6 HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
The parish of East Grinstead was originally the largest in Sussex, with the possible exception of Kirdford and Rotherfield before Frant was taken from the latter. It consisted of about 15,138 acres, but the exigencies of local government in time demanded that this rather unwieldy district should be divided, so in 1894 the district of Forest Row was created a separate parish, taking 8,635 acres and leaving East Grinstead, which is co-terminous with the urban district formed in 1884, with 6,503. According to the Tithe Commutation approved on July 26th, 1842, the parish then contained, of:—
The last occasion, so far as is known, of " beating the bounds" of the Parish of East Grinstead took place on May 23rd, 1808, and two following days. At Baldwins Hill on this occasion the boundary stone was moved from private land to its present position in the roadway.
According to a license granted to Edward and James Woodman, in 1635, to sell wine, "Forest Roe" was also then known as " Walhatch." This latter may be a contraction of Wallhill Hatch, Wallhill being a farm near Forest Row and the Hatch or entrance to the Forest of Ashdown being named from the nearest recognised point. These hatches, or forest gateways, had an upper and a lower division, the latter for the passage of persons on foot and the upper to prevent the deer leaping over the barrier.
It is difficult to get at any very accurate idea of the population of East Grinstead in early days, but in 1676 a religious census was taken of the Province of Canterbury, inquiries being sent to all ministers and churchwardens as to the number of persons above 16 years of age, " by common account and estimation inhabiting within each parish." The return from East Grinstead