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Rotherfield

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ROTHERFIELD is a large parish, giving name to a hundred, in the Eastern division of the county, Uckfield union, diocese of Chichester, archdeaconry of Lewes, Tunbridge Wells county court district and Pevensey rape, 7 miles south from Tunbridge Wells, 4 west from Wadhurst station, and 30 from London. The church is a remnant of a monastery founded in the year 800, one year before the commencement of the reign of Egbert, by the monks of St. Denis in France, and dedicated to that saint, out of lands granted to them by Berkenhold, Duke of the South Saxons: it has a square tower with 5 bells, surmounted by a lofty spire: on the north side of the chancel is a baptistry belonging to the ancient family of Nevill, Lords of Abergavenny, whose cognizances, the saltier and portcullis, with occasionally grotesque masks, are placed in the angles of the squares into which the boarded ceiling of the baptistry is divided: in the floor of the chancel are several monumental stones to the memory of the family of Fowle, and to several rectors of the parish: an elegant Gothic altar-table of Norway oak has been presented by the family of the late Rev. Richard Crawley, who held the rectory during the long period of 54 years, and died in 1836: the churchwardens, accounts of vestments and other articles belonging to the church, commence with the first year of Henry VIII.: the chancel has been partly restored by the removal of accumulated coats of whitewash, and the sedilia and piscina restored to their destined purpose: the font was given by the late Earl of Abergavenny, and the ancient wooden cover restored, on one panel of which are the arms of the Nevill family, beautifully carved: in the western extremity of the north aisle is a monumental slab, without inscription, bearing in relief a double sword with cross hilts: upon partially removing the whitewash from the wall near the pulpit, a curious representation of the martyrdom of St. Lawrence was discovered, and it is probable that the other walls of the church were adorned with similar representations. The register dates from 1539. The living is a rectory, annual value £1,354, with residence and 110 acres of glebe (subject to the yearly payment of £100 per annum to the newly-formed district of Eridge Green), in the gift of the Earl of Abergavenny, and held by the Rev. Alfred Child, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford; the Rev. James Watts, M.A., of Christ's College Cambridge, is curate. There are fairs held on June 18th and October 20th. Some are chapels for Calvinistic Baptists, Wesleyans and other denominations. The Earls of Abergavenny and De La Warr are lords of the manor; and Earl Abergavenny, R. B. Fry, and J. Scott, Esqrs., and the Goldsmiths' Company of London, are the chief landowners. The Hall is a square, stone-built residence, very ancient, and pleasantly situated; it is in the Elizabethan style: the dining-room is oak panelled, in good preservation; in the drawing-room is a curious stone chimney-piece, over which is an oak beam carved with initials, nearly obliterated. The area is 14,733 acres, and the population in 1861 was 3,413. The charities are £28 per annum.
At CROWBOROUGH is a chapel and a school for boys, both endowed in 1732 by Sir Henry Fermor; the Rev. John Jervis William Turner, chaplain.
MARK CROSS is a small hamlet, 2 miles north-east from the village, where is situated the Court House, where petty sessions are held on the second and fourth Tuesday in every month for the Frant Division. There is also a County police station, a sub-division of Uckfield, with one sergeant and six constables. A mixed school has also been established in this hamlet, a commodious school-house having been erected. [Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867.]

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