The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Brook House  Burnt Oak Road    Crowborough  

Books and other documents
PublishedTitle, author and references
1890An Illustrated Guide to Crowborough by Boys FirminBook extract p. 72
1928Rotherfield - The Story of some Wealden Manors by Catharine Pulleinp. 446

Historical records

c 1520BirthJohn BurgesBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

c 1525BirthNicholas Burges, churchwardenBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

c 1529BirthJoan BurgesBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

c 1540BirthJohn the younger BurgesBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

15th Aug 1572BirthIsaac BurgesBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

11th Mar 1574BirthSydney BurgesBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

23rd Jul 1579BirthAnne BurgesBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

5th Jun 1580BirthElizabeth BurgesBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

27th Mar 1583BirthJohn Burges, of BrookeBrook HouseIGI - Family Search

c 1590HeadJohn BurgesBrook HousePullein's Rotherfield

1594 to 1620HeadJohn Burges, of BrookeBrook House

1620 to 1673HeadJohn BurgesBrook House

1673 to 1693HeadJohn BurgesBrook House

6th Oct 1693WillBrookhousePullein's Rotherfield
Extract from the Will dated 29 January, 1691-2 of John Burges
"To my eldest son John Burgis ... my messuage or tenement called Brookhouse in Rotherfield and lands belonging in Rotherfield and Buxted, lands in Pevensey level called French halls and Cowcrofts and Staces acre and my rectory or parsonage of Piddinhoe. And I make him residuary legatee and executor ..."
Proved 6 October 1693

1693 to 1695HeadJohn BurgesBrook House

27th Jul 1695InheritanceBrookhousePullein's Rotherfield
John [Burges], the son and heir, did not long survive his father [John Burges]; he was buried on July 27, 1695, Ö and Brookhouse devolved upon his brother James [Burges]

1695 to 1744HeadJames BurgesBrook House

c 1724Strood, Sussex - c 1724Part of the 1 inch to 1 mile map of Sussex produced in 1724 by Richard BudgenBrook House

14th Apr 1744InheritanceBrookhousePullein's Rotherfield
Extract from James Burges Will:
"My mind is that my loving wife Jane shall have for her own use the house, garden and all appurtenances called Ketches otherwise Dirkins in Rotherfield to dwell in during her natural life without paying anything therefor. And the use of the Yellow Bed with all thereto belonging in the Parlor chamber and all household goods and linen she may chose. And after her death to my executor [John Burges]. Also ten pounds to be paid within twelve months of my decease to her. Also a note of hand from John Alchorne for payment of fifty pounds and one from John Bridger for thirty pounds ...
To my son John Burges all my messuages lands tenements glebe lands and hereditatments whatsoever [Brookhouse] and wheresoever for ever and I appoint him my executor."
Proved 1744.

1st Sep 1787[North] Sussex[North] Sussex by John CaryBrook HouseJohn Cary
John Cary, apprenticed to William Palmer in 1770, went into business in 1783 as a publisher of maps, plans and road-books. He was highly successful and is referred to as the founder of the modern English School of Cartography by H.G. Fordham

11th Aug 1790InheritanceBrook house FarmPullein's Rotherfield
Extract from John Burges Will:
"To my niece Martha Bridger of Rotherfield spinster my Messuage and lands (part Copyhold and part Freehold) in the parish of Framfield called Brook house Farm now in tenure of Edward Alchorne to her and her heirs for ever ... with the payment of a clear annuity of forty pounds to niece Martha Bridger and her assigns for her natural life etc. Charged also with payment of one thousand pounds which I give and bequeath to all and every of her children lawfully begotten that shall be living at her decease as they respectively reach the age of twenty one years ... permit my said niece Martha Bridger to dwell in one end of the said house late Hillís during her natural life paying nothing for the same ..."
Proved 1790.

11th Aug 1790InheritanceBrookhousePullein's Rotherfield
Extract from John Burges Will:
"To my nephew Robert Fry all those my several messuages barns buildings farms etc etc called Brookhouse, Ketches, Kiddersash, Pickpale, Grimes, ffordbrook, Croft and Jumbers in the several parishes of Rotherfield and Buxted now in occupation of John Pollington for ever. Charged with the payment of a clear annuity of forty pounds to niece Martha Bridger and her assigns for her natural life etc. Charged also with payment of one thousand pounds which I give and bequeath to all and every of her children lawfully begotten that shall be living at her decease as they respectively reach the age of twenty one years [Various provision regarding her death childless, or theirs before reaching twenty one, in which case the one thousand pounds went to the children of Jane Paige at twenty one].
To Robert Fry Latterís Wood, Highbeech alias Greenswood my messuage I now dwell in and its lands etc. my messuage in the town of Rotherfield called late Hillís, my messuage in the town of Rotherfield now in occupation of Thomas Langridge. And all other my messuages etc for ever. Provided and I order he shall permit my said niece Martha Bridger to dwell in one end of the said house late Hillís during her natural life paying nothing for the same ... All else of which I die possessed to my nephew Robert Fry charged with payment of an annuity of £4 to my servant man James Turk if he shall be in my service at my death. Also £4 annuity to my maid Hannah Dadswell if (as before)
My nephew Robert Fry executor."

Proved 1790.

c 1795Highhurst Wood, Sussex - c 1795Part of the 1 inch to 1 mile map of Sussex produced in 1795 by William Gardner and Thomas GreamBrook House

21st May 1814InheritanceBrookhousePullein's Rotherfield
Extract from Robert Fryís Will: "To my daughter Mary Hannah [wife of my nephew Thomas Fry] ... my messuage or tenement called Brookhouse, with the cottages ... called by the several names of Brookhouse, Kitches, Kiddersash, Pickpale, Grimes, Fordbrook, Croft and Jumbers, containing by admeasurement 346 acres, 2 roods and 30 perches in parishes of Rotherfield and Buxted now in tenure or occupation of Joseph Wickens ..."
proved 21st May 1814

c 1825Highhurst Wood, Sussex - c 1825Part of the 1 inch to 1 mile map of Sussex produced in 1825 by Christopher and John GreenwoodBrook House

6th Jun 1841CensusJoseph Wickens, M, Head, age 65 to 69, born Sussex; occupation FarmerJoseph Wickens, farmerBrook House1841 Census
Rotherfield, Sussex
6th Jun 1841CensusMaryreth Wickens, F, [Wife], age 62, born SussexMargaret Wickens [Moon]
6th Jun 1841CensusWilliam Wickens, M, [Son], age 26, born SussexWilliam Wickens, farmer
6th Jun 1841CensusAmos Wickens, M, [Son], age 21, born SussexAmos Wickens
6th Jun 1841CensusStephen Wickens, M, [Son], age 19, born SussexStephen Wickens
6th Jun 1841CensusRobert Dadswell, M, age 37, born Sussex; occupation: servantRobert Dadswell, farm labourer
6th Jun 1841CensusJohn Wickens, M, age 20 to 24, born Sussex; occupation ServantJohn Wickens, farm labourer
6th Jun 1841CensusGeorge Brown, M, age 17, born Sussex; occupation: servantGeorge Brown
6th Jun 1841CensusStephen Wickens, M, age 15 to 19, born Sussex; occupation ServantStephen Wickens, farmer

30th Mar 1851CensusHead, employs 12 people; occupation FarmerJoseph Wickens, farmerBrookhouse1851 Census
Rotherfield, Sussex
30th Mar 1851CensusSon; occupation Employed on farmWilliam Wickens, farmer
30th Mar 1851CensusWifeMary Elizabeth Wickens [Tully]
30th Mar 1851CensusSon; occupation ScholarGeorge Wickens
30th Mar 1851CensusDaughter; occupation ScholarMargaret Hannah Wickens
30th Mar 1851CensusDaughterMary E. Wickens
30th Mar 1851CensusSonWilliam Henry Wickens, farm labourer
30th Mar 1851CensusServant; occupation: farm labourerJames Maynard
30th Mar 1851CensusServant; occupation Farm labourerBenjamin Wickens
30th Mar 1851CensusServant; occupation: general servantJames Maynard
30th Mar 1851CensusServant; occupation: general servantEmma Martin [Dadswell]
30th Mar 1851CensusServant; occupation: farm labourerRobert Dadswell, farm labourer
30th Mar 1851CensusServant; occupation: farm labourerJohn Muddle
30th Mar 1851CensusServant; occupation: farm labourerJohn Muddle

7th Apr 1861CensusWilliam Wickens, M, Head, married, age 46, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: farmer of 300 acres employing 8 men and 2 boysWilliam Wickens, farmerBrookhouse1861 Census
Rotherfield and Crowborough, Sussex
7th Apr 1861CensusMary E Wickens, F, Wife, married, age 42, born Mayfield, SussexMary Elizabeth Wickens [Tully]
7th Apr 1861CensusGeorge Wickens, M, Son, single, age 17, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: farmer's sonGeorge Wickens
7th Apr 1861CensusMary E Wickens, F, Daughter, single, age 13, born Rotherfield, SussexMary E. Wickens
7th Apr 1861CensusHenry Wickens, M, Son, age 11, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: scholarWilliam Henry Wickens, farm labourer
7th Apr 1861CensusJoseph Wickens, M, Son, age 8, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: scholarJoseph Wickens
7th Apr 1861CensusJames Wickens, M, Son, age 3, born Rotherfield, SussexJames Wickens
7th Apr 1861CensusMartha Wickens, F, Daughter, age 1, born Rotherfield, SussexMartha Wickens
7th Apr 1861CensusJames Maynard, M, Servant, single, age 33, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: farm servantJames Maynard
7th Apr 1861CensusMark Brown, M, Servant, single, age 19, born Buxted, Sussex; occupation: carter's mateMark Brown
7th Apr 1861CensusTimothy Taylor, M, Servant, single, age 16, born Buxted, Sussex; occupation: carter's mateTimothy Taylor

1867Directory entryWickens William, former, Brook houseBrook housePost Office Directory

2nd Apr 1871CensusWilliam Wickens, M, Head, married, age 56, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: farmer of 300 acres employing 7 labourersWilliam Wickens, farmerBrookhouse1871 Census
Rotherfield and Crowborough, Sussex
2nd Apr 1871CensusMary E Wickens, F, Wife, married, age 51, born Mayfield, SussexMary Elizabeth Wickens [Tully]
2nd Apr 1871CensusGeorge Wickens, M, Son, single, age 27, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: farmer's sonGeorge Wickens
2nd Apr 1871CensusMary E Wickens, F, Daughter, single, age 23, born Rotherfield, SussexMary E. Wickens
2nd Apr 1871CensusWilliam Henry Wickens, M, Son, single, age 21, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: farmer's sonWilliam Henry Wickens, farm labourer
2nd Apr 1871CensusJoseph Wickens, M, Son, single, age 18, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: farmer's sonJoseph Wickens
2nd Apr 1871CensusJames Wickens, M, Son, single, age 13, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation: farmer's sonJames Wickens
2nd Apr 1871CensusEdward Brown, M, Servant, single, age 16, born Buxted, Sussex; occupation: farm servantEdward Brown

1874Directory entryWickens William, farmer, Brook houseBrook housePost Office Directory

c 1875Mabbs Farm & Brook House, South of Crowborough - c 1875Part of the 6 inch to 1 mile map of Sussex produced in 1875 by Ordnance SurveyBrook House

1882Directory entryBoorman Thomas, farmer, Brooke houseBrooke houseKelly's Directory

Feb 1886SoldBrook HousePullein's Rotherfield
In February 1886 Brook House was purchased from the Frys by Mr Richard Hill with only 20 acres of land attached

1888Directory entryWickens, Charles, farmer, Brook houseBrook houseBrooker's Guide

1890HistoryBrook HouseFirmin's Guide

Brook House is prettily situated in the valley between Slaughterham Ghyll and Howbourne. The road from Stone Cross to High Hurst Wood runs in front of it. It was evidently the abode of a prosperous ironmaster, for the houses of its size anywhere about this locality were occupied by those engaged in the iron trade. It is said to have been the property of a member of the Fowle family at one period, and afterwards of the Fermor family. There are cinder-beds near it, which prove that iron-smelting was carried on in close proximity to it.

Subsequently it was in the possession of a Mr. John Burgess, who, in the sixth year of the reign of George III., was appointed high-sheriff of the county of Sussex. Since then it has been in the hands of Mr. Burgess Fry, a relative or connection of Mr. Burgess, and has continued in the family of Fry to within the last year or two.

The exterior of the building seems to have been extensively repaired at various times, with the exception of the back of the house, which still retains much of its old character.

The long-tiled narrow roof over the door and windows, to preserve them from the wet, presents a very picturesque feature, met with in old buildings only.

The present proprietor, Mr. Hill, has, with great taste and judgment, whilst restoring the interior, carefully preserved all the old materials which were sound and could be retained with safety, so that the fine massive oak-beams still cross the ceilings, and the timber and plaster walls of the passages still remain, The old plan and the style of the period being strictly adhered to, gives the whole of the interior that appearance of antiquity and solidity which is so characteristic of the old mansions of England.

The same good taste and feeling are shown in the construction of the porch, and in the restoration of the exterior of the building. The grounds, also, have been greatly improved, and a pretty piece of water has been formed, which adds considerably to the attractiveness of the place.

By the side of the road, in front of the house, grows an ancient oak tree - coeval, I should say, with the great Anderida Forest, and is probably one of the trees of that ancient impenetrable Coid Andred of the Britons. It is hollow in the centre, but still looks sturdy and full of life, though so many hundreds of winters must have passed over it. Surrounded by masses of foliage, in that peaceful vale it has been shielded from innumerable tempests, and been nursed to maturity. By some happy accident it has been spared by the woodman's axe, and has escaped the iron-smelting furnaces. Outliving all its contemporaries of the past, it is now respected and preserved as a venerable relic of ancient Britain. The girth of its trunk near the base is about twenty-three feet. The large roots jut out around it like huge claws clutching the earth. It will outlive the present generation of men, and perhaps the next - a remarkable instance of the greater longevity of vegetable than of animal life.


5th Apr 1891CensusAnnie Hill, F, Head, single, age 36, born Small Heath, Warwickshire; occupation: living on own meansAnnie Hill, living on own meansBrookhouse1891 Census
Rotherfield, Sussex
5th Apr 1891CensusEliza Yalls Hill, F, Sister, single, age 24, born Kingswood, Warwickshire; occupation: living on own meansEliza Yalls Hill
5th Apr 1891CensusJane Annie Saunders, F, Visitor, single, age 24, born Chapelhill, Kirkcudbrightshire; occupation: living on own meansJane Annie Saunders
5th Apr 1891CensusEdwin Whitehurst, M, Servant, married, age 36, born Liverpool, Lancashire; occupation GardenerEdwin Whitehurst
5th Apr 1891CensusEmily Whitehurst, F, Servant, married, age 36, born London; occupation CookEmily Whitehurst
5th Apr 1891CensusBertha L Oliver, F, Servant, single, age 18, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation HousemaidBertha L Oliver

5th Apr 1891CensusCharles Wickens, M, Head, married, age 64, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation FarmerCharles Wickens, farmer and millerBrookhouse New Farm1891 Census
Rotherfield, Sussex
5th Apr 1891CensusHarriett Wickens, F, Wife, married, age 54, born Rotherfield, SussexHarriet Wickens [Bridger]
5th Apr 1891CensusGeorge Wickens, M, Son, single, age 29, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation Farm LabourerGeorge Sawyer Wickens
5th Apr 1891CensusAlick Wickens, M, Son, single, age 21, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation Farm LabourerAlick (Alexander) Wickens
5th Apr 1891CensusAmos Wickens, M, Son, single, age 18, born Rotherfield, Sussex; occupation Farm LabourerAmos Wickens
5th Apr 1891CensusSusan Wickens, F, Daughter, single, age 16, born Rotherfield, SussexSusanna Wickens
5th Apr 1891CensusFrank Wickens, M, Grandson, age 3, born Rotherfield, SussexFrank Wickens

2nd Apr 1911CensusEdward Wadham, M, Head, married, age 47, born Chettle, Dorset; occupation: gardener in private serviceEdward Wadham, gardener in private serviceBrook House, Jarvis Brook1911 Census
Rotherfield, Sussex
2nd Apr 1911CensusAlice Wadham, F, Wife, married 22 years, age 43, born Walton-On-Thames, SurreyAlice Wadham
2nd Apr 1911CensusMichael Wadham, M, Son, age 9, born Tunbridge Wells, Kent; occupation: schoolMichael Wadham

1928Borowe or Manor of Alchorne in 1560Borowe or Manor of Alchorne in 1560 by Mr Chapman and Catherine PulleinBrook HousePullein's Rotherfield

2001TodayBrookhouse

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