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BALCOMBE is a parish, situated on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, 18 miles north from Brighton, 33 south from London, and 4 north from Cuckfield, in the Eastern division of the county, Buttinghill hundred, Cuckfield union and county court district, Lewes rape, archdeaconry and rural deanery, and diocese of Chichester. The church of St. Mary is a small stone building, consisting of nave, chancel, and south aisle, with a low tower and small spire, containing 3 bells: there are 5 windows of stained glass. The register dates from the year 1540. The living is a rectory, yearly value £450, with residence and 69 acres of glebe land, in the gift of the Rev. T. J. Torr, and held by the Rev. Henry Rule Sarel, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge. Here are Parochial and Infants' schools, Balcombe Place, the seat of J. A. Hankey, Esq., J.P. is a handsome stone building in the Tudor style, standing on an eminence commanding fine woodland scenery. Balcombe House, the residence of Francis Benjamin Robinson, Esq. is also a handsome villa. J. A. Hankey, Esq. J.P. and Sir Percy F. Shelley, Bart are the principal landowners. The soil is mixed. There are stone quarries. The parish comprises 4,786 acres, a great portion of which is wood and forest; the population in 1861 was 880. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in wood cutting. Highbeach Warren has an area of 1,180 acres, included in Balcombe. [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]


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Historical Geography

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