EAST GRINSTEAD AND ITS COACHING HISTORY,
With some Notes on the Batchelar Family.
Except for the carrying of merchandise, East Grinstead seems for a very long period to have contented itself with the facilities for passenger traffic afforded by the through coaches which ran between London, Lewes and Brighthelmstone. The road through this town was by far the oldest and for a long period the chief route. The distance was 58 miles and horses were changed at Croydon, Godstone Green, East Grinstead, Uckfield and Lewes. The first person to set up any stage coach between London and the county town was one Batchelar, who ran a coach long prior to turnpikes being created. This business was handed from father to son until it came into the hands of the real pioneer of the Brighton coaching era, James Batchelar, whose family had by this time become of some importance and considerable owners of property in and around East Grinstead. They originally sprung from Easingwald, in Yorkshire, one branch settling in Norfolk and another in Sussex. Their coat of arms—three wings and three fleur-de-lis— suggests that the family had a French origin. James Batchelar began a proper coach service through the town of East Grinstead in May, 1756. In this year the Batchelars were living at the Dorset Arms, in this town, while they also held a lease of the Moats Farm, granted them by Mrs. Payne, widow of Mr. Charles Payne, and her daughter Anna, afterwards Mrs. Gibbs Crawfurd, of Saint Hill.
Moat Road, East Grinstead, is named after this particular farm, which then covered the whole site of the present thoroughfare and included also Stoneleigh and the nursery gardens. The following entry is from