General History

The history of the area can be traced back many hundreds of years. On the western boundary of the parish runs the line of the Roman road from London heading towards Hassocks and onward to the coast near Brighton. The first documented reference to place-names within the parish appear in a copy of a Saxon charter dated 765 A.D. The charter relates to the granting of lands for the building of a minster church. It is thought that the minster could have stood on the site of All Saints’ church at Lindfield. Names mentioned in the copy charter include lendenfelda [Lindfield], walcanstede [Walstead] and hennesfelde [Scaynes Hill as it is now known].  

By Domesday the lands were held by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The importance of medieval Lindfield was recognised by King Edward III and a royal charter in 1343 granted the town permission to hold a market every Thursday and two annual eight day fairs. The fairs continued for centuries with the summer fair becoming one of the largest sheep sales in Sussex. The area’s prosperity and hence that of Lindfield, depended largely upon agriculture, iron working and the wool industry.

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