BUILDINGS ON UPPER SEA ROAD

Forge

FORGE HOUSE

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Built in the 1700’s, this was originally 3 cottages. The blacksmiths forge that gave the building it name, stood on the southerly aspect, where the drive in is today.

The most northerly part had a shop front on the High Street, which, from 1887 was Pages, the bakers. The shop fell vacant in 1948 before becoming an Antiques dealer run by Marcus Adamson.

TheGrange

THE GRANGE

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The Grange was built around 1745 by Arthur Brook. Mr Brook came from West Hoathly, between Haywards Heath and East Grinstead, and was the son of William Brook and Rachel Elphick.

The Grange, or Brook Lodge as it was first known, was secured when Arthur became the sole benefactor of his late uncles estate (George Elphick).

He married Sarah Sawyer in 1743 at St Michaels in Withyham, and had 4 children (Cordelia, John, Arthur and Elizabeth). The Brooks quickly established themselves as an important family in the town. Their association with the Dorset estate began with Arthur Brooks management of agricultural land owned by John Sackville.


Before his death in 1782,the Brooks were farming almost 1000 acres, including Cooding Farm and the Polegroves. This association saw the family move out of Brook Lodge and into the Manor House (Court Lodge), and rent the Brook property out to tenants.

When Arthur Brook died, son, Arthur Elphick Brooks, inherited the house. However, it appears that Arthur, like his father, preferred to stay at Court lodge, leaving his bother Stephen to take up residence at Brook Lodge.

The two brothers continued to farm the Dorset estate on behalf of  William Pitt Amherst and were finally able to become landowners themselves, when they purchased the freehold to Collington and Church Farm in 1802.

Arthur Elphick Brook was renowned for keeping a large pack of South down hounds, and led a very popular hunt in the area. It is said the many officers from the Kings German Legion would join the hunt, starting at the Bell Inn.

Arthur Elphick Brooks died two years after his brother in 1836, and the home was passed down his youngest son, Arthur Sawyer Brook (later Squire Brook). ‘Squire’ Brook continued the family’s hunting tradition, and had the honour of entertaining His Royal Highness Edward Prince of Wales, later crowned King Edward VII.

It main building at The Grange has been altered over the years and was partially demolished by a flying bomb during the second World War. The wall fronting Sea Road is made up of flints and bricks sitting on sandstone footings.

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