50 years of Felbridge Civil Parish

50 years of Felbridge Civil Parish

Please be patient whilst the pictures download. The Felbridge archive contains over 2000 indexed entries consisting of photographs, newspaper clippings, postcards, copy deeds and memories. There is also a large collection of local census records, maps and copy parish records. The archive may be searched by appointment.

Please acknowledge our group if using any of this material.


Nancy McIver

Mrs Nancy McIver moved to Woodcock, Woodcock Hill, Felbridge in 1922 with her second husband, the first having died at the Somme. They established a poultry farm covering twelve acres. She was the drive behind the separation of Felbridge and the formation of Felbridge Civil Parish in 1953.
She was also a ling standing member of Godstone District Council, a founder member of the WRVS and supporter of many charities. In 1969 she founded the Woodcock Housing Association to provide sheltered housing for those in the village, and eventually gave her properties of Woodcock and Little Woodcock to the association.

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First Parish Council

  The first Parish Council for Felbridge was Richard Henry Back, of Bosworth House, Copthorne Road, Felbridge; Nancy Winnifred McIver, of Woodcock, Woodcock Hill, Felbridge; Lancelot Sanderson, (Captain, RN Rtd.), of Homestead, Copthorne Road, Felbridge; Arthur Sidney Fry, of Double Dee, London Road, Felbridge; John Sever Phillips, (Wing Commander, Rtd.), of Copthorne Cottage, Copthorne Road, Felbridge; Charles Wheeler, of Brockworth, Crawley Down Road, Felbridge; Frank Glover, of Bitterne, Rowplatt Lane, Felbridge. They met for the first time on 16th April 1953 at the Felbridge Institute.


This picture was taken at their first Annual Meeting in 1954, again at the Institute.
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Felbridge Signs


With the formation of the civil parish, the Parish Council was eager to define the bounds of the parish with the erection of ‘Felbridge’ nameplates in 1953, which were erected at three places:

1)      Outside the Lincoln Imp at the foot of Woodcock Hill (now the site of Fresco’s) on the A22

2)      At the Felcot Farm bus stop on the Copthorne Road (now in the Furnace Wood lay-by after straightening the A264),

3)       On the Crawley Down Road at Leaping Well (now the site of Patbarossa, currently up for re-development after a fire destroyed the property in the 1990’s).


The last of these original nameplates to survive was the one outside the Lincoln Imp [pictured], and all have been replaced at least twice over the past fifty years, the most recent being erected by Tandridge District Council.

Photograph courtesy of M Heselden


Star Junction


The Parish Council has long sought some improvement to the Star junction, first by the request for a traffic control policeman to stand on duty at peak times (pictured!), and then with the request for traffic lights in 1959, which even after being sanctioned by Tandridge District Council in 1969, took a further two years to be installed.
Courtesy of Mrs Martell

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Hobbs Barracks

The Parish Council was concerned about the deteriorating appearance of the disused Hobbs Barracks (entrance pictured) and fought for the re-use of the site for light industrial purposes.

There had also been suggestions that it should become an open prison, HGV driver training centre or a sports complex.

Courtesy of Alec King


Evelyn Chestnuts

The Evelyn Chestnuts were planted between 1710 and 1720 in two rows of 52 trees each making avenues to Felbridge Manor House.

The trees have been threatened many times in the last 50 years, but the Parish Council has always fought to retain them as a historical feature of Felbridge.

These trees are behind the school (Copthorne Road side), the third and fourth ones from the left in this picture were removed for the school extension in the 1990's.

Courtesy of Nancy McIver.


Mill Lane Flooding

The picture shows flooding in Mill Lane in 1974 caused by raising the water level in Hedgecourt Lake.

The flooding also extended to Furnace Wood and parts of the Copthorne Road. The level of water in the lake was then dropped and new sluices constructed to prevent further flooding.
Courtesy of Ken Housman
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Felbridge Village Sign


On the Village Green is the Village Sign that was designed by Parish Councillor Ken Housman (left).  The Village Sign was crafted by Jon Jones (Right) and presented to John Yeats (3rd left) by Tony Jones (2nd Left) in 1984.  The design represents the bridge over the Fel, with one of the Evelyn chestnuts, which are a familiar sight in the village.  The cannon and cannon balls are for the iron industry that flourished from the mid 1500’s to the late 1700’s, located at Warren furnace, Furnace Wood and Woodcock Hammer, later Wiremill.  The water wheel is a symbol of the water that once powered the iron industry and reminds us of the water mill that once stood at Hedgecourt.  The use of the squirrel either side of the word ‘Felbridge’ represents the symbol used by Felbridge Primary School.

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Bingham Gate

The gate stands beside South Lodge now known as Stone Croft, which was built by the Gatty family, owners of the Felbridge Place estate between 1856 and 1911. The gate was made by Allen Bingham, the estate carpenter from 1880.  
Over the years, the gate began to list to one side and some of the struts disappeared.  In the mid 1980’s, Allan and Roy Bingham, grandsons of Allen Bingham, suggested that they might get the gate restored. By June 1990 it was felt that perhaps the gate was past restoring and that a replica gate should be made instead. Students from Crawley Technical College had been commissioned to make a replica of the gate that was completed in September 1991.
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Village Pond


The Felbridge Village pond is situated at the top of Woodcock Hill, in front of The Limes, and is now sometimes referred to as The Limes pond.  Although not a large pond, it would have been a welcomed stop for the horses that once pulled carts, wagon and stagecoaches up the steep and prolonged incline of Woodcock Hill. 


With the onset of the motor vehicle the pond ceased its function as a watering hole for workhorses and became, as most village ponds did, just a feature of the village.


In the 1950’s, residents became concerned about the over-grown nature of the pond and approached the recently formed Felbridge Parish Council to determine who was responsible for the pond’s upkeep.  The pond, being outside of The Limes estate was determined to be on Common Land, therefore the responsibility lay with the Parish Council.  One suggestion was to have the pond filled in, but arrangements for the maintenance of the pond were made.

The pond is now a haven for wildlife.




Please contact us if you have images of people or places in Felbridge.