THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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GENERAL DESCRIPTION.
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cottages, formed a wild open tract reaching practically from the town to Felbridge and from Baldwins Hill to Imberhorne. The Duke of Dorset, as Lord of the Manor, began its enclosure about 1760 and his successors continued it until the only public piece now remaining is the Lingfield Road Recreation Ground. At North End formerly stood the public lime-kilns. Farmers used to fetch chalk by road from Lewes and make their own lime, for agricultural purposes, in the kilns on the Common. These were used by whoever needed them and, as may be imagined, disputes in regard to their occupation were not rare. The cartage of chalk was so great and so necessary an industry that by many general and local Acts carts conveying it were exempted from the payment of tolls, but a special clause was inserted in the last Act governing the East Grinstead roads (1850), withdrawing this exemption in regard to chalk and lime and continuing it in regard to lime only when being conveyed for use in improving land.
The town has never had much more than its residential and sporting capacities and its agricultural industry to depend on. It has long been the centre of a very fair timber trade, and at one time was enriched by the iron industry, but no large manufactories have ever been established, though many industries, such as brewing and mineral water making, boot and harness manufactur­ing, have been well represented in a moderate way. The quill pen manufactory established by Mr. Palmer, the issuer of penny and twopenny bank-notes, gained a wide repute and secured for the establishment the grant of the Royal Arms, the only one ever obtained by a local tradesman, and still to be seen over the premises, now owned and occupied by Mr. W. H. Dixon. The old felt hat manufactory was a fairly large one. Thomas Bodle, assistant warden of Sackville College, and who issued his own farthing, was a hatmaker here in 1680 and in 1798 William Tooth was carrying on the same business. It was located where the boot shop of Mrs. Roberts, in the London Road, now stands. The Tootli family then owned almost all the land between what is
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