The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Mayfield
A History
by Major R. C. G. Foster, M.C.
Historian of The Queens Royal Regiment
St Dunstan's connection with Mayfield appears to be genuine, his biographer states clearly that he founded a wooden church at "Mayhfeld" and finding it incorrectly orientated miraculously pushed it into correct alignment.
Later according to the well known legend, while working as was his custom, at his Mayfield forge, he had avision of the Devil disguised as a beautiful woman, but seeing through the deception, the Saint grabbed him by the nose with his pincers causing the devil to leap to cool his nose first in the stream at Dunstans Bridge and then in the Tunbridge Wells springs.
The reputed tongs can still be seen at the Convent and the iron from the forge may have come from the ancient workings found lately below Court Meadow.
In these legends can be traced some of the authentic characteristics of the Saint as architect, craftsman and mystic.
from Chapter Two - Roman and Saxon times - Mayfield a History by Major R. C. G. Foster, M.C.
Mayfield was already an important place and in 1260 (in the reign of Henry III), Archbishop [of Canterbury] Boniface obtained a charter for a Thursday Market and a three day fair around St Dunstan's Day (May 19th)
from Chapter Three - The Middle Ages - Mayfield a History by Major R. C. G. Foster, M.C.
Three times during his reign - in 1297, 1299 and 1303 - King Edward I visited Mayfield
from Chapter Three - The Middle Ages - Mayfield a History by Major R. C. G. Foster, M.C.
100 quarters of wheat and 200 of oats were collected at Mayfield and sent to Lewes as part of the Archbishop of Canterbury's share in the supply of Edward II's army for the Bannockburn campaign.
from Chapter Three - The Middle Ages - Mayfield a History by Major R. C. G. Foster, M.C.

In Anglo Saxon times the village had been a halting place for the Archbishops [of Canterbury] on their journeys from Kent to Malling and beyond. And it is most likely that some rough hall had been built.

But it is not until 1278 (in Edward I's reign) that Mayfield Palace is first mentioned in the Archbishopric records and then under the title of the "Chief Manor House". From then for 250 years it was a favourite residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, especially in the summer months. … in 1278 Archbishop Peckham here received the homage of three of his great tenants Roger de la Warr, Richard de Waleis, lord of Bibleham, and Henry de Barham, a descendant of one of the murderers of Becket.

Archbishop Peckham, a Sussex man, was an original character. He boasted of being a man of the people and originally a wandering Franciscan friar but nonetheless travelled with the greatest pomp with 100 mounted men besides hawks, hounds, monks, friars and servants. He, at times, especially at the great festivals, would again put on his friar's robes and lead his grand and often ridiculous retinue through the towns and countryside.
He was a great builder and it is probable that the oldest parts of the Palace date from this time.

from Chapter Three - Mayfield a History by Major R. C. G. Foster, M.C.

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