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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202                    HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
afterwards, Hindleap Warren, which he also laid out as an ornamental ground, with drives, walks and summer-houses. He planned a lodge to be built near Hindleap Farm on the top of the hill, but it was never erected. Among the documents left by Mr. Abbot is a draft of a letter to the Home Secretary asking that the bodies of the highwaymen hung on Wall Hill might be taken down before his wife drove to town. Thirty years ago persons were living in Forest Row who remembered having been taken, as boys, to touch the heels of the corpses, a custom in vogue in order to impress their minds with the results of such crimes. It is on record that at this time half the hands employed in the garden at Kidbrooke were " dames." In Kidbrooke woods there is a spring of water very strongly impreg­nated with iron, and near it an obelisk, erected by the first Lord Colchester in remembrance of the escape of one of his sons from shipwreck in the China Seas.
When the late Mr. Freshfield bought the estate he built a new west wing, an entrance tower and remodelled the hall and offices, making also considerable improve­ments outside. He also built the Village Hall at Forest Row as a memorial to his grandson, the architect being the late J. M. Brydon, who designed the great block of public offices now in course of erection opposite the Houses of Parliament. The estate of Kidbrooke, together with Hindleap, Broadstone and Pressridge Warrens, is now owned by his son, Mr. Douglas W. Freshfield, the well-known traveller, who, in the last named Warren, has built, for his own use, a magnificent mansion, surrounded by beautiful grounds, in which the wild beauties of nature are charmingly blended with the art and skill of man.
The founder of Kidbrooke was the first of his line to be buried in the extensive vault beneath the Parish Church of East Grinstead. He died on September 21st, 1744, at the early age of 46, and it is to his memory that the only mural tablet concerning the Abergavenny family remains on the walls of the building, others having possibly been destroyed when the church was
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