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Eridge to Forest Row and East Grinstead Walk

Along the High Weald Landscape Trail to some attractive villages in the upper Medway Valley

Eridge to Forest Row (or East Grinstead)
Length

Main Walk, finishing in Forest Row: 17½ km (10.9 miles). Four hours 30 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, buses, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours.

Extended Walk, to East Grinstead: 23 km (14.3 miles). Five hours 50 minutes walking time.

OS Map

Explorer 135. Eridge, map reference TQ541347, is in East Sussex, 4 km NE of Crowborough. Forest Row is 4 km SE of East Grinstead, which is in West Sussex.

Toughness

5 out of 10 (7 for the Extended Walk).

Features

This walk makes no great claims to originality, much of it being along the High Weald Landscape Trail (HWLT). The beginning is the reverse of Extra Walk 3 (Cowden to Eridge) and the extension has the same finish as Extra Walk 110x (Ashurst to East Grinstead). Nevertheless, as long as the clay soils are not waterlogged it makes a pleasant outing in the High Weald, with nice places for lunch and tea.

After leaving the rural station at Eridge – shared with steam trains on the Spa Valley Railway – you are soon in the undulating countryside typical of the High Weald. At Mottsmill Stream the walk joins the HWLT and follows this long-distance path through the Buckhurst Estate, with a glimpse of its grand house, Buckhurst Park. As you leave the estate you enter the small village of Withyham for lunch at the Dorset Arms.

Immediately afterwards you go past Withyham church, which is well worth visiting. A short stretch then takes you to the neighbouring village of Hartfield, associated with the author AA Milne and his most famous creation: coachloads of tourists regularly descend on Pooh Corner to buy all manner of Winnie-the-Pooh memorabilia. The walk then crosses the River Medway and climbs up the other side of the valley, with fine views across to Ashdown Forest. The descent into Forest Row goes through the co-operative enterprise of Tablehurst Farm.

The final section of the extended walk is up the long gentle incline of the Forest Way, a popular cycle route along the trackbed of a disused railway line. The hilltop town of East Grinstead has many old buildings dating back to the 14thC, including Sackville College (a Jacobean almshouse) and the imposing St Swithun's Church.

As with any walk in the High Weald, you will need to be prepared for muddy or waterlogged paths at almost any time of the year.

Walk Options

You can avoid the need to take a bus from Forest Row (details below) by extending the walk to East Grinstead.

You can do a shorter walk by starting from either Withyham or Hartfield, in which case you should travel to East Grinstead and then take Metrobus 291 to one of these villages. Alternatively, you could abandon the walk here and take the bus to East Grinstead.

For a shorter walk after lunch you could head for Ashurst station, about 6 km away; use the directions in Extra Walk 29 (Ashurst Circular) from Hartfield or (partly in the reverse direction) from Withyham.

For a longer and tougher walk after Hartfield you could switch to the more southerly route via Ashdown Forest in Extra Walk 110.

At Cansiron Lane you could switch to the winter route in Extra Walk 40 (East Grinstead Circular). This bypasses Forest Row but is only about 1 km shorter than the route given here.

You will need to print the directions for these additional options from the relevant walk document.

Transport

There is an hourly service from London Bridge to Eridge, taking 55 minutes (longer on Sundays, when you have to change at East Croydon and/or Oxted).

There is no station in Forest Row, so if you finish the walk there you will need to take Metrobus 270 or 291 up the hill to East Grinstead; these alternate to provide a half-hourly service to around 7pm Mon–Sat, plus a few later ones in the evening. On Sundays the 291 runs every two hours up to 5.30pm.

Trains back from East Grinstead are half-hourly and mostly go to Victoria. It is on a different line from Eridge, but both are operated by Southern and in practice a return ticket to Eridge has always been accepted for return from East Grinstead.

If driving, there is no direct public transport between the two stations but you could park in Oxted, where the two lines merge. The station car park is free after 10am, but you are unlikely to find a space during the week.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 10:00 from London Bridge to Eridge for the Main or Extended Walk. If you are doing a Shortened Walk, check the Metrobus 291 timetable and take an appropriate train from Victoria to East Grinstead.

Train Times

Lunch

The suggested lunch stop is the Dorset Arms (01892-770278) in Withyham, 8 km into the walk. In 2014 this attractive old pub was bought by the Buckhurst Estate and fully refurbished; it has some outdoor seating on a small green and serves excellent home-cooked food until 2.30pm (4pm Sun). The alternative is to continue for a further 2½ km to the Anchor Inn (01892-770424) in Hartfield.

There is a second pub in Hartfield but the Hay Waggon was closed and up for sale in autumn 2015.

If you start in Withyham or Hartfield you could have lunch at one of the eateries in Forest Row (see below), about 9½ km from Withyham and 7 km from Hartfield.

Tea

Pooh fans could make an early stop in Hartfield for some of Kanga's ‘Strengthening Medicines’ at Piglet's Tearoom, but the logical place to have tea is Forest Row. On the way into the village you go through Tablehurst Farm, whose café is open to 5pm Tue–Sat. In the village itself the suggested place is Taffels at 14-15 Hartfield Road (01342-823151), an attractive café/delicatessen open to 5pm Sun–Thu, all evening Fri & Sat. The alternatives are clustered together along the A22: The Swan (01342-822318), a ‘Mountain Range’ bar and restaurant; the 15thC Chequers Inn Hotel (01342-823333); Java & Jazz (01342-826699), a pizzeria, gelateria and coffee shop; and The Bram Bar of the Brambletye Hotel (01342-824144).

East Grinstead is not short of places if you need further refreshment after walking up the hill to the town. Two suggested places almost opposite each other on the High Street are the Dorset Arms (01342-316363) at #58 and CJ’s Café Bar (01342-301910) at #55-57, which has a rooftop terrace overlooking the churchyard. You pass these on your way through the town and will need to allow a further 15 minutes to reach the station.

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Trains

Out: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: TN3 9LE | Directions

Finish: Forest Row, Kent | [Directions]

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Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Aug-16

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Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

Eridge to Forest Row (or East Grinstead)

Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).

Walk Map 2: Hartfield to East Grinstead Walk Map 1: Eridge to Hartfield Walk Maps

Walk Options

Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.

  1. Main Walk, to Forest Row (17½ km)
  1. Extended Walk, to East Grinstead (23 km)
  2. Shortened Walk, from Withyham (15 km)
  3. Shortened Walk, from Hartfield (12¼ km)

Walk Directions

Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.

If you take bus 291 from East Grinstead to Withyham, start at §5.

If you take bus 291 from East Grinstead to Hartfield, start at §6.

  1. Eridge Station to Mottsmill Stream (2½ km)
  2. Turn right out of the station, then right again into Forge Road. In 500m turn left onto a bridleway through Holden Wood. After passing the entrance to Bullfinches turn right onto the Sussex Border Path and follow this over a hill and down past Rocks Farm into a valley.

    Leave the station – shared with the Spa Valley Railway1 (SVR) – and turn right. In 50m turn right again into Forge Road, passing the station platforms on your right and heading in the same direction as London-bound trains. In 300m the road bends left to skirt around several large ponds. Ignore a driveway off to the left and follow the road down to the right, then back uphill. After it curves back to the left, fork left up a lane signposted to Motts Farm and some other properties.

    Continue on the lane as it goes past several of these houses, then through a wood. At the end of the wood, ignore driveways on the right to Kentdale and then Motts Farm. 200m later, where the lane curves right towards another house, Bullfinches, keep ahead on a rough track. 100m along this track, turn right to cross a footbridge over a ditch into a field, joining the Sussex Border Path2 (SBP).

    Head NW uphill, to the left of a small wood and aiming to pass just to the left of the houses on the horizon. Continue alongside a wooden fence guarding the first of these houses, then in the same direction across a second field. On the far side go over a stile and along the right-hand edge of the next field, then straight ahead across three more fields. Follow the path down through a belt of trees and over a stile into a grassy area near the top of a valley.

    Bear right to go downhill, with a wood on your right. After going through a line of trees the ground opens out into a sloping meadow, with Mottsmill Stream at the bottom. Your eventual exit is in the bottom left-hand corner of the meadow but the most direct route can be boggy; it is advisable to keep ahead and then veer left (leaving the SBP) on any conveniently dry route going alongside the stream.

  3. Mottsmill Stream to London Road (2 km)
  4. Head south-west on the HWLT, initially alongside Mottsmill Stream and then climbing through woods and fields. Soon after going along the right-hand edge of a large field, turn right to go through Park Grove and out to a road.

    Head SW alongside Mottsmill Stream at the bottom of the meadow, now on the High Weald Landscape Trail3 (HWLT). In the corner go through a wooden gate and cross the stream on a footbridge. Bear left to continue on the potentially muddy path alongside the stream, soon climbing gently above the valley floor.

    250m from the footbridge the path bears left and crosses the tarmac driveway to Penns in the Rocks4 (you get a partial view of this house shortly). In a further 25m, with a “Private” sign ahead, turn left down a slope and recross Mottsmill Stream. On the other side of the footbridge follow the path round to the right and up to a gate and stile leading into a field. Go over the stile and head uphill towards another gate at the top of the field.

    You can now see the back of the house on your left, its name coming from the large sandstone outcrop off to its right; ahead on your right there is an ornamental temple in its landscaped grounds.

    At the top of the field go over a stile next to the gate and continue on a path uphill through a wood. After going over another stile the path passes to the left of a large sandstone outcrop. Keep ahead through a grassy area dotted with trees, then through a squeeze gate next to a metal fieldgate. Continue along the right-hand edge of a large field.

    In 400m go through a gap into another large field, but in just 25m turn right through a metal kissing gate to cross a small orchard towards a group of houses. Follow the HWLT markers between them, leading to a tarmac lane. Head W on this lane for 250m to come out onto a road.

  5. London Road to the Buckhurst Estate (1¾ or 1 km)
  6. Either remain on the HWLT past Littlebrook and through Legg Wood, then turn right down a lane and up into the Buckhurst Estate, or take a short cut along the road to Lye Green and turn left onto a footpath which rejoins the HWLT.

    The next section of the HWLT is particularly hilly and prone to mud, so you may prefer to take the shorter and flatter route in §3b. This involves walking along a busy road with fast traffic for 500m, but there is a narrow grass verge all the way.

    1. Main route (1¾ km)
    2. To stay on the HWLT, turn left and walk carefully along this busy road's grass verge for just under 100m, crossing over at some point. At a footpath signpost go through a squeeze gate in the hedge and across the grass towards some large oak trees. Go over a stile here and then steeply downhill, aiming to the left of a house in the valley below. Go past this on a track and up the other side, then continue in the same direction alongside a wire fence.

      As you approach a wood, ignore a stile on the right into a field but go over another stile into the wood. Follow the path round to the left, heading SW, then in 150m turn right at a redundant stile and cross a footbridge over a ditch. At the edge of the wood continue along the left-hand edge of a field and out to a lane.

      Turn right and follow the lane down to the B2188. Cross over carefully and go up the potentially muddy track opposite, which climbs and curves round to the right along the edge of a wood. 150m from the road, veer left to cross a stile into a large field. On the other side turn right to go up the field edge, later following it round to the left, still climbing gently. Go over a stile and keep ahead towards some large trees, aiming for the left-hand edge of a wood behind them. At the wood you pass a stile from a path through the wood, the alternative route.

    3. Short cut (1 km)
    4. For the shorter route, turn right and walk carefully along this busy road's grass verge for 500m, up to its junction with the B2188 at Lye Green. Cross over the B2188 here with great care and go over a stile with a public footpath marker into a wood. Follow the broad path round to the left to head W.

      After passing a house off to the left, go through a gate beside a wooden barrier and continue through a lightly wooded area, with a wire fence on your right. 500m from the road the path comes to a stile which you go over and turn right, rejoining the HWLT.

  7. Through the Buckhurst Estate to Withyham (1¾ km)
  8. Follow the HWLT along the edge of a wood towards the manor house, Buckhurst Park. Turn right onto its driveway and follow it all the way out through the landscaped grounds to the B2110 and the Dorset Arms.

    Go along the edge of the field, with the wood behind a wire fence on your right. At the bottom of the slope follow the field edge briefly round to the left, then go over a stile on the right to continue in the same direction on a track on the edge of the wood. In 400m this curves left and you go down a slope to join the driveway to the manor house, Buckhurst Park5, part of which you can see on the other side of the valley.

    Turn sharp right onto its tarmac driveway, which you now follow for 1 km through the landscaped grounds and out of the estate. Initially it goes down a slope and bends left by an attractive lake, continuing along the valley floor. Later the drive curves to the right past some estate cottages and an old well, then crosses a stream. Eventually it reaches a cluster of houses and comes out onto the B2110, with the suggested lunchtime pub, the Dorset Arms, back round to your right.

  9. Withyham to Hartfield (2¾ km)
  10. Head west briefly on the B2110, then take a path uphill and through the churchyard. Go down to a junction of lanes below the church and take the main driveway heading south. Just after the driveway to Forstal Cottage, go over a stile on the right. Follow the HWLT through fields and a small wood, later passing Forstal Farm. Continue across more fields to reach Hartfield and go down Church Street to the centre of the village.

    From the Dorset Arms, go up to the B2110 and turn left. There is only one pavement on this busy road and you have to cross over carefully to the other side, then back again after going past the village hall. Instead of continuing on the pavement, go through a metal kissing gate in the hedge and follow the grassy path up a slope to a wooden kissing gate at the top. Go through this into the churchyard and follow the path round to the far side of the church of St Michael and All Angels6 to find its entrance.

    After visiting the church, continue on the path and then veer left down some steps to the driveway to the Rectory, the handsome building with the Georgian façade in front of you. Turn right, go down to a junction of lanes and turn sharp left onto the Private Drive heading S, with route markers for both the HWLT and Wealdway. You pass some interesting old houses on the left, the first one (with the curious ‘sawn-off’ corner) being Monk's House7.

    In 300m, just after the driveway to Forstal Cottage, go over a stile on the right with an HWLT marker. Follow the grassy path across the field towards a large oak tree, with a tall stone tower8 up ahead on the left. On the far side the path goes into a small wood where you may have to negotiate some muddy patches. Keep to the main path as it heads W, then turns left at the edge of the wood. You soon come to an earth track where you turn sharp right to cross a stone bridge over a stream. Follow the right-hand field edge NW towards Forstal Farm.

    Soon after passing the farmhouse follow the track as it bears left through a small grassy area and into the bottom corner of a large field. Do not continue up the right-hand field edge but turn half-left to head W on a faint grassy path, climbing gently towards a line of tall trees 250m away. Aim for a footpath post in a gap between two of the trees and continue past it in the same direction.

    At the end of the field go over a stile and continue along the right-hand edge of the next field. In 200m cross a stile and a concrete slab over a ditch into another field. Follow its right-hand edge up to the corner, turn right to go over a stile and down a few steps to a lane opposite the church of St Mary the Virgin9.

    Turn left along the lane, soon passing Lych Gate Cottage10, and keep ahead down Church Street. You pass the Anchor Inn on your right and come to a T-junction with the B2110. The continuation of the walk is to the right, but follow the directions below if you want to visit Pooh Corner.

    • Detour to Pooh Corner (+450m)
    • Turn left onto the main road, soon passing the (possibly closed) Hay Waggon pub on your left. Pooh Corner (with Piglet's Tearoom) is 200m further along the road, on the other side. Return the same way and go past the junction with Church Street.

  11. Hartfield to St Ives Farm (2¼ km)
  12. Turn off the B2026 into Hartfield's recreation ground. Go along its left-hand edge and then across fields to the Forest Way. Go straight across this old railway line and then over the River Medway on a footbridge. Continue on the HWLT across several fields and through a small wood, gradually climbing up the side of the valley. Cross a lane leading to St Ives Farm to reach a pond and a small caravan site.

    Opposite the Anchor Inn's car park, turn off the main road into Hartfield's recreation ground and go along its left-hand edge, passing to the left of the tennis courts. In the corner of the ground go over a stile and continue down the left-hand edge of a field, heading NW. Keep ahead across the next field to come to a stile leading up to the Forest Way11.

    The route of Extra Walk 110 goes along a short stretch of the Forest Way here. The easiest route into Forest Row would be to turn left and follow this cycle route for 5 km all the way into the village.

    To continue the walk go straight across the Forest Way and down the other side to a footbridge over the River Medway. Cross this and continue across a large field, heading NW again. On the far side go over a stile and keep ahead at a footpath junction to cross another field, now climbing gently. At the next field boundary you turn slightly left to head W across two more fields, with a hedge and then a fence on your right-hand side12.

    After crossing the last field you go over a stile and follow a path up through a small wood. On the other side go over another stile and turn half-right to go diagonally across a large field, climbing gently and heading NW again. On the far side go over a stile to the left of a fieldgate and continue in the same direction across a smaller field to reach a farm lane.

    Cross the lane and go through an unobtrusive gap in the hedge into another large field. Turn half-left and go across this to reach a caravan site, where there is a tarmac path going around a large pond13.

  13. St Ives Farm to Cansiron Lane (2 km)
  14. On the far side of the pond continue on the HWLT along the right-hand edge of more fields, then through Paupersdale Wood. On the other side bear right up a slope to cross another large field. Take the left-hand of two footpaths across the next field to reach Cansiron Lane.

    Bear right onto the path and follow it round to the far side of the pond. Go over a stile and continue along the right-hand edge of a large field, heading W and later with some farm buildings on the other side of the hedge. At the end of the field go through a wide gap and stay near the right-hand edge of the next field. After passing under cables keep ahead along the edge of one more large field, now on a wide grassy verge which curves gradually round to the left, with Paupersdale Wood on the right.

    In the corner of the field cross a track and keep ahead on a broad grassy ride through the wood. Towards the end take the left fork, as indicated by a yellow arrow on a post. At the edge of the wood veer right to go across a ditch and a stile into the bottom corner of a large sloping field.

    Turn half-right and follow a grassy path diagonally up the field, aiming for the left-hand end of a line of trees on the horizon. In the top corner go over a stile to the right of a fieldgate and take the left-hand of the two footpaths indicated, heading SW towards a prominent communications mast. In the far corner of the field go over a stile and turn left onto Cansiron Lane at a bend.

  15. Cansiron Lane to Tablehurst Farm (1¼ km)
  16. The suggested route diverges from the HWLT. Turn left off the lane onto a footpath going past a communications tower and the edge of Highams Wood. Follow the path downhill through Tablehurst Farm to its shop and café.

    If you want to switch to Extra Walk 40's route to East Grinstead, head west along Cansiron Lane; the other walk's route joins from a driveway on the left in 600m. Briefly, you would continue along the lane as it bends right and heads north for a further 1½ km, then take a footpath heading west for 3 km past Little Water Farm and Stoke Brunswick School, joining the A22 for the final stretch into East Grinstead.

    The route to Forest Row turns left off the lane almost immediately, although not on the bridleway heading sharply back to the left. Just past this, go over a stile to the right of a metal fieldgate, leaving the HWLT. Follow a track down and round to the right of the communications mast you saw earlier. Cross another stile onto a grassy path heading SW, past the edge of a wood and then downhill beneath power cables. Go over a stile and keep ahead across a field, then another stile to go down through a belt of trees.

    At the corner of a high wire fence protecting a large field of free-range fowl, ignore the broad grassy track ahead and turn left onto a narrow path heading S, with the fence on your right. Later, follow the path as it curves round to the right. Continue through a fieldgate and along the top edge of a field, then on an enclosed path which meets a broad track near the edge of a small wood.

    Turn left onto the track and follow it downhill for 500m, between the fields and orchards of Tablehurst Farm14. At the bottom of the hill its shop and café are on the right, opposite a car park (the continuation of the walk).

  17. Tablehurst Farm to Forest Row (1¼ km)
  18. Forest Row Go through the farm's car park and across meadows, recrossing the River Medway and the Forest Way. Continue across another meadow and a playing area, then along the B2110 and Hillside into the centre of the village.

    Forest Row Leave the farm through its car park (with an unusual wooden dovecote ahead on your left) and veer right. Make your way down to the right of some stables and go across a wooden footbridge. Head SW towards a more substantial footbridge 100m away, where you cross the River Medway again. Keep ahead for another 100m to find a stile and steps leading up to the Forest Way.

    Go up to the cycle track and turn right onto it, but in just 75m turn left down a flight of steps. Go over a stile and turn right onto a grassy path across a meadow. The right of way is over a dilapidated stile in the middle of the fence on the far side, but it is simpler to head for a metal gate in the left-hand corner and exit there. On the other side of the gate continue in the same direction along an earth track, then diagonally across a playing area.

    On the far side turn right onto the B2110 and cross Station Road. After passing the (closed) Foresters Arms you go past a parade of shops containing the suggested tea place, Taffels. For other refreshment stops, and to complete the walk, continue up the road. Just before the roundabout with the A22, turn right to go down Hillside, with the small village green and War Memorial on your left.

    As you go down Hillside you pass Freshfield Hall15 on your left and then the Chequers Inn Hotel and Java & Jazz. Hillside merges with the main road here and you can see the Brambletye Hotel16 opposite.

    If you are finishing the walk in Forest Row, the best place to catch a bus to East Grinstead station is the stop outside the Brambletye Hotel.

  19. Forest Row to East Grinstead Station (5½ km)
  20. East Grinstead Head north briefly along the A22 and bear left onto the Forest Way cycle track immediately after crossing the River Medway. Follow this all the way into the outskirts of East Grinstead, forking left near the end to come out at a major roundabout. Turn left onto Lewes Road and keep ahead where this becomes the town's High Street. At a mini-roundabout turn right into London Road. Go straight on at traffic lights, then turn left into Railway Approach. Go over a major roundabout to reach the station.

    From any of the tea places make your way to the A22 and head north on the main road. 250m from the Brambletye Hotel, just after the road crosses the River Medway, bear left at the pedestrian traffic lights onto the Forest Way. You will now be following this cycle track all the way up a gentle incline to East Grinstead.

    In 700m the track crosses Brambletye Lane and goes into a deep cutting. If you wish you can fork left onto a narrow path along its top, with views out to the left including the ruins of Brambletye House17; this path eventually drops down to rejoin the main track. The later stages of the Forest Way are on a high embankment, with occasional views through the trees of the countryside beyond. Eventually, 3½ km from the A22, you reach some houses on the outskirts of East Grinstead. Go straight across Herontye Drive and then fork left up an incline to come out in front of a large roundabout18.

    East Grinstead Turn left onto Lewes Road, heading W towards the town centre. In 250m keep ahead at a road junction into the town's ancient High Street, with a bronze monument to Sir Archibald McIndoe19 in front of Sackville College20 on your right. There are several refreshment places along this street, including the Dorset Arms on the left and CJ’s Café Bar in front of the imposing St Swithun's church21.

    At the end of the High Street turn right at a mini-roundabout to go down London Road. Keep ahead at a road junction with traffic lights, then 100m later turn left into Railway Approach. At the far end of this road you have to negotiate a large roundabout; the station is directly opposite. Trains to London usually leave from the near platform.

Walk Notes

  1. The Spa Valley Railway reopened the stretch of line from Groombridge to Eridge in March 2011 and now run steam trains between Eridge and Tunbridge Wells West.
  2. The Sussex Border Path runs for 240 km along the length of West & East Sussex, from Thorney Island on the Hampshire border to Rye.
  3. The High Weald Landscape Trail runs for 145 km across the length of the High Weald, mostly near its northern edge, from Horsham in West Sussex to Rye.
  4. Penns in the Rocks was built around 1700 by William Penn (of Pennsylvania). It is near an outcrop of Tunbridge Wells sandstone and its 18thC landscape garden is open to the public on a few days each year.
  5. Buckhurst Estate has been owned by the Sackville family for 900 years and their descendants (the Earls De La Warr) still live here. The current house, Buckhurst Park, dates from 1603 and the park was laid out by Humphry Repton in the 18thC.
  6. Most of the medieval St Michael and All Angels, Withyham was rebuilt after a fire in 1663. Near the entrance hang full-size photographic reproductions of four 14thC paintings of scenes from Christ's Passion by the Florentine artist, Niccolo Gerini. In the Sackville Chapel, the central monument of Thomas Sackville and his parents by Caius Gabriel Cibber was described by Pevsner as having “a directness of feeling and expression unprecedented in England”.
  7. The curious ‘sawn-off’ aspect of the north-west corner of Monk's House is attributed to one 19thC Rector who wanted to see Old Buckhurst, the home of his ancestors, from the Rectory.
  8. The stone gatehouse of Old Buckhurst is all that remains of the Sackville's original family seat. In its time it was one of the largest houses in England, similar in size to the one later granted to them by Elizabeth I, Knole.
  9. St Mary the Virgin, Hartfield is a mixture of styles dating from the 13th–15thC, but was heavily restored in Victorian times.
  10. Lych Gate Cottage does indeed incorporate the gate into the churchyard, an unusual arrangement.
  11. The Forest Way Country Park is the rather grand name for part of an old railway line which ran from Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells via East Grinstead. This branch line was closed by Beeching in 1966 and these 15 km (from East Grinstead to Groombridge) are now a popular cycle route.
  12. In the last field you cross the line of the Roman road from London to Lewes. At Holtye, 3 km to the north, a section of the original surface has been excavated by the Sussex Archaeological Society. Traces can also be seen at the Roman Road car park on Camp Hill, Ashdown Forest.
  13. The names Clay Wood and Marlpit Shaw nearby suggest that the pond at St Ives Farm is a flooded clay pit. Marl, a limy clay, was spread on fields to reduce the acidity of the soil.
  14. Tablehurst Farm has been farmed biodynamically since 1970, originally by Emerson College and since 1995 as a co-operative enterprise by the local community. Its award-winning Farm Shop specialises in locally reared meat products, and apples from its orchard.
  15. Forest Row's village hall, Freshfield Hall, was a memorial gift from the Freshfield family following the death of their young son in 1891. The original building burnt down in 1895 and had to be rebuilt.
  16. The Brambletye Hotel was frequented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and features in his Adventure of Black Peter: Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson stay at this inn while investigating the murder of a retired sea captain.
  17. Brambletye House was built in 1631 by Sir Henry Compton, lord of the manor. A later owner, Sir James Richards, was suspected of treason in 1684 and fled the country, leaving the house to decay. It features in the 1826 Horace Smith novel Brambletye House.
  18. On the far side of the roundabout, Beeching Way was where the branch line continued through the cutting now used by the A22. An even more appropriate name suggested at the time was “Beeching Cut” and it seems a pity that this was rejected.
  19. Sir Archibald McIndoe was a plastic surgeon whose innovative surgical techniques at the nearby Queen Victoria Hospital greatly improved the rehabilitation of wounded aircrew in World War II. The monument (depicting a seated airman being comforted by McIndoe) is by Martin Jennings, whose father had been one of McIndoe's patients.
  20. The Jacobean almshouse Sackville College was founded in 1609 with money left by Robert Sackville, 2nd Earl of Dorset, and is still in use today. The building can be visited on some afternoons in summer.
  21. The present St Swithun, East Grinstead dates from 1789, but there has been a church here since the 11thC (Swithun was a 9thC Bishop of Winchester). Previous buildings on this prominent hilltop site were often struck by lightning and the church has been rebuilt several times over the centuries.

» Last updated: August 15, 2016

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