Eating and Drinking 5

Eating and Drinking establishments of Felbridge – Part V


This is the fifth and final part of a series of handouts that discuss the eating and drinking establishments of Felbridge, both those that have long since disappeared and those that are currently still providing service.  Information varies from one establishment to another, generally depending upon their duration of time in existence and availability of records.  The study of these establishments has been grouped together by location and not their chronological order of operation.  This final group of eating and drinking establishments starts mid-way along West Park Road on the north of Felbridge and concludes in the at Snow Hill area on the west of Felbridge.


The first in the series of handouts started at North End and continued to Felbridge Water on the Sussex side of the county boundary, covering Pattenden’s Beer Shop, North End Brewery and North End Workingmen’s Club, the Half-way House, the Emperor and the Felbridge Hotel and Spa.


The second in the series of handouts continued from the Felbridge Water area, crossing the county boundary into Surrey and covered, the Red Lion, Harts Hall Hotel, the Star Inn, the Premier Inn, Felbridge Garage Tea Shop and the White Duchess Hotel.


The third in the series of handouts continued north along the main London road starting at Woodcock Hill and covered: Yew Lodge, Wayside Tea Rooms, Woodcock Inn, Gulliver’s Rest, Peacock Lodge, The Mess and NAAFI at Hobbs Barracks, The Yellow Tea Pot, Thai Cottage, Wiremill Tea Gardens and Wiremill.


The fourth in the series of handouts concentrated on the eating and drinking establishments of the Newchapel and Froggit Heath area to the north of Felbridge and covered: the Half Moon, the Griffin Inn, the Evelyn Arms, the Blacksmiths Head, the Maidenhead, the Club House, the Cherry Tree Beer Shop, the Lowlands and Bones Lane Beer Seller.


This document sets out to discuss the history and development of the eating and drinking establishments of the Snow Hill area to the west of Felbridge, along with the lives of some of the people associated with each property: West Park Hotel, Haskins Café, Copthorne – Effingham Park Hotel, the Cottage of Content and The Duke’s Head. 


There is also Post Script at the end of this document that includes information on Rumblin’ Tums Café and The Master Fryer, two establishments that have both opened at the Felbridge Parade which was covered in Part I of this series of documents on the eating and drinking establishments of Felbridge.


West Park Hotel

Evidence that West Park House operated as a hotel was found quite unexpectedly during research for some of the previously covered properties in this series of eating and drinking establishments of Felbridge. 


West Park had been purchased by George Palmer (of the biscuit company Huntley & Palmer fame) sometime in the mid to late 1860’s and in 1869 he had built a large country residence known as West Park House [for early history see Handout, West Park Estate, SJC 04/99].  On the death of George Palmer on 19th August 1897 his son Alfred inherited the property, which he used primarily as a shooting lodge, and in 1898 had the house extended to its current size.  During their ownership the Palmers amassed an estate of 2,329 acres, which on the death of Alfred was put up for auction on 25th September 1936 in 84 Lots. 


West Park House appeared as Lot 21 consisting of the house, an ‘attractive and moderate sized country residence’, and land amounting to 53a 2r 19p, partially in the tenancy of Messrs F and C F Coleman who tenanted West Park Farm.  The description in the sale catalogue is as follows:

West Park

is situated toward the south-west corner of the Estate and was built by the later Doctor Alfred Palmer JP in 1898, for use as a Shooting Lodge.


The House, which faces south-east, is well set back from the main road and is approached therefrom by


A Carriage Drive

which forms a wide sweep on the south or entrance front.  It is built of red brick with a tile-hung upper portion and surmounted by a gabled tiled roof.  The accommodation is as follows


On the Ground Floor:-

Entrance Porch

With tiled floor and glazed roof forming a Verandah along part of the south front



measuring 18ft 6ins by 9ft 10ins and containing the Principal Staircase.


Lounge (S)

measuring 22ft into bay by 13ft and having an oak dado 4ft 10ins high, while an open tiled fireplace is enclosed by an oak chimneypiece with inglenooks;


Drawing Room (S & E)

measuring 21ft by 17ft 10ins excluding a wide bay window and having a walnut mantelpiece with a tiled fireplace.  There are window seats fitted to the bay and French casements in the south wall open on to the Verandah previously referred to.


Dining Room (S & W)

measuring 17ft 11ins by 17ft 10in, excluding a bay fitted with window seats.  The fireplace is recessed and has a walnut mantel and there is a Service Hatch.  Communicating with the Dining Room and the Servants’ Corridor is


A Gun Room

Measuring 17ft 10ins by 16ft (maximum) and having a tiled fireplace, oak mantel board and door opening on to a COVERED SIDE VERANDAH off which are CLOAKROOM with tiled floor, two fitted lavatory basins and Two WC’s and a DARK ROOM with lead lined sink.


The Domestic Offices

are compactly arranged and include:- SERVING ROOM with HATCHWAY into the Dining Room; HOUSEKEEPER’S ROOMBUTLER’S PANTRY, fitted lead lined sink, drainer and cupboards; KITCHEN, fitted double oven, range, dresser and Store cupboard; SCULLERY, fitted Gold Medal ‘Eagle’ range, sink and Independent ‘Century boiler; LARDER with tiled floor and glazed tiled dado; GAME LARDER and DAIRY with tiled floor, dado, slate shelves and containing a Wine Cupboard with brick shelves; Brushing Cupboard; Servants’ WC and Back Lobby with Tradesmen’s Entrance.  The Outside Premises are arranged round a flagged Yard and includes:- Oil Store; Coal Store; Boot Hole; Another Game Larder, and Wood Shed.  Basement Furnace Room approached from outside


On the First Floor, which is approached by front and back Staircases, the former having oak banisters and handrail, are SIX PRINCIPAL BED AND DRESSING ROOMS which measure as follows:- BEDROOM (S) 15ft 3ins by 12ft 11ins, excluding bay window; BEDROOM (S) 18ft 3ins by 18ft 4ins, excluding bay window; BEDROOM (W) 17ft 9ins by 10ft 4ins, excluding recessed fireplace and communicating with DRESSING ROOM (W) measuring 14ft 10ins by 10ft 5ins; BEDROOM (N), 14ft 9ins by 12ft 3ins; BEDRROOM (S&E), 18ft 4ins by 21ft 6ins (maximum), excluding a wide bay.


All the foregoing rooms have suitable fireplaces and three contain cupboards.


Shut off from the Principal rooms are:- BATHROOM, fitted with and lavatory basin and WC; Range of three heated Linen Cupboards; Separate Cupboard and a WC.


In a Wing and shut off from the foregoing rooms are FOUR SECONDARY OR SERVANTS’ BEDROOMS; BATHROOM, fitted bath, lavatory basin and WC; Separate WC and Housemaids’ Closet, fitted sink and slop sink.


On the Second Floor there is a wide LANDING fitted up as a Recreation Room; Bedroom and Box Room.


CENTRAL HEATING is installed in the Principal rooms and Corridors from a ‘Robin Hood’ Junior Sectional Boiler.


WATER is obtained from a Well pumped to a Storage Tank in a Water Tower situated on Lot 22 [West Park Farm].  Company’s Water Mains are available in the main road fronting this Lot.


ELECTRIC LIGHT.  There is no lighting instalment in the House, but Company’s Electric Light Mains are available in the main road nearby and are in fact connected to the farm buildings on Lot 22, within 100 ards.


DRAINAGE is on modern lines and is combined with part of Lot 22; the outfall is in No. Pt. 568 on that Lot at a sufficiently remote distance from the residence.


The Pleasure Grounds

are situated on the south and east sides of the House and include Lawns shaded by Cedar and Ilex trees and interspersed by


Borders and Banks of Rhododendrons.

A recessed seat on the east side of the House overlooks.


An Herbaceous Garden

which is protected on the north by a brick wall pierced at the centre by a wrought iron gate leading into No. Pt. 588.  On the east side of the Garden is an ORCHARD of about 1 ½ acres, and on the south and south-west flanking the Drive are Two Paddocks, with a belt of trees along the main road boundary.


The Garages and Stables

are on the west and are brick and tile construction.  The GARAGE measure 36ft wide by 20ft deep and has an open rafter roof and hot water pipes; it has four sliding doors and a GARDENER’S STORE adjoining, fitted with shelves and containing ‘Horse Shoe’ Stove doe heating the Garage.


THE STABLING, which adjoins, contains Two Coach Houses and Harness Room with three Bedrooms above each having an ‘Eagle’ grate; Four-stall Stable and Three Loose Boxes with a Loft over opposite which there is a large POND.


On the north side of the Residence and Pleasure Grounds is an enclosure of LEVEL PARK-LIKE PASTURE which is bounded on the north by a row of tree and on the east by PAYGATE and BIRCHEN WOODS.  In the north-west corner of the latter are



Which are fed by surface water drainage from West Park and from the Farm Buildings on Lot 22.


Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine who purchased West Park at the time of the auction in 1936.  However, ten years later the property was being run as West Park Hotel by William and Bessie Young who remained there until at least 1949. 


As for information on the Young’s, having two fairly common names for the Felbridge area it has not yet been possible to determine much conclusive information about William, except that he married Bessie Trery Sinclair in the June quarter of 1928 in the Registration district of Steyning, Sussex.  As for Bessie, she was born in the March quarter of 1904 in the Brighton area. 


Haskins Café, Snow Hill

Haskins Café forms part of Haskins Garden Centre complex off Snow Hill Lane, Snow Hill.  The site has been home to a horticultural establishment since the 1950’s when it was owned by Mr Crutchfield who specialised in the cultivation of dahlias.  The site was later expanded to become the Snow Hill Garden Centre (which also included a Café/Coffee Shop) before being taken over by Haskins in 2003.


Haskins Café at Snow Hill has a 260-seater restaurant offering a wide range of freshly prepared, home cooked meals, pastries, snacks, children’s meals and Costa Coffee.  Where possible, fresh produce is sourced locally and meals can be taken indoors or al-fresco on the outdoor patio (weather permitting). 


Copthorne – Effingham Park Hotel

The Copthorne – Effingham Park Hotel is situated off West Park Road in Copthorne, the area taking its name from the Baron of Effingham (William Howard, Lord High Admiral, 1st Baron of Effingham) who held this part of Copthorne as part of the manor of Bletchingley in 16th century.  The Hotel was opened in 1988 by Trojan Limited who had purchased the Effingham Park estate comprising of a house and forty acres of grounds in the early 1970’s.  The site of the house dates to at least 1761 although the house, now incorporated as part of the hotel complex, only dates to the 1870’s when John Henderson, a colonial merchant and magistrate, had it built.  As this document covers the eating and drinking establishments of Felbridge, the history and development of the site before its purchase by Trojan Limited, together with the people associated with it as a private dwelling, will be covered at a future date.


In the early 1970’s Effingham Park was acquired by the company Trojan Limited, a company that had been founded by Leslie Hounsfield in Croydon in 1914.  Trojan Limited had been formed to produce a simple and inexpensive car, and after several design changes and modifications Leyland Motors acquired the right to build the ‘Utility’ model Trojan in 1922, the car retailing at £175.  Shortly after developing the car, Trojan launched a light weight van option and special body designs were introduced to cater for the needs of individual trades.  Eventually a whole range of body styles had been designed enabling Trojan to become a market leader of commercial vehicles.  Along side Trojan’s commercial vehicles the private car business also expanded producing at least four different models before the company ceased car production in 1937.  During the war years, Trojan ceased all vehicle production and focussed on precision engineering and munitions, but by 1948 a new van had been designed and was produced in various forms including personnel carriers and trucks.


In 1959 the Trojan factory was purchased by Peter Agg and his father.  Initially the premises were purchased for the much needed space and workforce to continue the Agg’s business of distributing Lambretta Scooters for the British market.  However, in 1962 the Agg’s acquired the right to manufacture the Heinkel Bubblecar, leading to the production of some 6,000 Trojan 200s.  Also in 1962 they acquired the Elva sports car business and began making the Mk IV Elva Courier.  This in turn led to the manufacture of McLaren racing cars that continued until the early 1970’s when all vehicle production ceased and the factory was sold, and it was around this time that Trojan Limited purchased Effingham Park.  


On the purchase of Effingham Park, the house was refurbished and used as Trojan’s offices whilst a rotunda building was constructed which was opened in 1977 as a motor museum with conference and banqueting facilities, the tables arranged around the exhibits.  The motor museum housed the collection of classic and vintage cars that had been built up by Peter Agg, Trojan’s chairman and managing director.  Three years later a golf club was constructed at Effingham Park, the 9-hole course being designed by internationally acclaimed golf course architect Francisco Escario, which many golfing enthusiasts claim is one of the most challenging par 30 golf courses around.


In 1987 the decision was made by Trojan to expand their business at Effingham Park with the construction of a luxury hotel and exclusive leisure club built along side the house that had originally been built by John Henderson in the 1870’s.  The new hotel comprised of 122 bedrooms, a restaurant, a brasserie, library, lounge bar, lounges, reception rooms and hair salon.  The old house, with many of the original features being preserved, was transformed into a reception area and restaurant being named Wellingtonia after the trees that grow in the grounds.  The leisure complex included a 20-metre heated indoor swimming pool, dance studio, professionally supervised gymnasium, saunas, solarium, steam rooms, and beauty and health treatment rooms.


Effingham Park Hotel opened in 1988 but was sold shortly after completion to the Copthorne Hotel Group, which operated the nearby Copthorne Hotel.  On completion of the sale, Peter Agg moved his classic and vintage car collection back to his home in Surrey and over the years much of the collection has been sold off although he gave the 1913 prototype Trojan car to the Trojan Museum Trust who hold the Trojan archive.   The rotunda, formerly known as the Museum Suite, has now been re-named the Millennium Suite.


The 4 Star Copthorne Hotel Effingham is part of the chain of Millennium and Copthorne Hotels that operates over a hundred hotels worldwide.  Today the Copthorne Hotel Effingham offers luxurious accommodation, long term airport parking packages for those flying from Gatwick airport, conference facilities, a high class venue for private functions, as well as the health club, 9-hole golf course and the addition of floodlit tennis courts.


Cottage of Content

The Cottage of Content is situated in Chapel Lane, Snow Hill; the site being originally a small enclosure of Copthorne Common identified as plots 628 to 631 on the Figg map of the tenants of the manor of South Malling.  The lane takes its name from the Countess of Huntingdon Chapel that was built there in 1827 [for further information see Handout, The Chapels of Felbridge, SJC 05/00], prior to this date the lane was known simply as the ‘greenway’ running along the edge of Copthorne Common marking the boundary between the manors of South Malling and Bletchingly and the county boundary between Sussex and Surrey.


The earliest mention of site of the Cottage of Content can be found in the court books for the manor of South Malling when it was granted to John Harbor/Harber alias Harborough in 1734.  On the death of John Harbor in 1787 the property, consisting of a cottage and two acres of land, passed to Sarah Illman who also held another property in the Snow Hill area, plot 624 [see below], together with a second holding of John Harbor’s consisting of a cottage and 20 rods of land, plot 632.  Unfortunately there is very little information about Sarah Illman other than she was recorded as Sarah Farmer when she married Henry Illman on 25th September 1766 in Brenchley, Kent.  Henry Illman had been born in 1739/40, the son of Henry Illman and his wife Susannah née Pignall, being baptised on 8th March 1739/40 in East Grinstead.  Henry Illman was listed as a shop-keeper of Worth when Henry Harborough surrendered plot 624, consisting of ¾ acres of land in Snow Hill, to him on 22nd July 1783.  On Henry Illman’s death in 1783 this piece of land passed to his widow Sarah Illman.


On the death of Sarah Illman in 1816, the site of the Cottage of Content, plots 628 to 631, passed to her niece, Elizabeth Morton, the holding being in the occupation of Peter Prudence at the time, being succeeded by James Homewood in 1819 who continued to hold the site until 1830.  On the death of Elizabeth Morton in 1826, the property passed to her only son James Morton, but unfortunately it has not yet been possible to find any conclusive information on the Morton family.  However, by 1828 the site of the Cottage of Content had passed from James Morton to Rev John Trego, and was being occupied by James Prevett between 1830 and 1831.    


From map evidence and the Land Tax entries, the cottage on the site of the Cottage of Content disappeared around 1800, being replaced around 1824.  Three years later the Countess of Huntingdon Chapel was built adjacent to the current cottage [for further information see Handout the Chapels of Felbridge, SJC 05/00] and it would appear that the current cottage and grounds were detached from the site of the Chapel and sold around 1828 to John Uridge who appears in the 1829 copyhold tenants list for the manor of South Malling as holding plots 628 to 631 (the current site of the Cottage of Content and grounds), although from the Land Tax records he does not appear as residing there until 1832.  The sale of the site of the Cottage of Content may well have taken place to recoup some of the £300 that it had cost to build the Chapel.  As for Rev John Trego, he left the Snow Hill area to become the minister at the London Road, Countess of Huntingdon Chapel in Brighton, which opened in July 1830.  In 1831, John Uridge increased his land holding in the Snow Hill area when he was granted the lease of plot 681 (amounting to 3r 5p) on Copthorne Common, situated at the junction of what are today called Chapel Land and Green Lane in Snow Hill.   


John Uridge had been born on 27th November 1786, the son of Thomas and Sarah Uridge, one of at least four children including: Elisabeth born 1784, Sarah born 1785, and Thomas born 1790, all baptised in the parish of East Grinstead, although Thomas Uridge had come from the Buxted area of Sussex.


In 1839 John Uridge was recorded in the Worth Tithe apportionment as the owner/occupier of the site of the Cottage of Content (not yet bearing the name), holding five acres made up of:  


Plot no.                Name                                  Usage                  

               E39                       Three Roods                       Arable                 

               E40                       Long Meadow                    Arable

               E41                       House, Garden & Orchard

               E51                       Square Meadow                 Meadow


The current site of the Cottage of Content falls in plots E39 to 41, with the leased field (plot 681 in 1829) being listed as plot E51 in 1839.  Analysis of the land usage would suggest that John Uridge was running a smallholding or farm, having both arable land for cereal production that could be used for human consumption or animal feed and meadow land for hay for animal feed.  John’s occupation as farmer is confirmed in the 1841 census when he is listed as a farmer of Copthorne.


In 1841 the Uridge household consisted of John as the head of household listed as fifty (although his age was actually fifty-five), Jane Uridge listed as forty-five (although her age was actually forty-seven), James, George and Jane Worsell, aged fifteen, twelve and eight respectively, and John Uridge aged five.  John Uridge senior had married widow Jane Worsell on 21st April 1834; Jane having been born Jane Vigar in Burstow on 6th October 1794 , one of eleven children born of John Vigar and his wife Mary née King.  Jane Vigar had married William Worsell on the 6th April 1818 and they had at least seven children including: William born in 1819 who sadly died an infant in August 1820, Elizabeth born in 1821, James born in 1823, George born in 1826, Mary born in 1828 who sadly died as a child in January 1833, Jane born in 1830 and Hannah born in 1833 but who died shortly after in September the same year, all baptised in the parish of Burstow.  Sadly, Jane’s husband William also died in February 1833 aged just thirty-six, leaving her with four children aged between twelve and three.  It would appear that John Uridge had not married before his marriage to Jane Worsell in 1834 and within two years they had had a son called John Thomas Uridge, born in April 1836 in Horne.  John and Jane were married for only for fifteen years before John died aged sixty-two in 1849.


In 1851 Jane Uridge was head of the household being listed as a farmer of six acres, employing one man.  Also living in the household was her son John Uridge and a lodger called William Pilbeam [grandson of William and Jane Pilbeam see below], listed as twenty-eight who was working as a millwright.  The property at this date was recorded as ‘Beer House, Cottage [of] Content’, and Jane was listed in the Post Office Directory in 1851 as proprietor of the Beer House which would suggest that she had acquired a license to sell beer/ale from her premises although it has not yet been possible to determine at exactly what date.  It is interesting to note that between 1867 and 1876 Jane’s son George Worsell was the innkeeper at The Star Inn in Felbridge being succeeded by his son Arthur until 1889 when he took over the Blue Anchor at Blindley Heath [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge Pt. II, JIC/SJC 08].  Also, John Thomas Worsell, the son of Jane’s son James Worsell, was listed as the proprietor of the Abergaveny Arms [now demolished] in Copthorne in 1890.


It is not known for certain how the establishment acquired its name but it probably has something to do with the Chapel next door who, advocating teetotalism and better morals, would have frowned upon such an establishment.  It is interesting to note that around this time a card game and board game of morals were introduced known as The Cottage of Content.  The card game, also known as The Blessings of Cheerfulness and Good Temper, was designed around 1840 by William Sallis and the aim of the game was for ‘Master Peter Placid’ and ‘Miss Felicia Amiable’ to win the Cottage of Content by means of converting their friends ‘Samuel Suspicious’ and ‘Jemima Fretful’ from the error of their ways.  The board game was designed by William Spooner in 1848 and was also called Right Roads and Wrong Ways.  As for the Cottage of Content in Chapel Lane, it could be said that it stood on the right road to the Chapel but by the nature of its business it led people down the wrong way.


In 1861 the Cottage of Content was in dual occupancy with Jane Uridge as the head of one household, listed as a Beer House Keeper, her household consisting of her son John Uridge, working as a millwright, her grand-daughter Mary Ann Worsell (daughter of Jane’s son James Worsell [see below]) aged fourteen working as the household servant and a lodger by the name of James Lambard aged nineteen working as an agricultural labourer.  The second household consisted of Jane’s son James Worsell and his family.  James was aged thirty-eight and was working as a haggler, also known as a higgler (someone who bargains, a pedlar usually with a horse and cart).  Also in James’ household was his wife Sarah aged forty-one and six of their eventual eight children including Jane born in 1848, William born in 1850, James born about 1851, John Thomas born about 1855, Elizabeth born about 1857 and George born about 1858.  James and Sarah’s two other children were Thomas who was not born until 1860 and Mary Ann who was born in 1846 and had already left home [see above].


In 1870 John Uridge inherited the Cottage of Content after the death of his mother Jane on 11th January, and in 1871 the Uridge household at the Cottage of Content consisted of John, listed as a carpenter and Beer House [keeper], together with Mary A Worsell employed as the housekeeper and George Worsell (listed as niece and nephew).  It should be remembered that Mary and George were the children of James Worsell (half brother of John Uridge, sharing the same mother but different fathers).  By 1881 the household had shrunk to just John Uridge and Mary A Worsell, John listed as a Beer Seller with six acres of land and Mary still as housekeeper.  However, on 3rd May 1882 John married Mary and they had two sons, John Allender born in 1884 and Thomas James born in 1887.


It has not yet been possible to establish when John Uridge retired from the carpentry business but he continued to advertise himself as a beer retailer in the Post Office and Kelly’s Directories until his death in 1906.  On his death on 28th May 1906, the Cottage of Content passed to his widow Mary who continued to advertise as a beer retailer until her death in the first quarter of 1920.  On the death of Mary the Cottage of Content passed to her eldest son, John Allender Uridge, and it would appear that around this date the property stopped being licensed to sell beer.


John A Uridge had followed in his father’s footsteps and was a carpenter by trade and remained at the Cottage of Content until his death on 26th February 1939.  Unfortunately it has not been possible to determine any further personal details about John other than on his death the Cottage of Content passed to his brother Thomas.


Thomas Uridge had married Annie Louisa Giles, their marriage registered in East Grinstead in the September quarter of 1914.  Annie had been born in 1888, the daughter of Henry and Louisa Giles of Horne.  Thomas and Annie had two daughters, Lucy M born in 1915 and Annie E born in 1917.  It is known that Thomas remained at the Cottage of Content until his death on 29th April 1961 and shortly after, the Uridge family sold the property, thus ending the family association with the house that had begun in 1828.   


Unfortunately there are no early descriptions of the Cottage of Content but in November 1999 the property was put up for sale described as:

A charming 300-year old period cottage in Chapel Lane, Copthorne, freehold, has delightful gardens of nearly one acre overlooking open country side.


This period dwelling was formerly an ale house and immediately next door to a Nonconformist chapel.


It is built of brick with part whitened rendered elevations, having decorative shutters to the front, under a tiled roof.


The property was subsequently extended over the years but retains a wealth of exposed beams.


The numerous reception rooms intercommunicate with one another and could be used in a variety of ways.


A comprehensive oil fired central heating system is also installed.


Ground floor accommodation includes hall, fitted cloakroom, dining room with random stone fireplace with copper hood and oak bressumer beam, breakfast room, dual aspect kitchen with pine cupboards, built in oven and hob, appliance space, one wall with exposed brickwork; living room with stairs to first floor, study with patio doors to garden, utility room, drawing room with inglenook fireplace with wood burning stove.


On the first floor are the four bedrooms, three with built in wardrobes, and bathroom.


There is a double garage, drive with parking space and turning area.


Delightful gardens and grounds surround the property with a cottage-style garden at the front.


The rear gardens, backing onto open fields, feature lawns, flowerbeds, raised patio area, roses, trees and shrubs.


Duke’s Head

The Dukes Head is situated on the Turner Hill Road, Snow Hill, the site being originally a small enclosure of Copthorne Common held of the manor of South Malling (the plot later identified as 920 on the Figg map), the first lease for the plot being granted in 1692. 


On the 3rd June 1692, William Mills (recorded as a labourer), together with his son William, took out a ninety-nine year lease for a cottage and ‘30 roods’ of land enclosed from Copthorne Common, for the sum of 2s 6d annual rent.  A rood equates to a quarter of an acre, therefore it would appear that the Mills were granted a cottage and 7½ acres of land.  However, the entry for the site, plot 920 as it appears on the Figg map of tenants of South Malling, suggests that the ‘30 roods’ should have been written as ‘30 rods’, a rod equating to 1 pole or 1 perch and therefore in total an eighth of an area.  Unfortunately it has not been possible to determine the exact date that the land was enclosed or when Messer’s Mills built their cottage.  However, the cottage was already standing and in their occupation at the commencement of the lease, which was due to run until 1791.   


Apart from the afore mentioned lease, there are only three other direct references for the site of the Dukes Head in any documents or the court books for the manor of South Malling, even though it is known by the name of ‘Dukes Head’ from the start of the Land Tax records in 1780.  Being a named, leased property should have meant that it would be easily identified but it is conspicuous by its absence from the records, although the name ‘Duke’s Head’ is used from 1829 in the court books for the manor of South Malling as an area of Copthorne Common and as a boundary maker for surrounding properties.  One reason for this is probably because the ancient description of the site as referred to in the 1692 lease was always faithfully copied, word for word (including the old spellings), each time it appears in the documents.


Despite the fact that there are few references to the site of the Duke’s Head in the documents and court books for the manor of South Malling there is a tentative lead as to when the property became licensed premises to sell alcohol as in 1703 William Mills appears in the Quarter Session records for Worth as requesting, and being granted, either a victualler or ale house license.  Unfortunately the record doesn’t specify which type of license was granted and the name of the establishment is not listed but it is possible that the entry refers to the cottage that Messer’s Mills leased in 1692.  On this basis the Duke’s Head could have been operating as an inn/tavern/alehouse from at least 1703, although it has not been possible to determine when it adopted the sign of the Duke’s Head, or which Duke it was named after.  It will probably never be known exactly when the property became known as the Duke’s Head or after which Duke it was named.  However, one possibility is that the name could be attributed to the Duke of Marlborough who was the most prominent Duke in Britain in the early 1700’s, distinguishing himself as a military commander of the English, Dutch and German forces at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, in one of the campaigns of the Wars of the Spanish Succession [for further information see Handout, The Commonplace Book of Edward Evelyn, JIC/SJC 09/07]. 


Little else has been found on Messer’s Mills, other than in 1725 there is a surviving inventory for the ‘goods and chattells’ of William Mills, late of Worth.  This may refer to William Mills the father listed in the 1692 lease.  The inventory lists:

                                                                                                             l      s      d

in the fire roome

One table and forme and three chairs                                            -      8     -

in ye (illegible)   

Two chief (chaff) Bedes and Stedds and coverings belonging  1     -      -

two chests and one box                                                                    -      5     -

one in ye chamber                                                                            -      15   -

one iron furness                                                                                -      10   -

one pottage pot                                                                                  -      2     6

four pairs of sheets with some small matter of other linen        -      18   -

one grind stone                                                                                  -      3     -

wearing apparel and money in purse                                             1     -      -

one small cottage valued att                                                            10   -      -


The total value of William Mill’s inventory was £15 1s 6d and it is interesting that it refers to a small cottage as there would appear to be only two William Mills in Worth at this time and the value of a leasehold property would have been included in an inventory. Therefore this could be the inventory of William Mills the father who took out the 1692 lease, which became the Duke’s Head.


At the start of the Land Tax records in 1780, Mr Hall is recorded as responsible for paying tax of £1 4s for ‘The Dukes Head’, which was then in the occupation of widow Pilbeam at an annual rent of £6.  Widow Pilbeam can be identified as Mary Pilbeam, although it has not yet been possible to determine the name of her husband.  Mr Hall is absent from the surviving records, either manorial or parish, making it impossible to determine even a first name, although there is a Mr Robert Hall holding land in the Middle section of Worth which later passes to his son Richard.  The Land Tax records that Mary Pilbeam was replaced by Susan/Susannah Pilbeam in 1784 who in turn was replaced by James Pilbeam in 1795 until 1798.  Mr Hall remains as the tax payer until 1807 when it transfers to the Rev. George Maximilian Bethune, Rector of Worth, the occupier being named as William Langridge from 1798 to 1810, but unfortunately there is no further conclusive information on William as his name does not appear in the court books for the manor of South Malling.  Rev. George Max Bethune is recorded as paying the land tax until 1811 when William Tester is recorded as the tax payer and occupier until the records run out in 1832.


From documents relating to the manor of South Malling, it is known that on 10th December 1806, William Pilbeam was granted a 74-year lease for a ‘cottage or tenement on Copthorne Common, containing 30 roods’ (plot 920 – the site of the Duke’s Head) at a rent of 2s 6d.  The issue of this lease would have been fifteen years after the expiry of the original Mills’ lease of 1692.  It should also be noted that the description of the size of the property is still the same as it appeared in the William Mills’ lease of 1692 and there is still no mention of the name Duke’s Head.  The Pilbeam lease was dated from 11th October 1806, but unfortunately the name of the occupant was left blank, and it has not yet been possible to determine a relationship between William Pilbeam  and ‘widow Mary Pilbeam’ of 1780.


William Pilbeam

Although it has not yet been possible to determine when William Pilbeam was born or the names of his parents, it is known that he married Jane Franks on 10th December 1790 in Worth.  William and Jane had at least four children including: James born in 1792, William born in 1783, Thomas born in 1794 and Ann born in 1797, all baptised in Worth.  From the South Malling records it is known that William Pilbeam was a millwright (an occupation that his son William would later follow), and that he may well have helped with the construction of the windmill at Crawley Down (situated on the site of what is today Squires Close) that began operating under Joseph Browne in 1790.  It is also evident that William Pilbeam took out several leases for other land in the Snow Hill area including plots 642 to 649.  However, as this document covers the eating and drinking establishments of Felbridge, the history and development of these plots, together with the people later associated with them, will be covered at a future date.  


The Land Tax records show that in 1811 William Tester had taken over the Duke’s Head implying that he had bought the residue of the 74-year lease for the Duke’s Head from William Pilbeam, and in 1829 William Tester appears in the list of tenants of the manor of South Malling as holding plot 920 – The Duke’s Head, amounting to 30 perch, although the ancient description of ‘30 roods’ was still being used.   


The Tester family

The Tester family appear in the Snow Hill area in 1811 when William Tester is recorded as paying the land tax for, and residing at, the Duke’s Head.  Two years later William also appears in the Land Tax as the owner/occupier of ‘the Stubbards’ [Stubbetts] (plots 1000 to 1008) adjacent to the Duke’s Head plot), although it has not yet been possible to find any document regarding its purchase by him. 


Stubbetts and Dean Mead appear as a freehold property being part of the manor of Walsted, held in 1759 by Robert Day.  These holdings can be tracked through the records, being sold in 1780 by ‘Miles’ to William Tanner, a tanner of Wivlesfield.  In 1845 the court books of South Malling record that they were held by William Tester (son of William who held the property in 1813), with a list of previous owners including ‘late Tanner, before Mills and formerly Middletons’.  It is possible that ‘Miles’ of 1780 is a mis-transcription of ‘Mills’ referred to in the 1692 lease for the site of the Duke’s Head, especially as the name reverts to ‘Mills’ in 1845.  If this is the case, Messer’s Mills could also have held both the leasehold of the site of the Duke’s Head and the freehold of Stubbetts and Deans Mead, although there are no surviving documents to conclusively prove this.


Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine when William Tester senior was born or the name of his parents, but it is known that he married Philadelphia Knight on 5th February 1800, and that they had at least three children including, James (date of birth not yet established), Ann born in 1801 and William born in 1806. 


William Tester senior died in 1829 holding the leasehold of the Duke’s Head, the strip of freehold land to the east of the Duke’s Head, adjacent to the road leading to Felbridge, and the freehold property known as Stubbetts.  On William’s death his wife Philadelphia took over the Duke’s Head for the remainder of her natural life.  Philadelphia also purchased several pieces of leasehold land including, plots 642 to 649 from William Pilbeam.  However, like William Pilbeam, the history and development of the land held by the Tester family will be covered at a future date.


At the time of death of William Tester senior in 1829, he was listed as the Publican and a victualler implying that the Duke’s Head was at that date a Public House supplying food.  By definition Public House means a tavern consisting of a building with a bar and public rooms, licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, as apposed to the Cottage of Content which was a Beer House where only malt liquor or beer was sold.  For William Tester to be also referred to as a victualler implies that he also supplied victuals, that is to say food to eat on the premises.


Philadelphia Tester continued to run the Duke’s Head until her death in 1831, although at the time of her death she was residing in the cottage on plot 642 (now The Bays), which together with her estate amounting to sixty-eight acres including the Duke’s Head, passed to her son William Tester.  At the time of Philadelphia’s death, an ‘appraisement the beer, spirits, tobacco, waring apparel at the Dukes Head’ was compiled that consisted of; 

                                      l     s

Beer                              9    9

Brandy                          4  10

Gin                                7  10

Rum                              5    2

Peppermint                       12

Tobacco                        1  10

Waring apparel             5  10

                                    34    3

Cash                              8  10

                                    42  12


At the time of inheriting the Duke’s Head, together with other plots of land in Snow Hill, William Tester was a single man living at the Duke’s Head.  However, on 18th June 1836 he married Elizabeth Gibb, and they had at least two children including, Ann born in 1836 and Elizabeth born in 1838.


In the Worth Tithe of 1839, William Tester is recorded as the owner/occupier of the Duke’s Head with a land holding of sixty-eight acres:

            Plot no.                Name                                  Type                    

               E92                       Little Wood Field                             Arable  

            E93                       Lower Meadow                  Meadow

               E94                       Cottage and Garden                                        [Cottage, now demolished]

               E95                       Barn Field                           Arable

               E96                       Barn Meadow                    Meadow

               E97                       Homestead and Garden                                  [Duke’s Head inn]

E98                       Workshop and Yard                                       [Now site of East Grinstead Osteopaths]

E100                     House Field                        Arable

E101                     Little Wood                        Wood

E102                     Little Wood                        Wood

E103                     Bow Meadow                     Meadow

E107                     Big Field                             Arable

E108                     Little Field                          Arable

E109                     Arable                                 Arable

E110                     Arable                                 Arable

M143                    Close                                   Arable

E152                     Shrubbers Wood                              Wood

E153                     Shallow Field Wood         Wood & Furze


In 1841 William Tester appears in the census records as a Publican, like his father, but by 1851 he was recorded as a ‘victualler – inn’ suggesting that the Duke’s Head had become an inn within the intervening ten years.  By definition an inn was an establishment that provided lodgings, food and drink for travellers.  Living within the Tester household was Thomas Taylor, employed as a hostler.  By definition a hostler was a person that takes care of horses at an inn, thus confirming that the Duke’s Head was operating as such.  By 1861, William Tester was still at the Duke’s Head and was recorded as an innkeeper and carpenter of seventy acres, employing four men and one boy, reverting to just an innkeeper in 1871.


On the death of William Tester in 1879, the Duke’s Head passed to his wife Elizabeth who continued to run the inn with the aid of her daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Richard Chandler.  Elizabeth had married Richard Chandler in 1867.  Richard had been born about 1834 in Worth, one of at least seven children of Benjamin and Sarah Chandler of Turners hill, later of Crawley Down.  Richard’s siblings include: Joseph born about 1827, Ann born about 1831, William born about 1832, Louisa born in 1838, Frances (known as Fanny) born in 1840 and Alfred born in 1842.  In 1851 Richard was working as a builder and living with his parents at Grange House, Crawley Down, but by 1861 he was living with his brother William in the High Street in East Grinstead, working as a carpenter and joiner. 


Elizabeth and Richard had two daughters, Kate Elizabeth who was born in 1868 and Minnie Frances who was born in 1871.  The Chandler’s time at the Duke’s Head was for only a short period of time as Richard died at the end of 1881 leaving Elizabeth Tester and her daughter Elizabeth to run the inn.  Elizabeth Tester died some time between 1883 and 1886 and by 1890 Elizabeth Chandler had been succeeded at the Duke’s Head by James Weeks, ending over 60 years of occupation by the Tester family at the premises.


Structural development of the Duke’s Head

There is a building on the site marked on the 1768 Rocque Map which interestingly does not show the junction as a crossroads, the road towards Felbridge not being shown.  The draft Ordnance Survey map surveyed between 1805 and 1808 shows the junction as a cross roads with a building on the site.  The Figg map of 1829 provides the first detailed mapping of the site which is given as plot no. 920.  This shows four buildings on the plot but this map makes no distinction between the buildings.  The 1839 Worth Tithe map differentiates between occupied and unoccupied buildings such as barns and stables, and shows two occupied buildings on the site one in front of the other.  This map also shows a pond in front of the site with the road towards Felbridge passing on the east of the pond which is shown much like an island in the carriageway.


Access into the plot is from a track on the south end of the roadside building.  This track continues past the buildings on the site and could be a remnant of an earlier route across the common land as it runs along the field boundaries that align with the northern boundary of the ancient land holding known as Stubbetts and Deans.  The presence of two occupied houses is supported by the 1841 census which has William Tester as a Publican living in one dwelling and Edward Tester and his household living in another, both called The Duke’s Head.


By the 1874 first edition of the Ordnance Survey, two new buildings have been built in the field to the north of the site.  This map also indicates the location of a well immediately outside the Public House at its northeast corner and the presence of a benchmark on the southeast corner.  The rear building also has a garden associated with it.  The site appears the same in the 1895 Ordnance Survey which also provides the additional information that the outbuilding to the northeast of the rear dwelling is a privy.  By 1910 one of the outbuildings that stood to the north of the Public House has been removed otherwise the site is unchanged.  


The earliest image so far found of the Duke’s Head is a drawing that dates to 1906 which shows the main building as a two storey house aligned with the road apparently consisting of three bays with windows in the ground and first floor in each bay.  This is confirmed by a photograph dating to about 1910.  There is a large central chimney stack towards the south of the building and a smaller stack on the north end.  The entrance has a porch between the left two ground floor windows which are constructed as bay windows projecting in front of the main façade.  To the rear is an outshot with windows in the south end.  The building is clapboarding above painted brickwork with a dentiled brick detail [a series of small projecting rectangular blocks forming a moulding] where they join.  To the north of the Pub is a single storey building.  There is a second entrance in the frontage leading into the third bay.  This is gated off and appears to show that the southern end of the building may have been used as the dwelling house and the Public House was in the northern two bays.


By 1920 the northern-most bay had been replaced with a two bay new building.  The gable height of the new building is much higher and it has two projecting gables above the upstairs windows providing increased headroom on both the ground and first floors.  A small chimney stack lies mid way along the ridge of the new extension.


The next detailed mapping available is 1937 by which time considerable consolidation has taken place and the public house is now a much larger structure, more than double in size compared to the building that stood in 1910 and the frontage has moved forwards.  The cottage at the rear has been removed and the Public House extends eastwards up to where the cottage had stood.  There are now only two outbuildings remaining, one behind the Public House and the other to the northeast.  The pond at the front of the site is no longer shown.  Photographs show that the remaining two bays of the original building have now been replaced by another two bays to match the ones to the north. The large chimney stack that was in the centre of these original bays is still present and has been extended with the joint between the original brickwork and the new top section being clearly visible.


The Public House remains the same with its two outbuildings on the 1958 Ordnance Survey map. Photographs from the early 1950’s show that the small chimney stack in the middle of the ridge had then been removed and a new stack added at the north end of the extension.


Further extensions have taken place during the late 20th century and early 21st century to provide additional seating space, but the main structure completed by 1952 is still clearly visible along with the large chimney stack that projects through the front half of the roof slightly towards the south of the building which is the only externally visible element of the earlier building.


James Weeks

Returning to the proprietors of the Duke’s Head, James Weeks had succeeded the Tester family by 1890.  James Weeks was born in 1850 in Turners Hill, one of at least eight children of William and Ann Weekes.  James’ siblings include: Thomas born about 1833, Ann born about 1836, William born about 1839, Joseph born about 1842, Elizabeth born about 1843, John born about 1845 and Louisa born about 1847.  James married Ellen Eliza Wren, the daughter of Henry and Eliza Wren, being descended from the Wren family who ran the Woodcock Forge [for further information see Golards Farmhouse, SJC 11/07].  James and Ellen had at least seven children including: Fanny born in 1875, James born in 1876, Joseph born in 1878, Elizabeth born in 1880, Ellen born in 1882, John born in 1883 and Lucy born in 1885, all their births registered in Reigate.


James Weeks was a plaster by trade and moved from the Charlwood area to the Duke’s Head some time between 1881 and 1890, advertising in Kelly’s Directory in 1890 as of the Duke’s Head Public House.  Being listed as a Public House would suggest that during James’ occupation the Duke’s Head had ceased trading as an inn.  In 1891 James Weeks was listed as living at the Duke’s Head, adjacent to the Duke’s Head Cottage that was in the occupation of John Prevett and his family.  However, neither James Weeks nor John Prevett were listed with occupations relating to inn keeping, James listed as a plasterer and John as a farm labourer, and by 1901 James Weeks had been succeeded at the Duke’s Head by Reuben Lower. 


Reuben Lower

Reuben Lower was born in 1866, in Offham, Sussex, one of at least eight children of Daniel and Fanny Lower.  Reuben’s siblings include: John born in 1848, Mary born about 1851, Thomas born in 1860, Henry born in 1861, Sarah born in 1864, Joseph born in 1868 and Daniel born in 1870.   Reuben married Anne[Annie] Marchant in 1887; Anne being born in Fordcombe, Kent, in about 1864, the daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth Marchant.  Reuben and Anne had at least eleven children including: Beatrice Annie born in 1888, Edith Sarah and Mabel born in 1889 both of whom sadly died infants in 1890, Florence Daisy born about 1890, Frederick George and Sophia Ellen born in 1891, sadly Sophia died aged just thirteen in 1904, Ethel Maud born in 1893, Eleanor Marchant born in 1894, Reuben Henry born in 1897, Dorothy Kathleen born in 1905 but who sadly died the same year, and Thomas Charles born in 1907.  The first four children were baptised in Rottingdean, with the next five children were baptised in Rodmell and the last two in Crawley Down.


Reuben Lower came from an agricultural background, his father Daniel being recorded as an agricultural labourer in 1871.  In 1881 Reuben had followed in his father’s footsteps and was also working as an agricultural labourer at Telscombe in Sussex, moving to Rodmell, Sussex, around 1890 where he worked as an agricultural labourer before moving to the Duke’s Head as Publican sometime between 1897 and 1901.  Between 1905 and 1911 Kelly’s Directories advertise Reuben Lower as ‘innkeeper and farmer at the Duke’s Head’.


Reuben Lower was succeeded at the Duke’s Head by James Funnell sometime between 1911 and 1915, although he remained in the area, as his death was registered in Surrey S.E. in the June quarter 1936.  The most likely transfer date was in 1913 when the brewery Beard & Co of Lewes acquired the Duke’s Head and therefore James Funnell may have been installed as their first proprietor.


Beard & Co

In 1811, Thomas Beard acquired an interest in the Star Lane Brewery at Lewes that traded under the name of Chitty & Co.  The earliest recorded owner of the Star Lane Brewery is Obadiah Elliot in 1741 who was succeeded by his son John on his death in 1775.  By 1792 the brewery was owned by Chrisophilus Chitty who surrendered the copyhold premises to Thomas Beard in 1811, the business trading as Chitty & Co. until 1812.  Between 1817 and 1820/21 the brewery traded as Chitty and Beard when it became known as Beard & Co.


In 1825 Thomas Beard leased his interests to his second son Edward Beard who ran the brewery in partnership with Charles Henry Chitty, although Thomas remained the owner of the brewery until his death in 1847.  In 1845 Charles Henry Chitty withdrew and in 1848 Edward Beard took his nephew William Beard as partner.  William had been working for the company for ten years and remained and active partner until just before his death in 1905. 


In about 1836 Thomas Beard purchased the wine and spirit business of Arthur Edward Burtenshaw Windus of Lewes, which then began trading alongside the brewery as Windus Beard & Co.  In 1859 Edward Beard retired from the brewery business through ill health and his son Thomas Edward Beard became a partner.  After his death in 1886 Thomas was succeeded by his son Charles Ernest Beard who retired in 1893, when his brother George Ravenhil Beard took over his position in the partnership, still with William Beard. 


In 1900 Beards purchased Browning & Woodroffe, Wine and Spirits merchants of Lewes and Brighton, which merged with the Beards’ own wine and spirit concern, Windus Beard and Co in 1901, trading as Beard, Browning & Woodroffe Co.  In 1936 Beards became a limited company – Beard and Company (Lewes) Ltd, incorporating Beard, Browning & Woodroffe Co which was then known as Beard, Browning & Co.  Beards continued to brew beer at Fisher Street (formerly Star Lane) until 1958 when an agreement was reached whereby Harvey’s of Lewes would brew for both concerns.  Beards remained at their old brewery premises until 1985 when they moved their headquarters to Hailsham in Sussex, trading as Beards of Sussex Group Ltd until 1999 when they were taken over by Greene, King Ltd.


Archival records for Beards connections with the Duke’s Head start in 1913, along with three other public houses including, the Castle in Ewhurst, the Brewers Arms in Mayfield and the Wellington Hotel in Seaford, all four being of quite late date when compared with the extensive list of Beard premises, the majority of which date from 1888. 


Based on photographic evidence and the date at which Beards first became associated with the Duke’s Head, it would appear that the new two-bay extension with projecting gables [see above] was added around 1913/14 shortly after Beards took it on, although a large advertisement for BEARD & CO. FINE ALES & STOUT, WINES & SPIRITS that appears in a 1930’s photograph, did not adorn the first floor wall of the older part of the structure until sometime between 1920 and 1930.


Beards association with the Duke’s Head ended around 1980 when the Duke’s Head became part of the Beefeater restaurant chain owned by Whitbread plc. 



Beefeater was set up by Whitbread brewery in the mid 1970’s in competition with Berni Inn, both becoming famous for their steaks.  Beefeater expanded rapidly over the next twenty years but the brand began to flag in the 1990’s and various options were tried, unsuccessfully, to boost its image.  In the early 2000’s Whitbread decided to invest millions of pounds refurbishing its chain of Beefeaters and in July 2003 the Duke’s Head was closed for over a month whilst it received a complete refurbishment, retaining nothing of the existing fittings and internal design, at a cost of £600,000. 


The restaurant area of the Duke’s Head was extended and an open plan char grill was introduced allowing customers the opportunity to see their meals being prepared.  A new menu was also introduced, Beefeater retaining its speciality steak selection along side different cuts of meat, fish and poultry and a range of vegetarian options, whilst still retaining a bar area for those who just wished to have a drink.  However, despite the general success of the refurbishment programme it was found that Beefeater restaurants that were not attached to a Premier Inn (also owned and operated by Whitbread) were still not performing and Whitbread made the decision to sell off stand-alone Beefeaters such as the Duke’s Head.  These stand alones were sold to the restaurant company Mitchells & Butlers to which the Duke’s Head passed in 2006.


Mitchells & Butlers

Mitchells & Butlers were formed in 1898 by the merger of two Midland brewing and public house companies.  In the 1960’s they merged with Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton Ltd and Charrington United becoming Bass plc.  By the 1980’s they were running over 7,000 public houses in Britain and the company decided to split into two divisions, Bass Brewers who concentrated on brewing and Bass Taverns who concentrated on retail.  In 2000 Bass plc became Six Continents plc and later the pub division separated and became Mitchells & Butlers once again.  As Mitchells & Butlers they pursued the strategy of operating a large, food-led business and acquired 239 pub/restaurants from Whitbread, one of which was the Duke’s Head.


Once again the Duke’s Head was closed for extensive refurbishment re-opening for the Christmas period 2007 as part of Mitchells & Butlers’ brand – Premium Country Dining Group.  Other establishments in this group include, the Bell Inn at Godstone, Surrey, the Hand & Sceptre at Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the Plough at Eynsford, Kent and the White Horse at Beasted, Maidstone, Kent.


Duke’s Head today

Long gone are the days when the Duke’s Head served as an inn or a quiet local Public House as today it operates primarily as a restaurant, although there is still a spacious bar area that can be enjoyed by restaurant goers or local drinkers alike.  For those visiting the restaurant the menu offers a range of classic dishes served in a contemporary style produced by competent chefs.


Today the Dukes’ Head is run as part of Mitchell’s & Butlers’ Premium Country Dining Group whose ethos is to offer ‘modern country pub restaurants with great bars designed to offer guests high quality, fresh food and drink in a sophisticated environment’. 


Post Script

The following two eating and drinking establishments have opened in the Felbridge since the area was covered in Part I of this series of documents.


Rumblin’ Tums Café

Rumblin’ Tums Café at 1, Felbridge Parade, London Road, Felbridge (adjacent to The Emperor [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. I, SJC 05/07]) opened in December 2008, in the premises formerly occupied by Felbridge Motor Cycles.  It is a small, friendly café offering freshly prepared traditional hot and cold café style food catering for breakfast and lunch, to eat in or at small tables al fresco (weather permitting) or take-away. 


Rumblin’ Tums Café is much frequented by students of Imberhorne School, workers from nearby offices and the industrial estate at The Birches, Imberhorne Lane, as well as passing trade from the main London road (A22), providing a service much like the Half-Way House when it was in operation in the 1940’s and 50’s [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. I, SJC 05/07].  Parking is available at the long stay car park in Imberhorne Lane, about 50 metres walk from the café, or if you are really lucky, there is limited parking outside, adjacent to the A22.


Master Fryer Fish & Chip Shop

The Master Fryer, based in Pound Hill, Crawley, opened a second Fish and Chip shop at 4, Felbridge Parade, London Road, Felbridge (two premises north of The Emperor [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. I, SJC 05/07]), in September 2010, in the premises formerly occupied by Car Sounds.  The Master Fryer has been awarded a Sea Fish Award every year since 2002.


The Master Fryer menu offers cooked on demand sustainably caught fish and chips.  They also offer a selection of locally produced foods under their category ‘Fryers Finest’ sourced from renowned local butchers, Flanagans of Crawley Down and the Real Pie Company.  They also support Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Fish Fight campaign by selling the Mackerel Bap devised to encourage the public to eat a more diverse range of fish.  


Electoral Rolls, CC802/58/3 and 60/3, SHC

Handout, West Park Estate, SJC 04/99, FHWS

West Park sale catalogue, 1936, FHA


History of Haskins Garden Centres,

Haskins Garden Centre Restaurants,


Bletchingley by U Lambert,

List of cottagers on Frogwood Heath and Hedgecourt Heath belonging to Bletchingley manor, 1683, K60/1/14, SHC

Clayton’s cottagers on Copthorne Common, map, 1761, K61/3/2, SHC

Effingham Park, a brief history, by V King and A Read

Trojan Museum Trust,

Lid taken off leisure plans, EGO newspaper article, 14.5.87, FHA

A luxury new hotel is born, EGO newspaper article, 22.10.87, FHA


South Malling Court Books, Acc 2327/1/5/6 -10, ESRO

Handout the Chapels of Felbridge, SJC 05/00, FHWS

South Malling tenants list and Figg map, 1829/30, ACC 2327/1/5/15 + 16, ESRO

Draft O/S map, 1805/08, FHA

Worth Tithe map and apportionment, 1839, FHA

Worth Land Tax, FHA

Post Office Directories, 1851 – 1867, 1878

Handout Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge Pt. II, JIC/SJC 03/08, FHWS

Kelly’s Directory 1874 – 1906, 1909

Census records, 1841, 8151, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911

BMD index,

BMD index,

Sale details of Cottage of Content, Local newspaper, 17.11.99, FHA


South Malling Court Books, ACC 2327/1/5/6 -10, ESRO

Mills Lease, 1692, ACC 2327/1/5/17/29, ESRO

Mills license, Q/RE/296/31, ESRO

Handout, The Commonplace Book of Edward Evelyn, JIC/SJC 09/07, FHWS

Mills inventory, 4th Jan 1725, W/INV 1822, ESRO

Worth Land Tax, FHA

Pilbeam 74-year lease, 1806, ACC 2327/1/5/17, ESRO

Tester inventory, 1831, W/INV 3215, ESRO

Census records, 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911

Duke’s Head photographs, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1952, 1955, FHA

Rocque map, 1768, FHA

Draft O/S map, 1805/08, FHA

Worth Tithe map, 1839, FHA

O/S maps, 1874 and 1896 FHA

Drawing of the Duke’s Head, 1906, FHA

O/S map, 1958, FHA

Golards Farmhouse, SJC 11/07, FHWS

Kelly’s Directory, 1890, 1899, 1905, 1911, 1915

Star Lane Brewery,

Beard & Co,


Whitbread revamp Beefeater chain by Susie Mesure

30 extra jobs in £600,000 revamp, EGC article, 31/7/03, FHA

Relaunch of pub creates 30 jobs, EGO article, 6/8/03, FHA

Mitchells & Butlers,

The Dukes Head,

Food Review, The Dukes Head, EGC articles 4/9/08 and 18/12/08, FHA


Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. I, SJC 05/07, FHWS

Award winning chippy set to open East Grinstead branch, EGO article, 21.8.10, FHA


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


Our thanks are extended to David Hambleton of the Trojan Museum Trust for information on the Agg collection


SJC 03/11