a repaired stone window in the north wall, in which is reset a mid-16th-century shield of arms of Hussey, ermine three bars gules, and above it the name 'hwfee' in black-letter. The staircase has been reset west of this room, fitting rather awkwardly into the back room, which is now used as a pantry. It has a round central newel post cut off square at the level of the second floor. The steps are modern up to the first-floor level but above this they are ancient, with treads and risers of thick oak boards, except the two top steps, which are solid balks. On the ground floor the stair is partly supported by a post which appears to be a re-used beam with a channelled face. At the foot of the second-floor stairs is fixed an old battened door. The room over the vestibule shows old framing in the walls: besides the plain doorway from the staircase there appears to have been another west of it, probably earlier. Also in the west wall is an old chamfered doorway now opening into the modern part. The north-east bedroom has a moulded stone fire-place with plain spandrels. In the west wall the doorway has an old plain battened door with moulded rails, and the room is lighted by the wood-framed window in the north wall. The roof above the north wing has queen-post trusses and wind-braced sidepurlins.
Anstye Farm, at the fork of the Brighton and Bolney roads, is a 15th-century house, facing north, retaining evidence of a hall-place of two bays and two-storied wing at the west end. The eastern bay dates from the late 16th century, when first floor and central chimneystack were inserted in the hall. The north front shows framing, with curved braces to the original part and plain square framing to the eastern extension; most of the lower story has walls of later brick, but some of the story-posts remain from the ground upwards. The easternmost bay has stone foundations. The original ceiling-joists of the 15th-century west wing are exposed: those of the inserted floor in the site of the hall are stopchamfered. Of the original roof the usual central purlin is visible, but the trusses are concealed in the plastered partitions.
Butler's Farm, about 500 yards south-west of Anstye Farm, is also of about 1450, consisting originally of a hall of two bays, with a two-storied wing east of it. The framing is much the same as at Anstye Farm but much more of it is exposed outside. Inside there remains the 9-ft.-wide inserted fire-place of the 16th or 17th century, reduced for a modern grate. The original east wall of the hall has a fine moulded wall-beam, partly mutilated, and an original two-centred doorway to the wing: the upper part of the same wall has old curved braces. Against the east face of the inserted chimneystack is the middle roof-truss of the hall with arched braces below the tie-beam (one brace missing); most of the king-post is hidden by the upper ceiling. The south room of the wing has the original wide ceilingjoists exposed. The ground-floor rooms on the hall site have small stop-chamfered joists of the 16th or 17th century and north of the fire-place is a small entrancelobby which has a moulded beam of the same period. The west wall of the house is entirely of modern brick: it is possible that there was another wing here.
In this neighbourhood are several ancient houses. Riddens Farm is apparently a late-16th-century house, retaining a good projecting chimney-stack at its east end, of stone, with three detached diagonal shafts of brick. The plan is rectangular, but the east bay is crossgabled. Some of the original wood-framing is exposed, especially in the back (north) wall. Above the western part is a central chimney of late-17th-century bricks. There are wide fire-places and stop-chamfered ceilingbeams inside. Bishopstone Farm has been much altered, but retains evidence of a late-15th-century origin in its king-post roof-trusses and braced wall-framing. The north wall shows some of the old framing outside, but the east front is of red and black bricks of the early 18th century. Hilder's Farm is a small house of two bays with timber-framed front and back walls, and brick and tile-hung end walls. The house may be part of a larger one of c. 1600. Lovell's Farm is a mid- to late-17th-century house of brick and timber-framing covered with weather-boarding. It has a chimneystack at each gable-end of the usual rebated type; there are old open-timbered ceilings, and a cupboard next to the southern wide fire-place has an early-17th-century panelled door. On or near the by-road from Slough Green to Anstye are several old buildings. Deak's Farm and Pondtail Cottage have features of 17th-century date. Hoadsherf Farm (or 'Hodshrove') has been much altered, but the north end has timber-framing exposed in the upper story, suggesting a 15th- or early-16th-century origin. Unfortunately all evidence, inside, of possible timber construction of the period is concealed. There are early-17th-century joists in the lower ceilings and a central chimney-stack with wide fire-places. A cottage just east of Hoadsherf has a chimney-stack inscribed I V 1722: it has brick and tile-hung walls and a tiled roof with hipped ends and is probably all of the one date. A road from west of Slough Green southwards past Broxmead has several ancient buildings. A farm-house, south of the Slough Green road and on the east side of the road, has exposed square framing to the upper story. A cottage on the opposite side of the road is probably a late-16th-century building, showing some ancient timber-framing in the east front and a tiny original window with a moulded frame. Barnsnape Farm, about ¼ mile farther south on the west side of the road, is probably of early17th-century date. It is of rectangular plan with a middle lower wing behind showing some old framing; the main walls are of brick, the upper story tile-hung on timber-framing. Broxmead Farm is a large and tall building with walls almost entirely of timber-framing with plaster infilling, and of mid- to late-17th-century date. The plan is rectangular, with a low porch in the middle of the east front and a contemporary lean-to parallel outbuilding along the back part. All of these houses have 17th-century central chimney-stacks.
Near the junction of Broxmead Lane and Pickwell Lane is a 17th-century cottage now called 'Cuthedges', of old square timber-framing; and another house about ¼ mile farther east is of 17th-century origin and has walls of square timber-framing in four bays, weatherboarded at the back, on stone foundations. The central chimney-stack above the roof is of 18th-century and modern bricks, but inside are an original wide fire-place and open-timbered ceilings.
Old Beech Farm, just off the south side of the road from Cuckfield to Handcross, is a house of the second half of the 16th century. The gabled north end has original framing and a middle window of three lights, flanked by two small blocked windows: the gable-head projects and has a moulded bressummer on shaped brackets carved with guilloche ornament. There are other blocked windows in the east front, with moulded frames and mullions concealed by tile-hanging but visible inside. The central chimney-stack, of cross plan in thin bricks, has a fine wide fire-place of stone with chamfered jambs and arch, and above it is a moulded and enriched oak cornice to the mantel-shelf. Both ground- and firstfloor ceilings have moulded and channelled beams like those at Cuckfield Grammar School, Legh Manor, &c. The roof has queen-post trusses and side-purlins supported by straight wind-braces.
North of Slough Place is Bigg's Farm, a complete house of the first half of the 15th century, which had a great hall, a north solar wing, and a south buttery wing. About 1600 the first floor was inserted in the hall and, then or later, the second floor and the great central chimney-stack in the southern of the two bays of the hall were added. The walls of the lower story are of brick, replacing old timber-framing; the upper story is mostly tile-hung, but the north end shows old framing, including one of the curved braces typical of the period: the windows are latticed; one in the west front has a 16th-century moulded frame and ancient quarries. The roof, steep-pitched and with hipped ends, is covered with mossy Horsham slabs for two-thirds of its height: the top part is tiled. The (former) great hall retains its original 15th-century moulded wall-beam across the north end, where there is a doorway, with a pointed head, into the solar wing. The ceiling of the ground floor has 17th-century chamfered beams and joists. On the south side is a great fire-place with a huge flue above it and a very large hearth-stone. Close to the north wall there is a patch of pavement made up of floor-tiles shaped to form a pattern of octagons about squares, an unusual feature in Sussex, and perhaps original. The remainder of the floor is of very large irregular slabs. The southern room, the former buttery wing, has the original wide flat ceiling-joists and another wide fire-place. The first floor shows the framing, with curved braces, &c., in the upper part of the north wall of the hall, and in the middle, dividing the hall into two 11½-ft. bays, is the original roof-truss: this has a heavy cambered and chamfered tie-beam showing in the bedroom: mortices indicate former curved braces below it. Above the tie-beam is an octagonal king-post with a moulded capital above which are four-way braces.
Pilstye, 2½ miles north of the church, has two ancient houses close together; one of stone, dated 1647, is now the farm-house. The other, a timber-framed house of late-15th-century date, had a great hall of two bays of 12 and 13 ft., an east solar wing, and west buttery wing, each a 9-ft. bay flush with the hall. In the second half of the 16th century a great stone chimney-stack was inserted, filling the whole of the 12-ft. western bay, with a space south of it for the stairs and access to the buttery wing. The great fire-place has two circular domed ovens in the back of it, with two smaller ovens below them. At the same time the first floor was inserted in the hallspace. Early in the 19th century the original west wall was replaced by one of stone, and about the same time the roof was reconstructed. Two of the original kingpost trusses were left, but the central purlin and the collar beams were removed. The western fire-place in the great stack was filled in and the chimney-stack was cut into above it to enlarge the bedroom in the wing. The south front is of timber-framing divided by storyposts into the four bays and retaining one curved brace in the side of the hall. The doorway opens direct into the middle room. The east end retains two of the curved braces, and the back of the same bay two others. The second bay from the west (the side of the chimneystack) and the whole of the west wall are of stone ashlar, the latter with the date 1822. The central chimneyshaft, of thin bricks in a cross plan, appears unusually tall from the lowering of the roof. The middle room with the large fire-place has a 16th-century stopchamfered transverse beam and east of it are stopchamfered joists: those west of it between the beam and the chimney-breast are smaller and later. Between this room and the two rooms east of it (on the site of the solar) is an original partition made up of closely set battens with thinner boards between them. The ceiling in the solar wing has the original wide flat ceiling-joists, and the trimming in them suggests the position of a former stair against the north wall. The ceiling in the former west buttery has been more altered and has a chamfered middle beam and smaller joists. In the middle bedroom is a transverse beam above that in the room below: it has a series of mortices for former studs and may have had some connexion with the former smoke-flue to the great hall.
The stone building is of T-shaped plan, the stem pointing south. Both wings were gabled, but a third story was added in 1822. The original windows, of two or three lights, have moulded jambs, heads, mullions, and drip-stones. The principal entrance is in the east wall of the southern wing close to the northern cross-wing and has a round head with the initials and date H G A G 1647 (fn. 12). It opens into an entrance hall which is paved with 12-in. floor-tiles and has at its west end an early-18th-century staircase with 2-in. turned balusters and plain newels: it cuts across a tall transomed window in the west wall. The room south of the entrance-hall has a simple ribbed plastered ceiling, a circle in a square with roses in the centre and spandrels. The other wing has two rooms; the western and smaller room also has a ribbed ceiling, patterned as a rectangle enclosing a circle and four small lozenge panels, each with a rosette centre. The other room, now the kitchen, has a north doorway, formerly external but now enclosed by an outbuilding: it has a four-centred head and horizontal drip-stone. Between the two rooms is a central chimneystack: the kitchen has a 9-ft.-wide fire-place and next south of it is the original semi-winding staircase with some shaped flat balusters on the upper landing. The house possesses one iron fire-back of a late and unusual type, of concave plan with straight side-wings hinged to it: it bears a shield of arms charged with a fesse engrailed between three roundels.
Borde Hill Place, 1¾ miles north-east of the church, is a large house built of local stone and facing north. It is all modern except the west end built in 1598. This was a rectangular structure facing west and having a middle porch: there was probably a kitchen wing at the back on the site of the present entrance hall, where some old masonry is incorporated in the north wall. The old part was roofed as two attached parallel wings with gabled ends to the east and west. In the 18th century the roofs were altered and a small gable was inserted between the two old gables on the west front. The gable-heads are coped and have typical pinnacles on the kneelers and apices. The walls of ashlar have moulded string-courses at the first- and second-floor levels. The drawing-room, which fills the north half of the block, has two north windows of four lights and west of them a three-sided bay window of five lights, and in the west wall a window of five lights, all with transoms, moulded stone mullions, &c. The square south-western chamber has a corresponding west window of five lights and a south window of four; and the stair-hall, the eastern part of the south half, another of four lights. The bay window has a plain parapet above the second story, and behind it is an original stone dormer-window of two lights with gable and pinnacles. The windows above those of the groundfloor are reduced by one light in each story. On the south side are two modern wooden dormer windows with gable heads. The west porch has a restored doorway with a four-centred arch in a square head, and above it is a three-light window. The head of the porch is of the 18th century, but incorporates the panelled pinnacles of the original gable, and above the window-label is carved S 1598 B (for Stephen Boord). In the wall between the two halves is a chimney-stack that has three conjoined diagonal square shafts above the roof, with later shafts flanking them, and another stack above the east end of the north half with similar shafts also appears to be ancient. East of the drawing-room is the modern entrance hall and north porch.
The drawing-room has an ornate ribbed ceiling consisting of a series of pointed quatrefoils overlapping at the points to form small squares: the centres of the quatrefoils have fluted conical pendants, and there are smaller similar pendants at two corners of each small square, the other two corners of the square having a low-relief spray design. The centres of the eight-sided panels between the quatrefoils contain various designs; most of the ornament is cast from the same moulds as those in other Sussex houses of the same period, but much of the ceiling is said to be of wood. The design is carried into the soffits of the bay and other window recesses. All the window reveals have in addition a deep frieze representing a draped pavilion or canopy with festoons of fruit, &c., probably a late-17th-century addition. The south fire-place is of late-18th-century date set in a large recess with a segmental arch. The south-western room has a ceiling with flat ribs enriched with a running design of grapes and other fruit; two diagonal square panels bear a badge of a falcon on a tower, and two others have a man's head in profile wearing a fool's crown. There is also a frieze with a running design of grapes and pomegranates. The walls are lined with late-16th-century oak panelling up to the plaster frieze, divided by fluted pilasters with moulded caps; at the top is a fluted frieze and moulded cornice. The chimney-piece has an inlaid oak overmantel of three bays divided by tapering fluted pilasters; each bay has a raised moulded and gadrooned frame enclosing a raised centre. Above is an entablature with carved brackets and jewelled centres to the frieze.
A loose board above the cornice, with the date 1569, was taken from a former barn on the estate. The stone fire-place is of an earlier 16th-century Renaissance design rather than Elizabethan, the lintel being carved in low relief with a running design in thin riband and foliage, with two pairs of birds: the stone mantel-shelf is also carved with roses and foliage. The ancient opening has been fitted with a stone arch dated 1895.
The south wall of the drawing-room is a thick one and had a doorway at the east end to the stair, now blocked to form a recess: next north of the east entrance to the drawing-room two other recesses towards the modern entrance-hall suggest former doorways. The west porch opens into a small lobby next the middle chimney-stack, with doorways to the two chambers.
The stair-hall, forming the south-eastern quarter of the plan, has late-16th-century wall lining. The stair, of which the lower flight has been restored, rises about a framed rectangular centre to the second floor, the upper flight having channelled and moulded angleposts, on the south face of the rectangular central framing, with turned and moulded heads.
On the first-floor landing the thick wall to the rooms over the drawing-room has two ancient stone doorways in it, close together. The eastern has moulded jambs and a round head and contains a moulded oak frame and a heavy oak door of three nail-studded battens on sloping back-rails. The western doorway has similarly moulded jambs and four-centred arch in a square head with a similar heavy door. The eastern doorway leads to a lobby and dressing-room partitioned off from the great chamber above the drawing-room. The dressingroom is lined with mid-17th-century panelling and the bedroom with late-Elizabethan panelling, divided by fluted pilasters that have panelled pedestals with inlay ornament and super-pilasters with inlaid flower designs. The fire-place has modern side-pilasters and is lined with Dutch tiles. The overmantel is of three bays: the middle has a gadrooned frame like that on the ground floor, but the raised centre bears the inlaid date 1601; the side-bays have round-headed panels and are inlaid with conventional vase and flower designs in coloured woods. Around the room is a frieze of panels carved with rosette centres and fluting. Against the north wall, one in the bedroom and the other in the dressing-room, dividing the length into three bays, are two contemporary moulded oak posts, 12 in. wide and 6 in. deep, brought out at the top with shaped corbels; they probably have some connexion with former rooftrusses. The square south-west bedroom is lined with plainer Elizabethan panelling with frieze panels. Above is a plastered frieze with masks, supported by mermaids. The fire-place has moulded stone jambs and a straightsided Tudor arch in a square head, and a moulded stone shelf. The stone overmantel has a heart-shaped panel inscribed 1601/SB, and floral decoration between columns. The room contains an Elizabethan four-poster bed. The attic bedrooms reveal nothing of the roof construction. The south-west room has some 17th-century panelling and in its fire-place recess is some re-used linenfold panelling, and there is some similar panelling in the modern north porch.
Near Borde Hill are two houses dating from about 1600. Naldred's Farm is L-shaped. The main block, facing east, has some of the original timber-framing in both side walls and in the north gable-end: the rest has tile-hanging to the upper story. The house has been lengthened to the south in modern times. The central chimney-stack, of the usual rebated type, has wide fireplaces inside, and the rooms have chamfered ceilingbeams. Sugworth Farm has been mainly refronted in brick, but the semi-gabled north end retains the original square framing with brick infilling. The roof is covered partly with Horsham slabs and partly with tiles, and has a central chimney-stack of cross plan.
The village of Staplefield lies about 3 miles northwest of Cuckfield Church and has a large triangular green west of the church, the junction of five roads, with modern buildings about it and a War memorial of granite at the eastern angle. Staplefield Place, west of the green, is a large modern building of timberframing with a Horsham slab roof.
Tyes Place, (fn. 13) east of the green, is an L-shaped house, of which the east wing incorporates a medieval hall. A floor was inserted in the 16th century, perhaps by William Butler, whose daughter Margaret in 1588 married Lawrence Washington, a direct ancestor of George Washington. Externally the house has been refaced with brick and tile-hanging, and the whole was enlarged some forty years ago; but some of the rooms retain their open-timbered ceilings and have wide fireplaces, that in the dining-room having a Tudor arch to the opening, surmounted by a carved arabesque frieze.
Little Ashfold Farm, 3/8 mile south of the church, is a mid-15th-century building, facing west. It retains one bay, about 12 ft. of the original great hall, with a very fine arched roof-truss, and the north solar wing with curved braces in its side walls. A moulded wallbeam across the north end of the hall-place is partly buried in the first floor, inserted c. 1600, when the central chimney-stack was built in south of the great middle truss. The south part of the hall and the buttery wing have been replaced by modern brick walls. The roof, steep-pitched for thatch, is now tiled. The heavy tie-beam is chamfered and the soffit is curved in the middle to complete the arch formed by the two curved braces below it. The upper half of the truss and other roof construction is hidden by the first-floor ceilings.
A by-road to the south of Ashfold Farm has two cottages of c. 1600. One, facing west, has old timberframing in the upper story of the front and a north end chimney-stack, probably once the central chimney-stack of a larger building. The other, ¼ mile south-east of the first, has brick walls to the lower story and weatherboarding covering the timber-framing of the upper story. It has a central chimney-stack of early-17th-century bricks. Inside, both have wide fire-places and open-timbered ceilings.
Rocks Farm, ¾ mile north-east of Staplefield Church, is a stone-built house of about 1650 with mullioned windows and roof covered with Horsham slabs, above which is a rebated chimney-stack of thin bricks. In the same neighbourhood 'Dillion's' and 'Old House' appear to be of early-17th-century date, and a barn east of 'Dillion's' is of three bays with fine roof-trusses of c. 1600.
The manor of CUCKFIELD (fn. 14) is not mentioned in Domesday Book, but the church is recorded as being in the possession of William de Warenne about 1090. (fn. 15) Certainly from 1240 the manor was held in demesne by the Earls Warenne, and it descended with the Barony (fn. 16) down to the 16th century. By the partition of 1415 the whole manor was assigned to Edmund Lenthall, (fn. 17) but after his death was divided among the remaining heirs, and in the late 16th century is found in three portions, a moiety in the hands of Lord Bergavenny, (fn. 18) a quarter in the possession of the Earl of Derby, and the remaining quarter in that of Philip, Earl of Arundel.
In 1575 Henry, Earl of Derby, conveyed his quarter to Henry Bowyer, (fn. 19) who built Cuckfield Place as his residence and died in 1589. (fn. 20) His son Sir Henry Bowyer held the estate until his death in 1606, when it passed to his nephew Sir Thomas Hendley, the son of his sister Anne. (fn. 21) Sir Thomas was succeeded in 1656 by his son Walter, (fn. 22) who was made a baronet in 1661 and died in 1675, leaving an only daughter Mary, who married first William More and secondly William Clarke. (fn. 23) The latter mortgaged the house and estate in 1687, (fn. 24) and again in 1693, to Charles Sergison, who eventually purchased it. (fn. 25) Charles Sergison, Commissioner of the Navy and Clerk of Accounts, (fn. 26) lived at Cuckfield Place until his death in 1732, when his estates passed to Thomas Warden, son of his niece Prudence Sergison and her husband Thomas Warden. (fn. 27) Thomas the younger took the surname of Sergison on inheriting the property, and shortly afterwards acquired the second quarter of Cuckfield manor, as will presently appear.
The quarter of Cuckfield manor which was owned in the 16th century by Philip, Earl of Arundel, was sold by him in 1585 to Walter Covert of Slaugham. (fn. 28) From Sir Walter the property passed in 1632 to his niece Anne and her husband Sir Walter Covert of Maidstone, (fn. 29) and in turn to their two sons Thomas (d. 1643) and John, (fn. 30) though it was held in 1665 by Diana Baynham, daughter of Thomas. (fn. 31) From Sir John Covert (d. 1680) it passed to his daughter Anne, the wife of Sir James Marton, and to their son James, (fn. 32) whose wife Mercy survived him and married secondly Charles Goodwin. (fn. 33) Mercy Goodwin apparently sold her quarter of Cuckfield Manor in 1735 to Thomas Sergison (fn. 34) (formerly Warden), who had already inherited the first quarter.
The moiety of Cuckfield thus acquired passed from Thomas Sergison to his brother Michael in 1766, (fn. 35) who evidently owned it until his death in 1784, since he held courts there in 1770 and 1781, (fn. 36) though his daughter's husband Francis Jefferson (who later assumed the surname of Sergison) appears as the owner in 1778. (fn. 37) Francis and Anne inherited in 1784, and Anne continued to hold the moiety as a widow until her death in 1806, (fn. 38) after which her three children had the property in turn, Warden Jefferson Sergison dying in 1811 and his brother Francis in 1812. (fn. 39) Their sister Anne, wife of the Rev. W. S. Pritchard, in turn took the name Sergison, and her son Warden George Sergison inherited the estate in 1848. (fn. 40) In 1865 he acquired the remaining half of Cuckfield manor from William, 4th Earl of Abergavenny, (fn. 41) in whose family it had descended until then. (fn. 42)
The whole manor, thus reunited, descended from Warden George Sergison to his son Major Warden Sergison in 1867 or 1868, and to Capt. Charles Warden Sergison, son of the latter, in 1888. (fn. 43) At his death in 1911 his property devolved upon his eldest daughter, Prudence, who married Col. (now Major-Gen. Sir Bertram) Sergison-Brooke and died without male heirs. The younger daughter, Cynthia, married Sir Basil Stanlake Brooke, bart., and her son John Warden Brooke is heir to the property, subject to the life interest of Sir B. N. Sergison-Brooke.
In 1255 John de Warenne obtained the grant of a weekly market on Tuesdays at his manor of Cuckfield, and a yearly fair, to be held on the vigil, feast, and morrow of the Nativity of St. Mary (fn. 44) (8 Sept.). In 1312, however, the day of the market was altered to Monday, and a fair was granted for the vigil, feast, and morrow of the Holy Trinity; (fn. 45) both fairs were held in 1465. (fn. 46)
In 1670 licence was given to Sir Walter Hendley and five others to hold a weekly market at Cuckfield, for the benefit of the inhabitants. (fn. 47) In 1792 there was a Friday market, and fairs on Whit Thursday, 25 May, 16 September, and 29 November; but all these had lapsed by 1888. (fn. 48) A weekly stock-market on Tuesdays was apparently transferred to Haywards Heath in 1868. (fn. 49)
The custom of Borough English obtained in the main manor of Cuckfield and in the small manor attached to the vicarage. (fn. 50)
CUCKFIELD PARK (fn. 51) was early a preserve of the Earls Warenne and from 1280 onwards complaints of trespass in it were frequent. (fn. 52) It descended with the Barony of Lewes and was divided in the same way, one half passing to Lord Bergavenny. (fn. 53) In 1439 it contained 229 acres, (fn. 54) and the manors of Slaugham and Pangdean were anciently held by the service of fencing a certain portion of the Park. (fn. 55) It was disparked in the 16th century, (fn. 56) and the Bergavenny moiety was leased for £10 in 1567 to Thomas Michell and his son John for their lives, and in 1615 to Sir Walter Covert and others, during the lives of three of the children of Sir Walter's niece Jane and her husband Ninian Burrell. (fn. 57) The other half of the park appears to have gone with the quarter of Cuckfield manor originally held by the Earls of Derby, for in 1613 it was in the possession of Sir Thomas Hendley, (fn. 58) and he still had 'liberty of park' in 1646. (fn. 59) Free warren is mentioned as late as 1685. (fn. 60)
BENTLEY PARK (fn. 61) [Benetlegh, Bentele (xiv cent.)], the name of which remains in Great Bentley Farm and Little Bentley Wood, in the north-east of Cuckfield parish, is first mentioned in 1312, (fn. 62) when it belonged to Earl Warenne. It descended with Cuckfield Park, (fn. 63) the Bergavenny moiety being leased in 1565 to Henry Bowyer and his sons, (fn. 64) and the other moiety passing with the quarter manor to Sir Thomas Hendley (fn. 65) and descending to William Clarke, who was holding it in 1687. (fn. 66) Ten years later it was in the hands of Charles Sergison, (fn. 67) and is mentioned among the possessions of his descendants as late as 1778. (fn. 68) In 1439 the park had an extent of 226 acres. (fn. 69)
The so-called manor of CUCKFIELD CLAUDITOR seems to have consisted merely of the proceeds of the ancient office of 'Park Clauditor', an official who collected the rents due for the inclosing of Cuckfield Park. (fn. 70) It descended with the manor of Cuckfield until the death of Edmund Lenthall, when, under the guise of rents in Cuckfield, it was held in dower by his widow Margaret Tresham. (fn. 71) In the subsequent division of the Lenthall manors 1/8 appears in the hands of Thomas, Earl of Derby, who died in 1521, (fn. 72) and the Wingfield 1/8 appears to have been conveyed under the name of Cuckfield (q.v.) to Joan Everard in 1539, appearing as Cuckfield Clauditor in the possession of the Bellinghams in 1602 and 1605. (fn. 73) In 1648, Cicely, cousin and heir of Sir Edward Bellingham, with her second husband Henry Rolt and her son Walter West, conveyed her 1/8 to Sir Thomas Hendley. (fn. 74)
The manor of HALDLEIGH, [Haldelegh, Aldelegh (xv cent.)] now Halleighs, was a member of the manor of Cuckfield (fn. 75) and appears with that manor among the possessions of Beatrice, Countess of Arundel, in 1439. (fn. 76) It descended with Cuckfield Clauditor (q.v.) at least until 1648, (fn. 77) and is mentioned as 'Haulligh or Haully' in 1687, (fn. 78) and as 'Hally or Hallies' in 1697. It was then the property of the Sergisons, and lay between Ockenden and Mill Hall. (fn. 79)
BOLNORE [Bulnore (xvi and xvii cent.)] (fn. 80) manor is first mentioned in 1559, when it was in the possession of George Davie. (fn. 81) He was still living in 1581, (fn. 82) but Bolnore evidently passed soon after to the Ward family, by the marriage of Mary Davie with Richard Ward. (fn. 83) The property seems to have been divided, the main part with the manorial rights passing to the Wards, but a portion in the hands of a certain Joan being acquired by her husband Thomas Anstye or Holcombe. Thomas died in 1597 and Joan married secondly William Cooke, who was dead before 1613, when Joan surrendered the property to her son Walter Anstye. At his death in 1640 it passed to his son Thomas, whose widow Elizabeth Holcombe or Anstye left it in 1688 to her son Thomas. (fn. 84) The 'manor or capital messuage', however, was in the hands of George Ward, son of Mary Davie, early in the 17th century, (fn. 85) and he died seised of it in 1625, when it passed to his son John; (fn. 86) it was said at this time to be held of the manor of Trubweek. (fn. 87) John died in 1660 and his sons John and George were both dead by 1670, when Bolnore passed to George's son John. (fn. 88) At his death in 1718 it was inherited by his daughter Elizabeth, wife of William Paulet or Powlatt, who died in 1753 leaving it to Jasper Ward. (fn. 89) The latter conveyed the manor as Bolnore and Wigperry in 1783 to James Cooke, (fn. 90) who was holding it in 1790 (fn. 91) and died in 1813, leaving a daughter Elizabeth Ward Cooke, wife of Henry Nailand. (fn. 92) However, it apparently reverted to the Ward family shortly afterwards, for Mary Elizabeth Ward was the owner in 1823, (fn. 93) and James Cooke Ward in 1825. (fn. 94) One year later it was in the possession of Admiral Sir John Wells, (fn. 95) and in 1870 was owned by Miss Dealtry, (fn. 96) who left it to her relative, Mr. Henry Woodcock, (fn. 97) and the estate was subsequently bought by the late Sir Alexander Drake Kleinwort, bart. It is now owned and occupied by his youngest son, Cyril H. Kleinwort, esq.
The manor of HOLMSTEAD [Mortimers alias Olmested (xvi cent.); Hampsted alias Holmested (xvii cent.)] was held in 1597 of the manor of Plumpton (fn. 98) (q.v.). Early tenants may have been John ate Holme in 1327 and William Holmsted in 1379. (fn. 99) It was held by John Chaloner in 1496 and 1532. (fn. 100) From his son William, who died in 1557, it passed to his son Ninian, (fn. 101) who was holding the manor in 1582 (fn. 102) and 1584. (fn. 103) In 1588 it was conveyed by Giles Garton and Margaret his wife to Ninian Burrell, (fn. 104) who was Ninian Chaloner's cousin, and he died seised of it in 1614. (fn. 105) His son Walter was succeeded in 1671 by his son Ninian, who only survived him for three years. Ninian's son Walter died in 1683, (fn. 106) leaving a rent of £60 from the manor, if not the manor itself, to his sister Jane, wife of Peter Short. (fn. 107) Walter's heir was his brother Ninian, but in 1700–1 the manor was conveyed to Thomas Short (fn. 108) by Richard Hulse and Elizabeth and Sir George Choute, perhaps trustees, and Peter Short, son of Jane and Peter, was holding it in 1734. (fn. 109) Subsequently it was sold to Peter Burrell, grandson of Jane Short's uncle Peter. (fn. 110) In 1778 Elizabeth widow of this Peter Burrell was holding Holmstead, (fn. 111) and at her death it passed to her son Peter, 1st Lord Gwydir. (fn. 112) Alberic son of Peter Robert, 2nd Lord Gwydir, sold the manor in 1833 to Andrew Chittenden, from whom it was acquired by Captain Dearden, who was the owner in 1900. (fn. 113) Holmsted Manor is now the residence of James Galloway, esq. (fn. 114)
The manor of LEGH [Lee (xvi cent.); Leigh (xvii cent.)] was said in the 16th century to be held of the barony of Lewes by knight service. (fn. 115) A family of Legh is found in Cuckfield during the 13th and 14th centuries, William de Legh being mentioned in 1218, (fn. 116) and others of the name down to John Leghe in 1393. (fn. 117) In 1400 the manor is said to have been held by John Bassett, (fn. 118) but after that nothing further is heard of it until 1509, when Alfred Barwyke settled it on himself and his wife Agnes with remainder to John Caryll and his heirs. (fn. 119) In 1540 Henry Hussey of Slinfold settled it on himself and his wife Eleanor, niece of Agnes Barwyke, (fn. 120) with remainder to his son John, (fn. 121) who succeeded to it in the following year. (fn. 122) John Hussey was followed in 1572 by his son John, who was holding Legh in 1587 and died in 1600, (fn. 123) when it passed to his son Nathaniel. (fn. 124) In 1627 Mary widow of John Hussey and Mary widow of Nathaniel conveyed the manor to John Stapley, and in 1634 George Hussey son of Nathaniel also released his right in it. (fn. 125) John Stapley died seised of Legh in 1639, leaving directions that the manor should be sold. (fn. 126) John Burrell of Cuckfield was holding courts there from 1651 to 1690 (fn. 127) and settled it on his daughter Mary, who married William Boord in 1687, (fn. 128) and in 1707 they sold it to Charles Sergison. (fn. 129) Legh then descended with the other Sergison manors in Cuckfield. (fn. 130)
PAINS [(Paynes (xvi to xviii cent.)] in the middle of the 16th century was in the possession of John Hussey, who owned Legh, (fn. 131) of which it was part. The estate was evidently sold to John Porter, who died in 1599 leaving a son Sackville, (fn. 132) from whom it seems to have been acquired by Henry Ward. (fn. 133) The latter died in 1634 and was succeeded in turn at Pains by his sons Henry (who died in 1664) and John, whose daughter Jane married Henry Plumer, succeeded her father in 1673, and died in 1677. (fn. 134) Henry Plumer was succeeded by John, probably his son, who was living in 1690, and whose sister Jane married Robert Norden. (fn. 135) The latter was holding Pains in 1705 (fn. 136) and had a son James, who succeeded to his manor of Marshalls (q.v.), but its subsequent history is obscure.
The manor of MARSHALLS [Marshallys (xvi cent.)] was held by Ninian Ward about 1583. (fn. 137) From Ninian's son John, Marshalls passed about 1592 to his son Henry Ward of Pains, (fn. 138) and thereafter descended with the manor of Pains (q.v.) until it came into the hands of James son of Robert Norden. (fn. 139) His grandson James Norden sold Marshalls some time after 1754 to John Tomlinson, from whom it was bought by Henry Edwards. (fn. 140) In 1770 it was conveyed by Henry Edwards and various members of a family named Baker to Charles Langford, (fn. 141) who sold it before 1784 to Francis Warden, (fn. 142) from whom it descended to the Sergisons, (fn. 143) owners of the main manor of Cuckfield.
The manor of SLOUGH [Slowes (xvi cent.); Slowe, Slowe Greene (xvii-xviii cent.)] was held by John Hever, who in 1543 settled it on himself and his wife Joan. (fn. 144) John died in 1558 and his son Thomas, (fn. 145) with his son Richard, in 1582 conveyed Slough to Edward Jenner. (fn. 146) Three years later Edward and Mary Jenner sold the manor to Walter Covert, (fn. 147) presumably the Sir Walter who was knighted in 1591. It seems, however, to have been leased to, or at least occupied by, his cousin George Covert, who is described as 'of Slowe' and died in 1611. (fn. 148) It passed, however, to the main line of the Coverts before 1639 and descended with their manor of Slaugham until 1672, when it was sold with that manor to Sir William Morton. (fn. 149)
The reputed manor of SUGWORTH (fn. 153) [Southworth alias Sugworth (xvii cent.)] was held of the main manor of Cuckfield. (fn. 154) Members of a family of Suggeworth are mentioned in this district between 1235 and 1365, (fn. 155) but nothing definite is known of the estate until 1528, when William Bryan of East Grinstead sold 'Sugworths and lands and tenements at Sugworth' to another William Bryan, whose sons Thomas and John sold them in 1560 to George Boord. (fn. 156) George acquired another 20 acres of it from Francis Carew in 1574, (fn. 157) and died in 1581 leaving Sugworth to his widow Thomasine for life, (fn. 158) after which it was held by his son Sir Stephen Boord, (fn. 159) except for a portion which went to the second son Edward. (fn. 160) Sir Stephen was succeeded in 1630 by his son John, (fn. 161) who died about 1648. (fn. 162) His son and grandson William sold Sugworth in 1693 to Timothy Burrell, (fn. 163) who was holding it at his death in 1717 and left it with his other property in trust to his brother Peter for his granddaughter Elizabeth. (fn. 164) Its subsequent history is lost.
TRUBWEEK [Trobewyk (xiii cent.); Trubwyke, Trubwicke (xvi-xvii cent.)] was said in 1612 and 1774 to be held of the manor of Plumpton Boscage. (fn. 165) Its courts were held with Haywards Manor. (fn. 166) The earliest recorded tenant is John de Trobewyk, who was holding a messuage and land in 'Trobewyk and Haywothe' in 1276. (fn. 167) Richard de Trubwyk grandson of Maud de Trubwyk is mentioned in 1328. (fn. 168) Trubweek first appears as a manor in 1488, in the possession of William Covert, who held courts there until 1494. (fn. 169) He was then succeeded by his son John, from whom the property passed in 1503 to his cousin Richard Covert, (fn. 170) who held a court there in 1508. (fn. 171) In 1531 the manor was held by Richard Homewood (fn. 172) but by 1554 was held in thirds by Richard Covert, John Roberts, and Michael Homewood. (fn. 173) John Roberts eventually acquired the Covert portion and was holding two-thirds in 1563–7, (fn. 174) the other third being held by Henry Homewood, who was still in possession of it in 1576. (fn. 175) The two-thirds of Trubweek passed about 1572 to John and Mary Hardham, (fn. 176) who were still holding that portion in 1594. (fn. 177) It remained in that family, Nicholas Hardham holding his first court in 1638 and continuing until 1662, (fn. 178) after which his widow Elizabeth, with others, including her brother John Burt, conveyed the property to John Warden, (fn. 179) whose father had previously acquired the other third. Henry Homewood's third part was divided about 1579 between Thomas Jenner and John Homewood, (fn. 180) and in 1592 Lawrence Homewood conveyed his sixth to Thomas Jenner, (fn. 181) who then held the third part of the manor until 1612, when he sold it to John Warden. (fn. 182) The latter died in 1649–50 and his widow then held it until her death, (fn. 183) when their son John succeeded to it and in 1662 purchased the rest of the manor. Trubweek thereafter descended with the other property of that family in Cuckfield, going to the Wardens, afterwards Sergisons, (fn. 184) holders of the main manor.
The manor of HAYWARDS [Hayworthe (xiv-xvi cent.); Heward (xvii cent.)] was said in 1784 to be held of the Crown as of the manor of East Greenwich by rent of 4d. a year. (fn. 185) It gave its name to a family living there in the 14th century, Philip de Heyworth being mentioned in 1308 (fn. 186) and John de Hayworthe in 1358. (fn. 187) It first appears as a manor in 1542, when as 'Hayworth' it was conveyed by Nicholas Mascall and Agatha his wife and John his brother or son to John Robardes. (fn. 188) By 1594 the manor had come into the possession of John and Mary Hardham, the holders of two-thirds of the manor of Trubweek, who in that year settled it upon Thomas Jenner and James Hardham and the heirs of Thomas. (fn. 189) In 1662–3 Elizabeth widow of Nicholas Hardham, with others, conveyed two parts of the manor to John Warden. (fn. 190) The subsequent history of the manor is not clear, but it seems that from this time Hayward and Trubweek, which were adjacent, (fn. 191) descended together and formed part of the property of the Sergison family. (fn. 192) The lords of Trubweek had rights of common on Haywards Heath. (fn. 193)
A family of the name of Tye was settled in Cuckfield as early as the 13th century, when John atte Tye made grants of land there. (fn. 194) John de Tye was paying subsidy in the vill of Cuckfield in 1327. (fn. 195) A manor of TYES (fn. 196) was in existence at least from 1397 to 1403, (fn. 197) but nothing further is known of it until 1492, when it was in the possession of John Michell, who died in 1525. (fn. 198) His son John in 1546 left it to his son Edmund, (fn. 199) who was succeeded in 1558 by his son Thomas. (fn. 200) In 1585 Thomas Michell sold the manor to William Butler, (fn. 201) whose son Roger was holding it in 1619 (fn. 202) but mortgaged it in 1627 to Henry Bellingham and finally conveyed it to him in 1632. (fn. 203) Henry Bellingham is said to have sold Tyes in 1638 to Richard Shelley, (fn. 204) and it descended in that family to another Richard, who was holding it in 1695. (fn. 205) His son Henry succeeded to it in 1716 and died in 1735, (fn. 206) leaving a son Henry, who was the owner in 1786 and died in 1805. (fn. 207) His son Henry Shelley died unmarried in 1811, leaving four sisters, (fn. 208) but the subsequent descent of Tyes is not recorded.
A small manor attached to the VICARAGE belonged to the incumbent for the time being. (fn. 209) Possibly a payment of 6d. due from the Prior of Lewes to the Duke of Norfolk 'for the manor of Cokfeld' (fn. 210) in 1535 may refer to this. It is now extinct, all the holdings having been freed.
The parish church of the HOLY TRINITY consists of a chancel, north and south chapels, and north vestry, nave of four bays, north and south aisles, north and south porches, and a west tower with a spire. The walls are of Sussex stone rubble and the roofs are covered with Horsham slabs.
Foundations of a probably 12th-century church have been traced below the floor. The length of its nave tallied with that of the three western bays of the present arcades, and there was a small chancel. Enlargement began about 1250 with the addition of the south aisle and arcade, perhaps some alteration of the chancel, and the erection of the West Tower, up to the bell chamber. A great increase in size took place about 1330–40: this included the lengthening of the nave by one bay to the east, the addition of the north aisle of four bays, and the complete enlargement of the chancel, with north and south chapels of the same width as the nave aisles. Also the raising of a clearstory above the nave. Although the top story (bell chamber) of the tower has more the appearance of a late-13th-century addition, it is probable that the construction of the clearstory caused its heightening at the same period. Whether the slender spire is contemporary is uncertain. About 1460 the chancel and nave were given a new roof and ceiling, and the chapel and aisle walls were heightened and their lean-to roofs raised to form one continuous slope with the main roof. The clearstory windows were as a consequence covered in and rendered useless. New windows were inserted in the east walls of chancel and chapels and perhaps also enlarged in the side walls for additional light. Buttresses were added to the angles of the tower, perhaps because of the erection of the spire at the same time. The two porches retain some timbers of the same century. The north vestry or 'Sergison Chapel' was added in the 16th or 17th century. Heavy buttresses had to be provided about this time against the south aisle wall because of pressure from the roof. The church was restored in the middle of the 19th century and few of the windows retain ancient masonry externally. The tower has been reinforced by two additional west buttresses and provided with a south stair-vice.
The chancel (34 ft. by 21 ft.) has a modern east window of five lights and tracery of late-13th-century character. The former window, of the same width, had its sill some 4 ft. lower, and the ancient dressings of the 15th century remain in the wall below the modern sill. (fn. 211) Above is a sex-foiled bulls-eye window of the 14th century. On the north and south sides are 14th-century arcades, of two bays, to the side-chapels: each has a hexagonal pillar with responds to match, with moulded capitals and bases (excepting the restored chamfered base of the north pillar) and two-centred arches of two chamfered orders. East of the arcades were doorways to the chapels from the sanctuary; both are blocked. The northern shows only its segmental-pointed rear-arch towards the chapel, the southern has a chamfered pointed arch towards the chancel: it is recessed towards the chapel and has a similar rear-arch. The chancel steps and altar-pace are much higher than the original levels and encroach on the doorways. The lofty chancel-arch is similar to those of the arcades. The east wall is gabled and retains the old kneelers and four or five dressings of the angles that existed before the roofs of the chapels were heightened.
In the south wall is a piscina of the 13th century. It has a trefoiled head to the inner order, carried on shafted jambs with moulded bases and capitals and an acutely-pointed outer order: the sill (only 8 in. above the raised sanctuary-floor) has the remains of a basin of twelve foils: its face has been cut back; there is a stone shelf behind the capitals.
The north chapel, now converted into an organchamber (11½ ft. wide), has an east window of three trefoiled lights and vertical tracery in a two-centred head with an external hood-mould and hollow-chamfered four-centred rear-arch. It is of the 14th century but considerably restored. In the north wall is a window of three trefoiled ogee-headed lights under a square main head: all the masonry is modern. East of it is a 16th-century doorway into the vestry with a depressed Tudor arch. The west archway—to the north aisle—is a low one of similar detail to the others. On the west face above it can be seen the line of the slope of the original aisle-roof.
The north vestry (or 'Sergison Chapel') is of the 16th or 17th century and has walls of rubble with ashlar dressings, and a chamfered plinth: the east and west walls are gabled. It has a modern window in the east wall and another in the north, both of three lights: west of the latter is a doorway with 15th-century moulded jambs reset, a modern Tudor arch and old four-centred chamfered rear-arch. The modern panelled oak ceiling hides the construction of the gabled roof, which is covered with old Horsham slabs.
The south chapel (c. 11½ ft. wide) has a restored east window, like the other but with a chamfered twocentred rear-arch. In the south wall are two windows of three lights under square heads like that in the north wall and of modern stonework. West of the second is a doorway with old chamfered jambs and two-centred head and segmental-pointed rear-arch: it is dwarfed by the lifting of the pavement level. The west arch is like that of the north chapel. The chapel has a carved oak altar-table and reredos of c. 1910 and pavement of white and serpentine marble.
The nave (72 ft. by 21 ft.) has a 14th-century north arcade of four bays with hexagonal pillars and other details like those of the chancel-arcades. The three western bays of the south arcade are of about mid-13thcentury date and have cylindrical pillars with plain capitals and moulded abaci and bases: the arches are pointed, of two orders with small chamfers and small voussoirs. The pier between this arcade and the bay east of them is composite, having the half-round east respond of the original arcade, a length of straight face where the east wall of the nave and south aisle originally met the wall, and the half round west respond of the easternmost bay. This is of greater diameter than the others and is most probably a respond of the original chancel-arch re-used by the 14th-century builders. The east respond of the bay (a half-hexagon) and the two-centred arch are of the 14th century, like the others. Above the arcades are the original windows of the 14thcentury clearstory, three on each side. Each is a quatrefoil with inner splays and segmental-pointed rear-arch. The outsides of them are concealed by the aisle roofs.
The north aisle (c. 12 ft. wide) has two modern windows like that to the chapel, east of the north doorway. The eastern has old plastered splays inside and segmental rear-arch. The third window, west of the doorway, is of three elliptically headed lights probably of early-16th-century date, partly restored. It has a crude external label. The doorway, of two chamfered orders and with a pointed head, has been restored. In the west wall is a modern window of three trefoiled lights and vertical tracery.
The walls are of rubble with much mortar and have a chamfered plinth. Between the chapel and aisle is a heavy modern buttress. Both east and west walls show the later alteration to a steeper pitch, in squared stonework, and a still later strip of repair at the top. At the north-east angle of the chapel is a diagonal buttress partly buried in the wall of the vestry.
The south aisle (11½ ft. wide) has three south windows: the eastern of three lights like those in the chapels, with old plastered splays, the other two, each of three lights, entirely modern, as is the west window. The south doorway, of two chamfered orders and twocentred head, has been reset, except the outer order of the jambs, which are covered with old plaster. The walls show, more distinctly than on the north, the later heightening. At the south-east angle of the chapel is a diagonal buttress of ashlar, possibly original. Between the chapel and nave-aisle, and east of the porch, are two very heavy buttresses, 16th or 17th century enlargements of original buttresses. At the west end is another of the 14th century, projecting southwards.
The west tower (18 ft. square) is built of rubble, in one unbroken stage, up to the string-course below the bellchamber: above this it is of squared rough ashlar and has a corbel-table of trefoiled arches and an embattled parapet. The string-course is of plain sloping section. At the two west angles are 15th-century diagonal buttresses of three stages reaching to the string-course: they are of rough squared ashlar, and have plain offsets and chamfered plinths. The main walls have no plinth. Against the west wall are two modern buttresses and on the south side a modern stair-turret. The 14thcentury archway to the nave has semi-octagonal responds of small courses, with moulded bases and capitals and a pointed head of two chamfered orders of small voussoirs, as in the south arcade. The west doorway is of two chamfered orders with base-stops, and a pointed head: the impost moulding was of the same section as the abaci in the archway but has now mostly perished. Above it is a fairly large lancet window, and in the north and south walls are smaller lancets, the southern covered by the modern stair-turret. The second story has a small lancet in each wall: the eastern looks into the church below the nave ceiling. The bell chamber has a lancet in the middle of each wall and two others, rather smaller, set to the east of the north and south windows. These lancets differ from those below in being of two chamfered orders instead of one, but the inner order has been cut away in some of them for additional light: all have slate luffers. Above the tower rises a tall slender octagonal spire, splayed out to square at the base and covered with oak shingles: at the apex is a ball and weather-cock.
The north porch is modern, except the middle tiebeam, which may be of the 15th century. It is of timberframing on dwarf stone walls and has glazed side-lights and a pointed entrance. The south porch has also been renewed, except for a 15th-century truss with a cambered tie-beam and curved braces.
The roofs of the chancel and nave are of one date and design. From the badges &c. in the bosses they appear to have been erected by Edward Nevill. Lord Bergavenny, c. 1460. The chancel is divided into three bays by two intermediate tie-beams and the nave into four bays with five tie-beams, one at each end and three between. These tie-beams are moulded and embattled and are supported by moulded wall-posts and curved brackets: the spandrels are filled with varying tracery, some with red rose centres: in the west truss of the nave the north spandrel has a shield gules with two interlacing staples (gold), a Nevill badge, and on the south side a scroll inscribed 'Jhesu maria'. The wall plates repeat the moulding of the ties. The trusses obtrude on the three north clearstory windows, and on the westernmost on the south side. The roofs are of trussed rafter and collar-beam type and have wagon ceilings of five sides, divided into panels by moulded ribs, which have bosses at the intersections, variously carved: in the chancel most are of leaves with interlacing stalks, but others have (1) the crowned monogram SR, (2) a flat shield gilded and with faint traces of the letters ihs, (3) a foliage or floral carving, possibly a fleur de lis, over which has been nailed a similar flat shield with ihs, (4) a crowned gilded portcullis with apparently lion supporters, painted red, (5) and (6) red roses, (7) a red griffin, (8) and (9) interlacing staples. In the nave are similar badges, including the interlacing staples, and red roses and a black bull with a chain. The panels are covered with modern paintings. The corbels on which the trusses rest have modern angels holding shields and scrolls. The roofs of the chapels and aisles have modern boarded soffits, and the only signs of age are several corbels and short posts in the nave-aisles bolted to the wall at the 15th-century heightening, and one ancient plain principal rafter exposed above the organ.
In the vestry is a 17th-century framed oak chest of hutch type, 4 ft. by 1 ft. 9 in. by 1 ft. 9 in. high: it has three locks and strap-hinges. The font has a round bowl which has been broken, patched, reworked, and relined with lead: it may be of the 13th century: it is carried on modern shafts. In the south chapel is a second piscina, a plain round basin in a square-headed recess. In the south wall east of the main south doorway is a mutilated holy-water stoup with a round-headed niche, and in the south porch is another.
There are four monumental brasses: (fn. 212) (1) on the south wall of the south chapel; an inscription to Gerard Borell (or Burrell), Archdeacon of Chichester and Vicar of Cuckfield (d. 17 Apr. 1509), with a shield of the arms of Burrell. (2) On the north wall of the north aisle; an inscription to Milicent wife of John Michell (d. 10 Nov. 1524). (3) In the floor of the south chapel; the standing effigy of a bearded man in Elizabethan armour, with ruff, sword, and dagger, and a mouthscroll bearing—o prais the lord. The inscription is lost, but the two shields, dexter, Bowyer, and sinister, Bowyer impaling Vaux, show that it commemorates the same Henry Bowyer as the next. (4) On the north wall of the south chapel; on a panel flanked by Ionic shafts of black marble and alabaster, with a moulded shelf and entablature, the effigies of a man in Elizabethan armour and his wife kneeling at a prayer-desk, with three sons and two daughters kneeling behind them; above is a shield of arms of Bowyer impaling Vaux; the inscription commemorates Henry Bowyer and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Thomas Vaux of Caterlen, near Penrith; no date is given, but he died in 1589.
There are numerous mural monuments and tablets of later date. Many of these are to members of the Burrell family; one in the south chapel, to Ninian second son of Ninian Burrell (d. 10 Nov. 1629) has his kneeling effigy in a recess with curtains held open by standing angels. There are also several to members of the Sergison family, including one, on the north side of the sanctuary, to Charles Sergison, Commissioner of the Navy (d. 26 Nov. 1732, aged 78), representing a sarcophagus on which is seated a figure of Truth holding a plaque carved with his portrait, also supported by a cherub, carved by Thomas Adey.
Of the eight bells, six were re-cast and two others added in 1815. (fn. 213)
The communion plate includes two silver cups of 1636 inscribed 'Cockfield in Sothsex'; two patens of 1682 given by Tobias Henshaw, vicar and Archdeacon of Lewes; a stand-paten of 1726; two pewter flagons (1628), and two pewter patens. (fn. 214)
The registers begin in 1598. (fn. 215)
Three ledger slabs re-laid at the entrance to the north porch are probably ancient: one is of Petworth marble: no inscriptions are visible. North of the church is a memorial cross to four who died in the South African War, 1900–2, and south of the church another to those who died in the Great War of 1914–18.
The parish church of St. Mark, Staplefield, designed by B. Ferrey in 1847, consists of a chancel and nave in the style of the 13th century, with a west bell-cote. It has a memorial of the Great War in marble with bronze name-plates and a middle mosaic of St. George, and another bronze memorial to Boy Scouts who died during the war.
The church of Cuckfield was granted to the Priory of St. Pancras at Lewes by William de Warenne between 1091 and 1098. (fn. 216) In 1250 St. Richard, Bishop of Chichester, ordained a vicarage with a resident priest, the rectorial tithes remaining with the Priory (fn. 217) while the patronage was made over to the bishop. In 1291 the rectory was worth £14 13s. 4d. and the vicarage £6 13s. 4d., (fn. 218) but in 1535 the farm of the rectory was £6, and the value of the vicarage £20 13s. 1½d. (fn. 219) At the Dissolution in 1537 the Prior surrendered the rectory and advowson of Cuckfield to the king, (fn. 220) who granted them in 1538 to Thomas, Lord Cromwell, (fn. 221) and after his attainder to Anne of Cleves in 1541. (fn. 222) At her death in 1557 they reverted to the Crown, and were apparently given for a while to Cardinal Pole (d. 1558). (fn. 223) The advowson was then for a time in the hands of the Crown, but in 1571 the Bishop of Chichester resumed his right of presentation (fn. 224) and the patronage has remained with the bishopric ever since. (fn. 225)
In 1559 the whole of the rectory and the great tithes, were granted to James Hardwick. (fn. 226) The rectory consisted of a curtilage called Monkencourt and six portions of tithes called Hayworth, or Haywards, Anstye, West Bayley, Southnie, Staplefield, and Bentley. (fn. 227) In 1560 James Hardwick conveyed the rectory to John Hussey (fn. 228) of Pains. Portions of tithes became separated among different landowners, but all are now payable to the Sergison estate. (fn. 229)
In 1865 a new parish of St. Wilfrid's, Haywards Heath was formed, and in 1910 the patronage was transferred from the vicar of Cuckfield to the Bishop of Chichester and in 1911 part of the original parish of Cuckfield was added to it. The Church of the Presentation, New England Road, and St. Edmund's church in Wivelsfield Road are attached. In 1916 a new ecclesiastical parish of St. Richard was formed from St. Wilfrid's, the Bishop of Chichester appointing the vicar.
Fanny Jemima Cleare, by will proved 24 Sept. 1927, gave £100, the income therefrom to be paid to the treasurer of Cuckfield Congregational Church for the benefit of the Sunday School connected with the said church. The income derived from the investment of the legacy amounts to £4.
The Hon. Jane Whitchurch Chichester, by will proved 23 Nov. 1929, bequeathed £250 to the vicar and churchwardens, the income to be applied towards the maintenance of the parish church. The endowment produces £8 10s. annually.
William Stevens, by will proved 29 Nov. 1934, gave premises known as White Cottage, Cuckfield, to the Sussex Congregational Union, the income to be paid to the treasurer of the Congregational Church at Cuckfield towards the maintenance of the minister or of services in the church or towards the upkeep of the fabric of the church. The cottage has been sold and the income derived from the investment of the proceeds of sale amounts to £22 10s.
Middleton and Burrell's Charities. The Rev. Robert Middleton bequeathed £30, the interest to be applied to school poor children of the parish. Timothy Burrell, by will dated in 1716, gave a further £20 upon the same trusts; he also gave a further £100 to be laid out in the purchase of land, the rent to be applied in providing bread for six poor persons. The several sums were laid out in the purchase of a freehold messuage in Cuckfield on the above-mentioned trusts. The charities are now regulated by schemes of the Charity Commissioners, dated 1 Feb. 1895 and 11 Sept. 1934, which provide for a body of trustees to administer the charities, and direct that one third of the income shall be applied to educational purposes and the remaining two thirds to pensions to poor persons who have resided in the parish for not less than five years preceding their appointment.