A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1987.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Most of the eight nonconformists mentioned in 1676 (fn. 1) and of the eight men presented at visitations of 1675-7 for not going to church (fn. 2) were probably Quakers. In 1657 a female Quaker was imprisoned at Horsham apparently for objecting to the life and doctrine of the vicar, George Vinter, (fn. 3) and in the same year a Quaker father refused to let his child be baptized. (fn. 4) There was possibly a Quaker meeting at Cowfold before 1668, (fn. 5) and in 1669 there was one with a congregation of 200 or more at Thomas Parson's house at Peppersgate. (fn. 6) Parson was one of five parishioners presented as Quakers in 1678 and 1679. (fn. 7) George Fox visited a meeting at Patchgate (later Parkgate), 300 yd. from Peppersgate, in 1680, and the Ifield monthly meeting included meetings at Parson's house in Cowfold 1673-97. The Patchgate meeting was recorded from 1719 until c. 1760, (fn. 8) and occasional meetings were held at Patchgate and Cowfold in the 1770s. (fn. 9) There were three families of Quakers in Cowfold in 1724. (fn. 10)
A room at Eastridge Farm was registered for protestant worship in 1831, (fn. 13) but was apparently out of use by 1851 when there were two or three families of dissenters in the parish but no chapel. (fn. 14) A Baptist minister living in Cowfold in 1870 may have officiated elsewhere. (fn. 15) In 1882 the only place of worship was the parish church. (fn. 16) An evangelical chapel, built of corrugated iron soon after 1918, was mentioned in 1930 and 1934 but not in 1938; having been converted into a house, it was demolished in 1965. (fn. 17)