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Mayfield

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MAYFIELD is a parish, town and polling place for the Eastern division of the county, 5 miles south-west from Wadhurst station, 55 from London, 8½ south from Tunbridge Wells, and 9 north from Uckfield, in Loxfield Pelham hundred, Pevensey rape, Uckfield union, Tunbridge Wells county court district, diocese of Chichester, archdeaconry and rural deanery of Lewes. The church of St. Dunstan is a large commodious building, with square tower and 6 bells: it has nave, deep chancel, carved oak pulpit, curious stone font - date, in raised figures, 1666: it is in the Later English style, and is capable of holding about 1,000 persons: in the church there are monuments to the Baker family; and in the south aisle are memorial windows to the Rev. John Kirby, M.A., who was thirty years vicar of the parish, and died in 1801; also to his son, the Rev. John Kirby M.A., who was rector of the same parish thirty-four years, and died in 1844; also monuments to the Aynscombe and Sands families. The register dates from 1572. The living is a vicarage value £834 per annum, with residence, in the gift of, and held by, the Rev. Henry Thomas Murdoch Kirby, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge. The town was long remarkable as having been the site of a palace of the archbishops of Canterbury, erected, together with the original church, by St. Dunstan, in the tenth century. Provincial synods were held here in 1332 and 1362; and Archbishops Meopham, Stratford, and Islip died here. Queen Elizabeth visited Sir Thomas Gresham here; and Thomas May, the historian of the Long Parliament, was born in the palace in 1595. The palace and manor were surrendered by Archbishop Cranmer to Henry VIII. in 1545, who granted the estate to Sir Henry North: it subsequently became the property of Sir Thomas Gresham, afterwards of the Baker family, and, by marriage, of the Kirby family, and was in 1858 purchased by Francis Cordrey, Esq., who, in 1863, sold it to the Duchess of Leeds, by whom it has been in some measure rebuilt, and converted into a convent, the magnificent banqueting-hall, 70 feet long and 39 feet wide, being used as a chapel. A large Roman Catholic orphanage is being built in the parish on Pennybridge Farm, lately. bought by the Duchess of Leeds: this building is a mile and a half from the village, on the old road to Tunbridge Wells: a mile and a half further on, near Mark Cross, in the parish of Rotherfield, another large Orphanage is rising up. There was formerly a market held on Wednesday, for corn and seeds but it has long since fallen into disuse. There are annual fairs on the 30th May and 13th November for cattle and sheep. Mayfield is situated on the summit of a hill: the prospect from it in every direction is rich and varied. In the vicinity are some mineral springs, resembling in properties those of Tunbridge Wells. The manor is the property of the Marquis Camden. Under the Reform Act of 1832 it was appointed a polling place for East Sussex, and the votes are registered in one of the rooms belonging to the old palace. Here are places of worshipfor Calvinists and Wesleyans. The charities are £23 per annum, and a partially endowed school. The Marquis Camden, the Right Hon. H. Brand, M.P., Sir F. Sykes, Bart., and John Hoskins, Esq., are the chief landowners. The soil is various, most parts light. subsoil, gravelly. There are between 300 and 400 acres cultivated as hop gardens. The area is 13,604 acres, and in 1831 the population was 2,688.
HADLOW DOWN is a hamlet, 4 miles south-west, where is a district church (St. Mark's), consecrated in 1836, the district being formed from the parishes of Buxted, Framfield and Mayfield. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the rector of Buxted and vicar of Mayfield. alternately, and held by the Rev. Reginald Rivers Kirby, B.A., of St. John'sCollege, Cambridge. Here is also a chapel for Calvinistic Baptists.
FIVE ASHES is a scattered hamlet 2½. miles south-west.
ISENHURST is the seat of Sir Frederick Sykes, Bart. [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]

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