The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex

The Ashdown Forest Dispute 1876-1882
by Professor Brian Short
published by Sussex Record Society in 1997
Excerpts from this work have been reproduced on this site with the kind permission of Professor Brian Short

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William Augustus Raper
George Tester (continued)

I knew Brambletye, South Park, Court Inholmes, Whalesbeach, Mudbrooke, Horseshoe, Bailey, Buss Farm and Leggs Heath. All belongs now to Brambletye. All these had rights on the Forest and I saw those marked X taking litter from the Forest. The tenants I recollect are:

  • Brambletye Durrant X, who also used the mill, had it when I first came here, then his son.
  • South Park The first Hills X and several since whose names I do not remember. Many a load I saw go past Kidbrooke to South Park.
  • Court In Holmes First WellerX then Bedford X, then his widow and son. Most of it is now thrown into the grounds of the modern Brambletye House and Mr. Mellish uses the remainder.
  • Whalesbeech First Smith then Walls who left many years ago. I do not remember the later tenants.
  • Mudbrooks First Humphrey who used to ride a white pony. He had a right to 2 loads of fuel wood every year like other tenants; they called it Custom Wood. I remember Humphrey cut and I saw him carry away the last Custom Wood that I heard of being cut on the Forest. It was an old pollard beech growing up a gill in the Forest opposite Mudbrooks. Sometime after Humphrey came Gardner X his son in law, sometime afterwards Quickenden who only lately gave it up. I used to pass through Mudbrooks to go to East Grinstead. The footpath is through the yard and I used to walk on Forest gravel and litter.
  • Horseshoe Martin X, afterwards Underwood. Martin's teams often came for litter. He was tenant when I was a young man because I remember my wife was servant there before I ever met her.
  • Buss When I first remember a widow lived there whom they called Dolly. [?] people had it afterwards. A footpath ran by [the] yard to East Grinstead by which I used to go to church when I lived in the Warren from 20 to about 60 years ago and I frequently saw litter in the yard. Another path led by Baileys but I never saw any there.

I remember while I was living at the little Warren at Hartfield going to have a day's rabbit hunting at Chapman's Farm near the White Horse, Holtye Common. Mr. Spencer the owner and occupier of Bassetts went with us. Coming home we came through his yards and he made a joke about my walking over the litter in his yards which he spoke of as Forest gravel.

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