Programme of Events 2018/19     Starts 20:15    Hartfield Village Hall

26th September 2018 "Life as a BOAC Pilot" with Peter Griffiths
24th October 2018 "Shopping through the Ages" with Gilly Halcrow
28th November 2018 "Suffrage in Sussex" with Frances Stenlake
December 2017 No Meeting
23rd January 2019 Annual Social with a Musical Presentation, "The Darker Shades of Sun Street"
27th February 2019 "Wakehurst at War" with John Withall
27th March 2019 "My Father's Life" with John van Maurik
24th April 2019 "The Life of a Medical Officer in the RAF" with Peter Harrison
22nd May 2019 "The Anglo Saxons - Life, Beliefs and Skills" with Mak Norman
Summer Outings to be advised


The Hartfield History Group was formed in 1972 to discover and record the history of the small Parish of Hartfield and the Surrounding District that is part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) of East Sussex.

Meetings are held monthly in the Village Hall on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except December when there is no meeting) and from September 2014 at the NEW TIME of 8:15 pm. Local walks or activities are arranged for the summer months (See Current Programme.)

Annual membership starts at the September meeting with the 2015/16 subscription set at £10.00 per annum.

Non members are welcome to each meeting for which the charge is £2.50 from September 2015.

Walks and visits may be separately charged but will be advised in advance.

Initially we had a one-page website but as from November 2014 the new website is being developed ‘live’. This means that information will be added at any time and thus we would suggest you re-visit and should you have any suggestions do please make contact.

The aim is to develop the website to provide not only information on the current programme and reports on the activities carried out but also a history resource for the local parish and residents.

A great deal of work has been carried out over many years by our local historian Mike Parcell and others and we are sure that the world-wide community that is now available through the ‘connected world’ of the internet will also be fascinated by the history of this special – and ancient – parish.

This is of course a substantial task so please be aware that there may well be big gaps in the information as it is being added live but at least we retain a point of contact for anyone searching on-line.

If you wish to be added to an email circulation list which currently provides details and reminders of meetings and items of interest, please email: OR go to the ‘Contacts‘ page and click on the button.




The aim of this website is to provide a guide to the history of a special and ancient Parish located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the county of East Sussex in the south-east of England. There are many headings under which this task can be tackled and the beauty of a website is the ability to add (and subtract) adjust and re-arrange the information as it becomes available. The subject is so broad that the task may never be complete but at least it should provide one location, available to anyone worldwide via the internet who is interested in the area, with a place to start. There is both ancient and modern history and everything in between. There are places and people, iron workings and ancient woods, railways, roads, services, schools, churches, houses, farms - even Winnie the Pooh - it goes on forever. If you have a history subject that you think we should include please send us a note and we will consider it. The Hartfield History Group has been in existence for longer than many local history groups or societies and has a huge backlog of information that is crying out for a wider audience. We will try to keep the information as 'light' as possible as there will always be deeper trencheshat can be dug and broader paths that can be followed and anyone is encouraged to take any subject further. The monthly meetings, whilst bringing a subject to the fore, are also available for discussions and the committee are more than happy to receive suggestions for future subjects or areas for investigation.

HHG High st mage 1

Hartfield High Street, looking south-west with what is now The Hay Waggon but was until 1976, The Dorset Arms. Note on the left the mobile knife sharpener parked approximately where the War Memorial and the bus shelter are today. The entrance to the inn was by the steps coming up directly from the street. This picture is from the postcard collection of Sheilah Fenton, with thanks. The building dates back to 1540.

As we now know, sadly, the building was sold for development in 2016 and will become a number of private homes. The number of pubs is reducing country-wide for many reasons. It it is easy to see that the original reason for these large road houses and drinking places for the local farm and land workers has simply disappeared with the changes in agriculture and agricultural practices over the last century or more. Only by spending a considerable sum on renovations to these ancient buildings and then investing in providing facilities that will attract people from near and far can they survive. 

High St looking east.

This view is in the opposite direction from the first postcard view. You can see the Dorset Arms (that became the Haywaggon but is no longer a pub) the first building on the right and, on the left is what is now the Village Shop.


A little further back from the village shop to the butchers.


Further along the street still we have reached the Baker's shop which is now Pooh Corner.


This is a longer view from just before Church Street on the left at about the same time as the first picture with the enormous advertisement for Killicks still visible on the end of their building.

High street from mem garden

Hartfield 2000 sign rear

Hartfield 200 sign front

The Anchor

Hartfield Village Sign

Hartfield Village Sign

The War Memorial, Bus Shelter and The Hay Waggon

The War Memorial, Bus Shelter and The Hay Waggon

Looking up Church St

Looking up Church St

The High Street opposite the hay Waggon

The High Street opposite the hay Waggon

Church Street down 2

Church Street, looking towards the High Street

Church Street is of course the access road to the St Mary the Virgin Church. Very little has changed visually over the intervening years.

Click to enlarge

ex shop 1

Many shops that have become private houses still show their part in village life.

Bramble Cottage , Church St

Bramble Cottage , Church St



Vine House

Vine House

Hartfield High St 1597


This is a small section of a Plan (c.1597) showing Hartfield High Street with St Mary's Church clearly marked as is the 'Towne Croft" (CLICK to enlarge)

Whilst we are working on the website, the following pictures are offered as a simple photo gallery for anyone who wishes to see just how delightful - and ancient - the buildings of Hartfield are.

Salisbury-House-4-wp 2Salisbury-House-&-The-Old-Post-Office-wp
Salisbury House and the Old Post Office

You might well wonder why this very tall building stands alone in the High Street, towering over the Old Post Office as well as every other building and the story is worth repeating from the Village Historical Guide.

In the 1880's and 1890's Lord Salisbury was, on and off, the Conservative Prime Minister and was staunchly supported by a certain Mr Bellingham. It seems that Mr Bellingham had been in dispute with the then Earl De La Warr who was a staunch Liberal. It is said that Earl De La Warr boasted that he owned all he could see from his seat at Old Buckhurst in Withyham. Bellingham therefore built a house in the early 1880's sufficiently tall to be seen from Buckhurst, which he called Salisbury House. To add insult to injury the twin gables of the house were decorated with representations of muzzles of cannon with cannon balls on their way out - and directly pointed at Buckhurst! Click to enlarge close-up!

The Haywaggon Inn
Hartfield Village Shop aka Wood Stores.

hurch Street

 & 6 High Street

he Anchor Inn

illage Hall & Oast House

This painting of The High Street by Ernest Marillier is dated 1911 and shows several buildings still familiar today. The photos below all cover the same general view over the years.