Llanberis Farm is located on the northern side of Crawley Down Road in Felbridge. Today the property extends to just over nine and a half acres, being divided by the county boundary between Surrey and West Sussex, lying in the parishes of Horne and Crawley Down. However, this has not always been the case.
Llanberis Farm, as it is today, was formed by the joining of three separate holdings, two holdings on the West Sussex side of the boundary that merged as one holding under the same ownership in 1913, with the addition of 2.4 acres of land in surrey in 1913, and a further 4.2 acres of land on the Surrey side of the boundary acquired in 1976. This document sets out to chart the development, ownership and occupancy of each of the three holdings that created the property now known as Llanberis Farm.
The Early days
All three of the above mentioned holdings that created Llanberis Farm as it is today occupied land that was once part of Hedgecourt Common. This Common was bounded by Copthorne Common in the manor of South Malling Lindfield, (now the Snow Hill area) on the northwest, Hedgecourt Park, part of the manor of Hedgecourt on the north and east, (the original manor house being located on the moated site in the area of Beavers Fisheries and later relocated to the site of Hedgecourt Farm), East Grinstead Common on the southeast, the lands of Gullege in the manor of Broadhurst on the south and by Furnace and Cuttingly Woods in the manor of Hedgecourt, formerly part of the manor of South Malling Lindfield on the west. The West Sussex, (formerly just Sussex), part of Llanberis Farm was originally part of the manor of South Malling Lindfield, being held by various tenants as copyhold until around 1885. However, the Surrey part of Llanberis Farm, also part of Hedgecourt Common, was held by the manor of Hedgecourt after its creation in 1290, the manor having been created from the manor of Tylemundesdon together with a carucate (about 120 acres) of land of Lindelegh. Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to establish whether the Llanberis Farm area formed part of the manor of Tylemundesdon or Lindelegh.
The copyhold land of the manor of South Malling Lindfield in Sussex, which was to eventually form part of todays Llanberis Farm, was recorded on the Figg map of 1830 and in the Court Books as plots 626 and 627 for one holding, and plot F for the other holding.
The Surrey land that now forms part of Llanberis Farm was acquired at two separate dates, a small portion in 1913 and the remainder in 1976 and will be covered later.
History of plots 626 and 627 (later plot 175 then 210) of the manor of South Malling - Lindfield
Plots 626 and 627 formed a copyhold property of the manor of South Malling Lindfield, on the Sussex side of the county boundary. Plot 626 was just 23 perches with plot 627, at 1 rood and 36 perches, giving a total of 2 rood and 19 perches.
The first map evidence of a building in plot 626 is in 1805, although it is possible that a structure was there at an earlier date. However, the Figg map for the manor of South Malling Lindfield, surveyed in 1829/30, shows two buildings within the plot. The index of tenants that accompanies the Figg map records that [Richard] Holland[s] was paying 6d quit rent for plots 626 and 627, totalling 2 rood 19 perch in the manor of South Malling Lindfield, and a schedule of deeds for Llanberis Farm confirms that Richard Hollands had purchased the copyhold of the property in 1826.
The Worth Tithe and Apportionment of 1839 record plots 626 and 627 as one plot, number 175, totalling just over half an acre, with a house, garden and orchard, being owned and occupied by Richard Holland.
Richard Holland[s], the son of John and Mary, was born in 1772 in Itchingfield, Sussex, and married Susan[na] Collins on 3rd October 1796 at Worth. They had at least five children, Mary Ann baptised on 20th December 1801, James born in Worth on 30th July 1806 and baptised on 12th August 1806, Sarah baptised on 19th July 1809, Ann baptised on 30th August 1813 and Philip baptised on 17th July 1816, the last child sadly died three days after his baptism. All the children were baptised in Worth.
Sometime between 1841 and 1851 Richards son James had taken over the copyhold property with Richard recorded as a visitor at the property in the census. James, like his father, was recorded as an agricultural labourer and even in 1851, Richard, by that date aged seventy-nine, was still working as an agricultural labourer. However in 1874, James was recorded as sawyer on the marriage certificate of his son James to Philadelphia Stone.
James Holland[s] had married Sarah Graves on 25th May 1833 in Worth, Sussex, although she had been born in Lingfield, Surrey, in about 1812. They had at least seven children, Elizabeth baptised on 17th November 1833, John baptised on 5th March 1837, Emma baptised on 17th August 1840, Ann baptised on 21st May 1843, James born about 1846, Hester born about 1850 and Caroline born about 1853.
James Hollands died, at the age of sixty-five and was buried on 18th September 1872 in the churchyard at St Johns, Felbridge. The property then passed to Sarah, his wife, until she sold the copyhold, consisting of a cottage and just over half an acre, to Charles Henry Gatty of the Felbridge Place estate on 18th March 1880. Four years later, on 27th October 1884, the holding was surrendered and enfranchised by the manor of South Malling Lindfield, making it the freehold property of Charles Gatty. This means that the manor of South Malling, as the owners of the piece of land, conferred the freedom of the land to Charles Gatty making it a freehold property, no longer regulated by the manor.
James and Sarah Hollands had moved to Park Cottages, Copthorne Road, by 1871 and their son was living in the property. It has proved impossible to conclusively prove the occupants of the property after the 1871 census. Sarah Holland died aged seventy-seven, and was buried in the churchyard of St Johns Felbridge, on 24th December 1889.
Again it has proved impossible to ascertain the occupants of the Hollands property for either the 1891 or 1901 censuses. All the indications are that the property was not recorded, either because it was unoccupied, or because of its isolated location and possibly the position right on the county boundary, requiring the enumerator to cross the boundary into Surrey before being able to reach the property, in any event it was missed as was the adjacent Miles/Michaelmas Farm in some of these returns.
The property as part of the Felbridge Place estate
In 1884, the plots originally known as 626 and 627 had been surrendered and enfranchised by the manor of South Malling Lindfield, to Charles Henry Gatty of the Felbridge Place estate. The freehold property was to remain as part of the Felbridge Place estate until the death of Charles Henry Gatty in December 1903 when the estate passed to two cousins, Charles Lane Sayer and Alfred Leighton Sayer.
The Sayers retained the Felbridge Place estate until 11th February 1911 when it was sold it to Mrs Emma Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company. By 1911, the original plots of 626 and 627 had become plot 210, containing a cottage, known as the Shooting Box, and just short of 0.7 acres of pasture. At the time of sale the shooting box was not occupied by a tenant but was held in hand by the estate. On the 25th May 1911, the Felbridge Place estate was put up for auction, although, plot 210 was not advertised in the sale catalogue and therefore with-held from the auction.
Two years later a second auction of the Felbridge Place estate was held and this time plot 210 was advertised, forming part of Lot 23, being described as suitable Bungalow Sites, the description reads:
A well diversified tract of nicely timbered land has been specially reserved for the erection of bungalows and chalets amidst picturesque and appropriate surroundings. The transit facilities both to London and the seaside combine to render the location singularly convenient for those whose predilections oscillate between the town, the country and the coast.
Here is an open spaciousness wherein to set ones house-place with proper regard to aspect, views and convenience, without being hampered by the cramped and formal plot restrictions which obtain on so many estates devoted to this class of property. Here, too, at ones very doors, may be found facilities for sport usually associated with far more remote and inaccessible sports. The rich and productive soil will be found to give ready response to careful tillage, and the most charming gardens may be quickly produced with a minimum of labour and expense.
An existing well gives satisfactory evidence of an abundance of water, and the companys water main are now being laid along the Sandy Lane frontage. The lands also have valuable frontages to Crawley Down Road and Rowplatt Lane, and are further intersected by paths and trackways.
The estate will be subdivided into plots of half-an-acre and upwards to suit the requirements of purchasers, and only such restrictions will be imposed as are necessary to safeguard the rights of way, easements and amenities of the neighbouring holdings. It may be taken for granted that only such restrictive covenants will be required as will conduce to the general welfare, and render the Felbridge Bungalow land a synonym for a sylvan inter-social symposium, where the exalted canons of good taste are the recognised standard of emulation.
Thus, as far as is practicable, the sub-divisions will be made with a view to conserving the timber and other desirable natural features of the property.
No. on O/S Description Parish Total
717 60a Plantation Horne 39. 742
716 Arable Horne 04. 892
737 Arable Horne 19. 026
210 Pasture / Shooting Box Horne 00. 685
Total 64. 345
For some reason or other, Lot 23 must have been withdrawn from the auction as on 4th July 1913, an agreement was made between the East Grinstead Estate Company and Elizabeth Mary Nicholson, the wife of Jonathan Arthur Nicholson, (alias Archer Nicholson), for the sale of:
All those pieces or parcels of land situate in the parishes of Worth in the County of Sussex and of Horne in the county of Surrey on the north side of the road leading from Felbridge to Crawley Down being a portion of the Felbridge Place Estate and containing by estimation four acres one rood seventeen perches or thereabouts and more particularly described in the First Schedule.
No. on O/S Description Parish Total
210 Waste/Shooting Box Worth 00. 687
Pt.217 Pasture Worth 02. 269
Pt.737 Arable Horne 01. 400
Total 04. 358
It is this through the agreement between the East Grinstead Estate Company and Elizabeth Nicholson that the two holdings on the Sussex side of the county boundary were joined as a single holding, along with the first part of the land held in Surrey that would eventually form Llanberis Farm as it is now known. Having tracked the development of plots 626 and 627 of the manor of South Malling - Lindfield, on the Sussex side of the county boundary, the development of the other holding of the manor in Sussex, plot F, follows.
History of plot F (later plot 186 then 217) of the manor of South Malling - Lindfield
As already stated, plot F formed part of the manor of South Malling Lindfield. The plot, consisting of two and a half acres, was a triangular piece of land abutting Gibbshaven Farm on the west, the road from Felbridge to Crawley Down on the south and the Sussex/Surrey county boundary on the east. This piece of land appears to have been common land wedged between the bounds of Gibbshaven Farm, once part of South Malling - Lindfield but which was acquired as the freehold property of the manor of Hedgecourt at a very early date, and part of Hedgecourt Common located in Surrey, held of the manor of Hedgecourt.
It is known that Gibbshaven Farm, along with lands to the south of it known as Honys and Hamel Croft, had been held by the Thorpe family from the mid 1500s. By the early1700s all three properties were held by Francis Green, the whole area, including Plot F, appearing as Mr Greens land on the Felbridge estate sale map of 1856, although by then the holding was in the hands of his descendents. On the death of Francis Green in 1754, his holding passed to his widow Catherine Green for the remainder of her natural life. On the death of Catherine Green in 1768, the holding passed to John Cranston, husband of their daughter and sole heir, Catherine.
John Cranston, gentleman, was of Scottish descent and a lawyer of London, and married Catherine Green on 8th November 1759. On the death of Catherines mother in 1768, the couple acquired much land in Surrey, Sussex and Kent, including Gibbshaven Farm, and set about building a house in East Grinstead East Court Manor.
During the ownership of the Cranston family, Gibbshaven Farm was leased to a series of tenants and in the Worth Tithe of 1839 it was occupied by Edward Creasey under the ownership of Edward Cranston, the son of John and Catherine. The Tithe also recorded Edward Creasey as the owner and occupier of plot F, by then known as plot 186, consisting of two and a half acres of arable land, known as Common Field. Plot 186 was later passed from Edward Creasey to John Simmonds sometime between 1839 and 1872. Unfortunately it has not been possible to find any conclusive details on either Edward Creasey or John Simmonds. However, plot 186 was retained by John Simmonds until 2nd February 1872, when it was conveyed to James Dearling.
Unlike Edward Creasey and John Simmonds, some information has come to light on James Dearling. He was born c1832, the son of John and Sarah Dearling. In 1841, the Dearling family were living in the first cottage north of Felbridge Park, (bearing in mind that North Lodge had not been built by this date). The Dearling family consisted of John Dearling born c1791, working as an agricultural labourer, his wife Sarah born c1806, and their children John born c1826, Richard born c1831, James, and Robert born c1835. John Dearling senior came from a family of at least eleven children whose parents were John and Elizabeth Dearling of East Grinstead.
James Dearling was a gardener and married Harriet Budgen in 1853 in Kensington, London. They had five children, Harriet born in 1854, Emma Ellen born c1859, Mary Anne baptised on 3rd August 1862, Fanny born c1867 and William born c1869. The first four children were born in Ealing, Middlesex and the fifth in Westminster. Sadly, James wife Harriet died shortly after the birth of William and was buried on 18th February 1869 in the churchyard at All Saints Church, Crawley Down. Three years later Emma Ellen also died aged thirteen and was buried at All Saints Church on 19th June 1872. The same year, James Dearling took a second wife, Rhoda Thorpe of Lingfield, who had been born c1841. James and Rhoda expanded the Dearling family with Emily born c1873 in Lingfield, John baptised on 5th July 1874 at All Saints Church, Crawley Down, Emma born c1877 in Worth, and Alfred born c1880 in Godstone.
On 6th August 1878, James Dearling conveyed his property to Charles Henry Gatty of the Felbridge Place estate and by 1881, the Dearling family had moved from the Felbridge area and were living at Cottenham Terrace, Godstone in Surrey. James Dearling died at the age of sixty-four on 8th May 1894 and was buried in the churchyard of St Johns, Felbridge, on 12th May 1894 in grave no. D7 78. Also buried in the churchyard are his parents, John and Sarah Dearling, and his uncles Richard and Robert Dearling, as well as James aunt Catherine, wife of his uncle Thomas, and William, one of the children of Catherine and Thomas.
Charles Henry Gatty purchased the property held by James Dearling on 6th August 1878, for the sum of £400. The property consisted of a cottage, which at the date of sale was being occupied by James himself, along with the two acres of land that he had been leasing to John Marden. It has not yet been possible to determine where the cottage was situated within plot 186; however, by 1861 there is census evidence that two households were located in the area and that by 1876 there is map evidence for the pair of cottages, now known as Mount Cottages, within the plot. It is possible that the cottage that James Dearling occupied in the conveyance was Mount Cottage or perhaps an earlier cottage on the site.
The property as part of the Felbridge Place estate
In 1878, the plot originally known as F had been was conveyed to Charles Henry Gatty of the Felbridge Place estate. Like the plots originally known as 626 and 627, the freehold of the second property was to remain as part of the Felbridge Place estate until the death of Charles Henry Gatty in December 1903 when the estate passed to two cousins, Charles Lane Sayer and Alfred Leighton Sayer.
Also like plots 626 and 627, plot F was sold as part of the Felbridge Place estate to Mrs Emma Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company on 11th February 1911. By this date, the original plot F had become plot 217, containing a pair of cottages and just over two and a half acres of land. At the time of sale part of plot 217 was held as pasture under Oak Farm, Crawley Down Road, leased to Mr J Chitty. The other part of plot 217 contained Mount Cottages, the western cottage occupied by H Mitchell paying £5. 4/- rent and the eastern cottage was occupied by G Nicholls paying £7. 16/- for a larger plot. On the 25th May 1911, the Felbridge Place estate was put up for auction, and like plot 210, plot 217 was with-held from the auction.
Two years later the second auction of the Felbridge Place estate advertised plot 217, forming part of Lot 12, as Mount Cottages and Building Land adjoining, the description reads:
These two cottages and gardens, with about three acres of ground, have a frontage of about one hundred and twenty feet to the Crawley Down road. They are of pleasing elevation, brick built and slate roofed; each containing four rooms and a scullery. They are let, and produce about 14s per week. Company's water is laid on. Additional land at the back may be had, if desired, suitable for fruit or vegetable growing or any form of intensive gardening. These cottages would adapt themselves readily to alterations and additions which would render them very eligible as week-end retreats for townsmen.
No. on O/S Description Parish Total
217 Pasture, Cottage and Garden Worth 02. 519
Total 02. 519
It would appear that Elizabeth Nicholson took the option of negotiating for the 'additional land' advertised in Lot 12 but not the purchase of Mount Cottages and their gardens, as on 4th July 1913, the 'additional land' formed part of the agreement made between the East Grinstead Estate Company and Elizabeth Mary Nicholson, under the First Schedule (refer to the First Schedule under the Development of plots 626 and 627, above), along with a Second Schedule, (detailed below), for the sum of £250:
No. on O/S Description Parish Total
217 Pasture Worth 02. 400
Total 02. 400
This agreement was followed on 28th July by payment to the East Grinstead Estate Company by Elizabeth Nicholson of £45, broken down as a deposit of £20 for the First Schedule and £25 for the Second Schedule. On 11th August 1913, an Indenture of Conveyance was made between the East Grinstead Estate Company and Elizabeth Nicholson for:
All that freehold piece or parcel of land situate in the parish of Worth in the County of Sussex on the North side of the road leading from Felbridge to Crawley Down and having a frontage to such road of seventy feet or thereabouts and a depth from such road of 300 feet or thereabouts all which said piece or parcel of land is a portion of the Felbridge Place Estate and contained in area 1 rood 37 perches or thereabouts and is a portion of the close of land numbered 217 on the Ordnance Survey Map of the Parish of Worth aforesaid.
This piece of land equates to the site of the house and garden at Llanberis Farm suggesting that the purchase may have signalled the construction of the house prior to completing the sale of the remaining land as outlined in the two Schedules.
Elizabeth Nicholson paid the outstanding balance of £225 on 5th December 1913, although it took until 24th June 1914 for the completion of the sale, which was summarised as:
All those freehold pieces or parcels of land situate in the Parishes of Worth in the County of Sussex and Horne in the County of Surrey on the north side of the road leading from Felbridge to Crawley Down one of such pieces or parcels of land having a frontage to such road of 182 feet or thereabouts.
Together with the Shooting Box standing and being on the close of land numbered 210 in the plan. All which said pieces or parcels of land are a portion of the Felbridge Place Estate and contain in area 3a 3r 20 poles or thereabouts.
No. on O/S Description Parish Total
210 Waste/Shooting Box Worth 00. 687
Pt.217 Pasture Worth 02. 269
Pt.737 Arable Horne 01. 400
Total 04. 358
No. on O/S Description Parish Total
217 Pasture Worth 02. 400
Total 02. 400
Included in this purchase is a small piece of land in Surrey, part of plot 737. A second part of this land in Surrey was later to become part of Llanberis on its purchase by Miss Marjory Fry in 1976, and its history and development follows later.
Attached to the completion of the purchase in 1913 came the Conditions of Sale that included:
1 No building of any kind other than private dwelling houses with appropriate offices and outbuildings to be appurtenant thereto and occupied therewith shall be erected on the property and no trade or business of any kind other than those relating to the Indentures referred to in Clause 3 in this schedule shall be carried on upon any part thereof without the Vendors previous consent in writing.
2 No single house of a cost less than £300 or semi-detached houses of the aggregate value of £550 the pair or being a bungalow of less cost than £150 and being a house in all respects according to plans and elevations to be approved of in writing by the Vendors or their Surveyors shall be erected on the property and for the purpose of these conditions the cost of every house and other building shall be taken to be the net first cost thereof in labour and materials alone estimated at the average current prices.
3 No hut, caravan or house on wheels other than poultry house or other structure to be used in connection with the industries of poultry farming, horticulture or fruit growing or agriculture shall be placed on the property nor shall any temporary building or erection be placed or built thereon without the Vendors consent in writing being first obtained.
4 The property until built upon shall not be used for any purpose other than as farm land, garden, meadow, poultry farming, horticulture or fruit growing, or arable land, nursery or orchard, nor shall any act deed or thing be done thereon or in or upon any building erected thereon which may be or grow to be an annoyance, nuisance, damage or disturbance to the Vendors or the Owner or tenant of any other portion of the Felbridge Place Estate.
Amalgamation of the land in Sussex and history of Llanberis
The purchase by Elizabeth Nicholson joined the two Sussex holdings, (the original plots 626 and 627, and plot F), as a single holding, along with the acquisition of the first piece of land on the Surrey side of the county boundary, (part of plot 737). The additional part of plot 737, that created Llanberis Farm as it is today, was not acquired until 1976, and the development of that piece of land follows later.
As already mentioned, the site of the house and garden was purchased by Elizabeth Nicholson before the completion of sale on the attached land, which may suggest that the construction of the house began shortly after August 1913. It is interesting to note that the home address of Elizabeth Nicholson given in the schedule of deeds was Llanberis, 32, Highfield Hill, Upper Norwood, London, the name Llanberis obviously being transferred to property in Felbridge. Local legend says that the origin of the name Llanberis was because the Doctor that lived there came from Llanberis in Wales. Sadly it has not yet been possible to verify either the Doctor or his place of origin, or anything conclusive about the Nicholsons.
Llanberis the house
The original house, as constructed by Elizabeth Nicholson, was a cottage style bungalow with a forward facing gable over the right hand side of the roof surmounting a central positioned front door and an off-set bay window to the right of the front door. The ground floor consisted of a kitchen/scullery with access to the rear, sitting room, dining room, reception room, and a large entrance hall. According to local legend, the reception room was used as the Doctors surgery and the large entrance hall doubled as the waiting room. The first floor, accessed by a central dog-legged staircase, contained three bedrooms. The exterior finish was white-washed pebble-dash under a clay tiled roof.
On 8th September 1915, Elizabeth Nicholson died, intestate, and eventually on the 7th May 1919, Llanberis was sold for the sum of £805 by her attorney to George Kent of 10, Cranbourne Street, London. Like the Nicholsons, there is very little conclusive information about George Kent. What has been established is that at the time of purchase George Kent was an umbrella and walking stick manufacturer, who by 1922, had moved to 155, High Street, Putney, listing himself as a gentleman. In 1934 and 1938 he is listed of Llanberis in the Kellys Directories suggesting that by the mid 1930s he may have been residing at Llanberis, or at the very least, it was his house in the country.
George Kent died in October 1953 and on 8th August 1954 Llanberis was sold to Marjory Fry for the sum of £3,200. Marjory, who never married, moved to Llanberis which became home to her and her parents Arthur and Henrietta Fry. Arthur, known as Sidney, had been born in East Grinstead in 1887, the son of Arthur Henry James and Harriett Fry. His siblings included Lizzie born c1883 and Kate born c1885. Sidney married Henrietta Budgen in the December quarter of 1915, the daughter of William and Jane Budgen of Lower Glen Vue, East Grinstead, who had been born in the June quarter of 1890. Sidney and Henrietta had two daughters, Marjory and Kitty.
Before moving to Llanberis, the Fry family, was living at Double Dee, just south of St Johns Church, Felbridge, having moved from Furze Lane, East Grinstead. Sidney was an active member of the Felbridge Parish Council [for further details see handout Civil Parish of Felbridge, SJC03/02], a manager of Felbridge Primary School, and chairman of the Felbridge Bowling Club. At Llanberis, Sidney raised black Aberdeen Angus cattle and for many years owned two butchers shops, one in London Road, East Grinstead, next to the Post Office, and the other in Lingfield Road, East Grinstead, the former having now ceased trading but the latter still trades as Arthur S Fry from Lingfield Road. His knowledge and interest in cattle made him an ideal a member of the East Grinstead Fat Stock Show and he also had connections with the East Grinstead Cattle Market.
On 31st December 1956, Marjory Fry conveyed just short of an acre of land at Llanberis, abutting the west side of Mount Cottages, to her sister Kitty Williamson for the construction of a cottage called Orchard Croft. Four years later their father Sidney Fry died, in November 1960, and the cattle business at Llanberis was taken over by his daughter Marjory with the aid of her stockman, Stan Creasey.
In February 1976, Marjory Fry extended her holding of Llanberis by the purchase of the land in Surrey that is now part of the farm, plot 9749 at 1.44 acres and part of plot 1047 at 2.76 acres. The acquisition of the 4.2 acres created Llanberis Farm as it is today, and the history of the land holding on the Surrey side of the county boundary now follows.
History and acquisition of the Surrey lands plot 804 (later plot 737 then plots 9749 and 1047)
The land on the Surrey side of the county boundary that forms part of Llanberis, including the small piece of land in Horne purchased Elizabeth Nicholson in 1913, was formerly part of Hedgecourt Common held by the manor of Hedgecourt. The earliest listed holder of the manor of Hedgecourt was Stephen de Appultrefeld in 1290, followed shortly after by John de Berewyk until his death when it eventually passed to his nephew Roger de Husee. In 1361, Roger de Husee died and the manor passed to his brother John who granted it to Hugh Craan sometime before 1365. A year later, Hugh Craan granted the manor to Nicholas Loveine and on his death it was settled on his daughter Margaret, wife of Sir Phillip Seyntcler [Sinclair]. On the death of the Seyntclers in 1423, the manor passed successively to their sons John and then Thomas. On the death of Thomas Seyntcler in 1435, the manor of Hedgecourt passed to his daughter Eleanor, wife of John Gage of Firle, and was retained by the Gage family until the death of William Gage in 1747, when it was purchased by Edward Evelyn of Felbridge.
The Surrey land formed part of the estate held by the Evelyn family and their descendents until 1855 when the Felbridge estate was put up for auction and purchased by George Gatty. At the time of sale the Surrey land formed part of plot 804 totalling sixty-three acres of woodland in the parish of Horne. This woodland abutted the afore mentioned land in the manor of South Malling Lindfield, (plots 626 and 627, and plot F), on the west, Crawley Down Road on the south, Rowplatt Lane on the east with Copthorne Road on the north, and stretched from Rowplatt Lane to about number 80, Copthorne Road. However, by 1879, some of the woodland had been cleared and a rope yard had been built at the junction of Rowplatt Lane and Crawley Down Road. [For further details see Handout, Rope Making in Felbridge, SJC 03/05]
On the death of George Gatty in 1864, his estate passed to his son Charles Henry Gatty who purchased plots 626 and 627 in 1880, and plot F in 1878, the former holdings being surrendered and enfranchised to him in 1884. The Surrey land, plot 804, therefore followed the same course as the land on the Sussex side of the county boundary as part of the Felbridge Place estate, passing to Charles Lane Sayer and Alfred Leighton Sayer on the death of Charles Gatty in 1903, and being purchased by Mrs Emma Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company in 1911.
Like plots 626 and 627, and plot F, the Surrey land did not feature in the initial sale catalogue of 25th May 1911. By 1911, the Surrey land that had formed plot 804 in 1855 had been sub-divided into four plots. Plot 717 was the largest of these new sub-divisions bounded by what is now the Copthorne Road. This plot was still woodland as it had been in 1855 and was known as Sixty Acres. Abutting Sixty Acres and running half the length of Rowplatt Lane was plot 716, which was open land. The site of the rope yard fell within a separate enclosure being given the plot number 738. The final sub-division, plot 737, was also open land like plot 716. The Surrey land that was to eventually become part of Llanberis Farm formed part of plot 737.
Like the land on the Sussex side of the boundary, plot 737 appeared as part of Lot 23, along plot F, one of the original South Malling Lindfield plots, which by 1911 was numbered as plot 217, [see above]. At the time of sale plot 737 was leased by Mr G Poupart of Park Farm, Woodcock Hill, Felbridge. It is unclear whether plot 737 sold in 1913, and if it did, it has not yet been established to whom, as it would appear that Elizabeth Nicholson only acquired part of it.
On 25th June 1919, the East Grinstead Estate Company and Rev John Bradford of Ivy Bank, Leytonstone, Essex, (the beneficial owner), granted and confirmed the sale of part of plot 737 for £480 to Frederick Walter Inglis, the plot described as:
All that piece or parcel of land situate in the parish of Horne in the county of Surrey being a portion of the close of land no.737 on the Ordnance Survey Map for the Parish of Horne aforesaid which piece or parcel of land was a portion of the Felbridge Place Estate and contained in area 9a 3r or thereabouts and was bounded on the south by the road leading from Felbridge to Crawley Down on the East by land belonging to John Sinden on the North by other land of the Vendors and on the West partly by land belonging to Elizabeth Mary Nicholson and in part by land belonging to the Vendors and in other part by Mount Cottages.
Along with the sale came the standard set of Conditions, with one very interesting clause:
4 The property until built upon should not be used for any purpose other than as farm land, garden, ground, meadow or arable land, plant nursery or orchard, nor should any act deed or thing be done thereon or in or upon any building erected thereon which may be or grow to be an annoyance, nuisance, damage or disturbance to the Vendors or the Owner or tenant of any other portion of the Felbridge Place Estate but the said F W Inglis should be entitled to carry on upon the property the rearing, breeding, killing and preparing for market of tame [rabbits] and drying and preparing for market the skins thereof so long as such rabbits were kept under control in hutches or in other adequate methods of housing to prevent them from straying from the property and so that such uses of the property by the said F W Inglis his heirs or assigns should not be or become an annoyance, nuisance, damage inconvenience or disturbance to the owners of any adjoining property. Said F W Inglis should be at liberty to place a portable bungalow on the land during the first three years from the date of that agreement but the position where such bungalow should be placed be approved by the Vendors but should not be in the rear.
The wording used in this clause suggests that Frederick Inglis was already using plot 737 for the rearing of rabbit for meat and fur for market at the time of purchase in 1919.
Frederick Walter Inglis
Frederick was baptised in the December quarter of 1875 at St Georges, Hanover Square, London, the second son of Alexander and Elizabeth Inglis. Alexander had been born in Scotland c1843 and had pursued a career as a soldier in the Scots Guards. He married Elizabeth Hayward in the June quarter of 1870 at St Georges, Hanover Square. Elizabeth had been born in Corsham, Wiltshire c1848. By 1881, the Inglis family were living at 1, Edward Street, St Marylebone, London, and consisted of Alexander and Elizabeth and their children, Elizabeth J born c1871, Alexander born c1872, Frederick Walter and Isabella born c1879. The first three children were born in St Georges, Hanover Square, London and Isabella in Paddington, London. Two years later they had their last child, Robert born c1883 in St Marylebone, London.
In 1890, Alexander Inglis senior died in Walsingham, Norfolk, and in 1901 Elizabeth was living at 12, Upper Park Road, St Marylebone, London, with Frederick, Isabella and Robert. Elizabeth, listed as living off her own account, was working as a confection shop keeper, Frederick was a commercial traveller, Isabella was a dressmaker and Robert was a railway engine cleaner.
Shortly after the census, Frederick married, moving to the Felbridge area sometime before 1919, where he farmed rabbits for market on plot 737. At the time of his purchase of plot 737 in 1919, Frederick Inglis was living at 16, Rowplatt Lane in one of the newly constructed properties on the west side of the road being developed by Thomas Stewart Inglis, (as yet no link has been established between Frederick and Thomas Inglis).
At this point there appears to be a conundrum! Currently, a portion of plot 737, 1.389 acres abutting Crawley Down Road, lays derelict, the wooden bungalow, Patbarossa, having caught fire and been demolished some years back. Patbarossa was formerly called Leaping Well, which was in the occupation of Albert Victor and Eveline Fanny Cowley on her death in October 1913. The conundrum is that the house does not appear in the sale plan or in the schedule of the sale to Frederick Inglis in 1919, and the sale plan and schedule indicates that he purchased the land including the site of Leaping Well, abutting the Crawley Down Road, perhaps he had already erected a bungalow on the site by the date of purchase which was omitted from the text and plan.
Whatever the truth of the matter is, a portion of plot 737, excluding the site of Leaping Well, was sold and registered on 13th April 1976 to Marjory Fry as plots 9749 and 1047, 1.44 acres and 2.76 acres respectively, totalling 4.2 acres, and incorporated as part of Llanberis, thus creating the Llanberis Farm as it is today.
Llanberis Farm from 1976
Llanberis Farm as it is today was created by the acquisition of land in Surrey by Marjory Fry in 1976, who continued to raise black Aberdeen Angus cattle there until her death on 25th May 1984. In 1985 Llanberis Farm, totalling 9.64 acres, was put up for sale and on 10th June 1985 was purchased by Antony John Willoughby Jones and his wife Marion of Corydon, Cranston Road, East Grinstead, Sussex. Their move out of the town was prompted by two factors, firstly that most of their children had left home and they wanted to down size, and secondly, Marion had always wanted to live at Llanberis since passing it daily on her way to Felbridge school as a child in the 1930s and 40s.
In 1985, the property was described as a most attractive and well built brick and tile residence [that] has charming elevations of stucco whitened rendering, and is built in the cottage style, and the accommodation comprised of:
Wide entrance Porch, half-glazed oak front door to
Spacious Entrance Hall, 14ft 2ins x 8ft 3ins, GPO point.
Lounge, 14ft 4ins into deep bay x 11ft, brick fireplace with inset electric fire.
Drawing Room, 14ft 3ins x 10ft, tiled fireplace, door to garden.
Study/Bedroom 4, 10ft 1in x 10ft.
Bathroom, pink suite of bath, pedestal basin and low-level WC.
Spacious Kitchen/Breakfast Room, 16ft 9ins x 12ft 3ins max., well fitted with double drainer stainless steel sink unit with cupboards under, fine range of natural wood effect and oak framed units with working surfaces, large range of cupboard and drawers under, two sets of matching wall cupboards, heated linen cupboard with immersion heater, Perrymatic oil-fired boiler for hot water and central heating systems, electric cooker point, walk-in larder, door to rear Lobby, storage space, glazed door to garden.
On the First Floor:
Landing access to roof space.
Bedroom 1, 16ft 2ins x 13ft max., fitted wash basin, eaves storage space.
Bedroom 2, 14ft 4ins x 10ft, basin, eaves storage space.
Bedroom 3, 10ft 7ins x 9ft 5ins.
At the rear of the property there is a good sized brick and tile built Building constructed in keeping with the house measuring about 14 ft 6ins x 8ft 6ins with electric light and power, single drainer stainless steel sink unit. Two fuel bunkers.
Double Garage of concrete and built in keeping with the house.
The property is approached from the road by a concrete drive to the garage. There is a large frontage to the road and the front Garden comprises of lawns, rise beds, numerous flowering shrubs, rhododendrons, conifers etc. There is also a small orchard to the right of the driveway and 5 bar gate which gives access to the land at the rear. At the side of the house there is a further lawn with banks of rhododendrons etc. The rear garden is of a very good size laid to lawns, fenced in vegetable garden, large store shed. Timber barn built on a brick base at present used for storing straw. In all the garden extends to about 0.75 acres.
Lot 2 Land and Buildings at the rear of Llanberis:
A useful amount of agricultural land situated on the edge of the village of Felbridge approached from the road by its own 5 bar gate and concrete drive and comprising a useful set of buildings with a Cattle Hovel, about 30ft x 20ft, range of
5 Brick Cattle Sheds and Grain/Food Store which could be converted into stabling if required.
The Land is to the west of the buildings and comprises three fields mostly laid to pasture and small area of coppice, in all extending to about 8.5 acres.
At the time of purchase the property had changed very little since its construction in the 1910s save a small ground floor extension that had been added to the east side of the property enlarging the kitchen area and a bathroom and toilet that had been installed at the rear of the entrance hall under the staircase. Shortly after the purchase in 1985, one of the first actions undertaken was to extend the house to the west, enlarging the lounge and drawing room, the latter becoming a dining room, and providing an additional bedroom and a first floor bathroom. It was also with the purchase that the property officially adopted the name Llanberis Farm and not just Llanberis.
The Shooting Box
Along with Llanberis Farm came the Shooting Box, which had stood in one of the original plots, number 626, on the Sussex side of the county boundary and which in 1985 lay in ruins. Local legend says that the Shooting Box was partially demolished during the war years after several attempts to eject the occupants had failed, including putting permanganate of potash down the well thus rendering the water undrinkable.
At the time of sale, the ruin as it was called, lay in a small fenced off field, the whole area filled with grubbed-out tree stumps from a neighbouring field, brambles and fox dens. It was a known fact that there was a well situated somewhere near the cottage and was therefore fenced to prevent people and animals from falling into it. In 1999, the decision was taken to clear the area and after clearance it was discovered that apart from the gable end walls, there was a fairly substantial depth of front and back walls still standing having been hidden for years by a build-up of vegetation and soil. The act of clearance also determined the exact location of the well which was made safe, and the location of a splendid Thunder Box, which was dug out.
Having made safe the well and earth closet, attentions were turned towards the cottage. It was not until the floor level was reached that it became apparent as to just how small the cottage was, one room measuring 15ft 8ins x 13ft 6ins (4.8m x 4.1m), measuring 6ft 6ins (2m) to the base of the eaves. There was one door, slightly off-set from the centre, facing east and an external fireplace and chimney on the north end wall. On the outside of the opposite end gable wall was a small window set high up in the gable and an original cast iron water head and drain pipe, still in situ, which would have funnelled the water from drainpipes leading from the gutters, long since vanished, into a small drain. The floor of the cottage was intact and made of red bricks laid straight onto compacted mud, and a brick path headed east onto Hedgecourt Common from the front door. Although from map evidence there had been a previous building slightly in front of the cottage there was no obvious sign of it.
It is worthwhile remembering that the Hollands family who occupied the property during the first half of the 19th century consisted of at least seven children, living and sleeping in this one roomed property measuring just 15ft 8ins x 13ft 6ins (4.8m x 4.1m).
The Shooting Box gives a direct impression of the conditions in which people once lived, with no electricity, no mains water, just a well and an earth closet, no heating or cooking facilities, just a small fire place, and a brick floor laid straight onto the mud which is constantly cold and damp.
Tuftys Game Farm
Although the raising of black Aberdeen Angus cattle ceased at Llanberis Farm with its sale in 1985, the farming tradition continued with the raising of turkeys for the Christmas market. The turkey farming was shortly joined by the rearing of game birds when the youngest son of the Jones family completed his training as a gamekeeper at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, and set up Tuftys Game Farm.
This venture prospered for a couple of years until October 1987 when the Hurricane put an end to the game farm, shattering most of the birds pens releasing hundreds of partridge and quail into the Felbridge area. As many as possible were rounded up but the number of birds captured equated to only a small portion of those that had escaped and the decision was made to cease trading, although turkey farming continued for a further three years before it also ceased.
Reddick Forge relocates to Llanberis Farm
In December 1998, Reddick Forge relocated from Dormansland, Surrey, to Felbridge. The decision behind the move of the forge was that a year earlier the landlords of Reddick Forge were forced to sell some of their assets, which included the forge building. This resulted in Reddick Forge being served a years notice to vacate the premises so that the property could be converted as a house and sold. The decision to relocate to Llanberis Farm was primarily because there was a vacant barn from which to operate and the blacksmith was the second son of the Jones family. Planning consent was obtained to convert an existing barn into the new forge which was up and running by December 1998. [For further details see Handout Reddick Forge, SJC 09/03]
Llanberis Farm today
Today Llanberis Farm extends to just over nine acres but no longer operates as a livestock farm, although the fields are hayed each year and the resulting bales sold. The Shooting Box, no longer occupied, outlines the conditions in which people once lived, nestling between the trees in the middle of what was once Hedgecourt Common. Reddick Forge continues to operate from the barn, which, now in its seventh year at Llanberis Farm, still specialises in ornamental and decorative wrought iron work to commission. As for the house at Llanberis Farm, it has been extended to suit the needs and lifestyles of its successive owners and occupants over the past one hundred years and today provides a comfortable family home to the Jones family.
Godstone by U Lambert
Figg map of the manor of South Malling - Lindfield, 1829/30, ACC 22371/1/5/15, ESRO
Hedgecourt Court Book, Box 3151, SHC
Draft O/S Map, 1805, FHA
Worth Tithe and Apportionment, 1839, WSRO
Horne Tithe and Apportionment, 1840, SHC
Felbridge Park Sale Catalogue, 1855, FHA
Felbridge Park Map, 1855, FHA
Gatty papers, Box 3151, SHC
Census Records, 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901
O/S map, 1879, FHA
Felbridge Parish Registers, FHA
Monumental Inscriptions of St John the Divine, Felbridge, FHA
Crawley Down Parish Registers, FHA
Abstract of title for Felbridge Place estate, 1911, FHA
Felbridge Place Sale Catalogue, 1911, FHA
Felbridge Place Map, 1911, FHA
Felbridge Place Sale Catalogue, 1913, FHA
Llanberis Farm Schedule of Deeds, FHA
Cuttinglye and its Environs Sale Catalogue, 1919, FHA
Kellys Directory, 1934, 1938, SHC
Civil Parish of Felbridge, SJC03/02, Handout, FHA
Documented memories of Mrs Pentecost, FHA
Mrs Wheelers Scrap Book, FHA
Rope Making in Felbridge, SJC 03/05, Handout, FHA
Sale details, 1985, FHA
Documented memories of Tony & Marion Jones, FHA
Documented memories of Michael Jones, FHA
Reddick Forge, SJC 09/03, Handout, FHA
Our thanks are extended to Tony and Marion Jones for information and access to the property.