218 HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
The last execution took place on the Gallows Croft, a field now forming part of Halsford Park, in 1799, a man being hanged for horse stealing. Gallows Croft, described in 1710 as Pilchers, being three acres near East Grinstead Common, was, for many generations, part of the Paynes' property, and so descended to Mr. R. Crawfurd, of Saint Hill, by whom it was sold to the Stenning family about 1840. The name Gallows Croft does not appear to have attached to the field until late in the eighteenth century. In still earlier times executions took place immediately in front of the fine old stone house in Judge's Terrace, belonging to Mr. P. E. Wallis. These houses are so named as they stand on the site of an earlier residence occasionally used as the Judge's lodgings during the Assizes, though for some years the representatives of the law found accommodation in Sackville College, where the suite of apartments reserved for the use of the Dukes of Dorset was placed at their disposal.
For Magisterial business Courts were for very many years held alternately at East Grinstead and Forest Row, at the former place at the Crown Hotel, on the fourth Monday in each month, and at the latter place at the Swan Hotel, on the second Monday. The present Police Station in West Street, or, as it was then called, Chapel Lane, was erected in 1860, and the Bench Room added in 1875, being first used for a Petty Sessional Court on January 17th, 1876. From 1820 to 1860 the Clerkship to the Justices was held by Mr. C. N. Hastie, who was succeeded by his son and partner, Mr. A. Hastie, who was again succeeded on his retirement, January 27th, 1896, by his partner, Mr. E. P. Whitley Hughes.
In former days the ordinary police were helped in their duties by the parish constables, who were annually appointed long after the creation of the existing county force. The last of these appointments in East Grinstead was made on February 23rd, 1872, and of the twelve townsmen then nominated Mr. John Tooth is now the only survivor. Under an Act, which did not long remain operative, he was also appointed, by the Vestry, on