About Ashurst Wood

 

The name Ashurst Wood (Aesehyrst Wilde) dates back to medieval times (1164) when it referred to an area of common or waste land at the top of Wall Hill. There was no village then.

The Manors of Shovelstrode to the north and Brambletye to the south are recorded in the Domesday Book (1086). They were linked by a trackway and Ashurst Wood lies at the junction of this trackway and an ancient ridgeway track (Hammerwood Road – Cansiron Lane and beyond) at least 5000 years old.

The oldest surviving house in the area is Homestall built c.1300 and now merged with Dutton (brought from Cheshire in the 1930’s) to form Stoke Brunswick School. (After the closure of the school in 2009, the property is once more a private home)

In Tudor times more land was being farmed and timber framed houses such as Great Surries, Pockhill, Grove Farm and Little Water Farm were built.

The Three Crowns is mentioned in records of 1725 and by the early 1800’s much of the Common area had been enclosed and an agricultural village began to take shape. Local trade premises appeared, a forge and a tannery being the most significant; and, with extra cottages for farm labourers and local craftsmen, the size of the village increased. In 1826 a by-pass was completed to avoid the drag up Wall Hill with horse and cart.

Throughout the remainder of the 19th Century the village continued to expand, with church, school and post office making their first appearance and the Maypole (1879) becoming the second public house. The arrival of the railway in 1884 saw even more rapid growth. Wealthy people bought and built family houses, employing servants, gardeners and grooms and providing work for tradesmen of every description.

In the 20th Century, the nature of the village changed. Local agricultural work declined and with it the associated local crafts. Farms gave up their land for the building of new houses and the inhabitants found their employment outside the village.

The two Great Wars saw an acceleration of this trend and now the village is largely a dormitory for East Grinstead, Crawley and beyond.

war memorial

 

 

In the new Millennium Ashurst Wood acquired its own Parish Council (changed to Village Council in 2016) . Now, although village life has changed, the villagers can enjoy the inheritance of some beautiful old buildings and can walk the ancient trackways.

(Ashurst Wood Historians 2002)

The 2001 Census recorded 665 households in the Village, with a population of 1771.

By the 2011 Census the number of households had risen to 723 and the population to 1833.