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Uckfield – Description

From Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867

UCKFIELD is a parish, union town, railway station, and a polling place for the Eastern division of the county, 43 miles from London, 16 from Brighton, 8 from Lewes, and 14 from Tunbridge Wells, in Loxfield Dorset hundred, Pevensey rape, Lewes county court district, and diocese of Chichester. Being close to the river Ouse, it carries on a considerable trade in timber with Lewes; there is also some trade in corn, malting, brewing, and brick and tile making. The Corn Exchange is at the Maiden’s Head Hotel. The church of the Holy Cross is a plain stone structure; it has nave, aisles, chancel, square tower, with 8 bells, two side galleries, and a very handsome carved stone pulpit: the nave was enlarged in 1840, by which extra accommodation was obtained, and it now contains about 920 sittings, 520 of which are free: a brass in front of the communion table commemorates the death of John Fuller, Gent., who died in 1610, and left 10s. a year for ever, to be divided among the poor of Chiddington, Penshurst, Isfield, and Uckfield parishes; there are also several other charities. The living is a perpetual curacy, of which the tithes were commuted at £335 2s. 6d., with half an acre of glebe, in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and held by the Rev. Edward Thomas Cardale. Here are a Grammar school, founded and endowed in 1706, also National schools. There are annual fairs on the 14th of May and 29th of August for cattle. Petty sessions are held every alternate Thursday at the Maiden’s Head Hotel. Here are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans; a handsome new Congregational church has lately been erected at New Town: it is in the Early English style, and built of the free-stone found in the neighbourhood: there are sittings for 400 persons. The Union Workhouse is pleasantly situated on an eminence at Ridgewood, where the board of guardians meet every alternate Monday. The union embraces the eleven following parishes, viz.:- Buxted, East Hoathly, Fletching, Framfield, Isfield, Little Horsted, Maresfield, Mayfield, Rotherfield, Uckfield and Waldron. There is a local board of health established here. Gas was introduced in 1859; and a good supply of water is obtained from many excellent springs. The place is very healthy and is recommended to invalids. There are numerous picturesque and beautiful walks and drives in the neighbourhood. A large number of new houses have lately been built, and the town is rapidly increasing. There is a railway from Brighton and Lewes opened as far as Uckfield, which shortly will be opened to Tunbridge Wells: another branch is about being made from Balcombe through Uckfield to Hailsham and Hastings. There is excellent hotel accommodation, and conveyances await the arrival of every train. The Lewes Old Bank have a branch here; and a Savings Bank was established in 1816. There is a village library containing upwards of 1,400 volumes, and a Mechanics’ Institute and reading room. There are two Observatories here, that of C. L. Prince, Esq., containing an equatorial 12 feet in length, having an object glass of 7½ inches diameter, and where a regular series of meteorological observations have been kept since 1844: the other observatory of F. Brodie, Esq., containing an equatorial 11½ feet in length, having an object glass of 8½ inches diameter; a transit instrument, whose object glass is 3 inches diameter; and a peculiarly constructed clock, showing both sidereal and mean time on one dial, the first ever constructed in this manner. The Rocks is the handsome seat of Richard James Streatfeild Esq., J.P. Uckfield House is the residence of John Day, Esq., J.P. The soil is loamy in most parts, mixed with clay in other parts of the parish, having a substratum of sand rock, and in some places white sand. The Parish comprises 1,717 acres, and had a population in 1861 of 1,740.

Parish Clerk, William Batchelor.