The History of Cuttinglye


This document covers the history of Cuttinglye which was originally a manor in its own right before being amalgamated into Hedgecourt Manor. The document is divided into three parts, the first considers the documentary evidence and the second discusses the landscape features and how they relate to map evidence and what they can tell us about Cuttinglye. In the third part the document continues by covering the 20th century development of the Cuttinglye Wood

The early history of Hedgecourt Manor was covered in Handout 106 in November 2011; to document the history of Cuttinglye it is necessary to include extracts from that Handout here to avoid repeated cross referencing.

The early history of Cuttinglye is difficult to trace as there are very few surviving records, below is a collection of scattered references that provide some information about the manor and land holding, there are many gaps and it is hoped that other documents will come to light or other researchers will be able to add to this information. The modern form of the name ‘Cuttinglye’ is used throughout this document when referring generically to the locality; all other versions are included in the form used within the specified documents.


13th century

The English Place-name Society references a list of derivations for Cuttinglye which they attribute to Louis Francis Salzman, the earliest entry being Collingeley which is stated as being from the Miscellaneous Inquisitions for 1244[1]. Having searched these records it has not been possible to find the entry referring to Collingeley so this may not be the correct reference.

Therefore the first document available referring to Cuttinglye is a grant of 20th February 1286 to John de Wauton, the elder and his heirs of free warren in his demesne lands in Couelingeley, Shireby and Farneth in Sussex[2]. The grant of free warren allowed him to kill certain species of game within these manorial lands. John de Wauton was the first husband of Alice de Dammartin[3]; Alice was the daughter and heir of Odo de Dammartin.

In 1293 John de Berewyk acquired the manor of [West] Becheworth from John de Wauton[4]; John de Berewyk was also appointed the Dean of the College of South Malling in 1293. The College was formed from a gift from Aldulf, prince or duke of the South Saxons, about the year 765, of lands in Stanmer, Lindfield and Burleigh. It was later granted the manor of Malling[5].

In 1296 Joanne wife of John de Wauton died holding Covelyngley and Farneth manors in Sussex, Polhampton manor in Hampshire and lands in Bromfield, Sussex[6]. The 1296 lay subsidy records William de Kouelyngelegh paying 4s in the Denne division of the Rushmonden hundred in the Rape of Pevensey[7]. This same division also records John de Berewyk, Walter atte Broke and William de Wardlegh, the last two of these are named in the extent of 1314 which is detailed below.


14th century

By 1302 Cuttinglye was in the hands of John de Berewyk, who was the King’s clerk, as he received a grant of free warren for him and his heirs in all his demesne lands in Becheworth, Culingleye, Tilmundesdoune and Hegecurt in the county of Surrey and 14 other manors in other counties[8]. Whilst the charter puts Cuttinglye (Culingleye) in the county of Surrey, this is an error that gets repeated a number of times in further documents potentially because of the close association of Cuttinglye with Hedgecourt.

John de Berewyk died on 17th July 1312, and an inquest was held at Southwark on 31st July 1312[9] where it was determined that he had held the manor of Conelingeleye alias Conynggeleye by homage and service of ⅛ knight’s fee to the Earl of Gloucester. He also held the manors of Heggecourt, Westbechesworth and Turbervyle. The inquest also recorded that “Roger de Upton, John de Berewyk’s yeoman, with the assent of Hubert de Swyneford and other servants, immediately after the said John’s death intruded himself into the said manor showing a charter of feoffment of the said John, which the jury say was made by fraud, and still holds the same”. Hubert de Swyneford was John de Berewyk’s yeoman at the manor of Turbervyle and was also recorded as intruding himself using a forged charter of feoffment.

John de Berewyck’s heir was Roger Hussey, son of John Hussey, but he was still a minor and so the king ordered Master Gilbert de Middelton to possess ‘le Heggecurt’ till the heir was of age at the yearly rent of 20s which was the full value of the extent[10]. There is no mention of Cuttinglye being granted into anyone’s care so it seems likely that it was considered part of Hedgecourt as it later descends to Roger Hussey with Hedgecourt. Master Gilbert de Middelton demised the property to William Husey.

It is unclear where Cuttinglye fitted into the extensive land holding of the Earl of Gloucester. The inquest post mortem for Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford in 1294, gives his manorial holdings as Rytherefeud in Sussex and Tillinggedune, Blechyngleye, Tichesheye, Waldyngham and Ockham in Surrey[11]. Similarly, the inquest post mortem for Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford in 1314, gives his manorial holdings as Rutherfeud [alias Rotherfeld] and Fernthe in Sussex and Tillingedonne, Blecchingelegh and Ockham in Surrey[12]. This later inquest also lists all the knights fees due to the Earl and by whom, this list shows William Hussee holds the manor Le Northbury in Mickelham by service of ½ a knight’s fee, but there is no other documentary evidence that Cuttinglye formed part of a manor in Mickelham, Surrey. It is known that the manor of [West] Betchworth held land in Mickelham and that this manor was in the hands of Roger Husey in 1340[13].

There is an extent of the manor for 1314, it names the manor as ‘Collingelegh’ in the document and on the outside it is written with a hyphen as ‘Coue-lingelegh’. The extent states that the manor was held by John Wauton and is now held by Roger de Upton. The witnesses to the extent are John Walranud, Richard le Curuour, Walter atte Broke, William le Hinall, Richard Boletie, Radm’ de Srofeld, John Ostern, William de Warlegh, Robert de Farlegh, Walter atte Heggecort, William de Telghurst and William de Colingelegh, they state that the manor contains a messuage with garden worth 12d per annum, 56 acres of arable land worth 14s per annum, giving the total value of the manor as 15s per annum[14].

From his name, we can assume that William de Colinglegh is living within the manor and there is a messuage and garden which are most probably his residence. Unfortunately the extent is not very specific about the land holding of the manor as it only states the area of arable land, making it unclear whether the manor is very small only having 56 acres and this has all been cleared for arable fields or whether there is a greater land holding but this land has no value.

In the 1327 lay subsidy it would appear that the area of Cuttinglye is now in the Craule [Crawley], Worth and Burley division of the Buttinghill Hundred in the Rape of Lewes as Galfro ate Smithforde is recorded as paying 3s 6d[15] and Smithford is the name of the land east of Cuttinglye Wood running along the east side of Hophurst Hill between Hophurst Farm and Felbridge Water. Also recorded in this division are John atte Mill and Walter le May who appear in the Lindfield Court Book[16] holding land bounding Cuttinglye Wood on the west and south. There are no names that could be versions of Colinglegh in any division [this is also the case in the 1332 lay subsidy].

In 1327, the manor of Heggecourt is transferred to Roger, son of John Husey, who has now proved his age[17]. It is assumed Cuttinglye transferred as well, possibly being considered as part of Hedgecourt as they are both held by the same person in 1365.

There are then a couple of documents relating to the rent from Cuttinglye, which was paid to the Earl of Gloucester in 1312. The first is from 1344 when Bartholomew de Burgherssh the elder, Knight, purchased from John Badesele and Eleanor his wife; “a messuage, 4 carucates [miss-transcribed as ‘acres’] of land, 16 acres of meadow, 200 acres of pasture, 120 acres of wood, 52s. rent in Horne and Lynggefeld in Surrey, and 50s. rent in Couelyngleye, Mesewell and Feldebrigge in Sussex; the premises, with homage and services of Roger Huse, Knight, Roger de Dalyngrugge, John de Haselden, William de Couelyngleye, Richard de Haselden and Goffrey de Smytheford” for £100[18].

How the Lord in Chief for Cuttinglye transferred from the Earl of Gloucester to John Badesele is not clear, but it is being sold by him to Bartholomew de Burghersh along with lands and other rents. Those named as performing homage and providing services includes Sir Roger Husey as well as William de Couelyngleye and Goffrey de Smythford. It is notable that both Coulyngleye and Smythford names are being used at the same time, implying that these are two different places. Although it is possible to identify Smythford from later documents, the location of the 56 acres of arable land of the manor of Cuttinglye has not been identified and may have been within what is now Cuttinglye Wood. Galfro de Smythford is also listed in the Lindfield Court Book for June 1333[19] but there is no-one named Couelyngleye or similar.

Mesewell is possibly Mowhale/Morehalle/Mousehole which is a freehold in Lingfield Parish at Wilderwick which was administered in the 16th century Hedgecourt Freeholders Book[20]. Feldebrigge is probably Felbridge Lands which are the most southerly fields in Tandridge parish abutting Felbridge Water, these are in Sheffield Manor held by the Dallingridge family and also appear in the later Hedgecourt Court Books occupied by the Sonds/Sands family.

In 1346 a licence was granted to the Countess of Pembroke, to found a house of the Carthusian order at Horne, Co. Surrey, and assign to the Prior and Convent of the same and their successors a messuage, four carucates of land, 16a meadow, 200a pasture, 120a wood and 52s rent in Horne and Lyngfeld and 50s rent in Coulyngleye, Messewell and Foldebrigge, Co. Sussex[21].

It is not known if the religious house was ever constructed but it seems unlikely as the inquest post mortem of Roger Husey in 1361 confirms that Cuttinglye was still paying service to Bartholomew de Burghersh and not to the Prior and Convent.

The ownership of Cuttinglye manor is unclear following the transfer to Roger Husee in 1327 as the manors of Westbechesworth and Heggecourt are later gifted to Roger Husee and Margery his wife in 1353 by Warin de Insula and Edmund de Chelrye[22], the gift also includes a messuage, 1 carucate of land and 200 acres of wood in East Grinstead and Worth. However, Roger should already hold Hedgecourt and Cuttinglye manors through his inheritance.

Roger de Husee died on 8th September 1361 holding the tenements in Worth and East Grinstead listed in the gift from Warin de Insula and Edmund de Chelrye that are valued at 40s and must include the lands of Cuttinglye Manor; they are stated to be held of Bartholemew de Burgherch by service of a fortieth of a knight’s fee. Roger also died holding the manors of West Bechesworth and Heggecourt[23]. His heir was his brother John Husey and he quickly gifts some of his inherited property to Hugh Craan of Winchester who then gives the ‘manors of Heggecourt and Coulyngle with a wood called Lynlee… in the parishes of Wolkenstede, Grenstede, Lyngefeld, Horne, Crawle, Borstowe and Horle in the counties of Surrey and Sussex’ to Sir Nicholas Lovayne in a transaction signed at Heggecourt[24] on 10th June 1365.

The wood called Lynlee may be the one carucate of Lynglegh/Lindelegh that formed part of Hedgecourt but it seems more likely that it is another part of the same named area as Hedgecourt was described in 1314 as being the manor of Tylemundesdon and the carucate of Lyndelegh implying that the manor of Hedgecourt included both these named holdings. Whilst the exact location of Lynglegh/Lindelegh is not known it is potentially relevant that the early forms of Coulyngle bear such a strong similarity with the prefix of Coue-/Col-/Cul-.

Collingeley 1244 Misc Inquisitions

Couelingeley 1286 Charter Rolls

Kouelynelegh 1296 Lay Subsidy

Culingleye 1302 Charter Rolls

Conelingeleye alias Conynggeleye 1312 IPM for John de Berewyk

Collingelegh, Coue-lingelegh 1314 extent (hyphenated version on reverse)

Covelyngeleye 1344 Feet of Fines

Couelyngleye 1334 Ipm, 1346 Patent Rolls, 1370 Gage Papers

Coulyngle 1365 Close Rolls

The land holding of Hedgecourt manor in 1541 includes Myllwood[25] [now Furnace Wood] which abuts what was known as Coulyngle. The English Place Name Society proposed the derivation as being old English Cūfeling(a)-Lēage, ‘clearing of Cufela’ or his people[26], but this seems less likely now it is known that there was land in this vicinity called Lynglegh and thus the breakdown of couelingelegh is coue-lingelegh as written on the reverse of the 1314 extent of the manor rather than previously proposed as couelinge-legh. The prefix may derive from old English cū or Middle English cǒu meaning cow or Middle English cōl/coul having diverse meanings of cold or green vegetables such as cabbage or kale[27].

The manors of Heggecourt and Coulyngle are described as having parks in 1365, these are lands that have been enclosed and are most probably the demesne lands that John de Berewyk was granted free warren for in 1302. We have already discovered that Hedgecourt had a park with an embankment, the second park is therefore highly likely to be Cuttinglye as the Gage family pay quit rents for ‘Cullinglygh Park’ in the South Malling Court records.

In 1366, Nicholas de Lovaygne and his heirs were granted free warren in all the demesne lands of their manor of Hecchecourt in the counties of Surrey and Sussex[28]. Then in 1369, the lands of Sir Nicholas de Lovayne, Knight of Lagham, were valued and Heggecourt was worth 27s 8d[29] whilst Couelynglee was worth 26s 8d and the Worth lands were 20s. The 1366 grant of free warren is interesting as it is the first time that the manor of Hedgecourt is identified as having lands in Sussex as well as Surrey, this could demonstrate the amalgamation of the manors of Hedgecourt and Couelynglee as there are no entries after 1369 for the manor of Couelynglee only for parts of its earlier land holding and most of these references are within the Hedgecourt manor records. Therefore after 1369 the lands that had formed the manor of Cuttinglye follow the ownership for the manor of Hedgecourt.

Sir Nicholas de Lovayne died[30] on 23rd September 1374 and Margaret his daughter inherited his lands bringing them to her husband Sir Philip de Seyntclere[31].


15th century

In 1408 Richard Wakehurst purchases from William Crulling and Elizabeth his wife; “a messuage, 4 carucates of land, 20 acres of meadow, 200 acres of pasture, 120 acres of wood, 60s rent in Hoorne, Lingfeld, Wolkestede, Tanrigge and Burstowe in Surrey, and 52s rent in Estgrenstede and Worthe in Sussex; premises with homages and services of Philip Seintcler, Knight, and Margaret his wife, Thomas Salman, John Alfray, Walter Hoke, John Hoke, William Haseldene, Alice late the wife of John Haseldene, William Telghurst, John Telghurst, William Cokeman, John atte Mulle and Walter Smyth”[32]. This is virtually the same transfer as the one in 1343 which detailed 50s rent in Sussex was from Couelyngleye, Mesewell and Feldebrigge. The names of the persons giving homage and services is also very similar with Roger Husse having transferred his holding to Sir Philip Seyntclere, two members of the Haselden family are still listed. Whilst the names Couelyngleye and Smythford do not appear, we do have William Telghurst [Tilkhurst] who was the tenant of Courtfield in 1490[33] that could relate to Smythford Court which was named in a Hedgecourt lease[34], and Walter Smyth could be descended from Geoffrey de Smythford as Walter had lately been the freeholder of Smythford when his widow Margaret sold the freehold to John Comport Junior in 1413[35].

Sir Philip de Seyntclere and his wife Margaret both died in May 1408 and the inquest for Philip shows that he held the manor of Hedgecourt valued at 40s for the whole manor[36]; the lands in Worth and Couelynglee previously held by Roger Husee are not identified in any of the inquisitions.

John Seyntclare is the son and heir of Sir Philip Seyntclare and an orphan; the King gave his wardship to Sir John Pelham. John died in 1418 and his inquisition held on 29th March 1419 only records that he held the manors of Lagham, Marden, Burstow and Hedgecourt, amongst many other manors, and that Thomas, also in Sir John Pelham’s wardship, was his brother and heir[37].

Thomas Seyntclare had married Margaret Hoo and died in France on 6th May 1435, leaving three daughters Elizabeth aged 13, Eleanor aged 12 and Edith aged 11[38]. On 16th December 1445 the three heiresses were finally granted their inheritance; by this date Elizabeth was the wife of William Lovell, esquire; Eleanor had married John Gage, esquire, and received the manors of Marden and Hedgecourt, and Edith had married Richard Harecourt, esquire[39].

In 1444 we get a detail of the outgoings for Hedgecourt Manor[40] including 7s to the Dean of Malling. Further work on the manor of Cuttinglye has shed some light on the list of fees being paid in 1490 in the Hedgecourt accounts[41]. The following items from that account make up 5s 6d paid to the manor of South Malling-Lindfield;

For Simon Fylld                                                                                         2s
For Courtefyld lately in the tenure of William Tylkhurst                          2s
For land called Sherley in the tenure of Richard Burley                            18d

The rental for Cuttinglye Park is also paid to the manor of South Malling-Lindfield and was 12d and is always recorded as a separate entry from the “land sometime Roger Hussey’s, land late John Brooke, lands called Shirleys and Crawlies”[42]. Simon at Field is listed as a freeholder of Gibbs at ffenn [Gibbshaven] before Roger atte Fen who was the freeholder in 1448[43]. Courtefyld was mentioned above as it is potentially being associated with Smythford Court. The lands called Sherley/Shurley are highly likely to relate to Furnace Wood and Kenwards Farm. The Lindfield manor Court Book provides the evidence that what is now Greater Frenches was called Shurleys (and was never held by Cuttinglye or Hedgecourt manors), Kenwards Farm was called Little Shurleys, but there were also lands west of Shepperds Hole that were called Shirleys and the land holding south of Cuttinglye Wood, including what later became Mays Farm and Parkfields, was also called Shirleys, so this name was used for a very large area of land that had been subdivided before 1400. Roger Hussey’s land is very probably the land in Sussex that he was granted in 1353 by Warin de Insula and Edmund de Chelrye which was a messuage, 1 carucate of land and 200 acres of wood in East Grinstead and Worth. A similar description exists for land sold by John Brok and Joan his wife to Robert Lyncolne and William de Tarente, clerk in 1370:- “a messuage, 1 carucate of land, 3 acres of meadow, 40 acres of pasture, 40 acres of wood, 10s. rent in Woerthe and Burle, excepting 2 acres in the said carucate, in Sussex, and 3 acres of meadow in Lyngefeld in Surrey”[44]. I believe the lands of Roger Hussey [Cuttinglye Manor] and the lands of John Brok [Brook] make up the Sussex lands held by the Gage family as part of Hedgecourt roughly equating to the total of 400 acres in East Grinstead and Worth held by William Gage in the 1497 inquisition discussed below.

John Gage had been knighted in 1453/4[45] and died on 3rd September 1475 leaving two sons, William his heir and John. The inquest for the Surrey lands was held on 11th November 1475[46] which found that he held Burstow, Marden and Heggecourt, he also held lands in Lingfield, East Grinstead and Worth[47] which includes the lands of the manor of Cuelinglegh.

The Lindfield Court Book is unsure as to which Gage is now holding land from them as the entry for 26th September 1475 leaves the forename blank, but finds him in default for not attending the court whilst holding ‘Colyngley’[48].

Further demonstration that the Lord of the manor of Hedgecourt is holding the lands that previously formed Cuelinglegh is found in a lease on 18th August 1476 when William Gage esquire, leases two parcels of ground called Coblynglegh and Tylthe in Worth to Thomas Nycholas of Worth, the lease being for 11s per annum[49]. The first parcel of land is likely to be another variant of Cuelinglegh, whilst Tylthe is later known as Tilts and gives its name to the area near where Tiltwood House now stands. However, unless there was a revision to the lease of 1473, these lands could not be part of Hedgecourt as that manor had already been leased to Richard Luggeford and William Sharpe.

Similarly, there is another lease in 1485 for 21 years at 15s per annum dated 8th April from William Gage esquire, to Andrew Bernlys of Worth, for a ‘parcel of land called Smythford in East Grinstead and Worth in Sussex, and a wood called the Millewood in Worth and in Walksted [Godstone]’[50]. Smythford is located east of Hophurst Hill and is held of the manor of South Malling Lindfield[51]. Millewood/Mylwood appears in the Hedgecourt Court Rolls in 1542[52] and is now known as Furnace Wood, but again if Mylwood is land belonging to Hedgecourt, then it would still be leased out to Richard Luggeford and William Sharpe. It would appear that some of the land that is administered through the Courts at Hedgecourt is not considered to be within the description of the lease to Richard Luggeford and William Sharpe of the ‘manor of Hedgecourt with the park of the same and all lands’. Perhaps more interesting is that the lands that are treated this way are also those that are more likely to have originally been part of the manor of Cuelinglegh based upon their proximity to Cuttinglye Wood.

William Gage died on 16th February 1497 leaving his son John, as his heir. The subsequent inquisition[53] found that in Sussex he held 50 acres of land in East Grinstead worth 3s, held of Henry Tracy; 350 acres of land in Worth, worth 13s 4d held of the Dean and Chapter of South Malling, by service unknown and the manors of Burstow, Hedgecourt and Marden in Surrey.


16th century

The 1507 court roll for Hedgecourt records John atte Fenne paying 6d quitrent for Honnies and Cuelyn Croft [parts of the land previously held by Roger Hussey][54]. The name of Cuelyn is similar to the name forms for Cuttinglye around this date in the Lindfield Court Book.

1497 Cullyngs’ Parke, Colyngham Parke

1557 Colynglie

1569 Coddengly Parke

1599 Cullingly, Cullinglighe Parke

1666 Cuttinglygh Parke[55]

“Hamylcroft alias Culyncroft” and “Honyes” were held by Roger a Fen in 1530[56]. In 1535 Roger Aven sells his freehold of Warnetts and Honies to John Gage, the description of the lands enables them to be located on later maps, see page 10. A Croft of land called Warnetts in Worth, (S, road from Crawley Down to Leyhhothes Grene, E, road from Leygh Hothes Grene to Sheres stone, N, W, John Gage’s land called Smyths Fourth). A Croft of land called Honneys in Worth, (N, Felbridge Heath, W, road from Sherestones to Crawley Down, S, E, land called Smythes Fourth)[57].

Sir John Gage, Knight of the Garter, died on 18th April 1556, Sir Edward Gage being his son and heir[58]. Sir John’s death is also recorded in the Court Book for the manor of Lindfield as he died ‘holding land late Roger Hussey in Worth and certain land called Crawleys and Shirleys paying 6s 6d rent’[59]. In 1557 the same Court Book records the death of John Gage, Knight, who died ‘holding a parcel of land called Senlers [elsewhere called Seyntclares Mead and adjoining to Little Shurleys/ Kenwards Farm] paying 6d’ thus making up the 7s service paid to South Malling in the accounts of 1490[60].

It seems likely that Crawleys and Shirleys relates to land that was held by the manor of Crawley as this manor was conveyed by Sir Robert Southwell and Margaret his wife to Edward Shurley of Isfield in 1545. It then stayed in the hands of the Shurley family for three generations until 1631 when it passed to Jane Shurley who was married to Walter Covert[61]. There are no forms of Shurley in the Lindfield Court Book prior to 1556, but there are entries for lands of Craule [Crawley] as early as 1388.

The construction of the furnace in Myllwood [Furnace Wood] had been completed by 1567 as Sir Edward Gage leases the iron works[62] for 21 years at 10s to John Fawkner of Waldron, yeoman, and John French of Chiddingly, yeoman. The description is “a furnace with houses, Buildings, erected by the leasees upon Sir Edward Gage’s ground called Myllwood in Worth, being part of his manor of Hedgecourt, and upon a piece of ground called Coddinglighe adjoining Myllwood, with ponds, mill dams, banks, bays”. The terms of the lease provide Fawkner and French with wood for charcoal from within the manors of Burstow, Shovelstrode and Hedgecourt and the woods called Millwood and Coddinglighe as well as the rights to mine iron ore within the same manors. It is worth noting that the lease describes Myllwood as being part of the manor of Hedgecourt but does not extend this to Coddinglighe.

The manor of Hedgecourt is then leased by Sir Edward Gage to John Thorpe, yeoman of Horne, for 21 years at £40[63]. The description of the lands is “The demesne lands of the manor of Hedgecourt in Sussex and Surrey and lands called the park of Hedgecourt, Coddinglighe Park, Sharnowrs, Gages Meades, Cowpers Hill, Tanners, Smythforde Courte, The Tylt, Honneys, Warnars Crofts and the Myllwood, with all barns, stables, stalls and other buildings in the park, mills and mill dams in Godstone, Horne, Tandridge, Grinstead and Worth”. The lease specifically excludes “the furnace or iron work, houses and buildings lately built upon lands called Myllwood and Coddingligh Park by John Fawkener and John Frenche” which were granted in the lease above.

The description includes the two parks, one at Hedgecourt and the other at Cuttinglye; Shavenor; Gage’s Meadows which is 11a of land in Godstone east of Coopers Moor[64]; Coopers Hill; Tanners which is the 17a of land in Tandridge farmed as part of Rabies Farm; Smithford Court which is the land immediately south of Felbridge Water and east of Hophurst Hill; the Tilt located at or adjacent to Tiltwood, Honneys which is described as the lands bounded by Smithford to the south, the Worth parish boundary to the east and what is now the Crawley Down Road and Hophurst Hill on the north and west[65]; Warnars Crofts has also been variously known as Warnetts Croft70 or Hamyl Croft[66] and was to the south of Smithford and north of the lane leading from Hophurst Farm to Gullege, bounded on the east by the Worth parish boundary and on the west by Hophurst Hill; Millwood which is now known as Furnace Wood.

In 1568, Sir Edward Gage died and his heir is his son John. The Court Books for the manor of Lindfield record that he died holding ‘lands called Crawlies and Shirlies, tenement of Roger Hussey and John Brokes at Crawlies Down’ for the rent of 5s 6d they also record him holding ‘Coddengly Parke’ but do not state the rent[67].

In 1598-9[68] John Thorpe is listed in a rental of Hedgecourt for the demesne lands, his farm [Hedgecourt] and rent of Hedgecourt Park, Cuddingly and Lumbardie Meads (£42) and the ______ Cuddinlye (£9 19s 6d).

John Gage died on 10th October 1598 and in Sussex was holding an Iron Mill [Furnace Mill] and windmill [on Crawley Down] and two parcels of wood and land called Millwood and Cuddingly in Worth[69]. In Surrey he was holding the manors of Burstow and Hedgecourt. He had married twice but had no issue and so his estate passed to his nephew John Gage who was the son of Thomas Gage.

Following the death of John Gage, John Thorpe and his son Thomas entered into the lands of Millwood and Cuddinglye and cut down and uprooted most of the woods. They were fined £3,000 and a further £1,000 for the decayed stubs remaining from 2,000 ‘great and sound trees’[70].


17th century

In 1606 John Thorpe dies from Gibbshaven and his will passes the lease of Hedgecourt to his son Thomas and his heirs. His will[71] written in October 1605 mentions “all that parcel of ground parcel of Covinglye now in the occupation of William Blundell for the term of fifteen years, paying an annual rent of £5”. William Blundell had entered into the lands of Little Gibbs [Little Gibbsaven] in 1600[72] and it is therefore likely that the part of Cuttinglye he occupies in 1605 is at the eastern end of the wood.

In 1629, Richard Thorpe, gent, who was living at Hedgecourt, renews the lease of Hedgecourt[73] for a further 31 years. The description of the leased lands is ‘The manor of Hedgecourt and lands called Hedgecourt Park, and Thorney Park, Cuddingly, Cuddingly Park, Smythfords, Milwood, Cowpers Hill, Tanners, Pricketts Meades, Honeyes, the Tylt, Gages Mead, and Shernours, the iron forge or ironworks called Woodcock Hammer or Woodcock Works’. Pricketts Meades is a new name but may well represent some part of Warners Croft which is not listed in this lease.

John Gage, Baronet, died on 3rd October 1633, Thomas Gage is his son and heir. In 1651 the remaining 10 years of the lease for Hedgecourt is sold by Richard Thorpe, son of Richard Thorpe, to clear a debt of £50 that he had with Thomas Gage. Thomas Gage then leases the remainder of the lease to Simon Everenden of Lewes[74]. Richard Thorpe continues to hold and live at Gibbshaven and hold other parts of what had been Hedgecourt[75].

Captain Simon Everenden is listed as an iron master manufacturing shot for the government in 1653[76]; it therefore seems likely that he purchased Hedgecourt to restart the furnace. During 1652, Simon Everenden leases out the farmland areas of Hedgecourt Park in separate leases including; Richard Thorpe, gent of Worth, who leases Smythford and Honneyes with 24 acres of enclosed woodland and plain land called the Parke. Except 2 acres on which the ricks of hay stood and the land on which the hog pound was standing. Term 8 years for £14 per annum[77]. This 24 acres of enclosed woodland is potentially the same parcel of Cuttinglye Wood that William Blundell held in 1605.

In 1668 there is a receipt in the Hedgecourt accounts for £120 for “wood sold of wood called Cuttinglye near Gibb a ven”[78].


18th century

In 1742-1744 the woods in Godstone, Horne and Worth are listed in the hands of Sir William Gage and George Humphrey of Felcot Farm is being paid for looking after them[79].  Sir William Gage, Lord of the manor of Hedgecourt, died in 1744 and Edward Evelyn purchases Hedgecourt and all the lands belonging to it in 1747 to add to his existing landholding near the Star junction.


Physical and Map Evidence

It is worthwhile considering what the physical evidence can tell us about Cuttinglye.

The map below is based upon the Bourd map of the Evelyn Estate made in 1748 for Edward Evelyn. Continuous field boundaries (those that other boundaries butt up to) and sharply curved boundary features have been highlighted where they do not coincide with water courses. The modern lakes and place names have been added to assist orientation. There are a number of features worth discussing, firstly the curved features.


The boundary A-B-C-D-E-F-G is still visible today as a ditch and bank with the bank rising 2ft to 4ft (0.6-1.2m) above the accompanying ditch. The ditch and bank boundary survives continuously for 1,100yds (1000m) although it is severely worn down between C-D where the top of the bank has been used as the line of a track. Along B-E there is a second bank a few metres beyond the main ditch and bank, this second bank has a narrower base and sharper sides indicating that it is from a later date and has not slumped as much[80]. It is also important that for the ditch and bank that is visible today from A-G the ditch is on the Cuttinglye Wood side of the bank, this indicates that the bank was the boundary of a park, as woodland clearance banks have the ditch on the outside of the woodland, the ditch on the inside and a fence or pale on top of the bank would keep deer from escaping.


Comparing this ditch and bank with the one found at Hedgecourt, it is clear that this boundary around Cuttinglye ceased being maintained much earlier than the ditch and double banks at Hedgecourt which have considerably steeper sides[81].


The boundary B-D is along a ridge of higher ground, between D-E it dips as it crosses one of the many streams feeding Furnace Lake. The bank curves sharply at the corner E before descending down to cross the next stream at F. The crossing of the stream aligns with the dam of a fish pond (now silted and disused), the land on the south of the bank is much higher than the north and the boundary appears to have utilised and enhanced this natural slope. The base of the fish pond dam is constructed of cut stone blocks; the upper layers are brick and concrete. The length E-G has very dense coppiced beech trees along the bank top which are not present on the rest of the bank.

It has not been possible to inspect the line of the boundary after G as it enters private property. There is no evidence of the park boundary at the eastern end of Cuttinglye against Hophurst Hill and it is possible that road widening may have removed it.

The boundary east of A can still be seen as a ridge crossing the field heading towards Furnace Lake. As mentioned earlier, the lake was described as being in Furnace Wood and Cuttinglye implying that it flooded part of the Park. The boundary cannot be traced on the other side of the lake, but may have followed the course of Felbridge Water as the northern bank of the flood margin of Felbridge Water is much steeper than the southern bank and could therefore have been made steeper to form a Park boundary.

At H there is an overgrown narrow track about 2½ yards (2.3m) wide leading from opposite the entrance into Smithfields, up the bank and into Cuttinglye Wood. The position and direction of this track does not align with any of the tracks shown on the 19th or 20th century maps and may therefore be an earlier feature.

Just northeast of H, on the east of the current road, is the location of the ford crossing Felbridge Water, the earlier alignment of the road can be seen curving around the southeast corner of Honneys before turning south and widening into a location where the stream could be crossed.

There is no visible ditch and bank boundary at the east side of Warnetts Croft although only a short piece of this boundary can be seen from the public footpath. The other curved boundaries around Honneys and Warnetts Croft have not been investigated.

The 1748 Board map indicates that there were three entrances into Cuttinglye Wood. One was at the southeast corner (E on map), the Worth tithe map of 1839 shows this track headed towards Shepherds Hole to the west rather than south onto Crawley Down. There was another entrance near Felbridge Water at Smithford with a track heading southwest into Cuttinglye but this does not match the location or orientation of the narrow track discussed above which is further to the south and enters Cuttinglye heading south. The last entrance was east of A and continued across the dam of Furnace Lake.

The dotted line on the map to the east of B-C is a meandering drainage ditch which varies significantly in depth from over 3 feet down to 6 inches (0.9m-0.15m), it aligns with the eastern side of a track through the wood that appears on the 1874 Ordnance Survey map and is not the same alignment as the track on the Worth tithe map of 1839.

There are four streams flowing south to north across Cuttinglye that feed into Felbridge Water and Furnace Lake, the landscape is very undulating as you move east-west crossing the ridges each side of these gullies and streams. Cuttinglye is therefore very different from Furnace Wood which is by comparison flat as it sits upon an area of high ground.


19th century

The draft Ordnance Survey (1805-8) shows the name as Cutandly Wood and depicts a track through the wood near the western boundary leading from Crawley Down to the west end of the dam at Furnace Lake.

In 1855 the Felbridge Estate including Cuttinglye Wood was sold by descendants of the Evelyn family to George and Frances Gatty. The sale catalogue[82] describes it as Lot 3.





Containing 171a. 2r. 22p.,


It forms a capital Game Preserve, and, united with Lot 2 [Smithfields Farm], a valuable and very desirable investment.

The 1874 Ordnance Survey is the first detailed mapping and this indicates a lot of tracks through ‘Cut-and-lie Wood’ but only the three entrances described above, these tracks could have been for management of the woodland as the Gatty family bred pheasant in both Cuttinglye and Furnace Woods. A very similar state is shown on the 1897 Ordnance Survey with only a couple of short tracks in addition to those shown on the earlier edition and again in 1910.


20th century

In 1903 Charles Henry Gatty died and the Felbridge Estate passed to his cousins, they sold it in 1911 to Emma Harvey who traded as The East Grinstead Estate Company[83]. The Felbridge Estate was divided up for development with the first auction sale being May 25th 1911, Cuttinglye Wood and Furnace Wood were not included in this sale. The next sale was in 1913[84] and the woods were included as lot 22:

Furnace Wood & Cuttinglye Wood

These properties possess in a very marked degree the woodland characteristics of the neighbourhood and as sporting propositions alone are worthy of high recommendation. The bulk of the land lies within the Sussex county boundary, and is back from the main roads; hence it is advantageously situated and of suitable character for preserving game and generally as a shooting estate. The Felbridge Water streams run through the woods from east to west, changing its course towards the north in what some years ago was a pond of considerable size, but which latterly has not been filled.

Furnace Wood has a frontage to the Crawley Down roan, and Cuttinglye Wood abuts on Sandy Lane on the south-east. Both woods are well intersected with paths and accommodation tracks. In Furnace Wood is a cottage and also an old quarry of the celebrated Felbridge stone. The total area of both woods is about two hundred and ninety-seven acres.

Furnace Wood and Cuttinglye Wood did not sell and were advertised again in 1918 as the Cuttinglye Estate[85] including both Furnace Wood and Cuttinglye Wood. Cuttinglye did not sell as a single lot and the East Grinstead Estate Company divides up Cuttinglye into large housing plots selling at least one plot south of Cuttinglye Road in June 1919[86].

Cuttinglye from local memories

The following is based on the memories of local residents of the Felbridge area.

During World War I a Prisoner of War camp was set up in Cuttinglye Wood and the most likely area was later developed as the Monastery of the Community of the Servants of the Will of God (see below).  The POW’s worked within the community and some were assigned to the Searle family who ran Gibbs Haven Farm in Furnace Wood, adjoining Cuttinglye[87].

One elderly resident of Cuttinglye Road (since deceased), remembered a local story about ‘hundreds of pit props being cut from Cuttinglye Wood’ and was always puzzled by the fact that there were no mines in the area.  It is now believed that the cutting of the pit props was in connection with a ‘silent movie’ about a pit disaster, shot below Furnace Lake in Furnace Wood starring Harry Lorriane.  The film was made in the mid 1920’s after the dam had been rebuilt as the disaster portrayed in the film centred on the mine being flooded and for realism the sluice was opened to allow water onto the film set to collapse some of the pit props and give the illusion of a disaster in a mine[88].

Like Furnace Wood, many early residents, particularly on Cuttinglye Road, were from ‘the city’, purchasing a plot of land/woodland in the country to escape ‘the smogs’.  Early properties consisted of old caravans and even railway carriages but gradually small timber framed bungalows appeared replaced by brick built bungalows when the properties became more than a weekend retreat[89].

As the plots off Cuttinglye Road were fairly substantial, several farming and animal related businesses were established including:

Cuttinglye Poultry Farm, run by the Wright family until the late 1940’s from the first property on the right as you enter the road.  Glenwood Cattery originally established by the Brook family from their property on the left side of the road, which, now under different ownership is still in business.  Further up on the left side of the road could be found Gabledown Kennels run by Mrs E J Symonds who bred Irish Terriers[90].  Lastly, still on the left side of the road there was Barnjet Cattery, run by Bert and Sylvia Bassam.  In 2004 Barnjet Adoption Centre, as it was then named, moved to Chelwood Gate as part of the National Cat Centre (formerly the Cat Protection League) providing information on cat adoption, education, veterinary care and administration.

Some of the first residents of Cuttinglye include: Vernon Richard Shinn who lived at Cameron Hut who also had two brothers that had purchased plots in Furnace Wood at the same time.  Vernon remained at Cameron Hut until his death in 1948.  Then there was Alfred Arthur Dickens who purchased the plot on which Tresloe now stands in 1919 and died from Glenwood Cottage, Cuttinglye Road (adjacent to Tresloe) in 1942.  Then there was Thomas Elmer who lived at Cuttlinglye Brook who died in 1935, Charles Edward Chapman who lived at Hillview who died in 1942, Edwin Pollard who lived at Wayside who also died in 1942, and Charlotte, June and Martha Pirie who lived at Cuttinglye Brook who all died in their eighties between 1949 and 1952[91].

There was also an actor who lived at Oakashthorn from the 1930’s by the name of Terry O’Brien.  There is also a long standing community who have occupied part of Cuttinglye Wood since the late 1930’s, situated at the far end of the road at the Monastery of the Community of the Servants of the Will of God.

Monastery of the Community of the Servants of the Will of God

In 1938 Rev. Robert Gofton-Salmond relinquished his work as a London parish priest, bought a pair of small ranch-style bungalows and sixty acres of Cuttinglye Wood and founded a Monastery for seven Anglican brothers.  The Monastery of the Community of the Servants of the Will of God was founded as an enclosed order, with Rev. Robert Gofton-Salmond as the first Father Superior.  The Community, still in existence, lives a contemplative life utilising silence, work and prayer in a simple life style based on the Rule of St Benedict, in almost complete solitude, and although founded for seven brothers, the Community now has eleven Anglican monks and three nuns.

At the close of the Second World War the Community acquired two hutted buildings for use as its chapel that were left by the Canadian Army who used the site during the war.  Initially there was little business at the Monastery with few staying with Father Robert but by the early 1960’s Father Gregory had joined at the Monastery and things began to pick up but a couple of years later the Superior left and the future of the Community looked in doubt.  However, in 1973, Father Gregory professed his final vows making it possible for him to be elected Superior, a post he held until 2008.

Over the years the Monastery has grown and expanded and during the 1960’s some of the original wooden and concrete buildings were replaced by more permanent structures to form the cells or sparsely furnished rooms in which each monk and nun could live.  The old chapel was replaced by a small brick chapel and the refectory was completely renovated.  Later the Monastery was re-built after suffering a fire, a guest wing was built and then extended to accommodate eleven guests, and facilities were added to be used for day conferences and meetings.  Three Hermitages were also built in the grounds so that the semi-eremitical life of the Community could be extended into the full living of the solitary life.  Lastly a convent building was added to accommodate nuns.

The Community has always offered a spiritual retreat for resident guests, originally fellow men of the cloth or lay servants of the church.  Today its Retreat for guests has become a very important part of the Monastery.  The delightful building is built round a grassy cloister where anyone is welcome to stay for a period of time, either to join in the daily rituals or just for a spell of quiet solitude combined with counselling.

The aims of the Community are to provide a place for recovery of the contemplative life for men and women in varying degrees of solitude within a communal framework; to provide a variety of manual work which is suitable for both monks and nuns and also productive for their own Community; to be a place of beauty and peace for those who live in it and for the God-seekers to visit it.

In an interview in 1973, shortly after being appointed to the position of Father Superior, Father Gregory outlined a typical day within the Community:

From Vespers – the evening service at 6pm – until the Eucharist at 7 am the emphasis is on solitude, with hours devoted to prayer before and after sleep.

In between these hours the main emphasis is on the common life, including meal times, community meetings, chapel services at regular intervals, two main periods of manual work and time to rest.

In 1973 all the meals were prepared by the monks.  They had chicken and two cows and all the brothers were proficient at milking.  The milk provided the Community with cheese but the yield was not sufficient to supply butter.  Their aim was to become self-sufficient, even to the point of growing wheat and making their own bread.  Some five acres of the woodland had been to provide grazing for the cows as well as a large vegetable allotment.  Fruit was also grown.

The community also have their own graveyard set in another area of cleared woodland, and one of the benefits of the woodland and occasional clearance is there is always a good supply of logs for their wood burning stoves that heat all the buildings.

During the thirty-five years that Father Gregory was Father Superior of the Monastery of the Community of the Servants of the Will of God, situated in sixty acres of Cuttinglye Wood, he created what has been described as ‘a still centre in the heart of the world’.

Recent development

In more recent years some of the small bungalows, no longer deemed suitable for today’s life style, have been re-developed and as a consequence some the woodland has been removed.  To compensate for the gradual loss of the woodland, one far-sighted Cuttinglye resident left a U shaped piece of woodland to the Woodland Trust in 1992.  The woodland, known as Bears Wood, wraps round the residential property known as Silver Birches and is bordered by housing on two sides, a bank and ditch on the southern side and Furnace Wood on the northern side.  The northern end of the woodland was badly damaged in the 1987 storm and is largely inaccessible; however, Bears Wood still retains several species of trees including oak, sweet chestnut, Scots pine, birch, rowan, holly and goat willow[92].



Cuttinglye was a small manor in the 13th century that was probably enclosed during the 14th century; remarkably considerable lengths of the ditch and bank boundary of the Cuttinglye Park have survived till today. The incorporation of Cuttinglye manor into the manor of Hedgecourt later in the 14th century has made it difficult to trace its exact land holding but its demesne lands are likely to be what is today known as Cuttinglye Wood.

Cuttinglye Wood has been developed with a number of properties scattered along Cuttinglye Road, but there is still much of the ancient woodland remaining and large areas of it have paths to allow the public to walk through the wood, including Bears Wood which has been left to the Woodland Trust.

Texts of all Handouts referred to in this document can be found on FHG website:

JIC/SJC 09/12

[1] English Place Name Society Vol. 7, Place Names of Sussex Part II, 1930.

[2] Cal. of Charter Rolls, 1286 Feb 20th

[3] Foot of Fine TNA CP25/1/282/7, Mich.1231 f89.

[4] Foot of Fine TNA CP25/1/227/26 f33.

[5] Collegiate churches: South Malling, A History of the County of Sussex: Vol. 2 1973, p117

[6] Cal. IPM Vol.1 1806, p131

[7] Sussex Record Society Vol.10

[8] Cal. Patent Rolls, Vol. 3 1908, p23.

[9] Cal. IPM Vol.5 1908, 396

[10] Cal. Fine Rolls 1314, p202, p210.

[11] Cal. IPM 1295, 371

[12] Cal. IPM 1314, 538

[13] Cal. Inq. Misc. 1340, 1690.

[14] TNA E199/42/8

[15] Sussex Record Society Vol.10

[16] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183

[17] Cal. Fine Rolls 1323, p284; 1327, p130.

[18] Feet of Fines for the County of Sussex. Sussex Record Society Vol.23 entry 1971

[19] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183 f4

[20] Hedgecourt Court Book, Box 3151, SHC

[21] Cal. Patent Rolls 1346.

[22] TNA CP25/1/287/44 f482.

[23] Cal. IPM 1361, 95 & 96.

[24] Cal. Close Rolls 1365, 19a

[25] Hedgecourt Court Roll, ESRO SAS/G43/87

[26] English Place Name Society Vol. 7, Place Names of Sussex Part II, 1930.

[27] University of Michigan, The Middle English Dictionary.

[28] Cal. Charter Rolls 1366, p193

[29] Cal. Inq. Misc 1369, 722

[30] Exchequer enrolment of Inquisitions, Oxfordshire 1375, TNA E153/199 173

[31] Uvedale Lambert, Godstone A Parish History, 1929, p149

[32] Feet of Fines for the County of Sussex. Sussex Record Society Vol.23 entry 2787.

[33] ESRO SAS/G43/87

[34] ESRO SAS/G/AA/917

[35] Feet of Fines for the County of Sussex. Sussex Record Society Vol.23 entry 2834

[36] Cal. IPM 1408, 458

[37] Cal. IPM 1419, 379

[38] Uvedale Lambert, Godstone A Parish History, 1929, p161

[39] Cal. Patent Rolls 1445, m20 p443

[40] ESRO SAS/G1/50

[41] ESRO SAS/G43/87

[42] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183/South Malling Court Books, ESRO ACC/2327/1/5

[43] Hedgecourt Court Book, Box 3151, SHC

[44] Feet of Fines for the County of Sussex. Sussex Record Society Vol.23 entry 2390

[45] John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, Vol. 5 1789, p207

[46] Uvedale Lambert, Godstone a Parish History, 1929, p163.

[47] J. Caley & J. Bayley, Cal. IPM 1828, Vol. 4 p370

[48] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183/South Malling Court Books, ESRO ACC/2327/1/5

[49] ESRO SAS/G13/96

[50] ESRO SAS/G43/95

[51] ESRO ACC2327/1/5/1

[52] ESRO SAS/G43/87

[53] Cal. IPM Hen VII, Vol. 1 1160 & Vol. 2 209

[54] ESRO SAS/G43/82

[55] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183 for 1497-1569, ESRO ACC 2327/1/5/1 1599, ESRO SAS P/465 1666

[56] ESRO SAS/G43/84

[57] ESRO SAS/G43/30

[58] Sussex Inquisitions, Sussex Record Society, 1912, Vol. 14, 446

[59] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183 f25

[60] ESRO SAS/G43/87

[61] A History of the County of Sussex, Vol 7, The rape of Lewes (1940), Parish of Crawley.

[62] 1st August 1567, ESRO SAS/G13/97

[63] 1st October 1567, ESRO SAS/G43/32

[64] 18th June 1652 Sale of Gages Mead to James Newman of Lingfield, ESRO SAS/G43/50

[65] 28th January 1535 Grant to Roger Aven, ESRO SAS/G43/30

[66] 1530 ESRO SAS/G43/84

[67] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183 f100

[68] ESRO SAS/G/ACC/917 f8

[69] Sussex Record Society Vol. 33

[70] ESRO SAS/G16/80a

[71] PCC Prob/11/109 345

[72] ESRO SAS/G46/5

[73] 7th February 1629, ESRO SAS/G43/123

[74] 10th September 1651, ESRO SAS/G43/125; 4th November 1651, ESRO SAS/G43/126

[75] 1655 Rentals for Hedgecourt, ESRO SAS/G/17/2

[76] Christopher Whittick, talk titled ‘The Gages and the Iron Industry’ presented to the Wealden Iron Research Group

[77] 21st October 1664, ESRO SAS/G43/53

[78] ESRO SAS/G/11/27

[79] ESRO SAS/G/11/30

[80] Philip Colebourn, Discovering Ancient Woodlands, British Wildlife, December 1989

[81] The early history of Hedgecourt Manor and Farm, Felbridge and District History Group, 106, November 2011

[82] Box 3151, Surrey History Centre

[83] The Break-up and Sale of the Felbridge Estate of 1911, Felbridge History Group, January 2011

[84] 1913 Sale Catalogue, Felbridge History Archive

[85] 1918 Sale Catalogue, Felbridge History Archive

[86] Deeds of ‘Tresloe’, Cuttinglye Road, Felbridge History Archive

[87] Memories of Freda McLaine

[88] Memories of Barbara Christie

[89] Memories of Pam Coleman

[90] Memories of Pam Coleman

[91] Burial Registers of All Saints Church, Crawley Down. FHA

[92] The Woodland Trust