Old Buildings of Ninfield
Grade II Listed
'Standard House' was owned by John Dyke, a London Fishmonger in 1615. Thought to be built originally earlier in late Elizabeth I reign. Transformed into a fine Jacobean house dated 1659. It stands at the top of a long hill from Boreham Street to Ninfield. Named after the hill said to be where William the Conqueror set his Standard before the Battle of Hastings in 1066
It has three storeys with three gables, and another added, and recessed probably in the C18. Although it appears to be brick built it was infact refaced with red mathematical tiles in about 1790.
Over the casement windows It bears three curious inscriptions of "God's providence is my inheritance" "Except the Lord build a house they labour in vain that build it" and "Here we have 1659 our abidance".
Standard Hill House
Moor Hall is sadly no longer standing. The Manor house, had the first recorded owner as Robert of Crevequer in the 13th Century. In the 14th Century it was spelt Morehale.
The family of de Septvans were the owners by the time 1342 when this large estate had much of it's cultivated land submerged. A five year old descendant who inherited in 1351 was found to be too young and the estate was taken over by the Crown.
It was conveyed by trustees to , James Fiennes, Lord Saye and Sele who in 1451 was beheaded. Moor Hall then passed through several families until in 1768 the whole estate was acquired by the Worralls Charity.
Much altered and added to over the passing years it was by the 1980's a large Hotel, where pop stars and celebrities often stayed at. But it's decline during the 1990's by which time a change of ownership, left this old and historic building derelict for some years until it was demolished in the late 1990's to make way for housing.
Ninfield has 27 Grade II listed buildings. Of these, 8 are Farmhouses.
5 are Houses. 4 are Barns. 2 are Oasthouses and 7 are Cottages.
The Village Stocks are also Grade II listed
The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin is a Grade I listed building.
Grade II Listed
Built in 1702 in the Queen Anne style for George Luxford who's initials are over the door. There is a fine hall and staircase. As a farmhouse it was known as Lower Standard Hill Farm and renamed Luxford House when the farm was sold off in 1973.
In the 1930's the hall and front lawn were used for a Tearooms.
Grade II Listed
There have been several spellings of this house. It was probably enlarged from a smaller dwelling during the1700's. It is first mentioned in 1683 and has had a variety of tradesmen living and trading in it. From a Glover to Butcher, Brick maker, Ironmonger, Carpenter and finally in 1841 when a Hannah Bridger, who was a Baker. After which a succession of bakers, most notably the Sargent family followed.
Now a private house, it is L shaped of red brick and tiled roof. A flat hood over the door .There are four gables and it is tile-hung on the back.
This following article was taken from the Ninfield WI Scrapbook of 1952
Acknowledged as one of the most picturesque of Sussex type dwellings and has figured in several guide books. In 1819 a John Moon lived there and he no doubt gave his name to the hill, and the brickyard further down the lane. A bakery for the last 60 years it would seem to have had other uses, as at one time there were four staircases, two were outside ones and it is though that it may have been a tenement house. From the cellar a shaft still goes up into a false chimney made to carry away fumes of an illicit distillery, the local name for the brew being "billy stink".
The old chimney has now been filled with a modern grate but it had originally a Ducks Nest grate and two smoking chambers for the curing of bacon, which was done with oak sawdust. In fairly recent times the cleaning of this chimney was done by a man named Jimmy Mallet and his son. The latter would array himself in an assortment of old clothes, wrap rags round his feet, and then climb into the chimney and scrape the sides, working his way up by feet and back.
The Mangle Room is still named though the old Box Mangle to which the village brought their linen is long since gone.
Grade II Listed
Originally a 16th Century cottage, built for the Master Tanner, Tanyard House, formerly 'The Stannards', is now a two storey building with an 18th Century makeover. A graceful Georgian front of red brick, it has a semi-circular fanlight and five windows wide. To the front of the house each spring, run a line of daffodils at the foot of railings. A sweeter smell than the Tannery which was closed in 1886.
Grade II Listed
First built as a farmhouse around about the 1700's much of this building is early 19th Century.
At one time it was the home of the Rector of Ninfield, before the Rectory in Church Lane was built in 1880. It is known that the Reverend John Phillips MA lived here in 1851. Sir James Ashby bought Little Park around 1880. Sir James died in 1911 aged 89. Lady Ashby died in 1901.
A Victorian photo of the Tannery workers. This would include A (hair)dresser who cleaned the hides of hair. A buttman, a barkman, a grinder, and flayers
The Tannery closed in 1886.
On land belonging to Lord Brassey, the Rev: R Bennett built the Rectory about 1880. Before this time the Rectors had lived either at Ingrams Farm or at Little Park. Now a private house. A new Rectory was built close by in the 1960's
The Windmills of Ninfield
Now long gone. There were two windmills in Ninfield.
The Ashburnham Mill. A Post Mill, stood on the High Road. It was built in the year 1809, Mr. William Morris being the last miller to work it. It had an usual arrangement of floors. From the top, a bin-floor, a stone-floor, and spout-floor. Three pairs of stones, one French burr and two peaks. It was also equipped with a flour-sifter and a crusher.
The base, a red brick round-house had two floors. Access to the spout-floor in this mill was, by portable steps from the upper floor of the round-house. It was last worked about 1900
Battered by the weather it fell down in a bad storm and was completely demolished in 1937.
Thorne Mill, built in 1870 appeared in the Sussex Advertiser To Let in1874.
A smock mill, with three pairs of burr stones situated on the Ninfield to Bexhill Road near Lunsford's Cross. It was reputed to be the tallest structure in Sussex. Comprising of seven floors it stood nearly 65ft.
Last worked in 1902 and badly damaged in a storm in 1905.The timber above the base was removed in 1907. The base along with the outhouses has been converted to a dwelling.
Drayton Lodge previously called Mellands and Maison Ucelli
In 1855 William Bullock came to live at Mellands, with his daughter Catherine. He was a landowner and a retired silk manufacturer. They had a housekeeper, a housemaid and a cook. He died in 1877 and is buried in Ninfield Churchyard.
The house was then occupied by William Hudson who owned coffee estates in Ceylon. He lived here with his wife Lucy and their four daughters and son. They had a number of servants including, a governess, a cook, a housemaid, a nurse and an under- nurse.
By 1890, Captain Edwards and his wife lived here with a housemaid and a cook.
George Little and his wife, lived at the gatehouse. He was gardener at Mellands.
The name change by 1901, saw a Mr William Peel and his wife Ethel living at Drayton Lodge with a nursemaid for their young son Robert. Also employed were a parlour maid, cook and gardener.
It is thought that Prospect house was built in 1636, as this is the date the land was sold off from Churches Tenement. The first owner Thomas Harris. Ownership then passed to John Harris in 1644. When he died in 1673 the property passed to his son another Thomas Harris. He was a butcher by trade. When he died in 1727 the property passed to his widow Elizabeth.
In 1740 ownership passed to Thomas and Elizabeth's son, yet another Thomas Harris who was a Sawyer. The house was sold to George Davey in 1830. An extension was added in 1831, which was used as an independent school during the week and a Nazarene Chapel on Sundays.
The 1841 Census shows a schoolmaster William Seeley, his wife Ann and their five children living at Prospect House along with 9 child boarders (or scholars.)
Another schoolmaster, T. A. Weston followed in 1845, who was also a Receiver and Sub Post Master.