Cowfold is our small village in West Sussex. Full of charming cottages arranged around the historic church of St Peter. Within the church is a superb funerary brass of Thomas Nelond, Prior of Lewes, who died c. 1420.
Interestingly, no written record can be found of any settlement here before the 13th century. Indeed, it seems to have been used as woodland pasture in the 11th and 12th centuries. Local place names hint at this history, with several places incorporating words like fold, den, and hurst.
Aside from the older cottages and houses located within a few hundred or so yards from the churchyard many of the buildings in Cowfold are relatively modern.
Beeding manor seems to have held outlying farms here in the early 13th century, and by 1256 the Bishop of Chichester held hunting ground here. The bishop granted his tenants the right to gather firewood from his ‘chase’.
The village was slow to develop; throughout the medieval period, the parish was largely composed of isolated farms, and even as late as 1733 as much as a third of the parish was given over to woodland or orchard use.
Cowfold was once a thriving center of the iron industry, due to an abundant supply of timber for smelting.
Nearby is St Hughs Charterhouse, a modern Carthusian monastery founded in the late Victorian period. It is the only post-Reformation Carthusian monastery to be founded in Britain.
Our one public house in Cowfold is the Hare and Hounds on Henfield Road. This house first recorded selling beer from 1851 though it only became a public house in 1903.
Great Fire Of London
Cowfold has links to the Great Fire of London in 1666?
When Charles II realised the extent of the damage to London and the vast number of people made homeless by the fire, he launched a nationwide appeal for donations to a relief fund. The Museum has the original receipt recording the donation of 53 shillings and 9 pence given by the citizens of Cowfold to the London relief fund. See the image of the donation made by the people of Cowfold.
Address: Cowfold, West Sussex, England
Attraction Type: Village
Location: 4 miles south east of Horsham on the A272
OS: TQ 2176 2186