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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152                    HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
In 1770 East Grinstead was served from London on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the coach leaving the Golden Cross at Charing Cross at five a.m., passing through to Brighton and returning during the night, leaving the coast town at five p.m. and East Grinstead about nine p.m. At this same time a waggon regularly ran between the Dorset at East Grinstead and the Talbot in the Borough, but what accommodation it afforded is not now known. We do know its outgoings, for Batchelar records in his journal, under date November 4th, 1761, the fact that his
Expences for the wagon and man three days to the Talbot Inn without going into the settey (City) come to about 1. 2s.
Shortly afterwards the present main road between London and Brighton began to meet with more favour, and one by one the through coaches ceased to visit East Grinstead, until at last our town was almost left to shift for itself in providing communication with the outside world. In 1790 the East Grinstead route had fallen so low in favour that a writer afterwards thought fit to say of it:" There were three roads from Brighton to London. The first and chief passed through Cuckfield and Reigate. This was the Appian way for the high nobility of England. The other two were vulgar." 0 tempora, 0 mores! What a slight on the wild beauties of Ashdown Forest and the quaint picturesqueness of our fine old town !
According to Cary's ''Itinerary of the Great Roads," only one coach was running in 1815 solely between London and East Grinstead. This left the Spur Inn, Borough, at three o'clock each day, arriving at the Dorset Arms, East Grinstead, at eight o'clock in the evening. It returned each morning at 7 a.m., arriving in the Borough at 12 noon. The service from the south was also daily, a coach starting from North Street, Brighton, every morning "in the season" at seven o'clock and going through East Grinstead to London, completing the journey in ten hours, so that this town had a second service to the Metropolis.
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