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A little bit of East Grinstead history
In the 13th century East Grinstead became a town after beginning life as a small Saxon village. Medieval East Grinstead was not much bigger either, it only had a population of a few hundred people. East Grinstead’s growth came from its prosperity because it was on the main road from London to Lewes and the journey times back then were very slow, East Grinstead became a place where many travellers would stop and stay overnight.
By the early 18th century East Grinstead was prospering and it had a population of about 1,500 people. From the mid-18th century East Grinstead became a stagecoach town. Prospering again due to its fantastic location towards the coast, many stagecoaches passed through on their way to and from the growing resort of Brighton. By 1801 East Grinstead still had a population of less than 2,700, even by the standards of the time it was a small town.
However East Grinstead grew rapidly during the early 19th century; by 1851 the population was almost 4,000 and at the end of the century it had reached 6,000 people.
In 1855 the railway reached East Grinstead, which also meant the end of the stagecoaches. However the railway also made it possible for middle class commuters to live in East Grinstead and so, in the late 19th century, the population of the town grew rapidly.
In the 1920s the first council houses were built which continued into the 1930s. After the war, in which East Grinstead was affected by bombing, the council began to build more houses and a lot of privately built homes were erected.
Today the population of East Grinstead is 26,000 as the town has established itself as a fantastic family place to live with excellent facilities and amenities as well as outstanding schooling and transport links into London.
Some useful information for anyone looking to move to the area.
East Grinstead is accessed via two main roads; the A264 coming from Junction 10 on the M23 and from the A22. The A22 northbound will take you through Godstone and up to the M25 and the A22 southbound will take you towards the coast via Polegate.
Train links are via East Grinstead train station. The station was re-built in 2012 replacing the previous station that had been built in the 1970’s. The re-building, which was completed as part of the Department for Transport’s National Station Improvement Programme, also included new platform waiting shelters, bicycle facilities, a new transport interchange on the site of the old building, platform lengthening to accommodate 12-car trains and the installation of a pre-fabricated single deck on the car park to increase capacity from 236 to 336 spaces.
The typical off-peak service is a half-hourly train to London Victoria (including Sundays). Services take around an hour to cover the 30 miles distance, calling at all stations as far as Sanderstead then East Croydon and Clapham Junction. Additional trains are run during peak periods, including services to London Bridge, which additionally call at South Croydon, and then after calling at East Croydon call at Norwood Junction and then run fast to London Bridge.
"Services to London Bridge are due to transfer to Thameslink in 2018 enabling direct services to Bedford and Cambridge."
East Grinstead is a place full of things to do! Some of our favourite places to do are: Travel on the famous Bluebell Railway, catch a show at the Chequer Mead Community Theatre and Arts Centre, visit the newly built East Grinstead Museum, have a drink at the Kingscote Vineyard, walk through the Forest Way and Worth Way country parks, have a stroll along the historic High Street or take a day trip with the family to seemingly endless list of beautiful National Trust parks like Standen House, Borde Hill or Wakehurst Place that we are surround the town.
For the sports fanatics we have Lingfield Racecourse just a short drive away, excellent leisure facilities based at the King’s Centre including an indoor swimming pool, floodlit courts and pitches at both Mount Noddy and East Court, numerous golf courses as well as a sailing club based in Forest Row.
East Grinstead is surrounded by some beautiful villages perfect for the country life that many dream of.
Forest Row is at the northern tip of both East Sussex County Council and Wealden District Council. The outlying areas of the parish border three other counties - West Sussex, Surrey and Kent. Originally a small hamlet that grew up at one of the 'gates' of Ashdown Forest where the turnpike road (now the A22) began its climb up the forest ridge, the village of Forest Row has grown gradually over the past 150 years or so. Much of its growth was due to the arrival of the railway in 1866 and the opening of the golf course in 1889. The steady growth of Forest Row has, however, continued with a population in the parish of nearly 5,500 at the last census.
The village is surrounded on three sides by Ashdown Forest and this forms a natural boundary, preventing development on a large scale.
Turners Hill The village centre has been designated as a conservation area, and here also lies the village green, which together with the shops and the Crown Hotel, forms the focal point. The older parts of the village have retained a character and charm of their own. Many buildings date from the 17th and 18th centuries and a number are listed.
Lingfield - Lying in the extreme south eastern corner of Surrey is the ancient parish of Lingfield known to be in existence at the time of the Domesday book, but for some reason not mentioned in it.
It is from the 14th and 15th centuries that more detailed records of the parish really appeared as the great Wealden forest was being developed for agriculture and the iron industry, the latter just over the border in Sussex. It's now famous for horseracing at Lingfield Park with regular races through the year or for animal life of a different kind you can pay a visit to the British Wildlife Centre.
Felbridge - A small village and civil parish in the Tandridge district of Surrey with a playing field and Felbridge Nurseries within its focal area, narrowly in West Sussex. Felbridge village has its own school and excellent transport links via the A265 and the A22. Domewood is also a part of Felbridge civil parish, which was created in 1953.
Crawley Down - A growing village in the Mid Sussex district of West Sussex, England. There is a church, primary school and a number of social groups. It lies seven miles from Gatwick Airport nestled nicely inbetween the towns of East Grinstead and Crawley. Nearest railway stations are Three Bridges (Crawley) and East Grinstead.
Until 1967 the village was served by Grange Road railway station on the Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells Central Line which closed as a result of the Beeching Axe in 1967. The old track bed has been revitalised as a linear Country Park called the Worth Way which now offers a haven for wildlife and valued trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders; a lovely cycle and jog which we have enjoyed on many occasions!
Ashurst Wood - A beautiful little village and civil parish in the Mid Sussex district of West Sussex. It is about a mile to the southeast of East Grinstead, just off the A22. Ashurst Wood is within the High Weald Area of Natural Beauty. The village has a history of agriculture and farming, and contains a church, village hall, primary school, two public houses, a general shop, post office and several small business premises. There is an independent school on the boundary of the village, called Brambletye School, and a former one, Stoke Brunswick School (the former junior school of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill), which closed in 2009.
Dormansland & Dormans Park - Dormansland is a large village with a low population due to its surrounding green space and woodland. Bordering on no less than three counties (West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent), road links to nearby towns are excellent.
The Dormans Park Estate has its origins in the late 19th century when the land was bought by the Bellaggio Estate Company. The estate grew steadily during the early 20th century subject to mutual restrictive covenants to keep large plots in a wooded setting. Current residents include Peter Andre who also owns a café in East Grinstead town centre.