East Dean Village

1880 Map of East Dean (from old-maps.co.uk)

"This corner of West Sussex has been inhabited for centuries. A walk across any ploughed field will yeild a flint scraper or two, or a flint knife. Court Hill above the village is honeycombed with Celtic fields, the wooded hill across the valley is terraced with lynchets; ten Bronze Age round barrows have been recorded in the Parish. Quite lately a find of some coins and pottery in the village suggests there was an inhabitation here in Roman times. But when the Saxons came they probably found only deep forest here. From their settlement at Singleton they sought out clearings in the forest in which to keep their pigs; and from the huts of the swineherds grew up the villages of East and west Dean.
East Dean does not appear in the Domesday Book but ws probably included in the very large assessment of Singleton.
The appearance of the village cannot have altered greatly in the last century or two. Most of the older houses in the village date from the early years of the 17th century, one or two perhaps from the late 16th century. The old houses we see now are survivors of a disasterous fire in 1852 which swept away 8 houses and several barns and damaged others - rather unsightly slate roofs here and there show where the thatched roofs were destroyed."
(Source: exerpts from 'Guide to Churches - Blessed Virgin Mary Singleton; St Andrew West Dean; All Saints East Dean. Purchased from the Church)

Cottages on Butchers Lane. I have a census entry of 1891 showing many family members on Butchers Lane.

Ref: RG12/846 - all entries relate to Butchers Lane (no house numbers)

Name Relation to Head Marital Condition Age Occupation Birthplace
Jane NORRELL head widow 66 Pin Maker Sussex, Charlton
William KENNETT head married 38 Wood cutter East Dean
Ellen KENNETT wife married 32   Sussex, Coates
Fanny KENNETT lodger widow 81   Sussex, Pulborough
John NORRELL head married 41 Wood cutter East Dean
Ann NORRELL wife married 43   Sussex, Singleton
Elsie NORRELL dau. single 4 Scholar East Dean
Henry WILD head married 48 Hurdle Maker East Dean
Jane WILD wife married 50   East Dean
Ada WILD dau. single 23 Dress Maker East Dean
William WILD son single 14 Hurdle Maker (assistant) East Dean
Lucy WILD dau. single 11 Scholar East Dean

The Hurdlemakers public house
"The Hurdlemakers" Public house. My WILD ancestors were Hurdlemakers in the village.

Pond Cottage
"Pond Cottage" you can clearly see the timber frame of this building

Village Pond
A view across the village pond, the pond is visible on the 1880 map

Village Pond
A different view across the pond

cottages East Dean
This row of cottages is just over the pond, the road leads of Charlton and Singleton

East Dean
Cows in their field next to Manor Farm, in the village

East Dean
Cottages just down from Manor Farm, Pond Cottage is at the bottom of this road facing onto the pond. In the census of 1891 I have an entry for my WILD family, enumerated only one family away from Manor Farm which is the next abode to the left of these cottages. Could my family have lived here? The census just tells me "village" which would indicate a central part of the village. At the leat I imagine these are the type of homes my family lived in.


Local Histories