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.
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The demesne farm of Stretham manor had two ploughteams in 1086, and that of Wantley manor one team. (fn. 1) The Stretham demesne farm remained large in the later Middle Ages. At an unknown date the livestock to be kept there was listed as 61 cattle, c. 23 pigs, 34 geese, and 54 hens, (fn. 2) and in 1220 the bishop provided a stock of 43 cattle, so that a successor should not need to exact anything from the poor tenants of the manor. (fn. 3) In 1374 the farm had c. 350 a. (fn. 4) What was presumably the Woolfly manor demesne farm had over 200 a. in the 1350s. (fn. 5) The Stretham demesne lands were leased in the 15th century (fn. 6) and later. The Bynwyne family were lessees between 1496 and 1593; in 1531 John Bynwyne had a lease for 81 years. (fn. 7) The Wantley manor and Oreham manor demesne farms were also leased in the 16th century. (fn. 8) Stretham farm comprised c. 310 a. in 1647, (fn. 9) and in 1830, together with Newhall farm, c. 400 a. (fn. 10) In the 18th and 19th centuries the two were held on lease for three lives, to members successively of the D'Oyly, Hall, and Wisden families. (fn. 11) Oreham manor farm had 120 a. in 1668 and 1710, (fn. 12) and Wantley manor farm at least 133 a. in 1761; (fn. 13) in the 1810s the respective sizes of the two were 117 a. and c. 180 a. (fn. 14) Wantley farm in 1761, and both farms at the later date, were tenanted. Shiprods farm comprised 184 a. in 1738 and 223 a. in 1810. (fn. 15)
Twenty-three villani and 15 bordars held land of Stretham manor in 1086, some of which presumably lay outside the parish, as later. (fn. 16) In 1374 those who held land of the manor comprised tenants by knight service, tenants by socage, customary tenants, and tenants of cottages and other small parcels of land. The seven tenants by knight service included the lord of Oreham manor and the tenant of the estate called Halland, who both also owed service of fencing Aldingbourne park, and holders of land in Woodmancote, Slaugham, Albourne, and Hurstpierpoint. Of four miscellaneous tenants by socage, two owed the service of overseeing the reaping of the lord's corn at harvest. The c. 40 customary tenements, some lying in Cowfold, which owed extensive services, were generally called yardlands, half yardlands, or ferlings; a distinction was apparently made between villeins and free men holding in villeinage. The c. 80 other holdings of the manor were described as cots, cotlands, or ferlings, or as holdings of between ¼ a. and 25 a.; most seem to have been customary, tenants again sometimes being indicated as villeins. (fn. 17)
Several villeins of the manor were manumitted in the 15th and 16th centuries, two on condition of saying daily the lord's prayer and the apostles' creed for the souls of King Caedwalla and Bishop Sherburne. (fn. 18) In 1553 there were 10 freeholders, corresponding to the tenants by knight service and by socage of 1374, 53 copyholders, some of whom held cottages and some of whose lands were in Cowfold, and five miscellaneous tenants. Heriots were then payable, and borough English obtained on copyholds. (fn. 19) In 1647 there were 13 freeholders, some of whom held land in Cowfold, Slaugham, and Upper Beeding; another, the tenant of North Pokerlee farm of c. 80 a., had to keep a bull, horse, and boar for the tenants of Buckwish tithing. (fn. 20) The c. 80 customary tenements, of which some also lay in Cowfold, were anything between ¼ a. and 100 a. in size; in addition there were 32 tenements of the manor described as cottages, besides five held for three lives, and three by unknown tenures. (fn. 21) In 1830 the total acreage of land within Stretham manor was divided between 452 a. of freehold land, 1,522 a. of copyhold, and 710 a., evidently including Stretham and Newhall farms, held for three lives. (fn. 22) Some tenements were still held of the manor in the early 20th century. (fn. 23)
At Wantley manor in 1086 there were 2 villani, 2 bordars, and 2 servi, and on what was apparently the future Oreham manor 1 villanus and 10 bordars. (fn. 24) Rents received on Wantley manor were mentioned in 1535, (fn. 25) and in 1615 Backsettown east of the village was held of that manor. (fn. 26) There were 13 tenements of Oreham manor in the 1740s, including Swains farm in Woodmancote, (fn. 27) and quit rents of the manor brought in £1 4s. 10½d. in 1819. (fn. 28) Land was also held in the 14th century apparently of Woolfly manor (fn. 29) and certainly of the rectory. (fn. 30) Two tenements were described as held of Moustows in the 16th and 17th centuries. (fn. 31) Much of the north-east part of the parish lay within Ewhurst manor in Shermanbury, of which land at Chestham was held in 1524, and land at Mock bridge in 1661. (fn. 32) In 1790 there were 12 tenements, including Shiprods, (fn. 33) and in 1830 the tenements comprised 463 a., all freehold. (fn. 34) In addition some land in the parish was held of Tottington (fn. 35) and Horton (fn. 36) manors in Upper Beeding, and of Shermanbury (fn. 37) and Woodmancote manors. (fn. 38)
In 1844-5 the parish was dominated by large estates, of which the four largest were those of the bishop's lessees Thomas Wisden of New Hall (c. 530 a.) and Robert Curzon (507 a.), Mrs. Wood of Chestham Park (c. 715 a.), and William Borrer of Barrow Hill (c. 560 a.). Newhall farm of 408 a. was the largest in the parish, followed by Wantley farm (269 a.), Shiprods (221 a.), and Henfield park (229 a.); there were eight other farms over 100 a. (fn. 39) In 1901 there were 3 holdings over 300 a. in size, another 16 over 50 a., and 23 under 50 a.; 2,973 a. were rented, compared with 611 a. in owner occupation. (fn. 40) By 1975 the proportion between owned and rented land had been reversed, with the former nearly three times the area of the latter. Fifty holdings were then listed, all of less than 50 ha. except seven; two of the seven were over 100 ha., one being Nymans farm. (fn. 41)
The name Henfield, meaning 'the high open land' or 'open land characterized by rocks', seems to describe a cultivated area surrounded by country which was covered with wood or heath in Saxon times. (fn. 42) The place names Wantley and Woolfly, both recorded in the late 11th century, suggest clearings in forest or heathland; Woolfly, lying on the eastern edge of the parish, perhaps being named from wolves which still inhabited it. (fn. 43) Arable land in 1086 included 20 ploughlands at Stretham manor and 2 ploughlands at Wantley; (fn. 44) the land in the parish thus used presumably corresponded roughly to the areas used for arable in 1780: in the south-west, including Stretham and Newhall farms; south and south-east of the village, including Oreham farm; and north and west of the village. (fn. 45) Assarting was apparently being carried on c. 1219, (fn. 46) and the name Shiprods, recorded by 1271, also suggests it. (fn. 47)
Land lying in Berelond and in the Dene was mentioned in 1391, (fn. 48) and land in the common field called the Deane or Denne in the mid 17th century. (fn. 49) Other field names suggesting open fields or furlongs were also recorded in the 14th century, including Eastfield, described as on the southern boundary of the parish, and another field adjoining it on the east. (fn. 50) Sites of common fields may be indicated by the parallel closes running east-west depicted in the later 19th century north of Woods mill, (fn. 51) and by a field name Common field recorded at West End in the 1840s. (fn. 52) An exchange between two tenants of 2 a. in Bromefield for 2 a. elsewhere in 1560 may represent the continuing practice of inclosure by agreement. (fn. 53) In 1630 there were said to be no common fields within Stretham manor. (fn. 54)
Meadow and pasture, both several and common, have always been important in the parish. In 1086 Stretham manor had 40 a. of several meadow, and Woolfly and Wantley manors 10 a. each. (fn. 55) The several meadow of Stretham presumably included the meadow of Oreham mentioned later and the various demesne meadows, totalling over 76 a., mentioned in 1374, among which were Puttockwish, Lawwish, Newish in Westmead, Eastmead, Saltwish, and Bradeham. (fn. 56) In 1388 the Stretham demesne meadows were more highly valued than those on other episcopal estates. (fn. 57) In 1575 they comprised 40 a. suitable for horses and 'dry bullocks', and 71 a. suitable when dry for pigs, horses, and colts. (fn. 58) Small parcels of several meadow at Wantley, presumably along the Chess brook, seem to have been highly prized during the Middle Ages. (fn. 59) Several meadow was also recorded in the 14th century at what was apparently Woolfly manor and on the estate called Halland. (fn. 60) Smaller tenements too might have several meadow or marshland; one tenement in 1572 comprised 22 a. of arable and 10 a. of marsh. (fn. 61)
Common meadow belonging to Stretham manor lay in the south and west: (fn. 62) Southwish, between Woods mill and West mill, recorded from 1400; (fn. 63) Dagbrook, below Nep Town on the south, recorded from 1602, (fn. 64) and neighbouring Mans meadow, recorded from 1629; (fn. 65) Lashmarshall, north of West End, recorded from 1374, (fn. 66) of which the final element (healh) describes a meadow in the bend of a river; (fn. 67) and Newbrook, west of the river Adur opposite the New inn; (fn. 68) besides other meadows not located, including Northbrook, recorded from 1391 (fn. 69) and described as 40 a. in 1553, Freshbrook, described as 30 a. in 1553, (fn. 70) and the Hooks recorded from 1562. (fn. 71) Freshbrook was ordered in 1564 to be divided, presumably permanently, into four, five, or six fenced or ditched parcels. (fn. 72) Lewes priory's pasture at Wantley, where William son of Adam of Woolfly gave up his right to pasture six oxen c. 1255, (fn. 73) perhaps included meadow along the Chess brook north of Wantley, where there was common meadow later: Littlewish east of Chess bridge, recorded from 1331; (fn. 74) Widebrook or Whitebrook, recorded from the same date; (fn. 75) and, below Chess bridge, Shoreham mead, recorded from 1600, (fn. 76) Chestham mead, recorded from 1561, (fn. 77) Lower Chestham brook, and Westbrook, recorded from 1606. (fn. 78) Wantley mead, mentioned in 1720, (fn. 79) presumably lay nearby, and Woolfly mead, mentioned from 1518, (fn. 80) evidently higher up the same stream; both were common meadows. Bars common and Grays common, west of Rye Farmhouse, were named in the 1840s. (fn. 81)
While under hay the meadows were evidently treated as several land, holdings or 'lots' ranging in size from ½ a. to 8 a. (fn. 82) Location might vary from year to year: a parcel of meadow was described in 1626 as lying one year in Littlewish and the next year in Whitebrook. (fn. 83) Exchanges of lands called Lashmarshall, presumably parcels of common meadow, made between six copyholders of Stretham manor in 1549, may represent either the permanent consolidation of holdings, or annual adjustments of the kind described. (fn. 84) The parcels could be inclosed by temporary fences. (fn. 85) By c. 1600 Chestham mead and two other common meadows had come to be divided almost entirely between two owners, (fn. 86) and in the 1840s the common meadows between Chess bridge and the river Adur similarly all belonged to Mrs. Wood of Chestham Park and Sir Timothy Shelley. At the same period Dagbrook and Southwish remained divided between various owners. (fn. 87) The first cut of grass on a parcel of meadow was sometimes sold or leased. (fn. 88) For the rest of the year the common meadows were used as Lammas land. Tenants of Stretham could put any kind of cattle into Southwish and Dagbrook in 1630. (fn. 89) On other meadows cattle only were sometimes specified, (fn. 90) sheep and geese being excluded from Northbrook in 1554. (fn. 91)
Stretham manor in 1374 had 35 a. of demesne pasture other than meadow, besides parkland pasture; (fn. 92) in 1575 there were 200 a. of several pasture, including woodland, and 100 a. of parkland there. (fn. 93) What was presumably the Woolfly manor demesne farm included 120 a. of pasture in the 1350s. (fn. 94) In the later 15th century Shiprods apparently consisted entirely of 80 a. of pasture and 10 a. of meadow. (fn. 95) There was a parcel of pasture of c. 20 a. belonging to the rectory called the Parsons breach in 1527 and later. (fn. 96)
Of common pasture other than meadow, the three commons attached to Stretham manor all survived as open space in 1984. (fn. 97) The largest, Henfield common, lay between the village and the eastern boundary, where it adjoined Bilsborough common in Woodmancote. (fn. 98) It may be the 'heath' given as the location of a dwelling in 1391, (fn. 99) and seems likely to be the common of Henfield mentioned in 1515. (fn. 100) The name Henfield common was used by 1562. (fn. 101) It had 46 a. in the 1840s, (fn. 102) and 43 a. in 1963; (fn. 103) and order was made for its regulation in 1893. (fn. 104) Oreham common in the south was mentioned in 1553, when it had 10 a.; (fn. 105) in 1963, when it had 12 a., it was described as derelict. (fn. 106) South-east of Nep Town beside the Upper Beeding road lay Broadmare common, also mentioned from 1553. (fn. 107) In the 1840s it comprised 12 a., (fn. 108) and in 1963, when it had 11 a. of marsh and scrub, it too was said to be derelict. (fn. 109) Tenants of Stretham manor were said in the later 16th and earlier 17th centuries to have pasture rights on the commons for horses, bullocks, geese, sheep, and other cattle without stinting. (fn. 110) There had been stinting for sheep at Oreham common, however, in 1562, (fn. 111) and a complaint of overstocking on part of the manor commons was made in 1634. (fn. 112) In 1546 tenants were prohibited from leasing their pasture rights. (fn. 113) Peat could be dug without charge by the lord and by copyholders in 1630, (fn. 114) but in 1647 copyholders were said to have lately paid 4d. for every thousand of peat dug. (fn. 115) Encroachments on Henfield common were presented in 1562. (fn. 116) Common rights were still being exercised on Oreham common in 1811. (fn. 117) Henfield common continued to be cropped by sheep c. 1900. (fn. 118) In the late 1960s there were still two commoners at each of Broadmare and Oreham commons, and grazing rights were also claimed on Henfield common by two owners of adjacent properties. (fn. 119)
Other common land lay in the north outside Stretham manor. Mockbridge green near the river Adur apparently belonged to Ewhurst manor, (fn. 120) and was mentioned from 1600. (fn. 121) Piecemeal inclosure was going on c. 1661, when one tenement had pasture there for two 'hogs', i.e. apparently young sheep. (fn. 122) In the 1840s the common had only 3 a.; (fn. 123) by 1875 all had been inclosed, (fn. 124) except for a small area over which common rights were said to be still exercised in 1965. (fn. 125) In the north-east lay Blackland common, formerly Woolfly common, recorded from 1561. (fn. 126) It had been partially inclosed before 1745; (fn. 127) some land remained uninclosed in the earlier 19th century, (fn. 128) but all had been inclosed by 1845. (fn. 129)
Arable farming seems to have predominated in the parish in 1340, when the ninth of sheaves was worth more than 16 times those of fleeces and lambs; nearly a quarter of the sheaves, and half the fleeces and lambs, were on Stretham manor. (fn. 130) Crops grown at Stretham in 1374 were wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans, and vetches. (fn. 131) In 1388, of 105 a. sown on the demesne farm there, 30 a. raised wheat, 26 a. barley, 30 a. oats, and the rest peas, beans, and vetches; the large acreage of oats may have been on the lighter Hythe beds soils. Livestock kept at the same time included 74 cattle, 80 sheep, and 24 pigs. (fn. 132) Wheat, oats, peas, and tares were grown in the parish in 1674, when one parishioner kept cattle and a flock of 33 sheep. (fn. 133) At Wantley farm in 1761 wheat, barley, and oats were grown, and c. 275 sheep kept. (fn. 134) A hop garden was mentioned at the rectory in 1647, (fn. 135) and field names also indicate hop growing elsewhere in the parish. (fn. 136) In the later 18th century arable land was said to produce 22 bu. of wheat an acre. (fn. 137) About 1810 Wantley and Shiprods farms were chiefly arable, (fn. 138) though at Oreham manor farm there seems to have been a predominance of pasture. (fn. 139)
In 1844 arable in the parish exceeded pasture, (fn. 140) and in 1875 there were 1,739 a. of arable, growing chiefly wheat and oats and including 472 a. of green crops, and 1,565 a. of permanent pasture, 975 cattle, 2,224 sheep, and 306 pigs being listed. (fn. 141) Thereafter the balance changed. There had been a cowkeeper in the parish in 1862, and in the later 19th century sheep were bred, and bullocks fattened, more and more; there was a cattle dealer in 1887 and 1895. (fn. 142) H. T. West (d. 1907) of Terryscross Lodge in the south-east corner bred Sussex stock and had other agricultural interests. (fn. 143) From the earlier 20th century dairying became more important, being introduced by farmers from the West Country. (fn. 144) By 1909 the acreage of arable had been reduced to 895 a., while that of permanent pasture had risen to 2,380 a.; only 468 sheep were listed, with 310 pigs, but the number of cattle had risen to 1,099. (fn. 145) Henfield's extensive riverside pasture was described as its 'special treasure' in 1947. (fn. 146) Wantley farm was a dairy farm by 1924, (fn. 147) and still had a herd of Friesians in 1983. There were Guernsey herds at Chestham in 1958 (fn. 148) and at Shiprods farm in 1965. (fn. 149) On the Chestham Park estate in 1976 both arable farming and dairying were carried on. (fn. 150) Among estates returned in the parish in 1975 there was nearly four times as much grassland as arable; six holdings specialized in dairying, and five in livestock rearing, of which four had mainly cattle, 1,992 cattle, 1,467 pigs, and 661 sheep being listed. (fn. 151) At Nymans farm in 1984 there were both a Guernsey milking herd and beef cattle, but Parsonage farm was chiefly arable. (fn. 152) Farms at West End were more backward than elsewhere in the parish in the later 19th century and earlier 20th, for instance in the adoption of tractors. (fn. 153) Poultry keeping was also introduced in the 20th century. A fowl breeder was recorded in 1905, and three poultry farmers in the 1930s. (fn. 154) Poultry keeping grew greatly after the First World War, (fn. 155) and in 1975 there were 13,225 head listed, almost all egg-layers. (fn. 156)
Since the mid 19th century the fertile soil of the Lower Greensand ridges and the good local climatic conditions have encouraged market gardening. (fn. 157) There were market gardeners south-west of Nep Town in 1851. (fn. 158) By 1874 six were listed in the parish; by 1903 there were nine market gardeners or nurserymen, and by 1909 twelve. (fn. 159) The acreage of market-garden land was estimated at 45 a. in 1866. (fn. 160) By the later 19th century Henfield was the main market-garden area for Brighton, (fn. 161) and in 1905 London too was supplied. (fn. 162) The industry greatly expanded after the First World War. (fn. 163) In 1947 market gardening and vegetable growing were called Henfield's characteristic industry, (fn. 164) and they remained an important employer of labour in 1984. Seventeen general horticultural holdings were returned in the parish in 1975. (fn. 165) One long-lived firm was that of Greenfields, recorded between 1862 and 1938. (fn. 166) Besides the area south-west of Nep Town, where market gardens and glasshouses remained in 1984, the industry was carried on at West End from 1896, and later east of the village to north and south of Furners Lane. Some smaller sites in the south end of the parish were in use in the 1970s (fn. 167) and 1980s.
Fruit growing became important from the later 19th century. There were 2 a. of orchards in 1875, (fn. 168) and perhaps other plantations by 1899. (fn. 169) In 1909 there were 27 a. of orchards, growing chiefly apples, and 7 a. of small fruit, chiefly currants and gooseberries. (fn. 170) In the 1920s and 1930s many kinds of fruit were grown, with apples still dominant. (fn. 171) The largest fruit farmer in 1965 was Eric Whittome, whose Gill Orchards comprised 78 a. in Henfield and Woodmancote, chiefly devoted to apples and pears, which were mostly marketed through Fargro of Worthing. (fn. 172) Flowers were also an important crop during the 20th century. The Henfield Violet Nurseries were founded c. 1903 as a general nursery, but became a more specialized business supplying violets, carnations, and lavender worldwide. Among the firm's patrons were Queen Mary and many members of the aristocracy. In 1913 there was a staff of professional gardeners, and women pupils were taken. By 1929 the premises covered 4½ a. (fn. 173) The firm survived in 1958. (fn. 174) Flowers were also grown at West End by 1912, and in 1958 a large area there was given over to flower growing. (fn. 175)
A horticultural and floricultural society was founded between 1862 and 1872 to encourage the cottage labourer. (fn. 176) The Henfield and district chrysanthemum society held annual shows from 1884, and survived in 1958. A village produce association was started in 1948, and had c. 250 members in 1958; (fn. 177) it survived in 1984.
The mill recorded on Wantley manor in 1086 may have been that which previously belonged to Stretham manor. (fn. 178) No more is heard of it. The mill mentioned in 1200 at Oreham (fn. 179) was probably on the same site as Woods mill, near the southern boundary, which later descended with Oreham manor. (fn. 180) It may be the water mill held of Stretham by Ralph at Mill, a neif, in 1374. (fn. 181) The name Woods mill was recorded in 1538. (fn. 182) The present fourstoreyed, weatherboarded mill is 18th-century; the wheel was apparently renewed in 1854, the date inscribed on the sluice gate of the mill pond, (fn. 183) and steam power was added by 1895. (fn. 184) The mill house to the south is 18th-century. The mill was still working in 1927, (fn. 185) but by the 1940s the machinery had been adapted to drive an electric generator. In the 1930s the premises were used for a time as a tea garden. In 1966 the mill and grounds were made over to the Sussex Naturalists Trust, later the Sussex Trust for Nature Conservation, as its headquarters. (fn. 186) The mill was opened to the public in 1968, (fn. 187) the machinery being restored. (fn. 188)
The water mill called West mill, below Woods mill to the west, was mentioned in 1553; (fn. 189) in 1561 it was alternatively called New mill. (fn. 190) In the mid 19th century it was worked by the same man as Woods mill (fn. 191) and was used for grinding animal feed; (fn. 192) c. 1875 it was described as woollen mill. (fn. 193) It apparently ceased operation before 1896; (fn. 194) by 1939 the building had been demolished, (fn. 195) though the mill pond remained in 1947. (fn. 196) Two other water mills were recorded on Stretham manor in 1374. One, at Buckwish south-west of Henfield village, was presumably below the old mill pond shown east of Buckwish Farm in the 1840s, (fn. 197) though there is no later record of it. The other, held by William Ede, otherwise Wickley, (fn. 198) may have been in or near the field west-north-west of Stretham moated site called Mill brook at the same date. (fn. 199)
The bishop of Chichester conveyed a croft on which to build a windmill to a miller of Henfield in 1546, (fn. 200) and the mill had apparently been built by 1575. (fn. 201) It may have been the mill which seems to have stood next to the house called Canons in Hollands Lane west of the village in 1612, (fn. 202) and which may also have been the windmill held freehold of Stretham manor in 1647. (fn. 203) Two other windmills later occupied the high ridge on the south edge of the village. That at Nep Town existed by 1724; (fn. 204) in 1798 it was apparently called Henfield windmill. (fn. 205) It was disused between c. 1875 and 1896, (fn. 206) and blown down in 1908. (fn. 207) The other, on Barrow Hill, was built apparently between 1813 and 1825, and in 1844-5 and later was called New mill. (fn. 208) It ceased working c. 1890, and the building, after being used as an observatory, (fn. 209) was pulled down in 1953. (fn. 210) There were two closes called Windmill field at Shiprods farm in the north-east corner of the parish in the 1840s, (fn. 211) and the farmer of Shiprods in 1851 was described as also a miller employing eight men. (fn. 212)
Two steam mills were built before 1875 and ceased working between 1896 and 1909. One, near the windmill on Barrow Hill, survived in 1984 as part of a house. The other, near the railway station, by 1947 had become a chemist's factory, (fn. 213) and by 1983 the headquarters of a removal firm.
Two chief wharves existed in the parish between the later 17th century and the 19th, besides lesser ones near New Hall and south-west of the railway station. (fn. 214) Eatons wharf, by Eatons bridge, was mentioned in 1680, when it belonged to John Gratwicke, lord of Eatons manor in Ashurst; (fn. 215) it descended with that manor later. (fn. 216) Timber was loaded there for the naval dockyards and elsewhere, (fn. 217) and coal and boulders were unloaded. (fn. 218) The wharves at Mock bridge were on both sides of the river. (fn. 219) Timber was loaded there too; chalk was being landed c. 1700, and coal, malt, and other goods later. (fn. 220)
Fairs and market.
There were two yearly fairs in the later 16th and 17th centuries, on the feasts of St. George (23 April) and St. Margaret (20 July); (fn. 223) the former was held on the common and apparently in High Street, and the latter at Pillory green, possibly what was later called the George meadow on the west side of High Street. (fn. 224) There is no contemporary record of a market, yet in 1624 and again in 1644 subscriptions were promised for building a market house. (fn. 225) The two fairs survived in the earlier 19th century as pedlary fairs, their dates modified by the change in the calendar; (fn. 226) St. George's fair was then called Toy fair. Later Whit Monday was the great fair day, when booths lined both sides of High Street, and toys and sweetmeats were sold. (fn. 227) A Friday market had been established by custom before 1830, first in the yard of the White Hart inn, and later behind the police station in London Road. (fn. 228) In 1849 it was said to be for corn. (fn. 229) In the later 19th and 20th centuries a fortnightly auction fatstock market was held in the White Hart yard; between c. 1908 and 1914 the auctioneer was H. J. Burt of Steyning. (fn. 230)
Other Trade and industry.
Surnames recorded in the 14th century which may indicate tradesmen were Baker, Carpenter, and Souter (shoemaker). (fn. 231) Two smiths were mentioned, in 1374 and 1438; the former, a neif of Stretham manor, rendered 100 horseshoes and 600 nails a year besides other services. (fn. 232) A mercer, chandler, or merchant of Henfield and Salisbury (Wilts.) was mentioned in 1510, (fn. 233) and in 1524 a tailor, a weaver, and a 'Dutchman' who may have been a tradesman were listed in the parish. (fn. 234)
Between the mid 16th century and the earlier 19th, besides the usual tradesmen to be found in a large village, there were others less usual. There was generally at least one mercer or shopkeeper. (fn. 235) The clothing trades were represented by tailors, (fn. 236) weavers, of whom there were three in 1694, (fn. 237) a clothworker, (fn. 238) and a shearman. (fn. 239) A tallow chandler was recorded in 1685, (fn. 240) and a cooper (fn. 241) and a timber merchant who owned barges and boats in the earlier 18th century. (fn. 242) A maltster was recorded at Mock bridge from 1598, presumably on the site later occupied by the house called Malthouse. (fn. 243) Tanners were often mentioned. (fn. 244) There were four in 1560 (fn. 245) and several in the earlier 17th century, (fn. 246) and in the 18th century the Hayne family had a tanyard perhaps on the site between High Street and the church which was so used in the 19th century. (fn. 247)
Extractive industries during the same period were brickmaking and stone quarrying. A building called the brickhouse was held of Moustows manor in 1560, and may therefore have been in or close to the village. (fn. 248) Three bricklayers, i.e. brickworkers, were listed in 1677, (fn. 249) and other brickworkers during the 18th century. (fn. 250) There was a kiln on Broadmare common in 1735. (fn. 251) A sandstone quarry existed on the copyhold tenement called Buckwish west of Henfield village in 1630; other tenants of Stretham manor had the immemorial right to dig stone there, paying 2d. a load to the tenant. (fn. 252) In 1647 the latter could also sell stone to freeholders or others. (fn. 253) The quarry may be that north of West End Lane which was used later. (fn. 254)
Among makers of equipment and machinery were the millwright, (fn. 255) the ploughmaker, (fn. 256) and the cartwright (fn. 257) recorded in the earlier 18th century. (fn. 258) The 18th century also saw the appearance of professional men: a doctor in 1729, (fn. 259) surgeons from 1748, (fn. 260) and an attorney by c. 1800. (fn. 261) There may have been a land surveyor in 1785. (fn. 262) Between 1811 and 1831 the proportion of families in work supported by predominantly non-agricultural employment varied between 37 and 44 per cent. (fn. 263) In the early 1830s there were listed in the parish 2 tailors, 5 boot- and shoemakers, and 3 drapers; 2 butchers and 2 grocers; 2 shopkeepers; 3 carpenters, 2 blacksmiths, and a wheelwright; a tanner, a fellmonger, and a saddler and harness maker; 2 bricklayers; a watch and clock maker; a coal merchant; and 3 surgeons. (fn. 264)
After c. 1850 the village continued to provide a wide range of goods and services. Among the less usual trades were those of seedsman, corndealer, hairdresser, stationer, gunsmith, cricket bat maker, furniture dealer, Berlin wool dealer, gaiter maker, straw bonnet maker, blind manufacturer, upholsterer, house furnisher, florist, wine merchant, photographer, and music teacher. (fn. 265) There was a printer in 1895 and 1915. The business of Samuel Tobitt, grocer and draper, existed by 1862. (fn. 266) It survived in 1984 as a supermarket, when there was another supermarket in the village besides. In the same period there were always at least two medical men in the village; there was a vet by 1874, and a dentist by 1930. A single firm of solicitors flourished under various combinations of the names Coppard, Wade, Griffith, Smith, and Riley, from 1862 until the mid 20th century. There was an insurance agent in 1895, two firms of auctioneers and valuers in the early 20th century, and an estate agent by 1913. The Steyning Building Society had an office in 1895. There was a bank by 1903. (fn. 267) In 1983 there were three banks and three estate agents.
Industries previously recorded in the village meanwhile continued. Before 1844 a tanyard occupied large premises south-east of the church between Church Street and Cagefoot Lane; there were two groups of tanpits and several ancillary buildings. The buildings are said to have been demolished in that year. A pond belonging to the tanyard at the south end of the site (fn. 268) survived in 1984, when much of the rest of the site remained open land. (fn. 269) There was an ironmonger in 1845. The firm of Neal and Cooper, iron- and brassfounders and millwrights, founded in Nep Town before 1839 by James Neal later occupied a site in High Street. In 1874 the firm was described additionally as engineers and agents for the hire of agricultural machinery, and in 1882 it was said to have an important ironworks. It continued in 1905 as the business of Robert Fowler. (fn. 270) In the earlier 20th century there were cycle makers and dealers, motor engineers, and a firm of coach builders in the parish. (fn. 271) There were two garages in High Street in 1984.
Outside the village both brickmaking and sand and stone quarrying continued in the 19th and 20th centuries. The brickyard at Broadmare common covered 1 a. in the 1840s, (fn. 272) and its buildings had grown larger by 1875, but it ceased working before 1896. (fn. 273) It was possibly the brickworks used by Messrs. Vinalls of Nep Town in 1874. (fn. 274) A pond and an 18th- or 19th-century house survived from the brickyard in 1984. A large brickworks in the south part of the parish beside the Upper Beeding road was opened in 1934 and closed in 1969; worked by Henfield Bricks Ltd., it generally employed 40 to 50 men, making both bricks and tiles, the bricks being sent to London and elsewhere. (fn. 275) The stonepit north of West End Lane was depicted c. 1875, but had possibly already ceased working, as it certainly had by 1896. (fn. 276) There was a sandpit at Nep Town beside the Upper Beeding road in the 1840s. (fn. 277) Sand quarrying on a larger scale was begun west of Nep Town, apparently in the 1870s; the site later belonged to Brighton corporation. (fn. 278) In 1896 it was linked with the railway line by a tramway. By 1946 extraction had moved east of Windmill Lane. (fn. 279) Both sites were overgrown or being reclaimed in 1984. Another sandpit north of Henfield common was opened before 1891, evidently by the owner of Backsettown. (fn. 280) It seems to have ceased operation not long afterwards. (fn. 281) Sand and sandstone were also said in 1924 to have been quarried at Broadmare common. (fn. 282)
There were other tradesmen in the parish outside the village centre. At Nep Town in addition to the business of James Neal there were a glazier in 1822, (fn. 283) several tradesmen in 1851, (fn. 284) a shopkeeper and a builder and contractor in 1882, a grocer, who was later also described as a draper and wine merchant, in 1887, and an ironmonger, wheelwright, and blacksmith in 1895. (fn. 285) In 1983 there were a firm of builders and a general stores, the former smithy being occupied by a tool hire firm. At Broadmare common, besides the brickworks, were a sweep and a glazier in the mid 19th century, (fn. 286) and several basket makers in 1851 and later. (fn. 287) The malthouse at Mock bridge continued to function until after 1900. Also at Mock bridge there were a smithy, (fn. 288) and a brewery and coal merchant's business between 1874 and c. 1920. (fn. 289)
In the 20th century there were tea gardens at the Bull inn by Mock bridge and at Woods mill. (fn. 290) Tourists were also catered for in the village itself by a temperance hotel between 1907 and 1918, refreshment rooms in the 1930s, (fn. 291) and two cafés and a restaurant c. 1981. (fn. 292) In 1983 there were camping sites at West End and in the north-east corner of the parish at Blackland common. In 1965 the main local occupations besides farming and market gardening were said to be building and shopkeeping; there were then nearly 40 shops in the village, besides two doctors and an optician. (fn. 293) The only large local businesses c. 1975 were the builders at Nep Town and two haulage firms; parishioners then chiefly depended on neighbouring towns for employment. (fn. 294) There was a light industrial estate in West End Lane in 1984.