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

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With some Notes from a Carrier's Journal of 1761
to 1769.
To the prosperous days of the famous Sussex ironworks several of the local stone-built houses owe their origin. Gravetye, Gulledge and Rowfantare examples of mansions built by the old ironmasters of the neighbourhood, who employed a vast number of hands and amassed consider­able fortunes. Among the places in and around East Grinstead where furnaces existed were Tickeridge, Cans-iron, Millplace, Hammerwood, Furnace Farm (Cowden), Furnace Pond (Felbridge), Wire Mill, The Warren (Crawley Down), Gravetye (where the mansion was built by Richard Infield, who married one of the Culpepers, and died March 11th, 1624), Parrock (Hartfield) and Rowfant. The destruction of timber to feed the furnaces, coal being too costly and difficult to obtain in large quantities, was necessarily very great, and as early as the reign of Henry VIII. (1543) it was enacted " that no wood shall be converted into pasture; that in cutting coppice woods at 24 years' growth or under there shall be left standing and unfelled for every acre twelve standils or storers of oak, or in default of so many, then of elm, ash, asp or beech; and that if the coppice be under 14 years' growth it shall be enclosed from cattle for six years." Many subsequent Acts were passed to the same effect.
On February 15th, 1574, Ralph Hogg complained of the infringement of the patent granted him by the Queen as to the exportation of ordnance, and a list was prepared of the owners of ironworks in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It included the following :—
Mr. Mighell, 1 furnace in Hoadlee (West Hoathly). Mr. Reynoldes, 1 furnace in Mylplace (Millplace). Mr. Payne and Duffild, 1 fordg, 1 furnace in Grynsted.
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