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  The Ashdown Forest Dispute - notebook 1 by William Augustus Raper
published in 1878
Excerpts from this work have been reproduced on this site with the kind permission of Professor Brian Short
Related documents
William Augustus Raper
The Ashdown Forest Dispute 1876-1882
Notebook 1
Notebook 2
Notebook 3
Notebook 4
Notebook 5
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Back 1



I remember Trill the tenant of Hendall Farm.

When I was 14 I moved with my Father to Tompsetts Bank near Kidbrooke and from 16 worked for Lord Colchester in the gardens till I was about 22 when I left his service and went to Hartfield for about 1 years to a warren there belonging to a Mrs Rowland of New Bridge as warrener. Then I came back and worked for Lord Colchester at Kidbrooke and Hindleap Warren till about 12 years ago and he left me a pension. I know Plaw Hatch. The Tenant when I came to this side of the Forest at 14 was a Mr. Ratsford. After him William Heaver used the farm for a short time, after him Mr. Blunt, then Mr. Harrison came, now Mr. Arbuthnot owns and occupies. I remember all these persons having brakes and litter from the Forest. When Heaver lived there I know he had 9 or 10 load of turf of a year. I know all but Arbuthnot turned out. Harrison, in particular, used to turn out a great quantity and I had a great deal of trouble to keep the fences of the Warren against them.

Leggs Heath Farm belonged to Mr. Larnach and was occupied by a Mr. Payne for many years. He was one of those who helped drive the Forest and I used to see him at Nutley. When he died, his 2 sons farmed for a short time and soon after Edward Heaver took it and now occupies it. I have seen both Payne and Heaver's teams carrying in litter.

They generally had it off the bank below Cold Harbour. When I worked in the gardens at Kidbrooke, that is before I was 22, we used to have to go frequently on to the Forest at times and I then used to see Payne's teams.

While I worked in the gardens for Lord Colchester, who was then the Speaker, we used to get a great many quicks and holly bushes off the Forest to plant as hedges, also alders to plant on an island he had made, also birch to plant in the shrubberies. We could not get enough birch on the Forest and I was sent to the Vetchery to buy a waggon load of birch. The Speaker made an artificial cascade in the brook and took all the largest stones he could find upon the neighbouring Forest for the purpose. I helped one stone which weighed 9 tons and we dragged it down in a truck made on purpose at Forest Row and drawn by 7 pair of oxen. We also took many loads of green turf off the Forest to make his lawns, and gravel to make his carriage roads. I helped dig it on Tompsetts Bank. This was before he bought the Warren, after that we dug what was wanted in the Warren.

We had marl from the marl pit on the Forest near the Priory once which we used on some land in the Warren. This was just before I gave up living in the Warren, now over 30 years ago.

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