High Grove Cottages

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High Grove Cottages lie on the north side of Imberhorne Lane, East Grinstead, just to the west of the Council Recycling Centre.  They are very close to the edge of the carriageway with their boundary fence marking the edge of the road.


This handout is split into several sections discussing the landscape and surroundings of the cottages before covering the documents charting their history, and then looking at the people who lived there and the inter-relationships between the families.


The place name ‘High Grove’ is first used in the census record of 1871 and appears on the 2nd edition of the Ordnance Survey (O/S) Map surveyed in 1893.  It is important to remember that ‘High Grove’ is an area rather than a specific property; this is demonstrated by it appearing in the Parish Registers for people who are known to have been living in what were called Ivy Cottages further west along Imberhorne Lane.  Oral history passed down to the current residents of the cottages is that the name relates to the group of Scots Pine trees located to the north of the Cottages which are standing close to the highest point in the local area.


To locate the property within the manorial documents for the manor of Imberhorne requires us to identify the land holding it is situated within.  High Grove Cottages are shown on the 1st edition of the O/S map which was surveyed in 1873-5 (below), additional text is in brackets.


A closer look at the cottages on this map (see below), shows them depicted as three dwellings with the two end properties having shallower additions extending the frontage.  There is a well at the rear of the cottages and a separate building depicted in the back garden just above the ‘3’ of the plot number 713a.


The 1840 East Grinstead Tithe map[1] (below right) shows the similar area but the cottages have not yet been constructed, however there is a building within plot 2015, described in the 1842 Apportionment as ‘Cottage and Garden’ being 27 perch in area (nearly ¼ of an acre).  Plot 2015 does not occupy the full width of the strip that became the cottage gardens; immediately west of plot 2015 is depicted as a road or trackway heading north from what is now Imberhorne Lane and then turning east to go past Hill Place Farm and exit onto Turners Hill Road.


An earlier large scale map provides further information.  The map was drawn in 1776 to show the land that made up ‘Butlers and Court House’[2] and the extract below shows what became plot 2015 was excluded from the lands being mapped, which were all numbered and then named on a reference page (Field 10 being ‘Jacobs Field’).  This shows that the cottage plot was not considered to be part of Butlers and Court House in 1776 and therefore we will not cover these properties in any more detail as part of this handout.  However they will be covered in a future publication as they have a very interesting history and their court entries can be used to locate several other properties that had been lost before the earliest detailed mapping of the area.  


If the track and Tithe plot 2015 are not part of Butlers and Court House, then perhaps they are within the property holding immediately to the west.  The Buckhurst Terrier[3] shows that the field to the west is part of the Demesne lands of the manor of Imberhorne, these being the lands that are managed by the manor, rather than having copyhold or freehold tenants.


The map evidence implies that Tithe plot 2015 is an encroachment of the track, the east boundary of the plot being the original edge of the track against the property called Butlers and Court House.  This is supported by the earliest deeds for the cottage plot describing it as being upon East Grinstead Common[4]; whilst the last of the open common was enclosed in 1816, the ‘commons, wastes and roads’ of Imberhorne manor continued to be listed as such where they had not been incorporated into an adjoining property.  Thus a strip of common could have existed between the demesne of Imberhorne and Butlers and Court House, which had been used as an access to these farms and the Hill Place beyond.  The current east and west boundaries of High Grove Cottages’ gardens are a ditch and bank of the type generally found as the boundary between common land and the agricultural holdings beyond them.


Encroachment of the common within the manor was a regular occurrence being recorded in the manorial court records.  However, no trace can be found for this encroachment which must have taken place prior to 1776, nor is there any rental recorded for the property either as copyhold or freehold.  The papers of the Stewards of Imberhorne manor 1730-1763[5] have also been searched, they contain numerous details regarding both the demesne and common lands but there are no references that could potentially relate to this enclosure.


Before we return to trace the sale documents forward from 1842; it is interesting to note that, whilst the 1840 Tithe map is not accurately proportioned to enable it to be overlaid on the first edition O/S Map, the 1776 map created by Thomas Yeakell and William Gardner, can be accurately overlaid (see below), demonstrating that the building shown on the 1776 map aligns with the location of the detached building behind the row of cottages on the O/S map.  It is therefore highly likely that this building is the cottage depicted on the 1840 Tithe map.


This overlay also highlights that the field entrance immediately north of the cottage enclosure to the east is associated with a path or track that is shown on both the 1st edition O/S and the 1776 map. This path goes directly to Hill Place to the east and crosses Imberhorne Lane just south of Ivy Cottages to the west, then continues to Burleigh Arches.  It is unusual that this path crosses the fields, when there is a well defined track round the field which is only a small distance further.  If the purpose of the path was only to get from the vicinity of Ivy Cottages to Hill Place, then it would be more direct to use the field entrance further north at the end of the track to Hill Place [where the path diverts to by 1895].  Therefore the fact that the path deviates south, means its purpose is more likely to be directly associated with the cottage or represents an earlier route predating the track.


The earliest surviving sale document for the High Grove Cottages’ plot is dated 30th June 1842 from Mrs Catherine Gimson of Eltham, Kent, widow of Thomas Gimson along with their son Thomas transferring the property to David Reid, Gentleman of Great George Street, Greenwich.  The purchase cost was £50 for the ‘freehold piece or parcel of ground with the tenement or cottage erected thereon situate or standing and being on East Grinstead Common with the garden and orchard adjoining thereto and used therewith and as the same tenement cottage and orchard is now and has been for many years past in the tenure or occupation of Charles Payne’.


The description of the property is very similar in style and wording to a court book entry.  Unfortunately, the sale document does not give an area for the property but it includes that Charles Payne was the occupier.  This might seem at odds with the Tithe apportionment of July 1842 which lists a John Jameson as owner and occupier of the property, however Jameson and Gimson are phonetically interchangeable, with Thomas’ family appearing in various census’ under both surnames.  Therefore this could be the same family recorded as owners, although there is no record of a John in Thomas Gimson’s family.


Thomas Gimson was born in Chiselhurst, Kent, on 17th January 1788, the son of Robert Gimson and his wife Philly (probably Philadelphia) née Carter.  Thomas Gimson married and he and his wife Catherine had at least three children including: Thomas born in 1813, Elizabeth Esther born in 1814 and Robert born in 1817.  Thomas Gimson of Clay Farm, Eltham, Kent, died in the last quarter of 1841 and his will was proved in January 1842, granting his only property of  a ‘house and 1 rod of land in East Grinstead’ to his widow Catherine[6].


The early census records for East Grinstead show that a Charles Payne was residing in the area in 1811[7] and 1821[8], on both occasions the chief employment of the household was agricultural work, but they were living within the town division of the census and therefore could not be in the vicinity of Hill Place.  Unfortunately the west division of the 1821 East Grinstead census has not survived, but the 1831 west division[9] shows Charles Payne an agricultural worker aged 30-40 in a household with two females, one aged 20-30 and the other 5-10.  From the adjacent names on the census, they are living near Hill Place and the family can also be found in the 1841 census when the property is known as ‘Cooper’s Cottage’ and was occupied by Charles Payne, agricultural labourer, Phillis his wife and five children (see below for more details).  From the limited information of these early censuses it would appear that Charles Payne had occupied the cottage from at least 1831, but it is unlikely that he lived there prior to 1825 as he would have been unmarried and too young to be a householder.


Thus we can demonstrate that the 1842 sale document for a cottage at ‘East Grinstead Common’, ‘occupied by Charles Payne’ is definitely for the cottage that was standing in plot 2025 in the tithe as the occupier, size of the plot (1 rod = 40 perch compared to 27 perch) and ownership all align in the records.  We have also identified that a building had stood in this position since at least 1776 and was still evident in 1873 to be shown on the first edition O/S map.


The next sale document for the High Grove Cottages plot is 11th January 1850 from Mr David Reid, Gentleman (no further information yet established) of Great George Street, Greenwich, transferring the property to Mr William Jackson, tailor of Woolwich, Kent. The purchase cost was again £50 and the deed gives the same description of the property ‘on East Grinstead Common .... now and has been for many years past in the tenure or occupation of Charles Payne’.


The 1851 census provides additional information for Charles Payne and his family and records his property location as being in ‘Imberhorne Lane’.  This is an early use of this name for this road as Imberhorne Lane was originally the name used for the lane from Imberhorne Farm leading directly to East Grinstead, which is now the path/trackway through the Garden Wood Estate called Chapmans   Lane.  


William Jackson was born about 1820 in Charlton, Kent, and married Mary Frances Hill on 13th November 1841; they do not appear to have had any children.  William is first listed in the census as a tailor in 1861, in 1871 he is listed as having ‘no occupation’ but by 1881 he is an Outfitter’s Manager living in Denbigh Street, London.  The status ‘no occupation’ implies that he was not in employment in 1871 and that this was not due to a prosperous career, as that would be recorded as ‘living on own means’.  This lack of employment might have necessitated the release of the capital tied up in the property at East Grinstead, as he sells the Cottage in 1870.


The conveyance is dated 11th July 1870, between William Jackson and John Fowle[10], watchmaker of East Grinstead, for the sum of £57 10s.  The property description of the cottage now states its location as ‘situate, standing and being in Imberhorne   Lane (which leads to East Grinstead Common) in the parish of East Grinstead’.  It appears that the previous description of the property being on ‘East Grinstead Common’ had been queried by John Fowle, with local knowledge.  On 11th May 1870, William Jackson had signed a declaration witnessed by William Pearless in East Grinstead that the property he received from David Reid in 1850 was the same property that he was now transferring to John Fowle and confirming the revised description that subsequently appeared in the conveyance.  William Jackson also states that the property was ‘for many years in the occupation of Charles Payne and is now unoccupied ever since my purchase of the same from David Reid’.


This last statement regarding the length of inoccupation is not correct as Charles Payne had still been there in 1851 and in 1861 Samuel Vickery (see below for more details) was occupying the cottage, by then called ‘Jacob’s Cottage’, presumably after the name of the field immediately to the east.


John Fowle was born in East Grinstead about 1818, the son of Richard (a watchmaker) and Judith Fowle.   John married Charlotte Strip in Marylebone in 1854; Charlotte having been born in East Grinstead in about 1817.  John and Charlotte appear to have had just one son, John William born in East Grinstead in 1858.   John followed in his father’s footsteps and trained as a watchmaker, working out of Middle Row in East Grinstead in 1851 before moving across the road to premises between Church Street and SackvilleCollege from where he died in 1874, aged just fifty-seven.


John Fowle clearly saw a profitable opportunity in 1870 as he only held the property for six weeks, selling it on to William Terry on 28th July 1870 for the significantly increased sum of £75[11].  William Terry (see below for more details) was stated to be a wood dealer and beer house keeper of West Hoathly, Sussex, in the conveyance.  It is clear that William Terry also had clear intentions for the property as by 2nd April 1871 he had not only completed the construction of a row of cottages on the plot but they had also become occupied, being identified as ‘1-4 High Grove, Imberhorne Road’ in the census.


On 30th May 1873 William Terry, now identified as a farmer of East Grinstead, sold the new row of cottages to Thomas Ball Esquire of Nottingham and East Grinstead for £400.  The description of the property is the ‘piece or parcel of ground (including the site of a tenement or cottage there which has been recently pulled down) situate and being in Imberhorne Lane (which leads to East Grinstead Common), together with the four cottages, messuages or tenements and other buildings recently erected by the said William Terry’.


Thomas Ball acquired significant property in this area of East Grinstead, purchasing Hill Place and Butlers Farms from Arthur Ellis Esquire in September 1873 for £7,350 (see below for more details).  Thomas Ball secures a £10,000 mortgage upon Hill   Place and Butlers Farms on 9th May 1874 as he prepared to construct a large ‘estate’ at Combe.  Hill   Place and Butlers Farms included the land bounding the row of cottages on the north, east and west.


By May 1875 Thomas Ball’s plans for his Combe estate were not being progressed and Hill Place Farm is advertised for sale in The Times.  It was subsequently purchased on 30th October 1875 by William Vicesimus Knox Stenning and Frederick Stoveld Stenning[12] (for further details see Handout, Hill Place, JIC/SJC 01/13).


William Vicesimus Knox Stenning sold a strip of the land to the LB&SC and East Grinstead Railway Company on 19th November 1879.  He sold three acres to The Rural District Council of East Grinstead 24th June 1895 [plot 169 on the 1895 O/S map to the left] for the building of an Isolation Hospital and a further four acres of land [plot 168] on 24th December 1895, again to the Council.  Plots 168 and 169 subsequently became the site of HighGroveHospital for Infectious Diseases also known as the Sanatorium.


William Vicesimus Knox Stenning sold the remainder of Hill   Place and Butlers Farms, along with the cottages, to Sir Edward C Blount of Imberhorne Manor on 13th February 1899 (for further details see Handout, Hill Place, JIC/SJC 01/13).


This 1895 map clearly shows the four cottages with two further buildings on the plot, a small one behind the row of cottages and a larger one behind the western cottage.  The single storey block at the west end of the row has been removed by this map.

The next map revision is in 1909 and published in 1910 (next page), this shows High Grove Sanatorium and nothing has changed to the depiction of Highgrove Cottages.



The significant change in the cottages during this period is the addition of a piece of land from the field to the west extending the frontage of the property.  Plot 7822 to the east is still shown separated from both High Grove Cottages and what had been High Grove Sanatorium, this narrow plot was still part of the farm land leased to the tenant farmer of Hill Place Farm and was purchased out of the lease by the Broad family in 1968 and 1978 so that it could be added to the land of the cottages.


Once the cottages had been renovated and made into two cottages, (see below for more details) the resulting plan is as left.  This is from the 1978 deed of surrender[13] and shows how plot 7822 has been split with the majority added to the freehold of no. 2, High Grove Cottages and a narrow strip added to the freehold of High Grove Lodge, the dwelling to the east.

Cottagers of High Grove

This section looks at the history of the people who lived on the plot that became nos. 1-4, High Grove Cottages (now April Cottage and Highgrove Cottage) and the inter-relationships between some of the families.


Cooper’s/Jacob’s Cottage

It is known from the Gardner & Gream map of 1795 and the early conveyance documents held by the Broad family of Hill Place that before nos. 1-4, High Grove Cottages were built there was a single cottage on the plot.  The early conveyance documents of 1842 for the plot record that the cottage was ‘long in the tenure or occupation of Charles Payne’ implying that he had either lived there for some time or had owned the property for some time.  In 1841 we can establish that the cottage was known as Cooper’s Cottage and was in the occupation of Charles Payne an agricultural labourer who had been living there since at least 1831 (see above).


Charles Payne

Charles Payne was born in Worth, Sussex, in about 1800 and married Philadelphia (also known as Phillis) Buckland in Horne, Surrey, in 1827; Phillis had been born in Horne in about 1809.  They had at least ten children including: Milley born in 1827, William born about 1830, Ann born in 1832, Harriett born about 1833, Martha born in 1837, George born in 1841, Rebecca born in 1845, Charles born in 1848, Amy born in 1849 and Emma born in 1852; the first five children were born in Worth and the remaining five children were born in East Grinstead. 


Charles Payne and his family continued to occupy Cooper’s Cottage until sometime between 1851 and 1861 when they moved to a cottage at Fen Place, Turners   Hill, Sussex, before moving to 7, East Grinstead   Road, Turners Hill, where Charles continued to live until his death in 1884, aged eighty-four.  Charles was succeeded at the cottage at High Grove by Samuel Vickery.


Samuel Vickery

By 1861 Cooper’s Cottage was called Jacob’s Cottage, reflecting the name of the adjacent field that had borne the name Jacob’s Field since at least 1776 when it was depicted on the Yeakell and Gardner map of Butlers and Courthouse Farms (see above).  In 1861 Samuel Vickery is recorded as being in the occupation of the cottage and was working as an agricultural labourer, living with his wife Maria and a servant called Sally Henty.


Samuel was born in East Grinstead in about 1835, the son of Robert and Fanny Vickery who, in 1841, were living at Hazelden Farm, East Grinstead.  Samuel married Maria Simmons in East Grinstead in 1860; Maria having been born in East Grinstead in about 1842.  Samuel and Maria had at least nine children including: William born in 1861, George born in 1865, Ann born in 1868, Elizabeth born in 1871, Robert born in 1872, a girl who was born and died un-christened in 1875, Henry born in 1876, Richard born in 1879 and Hannah Maria born in 1887, all the births were registered in East Grinstead, with the first three children possibly being born at Jacob’s Cottage. 


The Vickery family did not live long at Jacob’s Cottage and by 1870 had moved to a cottage near Ridge Hill, East Grinstead, where Samuel continued working as an agricultural labourer.  However by 1881 the Vickery family had moved back to the High Grove area living in Ivy Cottages, just across the lane leading to Imberhorne manor from the site of Jacob’s Cottage.  The Vickery family were the last people to live in Jacob’s Cottage.


High Grove Cottages

It was under the ownership of William Terry that the plot on which Cooper’s/Jacob’s Cottage stood was re-developed with the construction of nos. 1-4, High Grove Cottages by 1871 and the demolition of the old cottage sometime between 1871 and 1873.  Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the new cottages do not appear to have been consistently numerically recorded in the same order, so for ease of interpretation, this document uses no.1 as the east dwelling on the left when facing the row of cottages from Imberhorne Lane, and the west dwelling as no. 4 on the right, next to High Grove Lodge.


1871 – William Terry

Occupying 1, High Grove Cottages as owner/occupier in 1871 was William Terry who was born in West Hoathly, about 1815, the son of Joseph Terry and his wife Susannah née Taylor.  By about 1837 William had married Martha (surname not yet established) and in 1841 they were living at Black Dog in West Hoathly; Martha having been born in East Grinstead in about 1812.  William and Martha had at least four children including: Elizabeth born in 1838, George born in 1841, Sarah born in 1843 and William born in 1949, all born in West Hoathly.  Sadly George died at the age of nine in 1849 and William died at the age of eight in 1858.


In 1841 the Terry family were living at Black Dog in West Hoathly, William working as an agricultural labourer.  Black Dog Cottages reflect the name of the Black Dog Inn that once operated from the premises.  In 1851 William was listed as a farmer of fourteen acres at Smeed’s Farm in West Hoathly but the Kelly’s Trade Directory of 1855 list him as a ‘Beer Retailer’.  However, in March 1856 William Terry was residing in Lewes gaol awaiting the hearing of the Sussex County Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors, the case reported in the London Gazette on 15th April 1856, giving his details as ‘Farmer and Dealer in Wood, late of Vinal’s Cross, West Hoathly, Dealer in Wood and Retailer of Beer’.  However, in 1861 the Terry family can still be found living at Vinal’s Cross, William listed as a Beer-house Keeper and advertising as such in the Kelly’s Trade Directory.


As already established, William Terry purchased Cooper’s/Jacob’s Cottage and plot and had the dwelling demolished and replaced by a row of four cottages by 1871.  The Terry family remained at  1 High Grove Cottage until 13th May 1873 when William conveyed the plot and the row of cottages to Thomas Ball, esquire, of Nottingham and East Grinstead, for the sum of £400, the description given as:

‘all that piece or parcel of ground (including the site of a tenement or cottage there which has recently been pulled down) in Imberhorne Lane (which leads to East Grinstead Common) with the Garden and Orchard adjoining thereto and used therewith and as the same tenement cottage, garden and orchard were for many years in the tenure or occupation of Charles and were conveyed to William Terry by indenture dated 28th July 1870 and expressed to be made between John Fowle of the one part and William Terry of the other, Together with the four cottages, messuages or tenements and their buildings recently erected  by William Terry on part of the said piece or parcel of ground’. 


On 6th September 1873, Thomas Ball also purchased Hill Place, Tilkhurst, Butlers, Bealings and Leame, as well as Courthouse, Wellfields and Rushetts.  Thomas Ball only owned High Grove Cottages until 1875 when he sold them, along with the afore mentioned holding (then known as Hill Place, Butlers and Courthouse) to William Vicesimus Knox Stenning and Frederick Stovell Stenning who in turn sold the holding on to Sir Edward C Blount of Imberhorne Manor in 1899 (for further information see Handouts, Hill Place, JIC/SJC 01/13 and Blounts of Imberhorne, JGS/SJC 01/06) and hence forth, High Grove Cottages travelled as part of this holding until 1957.


Spencer Huggett

Occupying 2, High Grove Cottages in 1871 was Spencer Huggett who was born in Tandridge, Surrey, in 1838, the son of Abraham and Amy Huggett.  Spencer married Sarah Terry, the daughter of William Terry, in 1863 and they had at least six children including: Elizabeth born in 1864, William born in 1865, Martha born in 1868, Spencer born in 1870, Sarah born in 1876 and Annie born in 1885.


By 1881, the Huggett family had left High Grove Cottages and were living at Stone Farm, East Grinstead, along with Sarah’s parents, William and Martha Terry.  Spencer was recorded as a Farmer and William as a Wood Buyer.  The Huggett family later moved to Coombe Farm, East Grinstead, along with William Terry, from where William died in 1896; Martha having died in 1888.


Samuel White

Occupying 3, High Grove Cottages in 1871 was Samuel White who had been born in Battle, Sussex, in about 1818.  Samuel had married Barbara Mitchell in Clayton, Sussex on 24th October 1844,; Barbara having been born in Cuckfield, Sussex, in about 1821, the daughter of Samuel Mitchell.  The White family was a transient occupier of the High Grove Cottages, frequently on the move as demonstrated by the birth of their first child, Lucy being born in Lewes, Sussex, in 1847 and son James being born in St Leonards, Hastings, Sussex, in 1850.  In 1871, Samuel was working as a labourer but had left the area by 1881.


Eli Jenner

Occupying 4, High Grove Cottages in 1871 was Eli Jenner who had been born in 1819, being baptised in Burwash, Sussex, on 20th November 1819.  Eli married Ann Muggeridge in East Grinstead in 1857 and they had at least two children: George Muggeridge born in Hartfield, Sussex, in 1854 and Martha born in Forest Row, Sussex, in 1858.  Eli Jenner was an agricultural labourer and had moved from Forest Row where he and his family had been living in 1861. 


In 1871 son George had left the Jenner family and was working as a farm servant, living at Hill   Place.  Two years later, George Muggeridge married Emilia Ann Leppard in East Grinstead on 4th October 1873; Emilia (also known as Emily) had been born in Ardingly, Sussex, in about 1853, the daughter of Charles Leppard and his wife Elizabeth née Budgen (later Elizabeth Henty see below).  George and Emilia had at least three children including: Martha born in 1878, Eli George born in 1880 and Mary Ann born in 1882, all the children were born in East Grinstead.  At the time of Martha’s baptism in 1878, George and Emilia were living at  3 High Grove Cottages, although it is not clear whether they had succeeded Eli and Martha Jenner or were living with them, however by 1881 neither the Jenner or Muggeridge families were living at High Grove Cottages, Eli having moved first to Harwoods Cottages, then to 48, West Street, and finally, as a widower, to Sackville College where he died in 1907, whilst George and his family had moved from the area by 1881 to Balls Green, Withyham, Sussex.   


1881 – Henry Marden

Occupying 1, High Grove Cottages in 1881 was Henry Marden who had probably succeeded William Terry around the time of the sale of the cottages in 1873.  Henry Marden had been born in East Grinstead in 1824, the son of Henry Marden and his wife Mary Ann née Skinner.  Henry married Rebecca Jenner in East Grinstead on 20th June 1845; Rebecca having been born in East Grinstead in about 1822, the daughter of Richard Jenner.  Henry and Rebecca had at least six children including: Richard born in 1848, Eliza Jane born in 1850, Hannah born in 1852, Edward born in 1854, John Henry born in 1857 and Martha Sarah born in 1860, all born in East Grinstead.


Henry Marden worked as an agricultural or farm labourer all his life, first from his parents home on East Grinstead Common (in the vicinity of what is now The Feld, Felbridge Parade and Wicks) in 1841 to 1861, moving along Imberhorne Lane to Ivy Cottages by 1871 and then to High Grove Cottages where he remained until about 1887 when he and his family moved to Great Harwoods Farm in East Grinstead, being succeeded at 1, High Grove Cottage by his nephew William Coomber (see below).


Thomas Coomber

Occupying 2, High Grove Cottages in 1881 was Thomas Coomber who was born in Lingfield in 1837, the son of Edward Coomber and his wife Rebecca née Apps.  In 1866 Thomas married Fanny Backett; Fanny having been born in Sevenoaks, Kent, in 1844.  Thomas and Fanny had at least six children including: Edmund born in 1867, Alice born in 1873, Jane born in 1875, Harry born in 1877, Annie born in 1881 and Thomas born in 1883.  All the children were born in East Grinstead and Annie was actually born at 2, High Grove Cottage.


By 1851 Thomas had moved from the Lingfield area with his parents to Blacklands Farm, East Grinstead, and by 1871 Thomas was working as an agricultural labourer and living at Shaw Cottage, Saint Hill, East Grinstead, before moving to 2, High Grove Cottages.  This appears to have been a brief stay at High Grove as by 1883 Thomas is working as a Gamekeeper and living back at Saint Hill where he remains until at least 1891.


Thomas Coomber was succeeded at 2, High Grove Cottage by William Barfield and his wife Maria née Emery.  William Barfield was a labourer and, like Thomas Coomber, was only transient as he and his wife had moved on by 1891.


John Henty

Occupying 3 High Grove Cottages in 1881 was John Henty who was born in Bolney, Sussex, on 3rd April 1828, the son of John and Kitty Henty.  In 1849, John married Matilda Hills who was born in Horsted Keynes, Sussex, in 1829 and they had at least eight children including:  Julia born about 1850 in Bolney, Caroline born about 1852 and Denis born about 1855, both in Horsted Keynes, Ellen born about 1856, William born in 1858, James born about 1865 and Orpha born about 1867, the last five children born in East Grinstead.  As a point of interest, Samuel Vickery living at Jacob’s Cottage (see above), had a servant girl called Sally Henty, aged eleven, living in his household in 1861 who could be a child of John and Matilda, although no connection has yet been established.


John appears to have worked as a labourer for most of his life, living at Horsted Keynes in 1851, Crowes Wood Cottage, East Grinstead, in 1861 before moving to 3, High Grove Cottage by 1881.  Sadly Matilda died in 1871 and John, with several young children, married widow Elizabeth Leppard on 15th September 1877 in East Grinstead; the couple did not have children.


Elizabeth Leppard had been born Elizabeth Budgen in Withyham, in about 1830, the daughter of Thomas and Lucy Budgen.  Elizabeth had married Charles Leppard in East Grinstead in 1852; Charles having been born in Horsted Keynes in about 1829.  Elizabeth and Charles had at least six children including: Emilia Ann (also known as Emily) born in 1853 who married George Muggeridge (see above), Jesse born in 1857, John born in 1859, Rosina born in 1862, Harriet born in 1864 and Stephen born in 1867, the last four children born in East Grinstead.  Charles worked as an agricultural labourer and lived at Crowsfield, near Ridge Hill, East Grinstead, but sadly died in 1871.


Returning to John and Elizabeth Henty; John lived at 3, High Grove Cottage until his death in 1903 when Elizabeth assumed the head of household and continued to live there until her death in 1920.  In total, the Henty’s occupied 3, High Grove Cottage for over thirty-nine years.


Richard Clarke

Occupying 4, High Grove Cottages in 1881 was Richard Clarke who probably succeeded Eli Jenner and/or George Muggeridge.  Richard Clarke was born in East Grinstead in about 1842 and by about 1867 had married Eliza (surname not yet established), who had been born in Lingfield, Surrey, in about 1850.  Richard and Eliza had at least four children including: William John born in Nutfield, Surrey, in 1868, Thomas Arthur born in 1875, Ellen born in 1878 and James born in 1884, all born in East Grinstead.  Little else can be established about this family except that Richard was working as an agricultural labourer when he was living at High Grove Cottages and that the family had moved on by 1891.


1891 – William Coomber

Occupying 1, High Grove Cottage in 1891 was William Coomber who was born in East Grinstead in 1852, the son of Edward Hayward Coomber and his wife Mary Ann Marden the sister of Henry Marden who lived at 4, High Grove Cottages in 1881 (see above).  William Coomber married Maria Ann Greenaway in East Grinstead on 11th August 1877; Maria being born in East Grinstead in 1856, the daughter of George Greenaway and his wife Ann née Taylor.  William and Maria had at least eight children including: Henry Thomas born in 1877, Ellen born in 1879, Edward Hayward born in 1882, William born in 1885, Charles Thomas Edmund born in 1888, Alfred born in 1891, Annie Maria born in 1896 and Ernest Albert born in 1899, all the children were born in East Grinstead, the last four at High Grove Cottages.


The Coomber family had moved from Glen Vue Road in East Grinstead to High Grove Cottages around 1885, succeeding Henry Marden, William worked as a general labourer until about 1901 when he was listed as a carter (probably working at Hill Place Farm).  However, by 1911 William and his family had moved to the Oast House at Hackenden Farm in East Grinstead, being succeeded at 1, High Grove Cottages by Joseph Holman (see below).


Alfred Mitchell

Occupying 2, High Grove Cottages in 1891 was Alfred Mitchell who was born in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, in about 1849 and married Susannah (also known as Susan) Haite in Croydon, Surrey, in 1869; Susan having been born in Norwood, Surrey, in about 1849.  Alfred and Susan had at least six children including: Ellen born in 1871, Ann born about 1873, Minnie born about 1876, Isabella born about 1879, Georgina born in 1881 and Alfred born in 1886.  Ellen’s birth was registered in Cuckfield, but the next three children were all born in the Croydon/Carshalton area whilst the last two children were born back in Sussex. 


In 1891 Alfred Mitchell was working as a gardener and had moved from 2, High Grove Cottages by 1893 being succeeded by another gardener by the name of Alfred Edwin Webber.


Alfred Edwin Webber

Alfred Edwin Webber was born in East Grinstead in 1867 and married Florence Catherine Mighall on 10th December 1890.  Florence had been born in West Hoathly in 1867, the daughter of Albert Mighall and his wife Jane née Simmonds.  Alfred and Florence had at least one child born at High Grove Cottages, Albert Alfred born in 1893.  However, by 1896 the Webber family had moved on and were succeeded by William Westgate (see below).


John Henty

Still occupying 3, High Grove Cottages in 1891 was John and Elizabeth Henty.


Frank Harding

Occupying 4, High Grove Cottage in 1891 was Frank Harding who was born in St Neots, Huntingdonshire, in about 1864, along with his wife Amelia (born in Tooting, Surrey in about 1867) and son Lionel who was born in Wandsworth, Surrey, in about 1890.


The Harding family didn’t stay long at 4, High Grove Cottages, Frank, who was a gardener in 1891, being succeeded by Amos Thornton by 1893.


Amos Thornton

Amos Thornton was born in the Horsham area in 1859, the son of William Thornton and his wife Eliza née Wilkins.  Amos married Emily Harrison in East Grinstead in 1882 and they had son Amos George Thornton in 1893, born at 4, High Grove Cottages.  At the time of the son’s baptism, Amos senior was listed as a gardener. 


Like Frank Harding, Amos Thornton and his family did not live long at 4, High Grove Cottages being succeeded by Charles Edward Simmons by 1896.


Charles Edward Simmons  

Charles Edward Simmons was born in West Hoathly in about 1871 and married Ada Selina Pearless in East Grinstead in 1893; Ada having been born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in 1871, the daughter of George and Elizabeth Pearless.  However, again like the Harding and Thornton families, the Simmons family was transient and had moved on by 1901 when Arthur Brinkhurst was occupying 4, High Grove Cottages (see below). 


As a point of interest, in 1911 Ada’s father George Pearless, by then a widower aged seventy-nine, was lodging with Elizabeth Henty at 3, High Grove Cottages.


1901 – William Coomber

Still occupying 1, High Grove Cottage in 1901 was William Coomber.


William Westgate

Occupying 2, High Grove Cottages in 1901 was William Westgate who was born in the Lewes area of Sussex in 1861, the son of Trayton Westgate and his wife Ellen née Reed.  William married Emily Mary Wright in Eastbourne in 1884; Emily having been born in Eastbourne in 1860.  William and Emily had at lest ten children including: Alice Maud born in 1885, William Trayton born in 1887, Charles Trayton born in 1889, Albert Edward born in 1892, Henry Edwin born in 1894, Frederick born in 1896, Edith Ellen born in 1898, Ernest Alfred born in 1901, Percy George born in 1903 and Stanley Harold born in 1907.  The first four children were born in Sussex, Henry was born in Surrey, Frederick, Edith and Ernest were actually born at High Grove Cottages and the last two children were born in East Grinstead.


The scattered registration of William Westgate’s children reflects the fact that the Westgate family frequently on the move.  In 1881 William was working as an agricultural labourer and living at Arlington, Sussex.  By 1891 he was working as a groom and living at Tillingdown, Tandridge, Surrey, before moving as a labourer to 2, High Grove Cottages by 1896.  In 1901 William was working as a carter, probably on Hill Place Farm, but had left 2, High Grove Cottages by 1903, being succeeded by John Alfred Warner.


John Alfred Warner

John Alfred (known as Alfred) Warner was born in East Grinstead in 1875, the son of Charles Warner and his wife Elizabeth née Allwork, and married Lillian (also known as Lily) Marion Medhurst in Sidcup, Kent, in 1898.  Charles and Lily had at least eight children including: Lillian Isabel born in 1898, Elsie Amelia born in 1899, Charles Richard born in 1901, Frank born in 1903, John (known as Jack) Alfred born in 1906, Mabel Irene born in 1911, Frederick Henry (known as Tim) born in 1915 and Donald Eric born in 1920.  The first four children were born in Sidcup and remaining children were born in East Grinstead, with Frank being born in High Grove Cottages.


Alfred was a painter and decorator by trade and was only a transient occupier of 2, High Grove Cottages, moving to 31, Stockwell Road by 1910, being succeeded by William Holman (see below).


Elizabeth Henty

Still occupying 3, High Grove Cottages in 1901 was Elizabeth Henty.


Arthur John Brinkhurst

Occupying 4, High Grove Cottages in 1901 was Arthur John B Brinkhurst who was born in Horley, Surrey, in 1876 the son of Arthur John (also known as Joe) Brinkhurst and his wife Elizabeth Sarah née Pattenden.  Arthur John B Brinkhurst married Mary Ann Mighall in West Hoathly in 1895; Mary having been born in West Hoathly in about 1873, the daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann Mighall.  Joe and Mary had at least three children including: Joseph Mighall Brinkhurst born in 1893 (registered as Joseph Mighall), Lucy born in 1899 and Arthur J born in 1905; all three children registered in East Grinstead.


In 1881 Arthur Brinkhurst was living with his parents at Moat Cottages, East Grinstead.  By 1891 the Brinkhurst family had moved to Imberhorne Lane, Arthur working as an assistant gardener.  By 1901 Arthur and his family had moved to 4, High Grove Cottage, Arthur having risen to being a gardener.  Arthur Brinkhurst and his family were still living at High Grove in 1911, Arthur by then listed as working as a garden labourer. 


1911 – Joseph Holman

Occupying 1, High Grove Cottages in 1911 was Joseph Holman who was born in Cuckfield, in 1851, the son of Joseph and Sarah Holman.  Joseph married Susanna (also known as Susan) Greenaway in East Grinstead in 1873; Susan having been born in East Grinstead in 1855, the daughter of Charles Greenaway and his wife Charlotte née Simmons.  Joseph and Susan had at least ten children including: William born in 1875, Alfred born in 1876, Albert born in 1878, Minnie born in 1880, Joseph born in 1883, Charles born in 1885, Ernest born in 1887, Sydney born in 1888, Lillian born in 1893 and Daisy born in 1896.  All the children’s births were registered in East Grinstead.


In 1881 and 1891 Joseph was working as an agricultural labourer and living at 3, Pelthams Cottages, Peltham Green, Lingfield.  By 1896 Joseph, listed as a labourer, and his family had moved to Ivy Cottages, just across the road from High Grove Cottages.  By 1901 Joseph had become a stockman and was still living at Ivy Cottages, succeeding William Coomber at 1, High Grove Cottage sometime between 1901 and 1911 when he, his wife and daughter Daisy took up residence.  Joseph and Susan remained at 1, High Grove Cottages until their deaths in 1932 when their daughter Daisy and her husband Fred Gibbs took over the property (see below).


William Holman

Occupying 2, High Grove Cottages in 1911 was William Holman, the son of Joseph Holman.  William married Ellen Leppard in West Hoathly in 1905 so 2, High Grove Cottages was probably their first married home.  Ellen had been born in West Hoathly in 1872, the daughter of James Leppard and his wife Mary née Goacher.  By 1911 William and Ellen had not yet started a family and William was working as a wood cutter.


Elizabeth Henty

Still occupying 3, High Grove Cottages in 1911 was Elizabeth Henty.  Lodging with her was George Pearless, the widowed father of Ada Simmons who resided at 4, High Grove Cottages in 1896 (see above) and William Backshall, a gardener aged thirty-seven who had been born in Ardingly.  Elizabeth was to remain at 3, High Grove Cottages until her death in 1920, having lived there for over thirty-nine years.


Arthur Brinkhurst

Still occupying 4, High Grove Cottages in 1911 was Arthur Brinkhurst.


A social history of High Grove (Highgrove) Cottages during the 20th century 

After the purchase of High Grove Cottages by Sir Edward Blount in 1899 most of the occupants worked for the Blount estate, either at the Blount family home of Imberhorne Manor or on one of their farms – Gullege, Imberhorne, Tilkhurst or Hill   Place.  Gwen Broad, whose father William was the tenant farmer at Hill Place from 1919, documented a few names of people who lived at the cottages and worked at Hill Place including, George Awcock who claimed that he had lived in everyone one of the four cottages at some time during his life, Tom Carter, Ernest Langridge, Ambrose McClusky and a New Zealander called Taylor [for further information see Handout, Hill Place during the occupancy of the Broad Family - Handout JIC/SJC 01/14], unfortunately Gwen was not specific about dates but in the context of her writings they were probably at High Grove Cottages during the 1930/40’s.


Heading into the 20th century there are fewer documents available to ascertain the occupants of High Grove Cottages and as such memories often have to replace the written documents.  From the 1928 East Grinstead Directory it is known that the cottages had five households, 1, High Grove Cottages was still occupied by Joseph Holman who had been living there since at least 1911, household 2 was occupied by A Weller, 3, by TD Saunders, 4, by GW Gumbrell and 5, by J Wren.  It is not clear how the cottages accommodated these five households but in the 1953 East Grinstead Directory there is again five households listed: FH (Frederick Horace) Gibbs, son-in-law of Joseph Holman, HH Apps, EC (Ernest Charles) Langridge (one of the names recalled by Gwen Broad), G Weller and WJ Worsfold.


Returning to Gwen Broad memories, she wrote: ‘Some of the farm staff during this period [1950’s] were with us for a relatively short time but most were longer.  Bill Garbutt and his wife lived in the High Grove Cottage and he was a helpful young man with initiative; he left to make his way in South Africa but was drowned duck shooting on a lake soon after his arrival.  The stalwarts of the team were still the Dixon family until his [Rylott’s] retirement in 1959, and Charlie Langridge and Cyril Wickens.  Our father bought High Grove Lodge, which had housed the Ambulance driver for the Sanatorium, and here one of the men lived until Edward Roberts came to help manage the farm in the late 1950’s and he brought it as his own home’. 


1, High Grove Cottage

In 1932 Joseph Holman, who had been occupying 1, High Grove Cottages since at least 1911, died (see above) and his daughter Daisy and her husband Fred Gibbs took over the dwelling.  During their occupancy the cottage was to see many changes including, thereat of clearance, conversion and modernisation, and become known as Daisiebell Cottage.   


Frederick Horace Gibbs

Frederick (also known as Fred or Freddie) Horace Gibbs was born in East Grinstead in 1899 and married Daisy Holman in 1921.  Fred Gibbs ran a wood-yard business from 1, High Grove Cottages, which he eventually purchased from the Blount sisters in February 1957.


Less than a year later in January 1958, the entire row of High Grove Cottages were declared unfit for human habitation by Dr J Petrie, the Medical Officer of Health for East Grinstead, who served a clearance order on them, the main reason, in his opinion, being inadequate drainage facilities.  Other defects included: concerns about the chimney stack on cottages nos.1 and 2, weather boarding, eaves, gutter, sink waste channel and sewage disposal.  The East Grinstead Urban Council made the house clearance application to the Minister of Housing and Local Government under the Housing Acts, assuring them that if the cottages were pulled down they could satisfactorily re-house the occupants and that one had already been re-housed and only two of the three dwellings were still being occupied.  The Council proposed to sell High Grove Lodge (the dwelling next to 4, High Grove Cottages) to one of the remaining occupants and were also willing to sell an adjoining piece of land.  The Council proposed to re-house Fred Gibbs in another Council property but the clearance order did not include his adjoining wood-yard that could remain where it was.  However, Fred Gibbs turned down all the alternative accommodation offered him because he felt it necessary to be living on his business premises. 


At the same time that Fred Gibbs had purchased 1, William Broad of Hill Place Farm had purchased the remaining three High Grove Cottages as tied workers’ cottages for the Farm.  Neither men wanted to loose their investment so William Broad proposed that the four cottages could be converted into a pair of dwellings suitable for two families, whilst at the same time bringing them up to modern housing standards.  Fred Gibbs agreed to the arrangement by which he and William Broad would each own one of the two cottages proposed by the scheme.  William Broad therefore sold 2, High Grove Cottages to Fred Gibbs who agreed that he would be prepared to adapt his cottages in the same manner that William Broad would adapt cottages nos. 3 and 4.  The cost for these adaptations was about £1,000 for each pair of cottages compared with nearly £2,800 for a completely new build.  Eventually the clearance order was lifted and the four cottages were converted as a pair of semi-detached cottages, as they are today.  


Sadly, Daisy died in 1959 and Fred continued to live and work at 1, High Grove Cottages until his death in 1968 when Daisy’s niece Ethel Wye, recently widowed in 1966, moved there.


Ethel Wye had been born Ethel Florence E Holman in 1905, the daughter of Charles and Charlotte Holman.  Charles was the son of Joseph and Susan Holman who lived at 1, High Grove Cottages in 1911 until Joseph’s death in 1932; and brother of William Holman who lived at 2, High Grove Cottages in 1911 and of Daisy, the wife of Fred Gibbs, who took over 1, High Grove Cottages in 1932.  Ethel married William H Wye in 1929 and they had two sons.  Ethel remained at High Grove cottages until about 1984, the cottage having been in the same family for over seventy-thee years.   


The following social history is based on the documented memories of Peggy Draper née Langridge, who lived at High Grove Cottages in the 1940’s/50’s. 


‘My father worked for the Broads at Hill   Place.  My parents moved to High Grove Cottages from Coombe Hill in about 1940 and 3 of High Grove Cottages housed workers of Hill   Place at the time.   1, High Grove Cottages was the home of Fred (also known as Freddie) Gibbs and his wife Daisy.  Fred ran a haulage business and was also a wood dealer.  He had a big Humber Snipe and used to take us out for rides on Sundays.  No one had cars then so it was the highlight of our week’. 


Following on from this Tony Jones recalls that everyone had the ‘biggest shock ever when the war finished and he [Freddie Gibbs] turned up with a Humber Snipe!  The front had a snipe on the bonnet with the beak made of rubber so it didn’t hurt anything that ran into it!’  Returning to Peggy Draper’s memories:


‘Dad left Hill Place and went to Copthorne, but 6 months later returned to Hill Place, then he went to Standen but returned again to Hill Place and was living at  3 High Grove Cottages in 1953 before retiring through ill health in the mid 50’s when he moved to Ashurst Wood.


The cottage was 2-up and 2-down.  The kitchen area was a sort of scullery and mum cooked on a black range in the sitting room.  In the summer she used a primus.  We had electricity but there was a block of 4 flushed toilets at the back.  Living at no. 4 we had a fair bit of garden with a small field behind us.  There was a bank and fence between the field and our garden on which grew lots of flowers, periwinkle etc.  Lots of people used to climb over the fence to pick our flowers!!


Mr and Mrs Neeve lived in no. 2 with their grown-up daughter, but there were no other children at the cottages when I was growing up so I used to play with the children from the Boyce family who lived at High Grove Lodge.  Mr Boyce was the ambulance driver for the Sanatorium [Hospital for Infectious Diseases].  His children were Stan, Maurice, Betty, Jane and Mary [see Mary Alexander below].  We used to go to the EastGrinsteadCouncilSchool [Chequer Mead] and there used to be a school bus from Hazleden Crossroad.


One of the families at High Grove Cottages when we were there were the McClusky’s, they had a baby who I used to push out in the pram.  Also I think there was the Taylor family too.  When we first moved there an elderly couple called Mr and Mrs Saunders who lived in one of the cottages.  He was very deaf and always used a big hearing trumpet.  They had a grand-daughter Winnie, and they moved to SackvilleGardens.


I married in 1950 and we couldn’t find a house so we lived with my parents at no. 4 to start off with, but when the Sanatorium closed it was converted into bungalows and we were offered one of them.  That was our first married home.  It had a really high ceiling and was hard to keep warm!’.


The following social history is based on the documented memories of Phil Wade who purchased 2, Highgrove Cottage (formerly nos. 3&4, High Grove Cottages) from the Broad family of Hill Place in 1978.  At the time his neighbour, Ethel Wye, was a credible link to some of the past families that had occupied High Grove Cottages from the turn of the 20th century.


 ‘The Gibbs sold fencing, logs, pea bows, bean sticks and besom brooms; in fact anything that could be made from what could be harvested from the local woods.   A real green business in every way!  Deliveries were made all over the area by a Fordson E27 petrol/paraffin tractor and trailer and they even went as far as Maidstone.  Their flat belt saw bench still sits in my garden at Highgrove Cottage.  


Several people were employed; one was Frank Prebble who was a young man in his 20’s (later to be the saw doctor at the Mid Sussex Timber yards).  Also working there was Jack (a WW11 tank driver) a lovely man who, when I moved in, was tending the vegetable garden in April Cottage as he didn’t have much garden and he was fond of Mrs Wye  who was the owner in 1978.  She [Ethel] took over the property after her uncle (Fred Gibbs) died.  Ethel was elderly, in her 70’s when we moved in, but she had a lot of people who came and helped her manage with the day-to-day matters.  Logs and therefore heat were free as Frank was still running the wood business in 1978, although by then he only did logs as a one man band.


Ethel moved to be with her son in Godalming around 1984, due to increasing infirmity, and Bob and Caroline Sutherland moved in and began a process of modernising the property, which was quite run down.  They had two children there, Kelly and Callum.  The family moved on around 1992 when Marion Pankhurst moved in, a widow who wanted a country house with a large garden to spend her later years in.  She spent about 20 happy years there making many great improvements including a conservatory and kitchen extension to the house.  The garden today is largely as she designed it.  Sadly, she passed on in May 2012 and in the autumn of that year, Ian and Alison Lawson moved in’.


‘We [Alison and Ian Lawson] purchased the house [by then known as April Cottage] from Mrs Marion Pankhurst in October 2012 – actually via her sons who had Probate as Mrs Pankhurst had passed away on 8th May 2012. 


We found a roofing tile that is scratched ‘JG 1871’, which we assume to be original – our roof is slate, but this is a red clay tile so could be of the outside toilet, unless the cottages were originally not slate roofed.  The toilet is still in existence and has a full wooden seat.


The garden soil in the vegetable area is wonderful and has clearly been well looked after for many years.  The garden also has an interesting “divide”’.


Highgrove Cottage

This cottage was originally nos. 3&4, High Grove Cottages until modernised and converted as one dwelling by the Broad family in 1958 when it became 2, Highgrove Cottage.  However, when the cottage next-door became known as April Cottage, the decision was made to adopt the name Highgrove Cottage because by then there was no longer any other cottages by the name of High Grove.


From 1958 the cottage was a tied cottage for employees of Hill Place Farm and by 1968 was the home of Len Hobbs and his family who succeeded the cowman (name not yet established) of Hill Place.  However, in 1968 the Hobbs family moved to part of Hill Place Farmhouse and the cowman moved into the cottage.  In September 1969 Len’s son Tom married Vera Collard, whose parents farmed Brook House Farm at the bottom of Coombe Hill, and Tom and Vera moved into Highgrove Cottage.  However, in March 1970 the Hobbs were asked to take on the lease of Sainthill Farm, which they then farmed with Hill Place; the milking herd remaining at Hill Place Farm.  Len Hobbs and his wife went to live at Sainthill and Tom and Vera went to live at one end of Hill Place Farmhouse.  In 1977/8, the Hobbs gave up keeping a milking herd and concentrated on grain and beef, as such they no longer needed Highgrove Cottage and that, along with a small adjacent piece of ground was put up for sale [for further information see Handout, Hill Place during the occupancy of the Broad family, JIC/SJC 01/14].  The current owners, Phil and Val Wade continue:


‘It [Highgrove Cottage] was, we believe, empty for a year or two, then, in April 1978, we bought it from Gwen Broad, of the Broad family.  At this time the house was in a bad state and had paper and plaster hanging off all the ceilings and walls.  The only water was a single cold standpipe in the kitchen and a bucket was needed to flush the loo upstairs!  There was no heating except open fireplaces.  It was a VERY chilly winter of 79!


The cottage had a well that was 65ft deep, which was originally the only water at the cottages until the 1950’s conversion of the cottages from 4 small 2-up/2-down cottages to two semi-detached cottages, each with 3 bedrooms, mains water and a sewage system.  Suitable family homes with good gardens.  The well became dry in the 1990’s and was filled in as it was a hazard due to the depth.


During the war, rubbish collections stopped and everyone dug a hole in the garden and buried waste to get rid of it, I  have spent many hours digging up barrow loads of broken glass and old pots etc and taking it all to what was then the Tip.


I have spoken to a lady, Mary Alexander, who lived next-door in Highgrove Lodge, when she was 9 years old.  This was then the lodge house at the entrance to the Sanatorium [Hospital] for Infectious Diseases, which was where the Tip is now.  Her father, Bert, was the ambulance driver and probably took in my mother-in-law’s sister (Dot) when she was taken in with scarlet fever.  In those days there was no cure just rest and hope for a recovery, which fortunately she did.  Mary also mentioned that during WWII, Italian POW’s were billeted in tents in the woods opposite Highgrove Cottages and that a resident by the name of Mrs Levett and her child were strafed by machine gun fire outside the cottages by an enemy plane passing by, but fortunately he missed!’


High Grove Cottages today

What began life as a row of four cottages replacing an older dwelling built on the edge of a track across East Grinstead Common has now become a pair of homes, April Cottage (incorporating nos. 1 and 2, of the row of four cottages) and Highgrove Cottage  (incorporating nos. 3 and 4).  In the one hundred and forty-four years they have been standing, and despite the threat of clearance in 1958, High Grove Cottages have been home to a great number of people, many with intertwined family ties.  However, the two families that have spent the most time living in the properties are the Henty family who took up residence sometime between 1871 and 1881 remaining there until 1920, when Elizabeth Henty died at the age of ninety; and the Holman family whose residency began sometime between 1901 and 1911 and continued to live there, through various descendents, until 1984 when Ethel Wye, the grand-daughter of Joseph Holman, moved away.



Cottagers of High Grove

Draft O/S map, 1805, FHA

Census records: 1801, 1811, 1821, 1831, WSRO, Par348/26/2/6, Par348/26/2/8-10 & Par348/26/2/7, FHA

Census records: 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911, www.ancestry.co.uk

Birth, marriage and death index, www.freebmd.org.uk

Fowle-Terry conveyance, 1870, FHA

Yeakell & Gardner map of Butler & Courthouse Farms, 1776, ESRO AMS 6497/2

Kelly’s Trade Directories, 1855 and 1861, article from the Hoathly Hub, 2013, FHA

Insolvent Debtors article, London Gazette, 1856, FHA

Terry-Ball conveyance, 1873, FHA

Declaration of William Pearless, 1873, FHA

Handout, Hill Place, JIC/SJC 01/13, FHWS

Handout, Blounts of Imberhorne, JGS/SJC 01/06, FHWS

St Swithuns Baptism Records, transcribed by the SFHG

Handout, Hill Place during the occupancy of the Broad family, JIC/SJC 01/14, FHWS

East Grinstead Directories, 1928, 1953, FHA

Documented memories of the Langridge family, FHA

Documented memories of Gwen Broad of Hill Place, FHA

Documented memories of the Weller family, FHA

Blount-Broad conveyance, 1957, FHA

Inquiry by EGUC into the application to the Minister of Housing and Local Government under the Housing Acts for clearance of High Grove Cottages, newspaper article, 17th January 1958, FHA              

Broad-Wade sale documents, 1978, FHA

Documented memories of Peggy Draper, FHA

Documented memories of Tony Jones, FHA

Documented memories of Phil Wade, FHA

Documented memories of Alison and Ian Lawson, FHA


Texts of all Handouts referred to in this document can be found on FHG website: www.felbridge.org.uk

JIC/SJC 07/15

[1] WSRO TD/E45

[2] ESRO AMS 6497/2

[3] SAS Vol.34 The Buckhurst Terrier 1597-1598 (1933)

[4] 1842 Release Gimson to Reid; 1850 Conveyance Reid to Jackson. FHA.

[5] KLHC [Kent Library and History Centre] U269/M28/1-4

[6] TNA Prob 11/1956/166

[7] WSRO PAR348/24/2/6

[8] WSRO PAR348/24/2/8-10

[9] WSRO PAR348/24/2/7 West division (56)

[10] 1870 Conveyance Jackson to Fowle. FHA.

[11] 1870 Conveyance Fowle to Terry. FHA.

[12] Abstract of Title on conveyance to Rural District Council of East Grinstead 1879. FHA.

[13] 1978 Surrender Hobbs to Broad. FHA