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The Early History of
St. Giles School
Horsted Keynes

can be found here.

Page 1
Page 2
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Page 4
Main Index


As an orphan I was boarded out in Horsted Keynes in the years 1946-1947 in a cottage on Stumblewood Common and attended the village church school at that time. As I was 6-7 years old I have no photographs and very little memory of the school.

I can remember though that the year 1947 was extremely cold and having missed my transport (the bus?) I walked down the lanes and over a ford via a small bridge to get home. I can remember the gate being so iced up it took a long time to dislodge the bolt.

I have a memory of the bluebell wood beside the cottage and being chastised for being late from school (picking bluebells!!).

Of the school itself I have few memories. Of wooden desks with seats that joined to the fronts with cast-iron brackets. Of chanting my tables 2x2=4, 3x2=6 etc. I can still see the little bottles of milk lined up on the cast-iron pipes and radiators to thaw out before we could drink them.

The site for Horsted Keynes I think is superb and covers many aspects of interest. I wondered if there would be any lists of pupils who where at the school during the time I was there or if anybody can remember further details of the happenings there.

If anybody is as interested as I am (my name at the time was Pamela Violet Victoria Morris, quite a mouthful but somebody might remember me) I would be so happy to have any snippet of information that anyone can give me.

Once again I thank you for such an interesting and informative site.

Yours sincerely

Sylvia Pamela Black




In 1986 the BBC ran a project to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book. As part of this celebration the local primary school contributed 20 pages to the very first CD Rom which was 12" diameter and initially was only able to be read with special equipment in libraries. We present here the text from those pages exactly as written by the children in 1986. As the pages were in "Teletext" style the lines are very short but we have kept the style the same for historic interest.

Some of the differences from just 30 years ago are astonishing - for example how the school has changed - no swimming pool, no canteen, few trips, and no camping trips!

Page 1   HISTORY / Hope Cottage

      Horsted Keynes is an old village in
West Sussex,  tucked away in the woods
between Haywards Heath, East Grinstead
and Crawley. It dates back to before
the Norman Conquest, when the Saxons
called it Hors stede (horse plae). A
Norman named de Cahainges was given
the land and so it became Horstede de
Cahaignes. A lot of old houses are
still to be found which make the
village more attractive and give it a
pleasant character.
Hope Cottage
     Probably built in about the 17th
century as a bakery. Later it was a
sweet and toy shop, then an antique
shop, and now a house. During the 2nd
world war the garage was used as the
local fire station. This pretty little
cottage has only four rooms.

Page 2       Old Church Cottages

   Some very old cottages are situated
between the church and the school. Old
Church Cottages used to be a priest's
house and in one of the walls there
used to be some holy water. Where the
bathroom is it used to be a wood shed.
They had to make it into a bathroom
because the houses used to be one big
house and you can see where a door has
been filled in. One half is bigger
than the other.

    It is nearly 400 years old and is
one of the oldest buildings in the
village. When it was built it was one
of the better houses. The walls are
hollow and birds nest in them and all
you can hear is the chicks crying for
some more food. Living in an old house
like this can be cold and cramped. I
know because I live there.

Page 3   Churches in Horsted Keynes

    The village population of about 1400
people is well-served by churches. The
Congregational Church founded in 1906
is less attractive today, although still
licensed. At the Mission-on-the-Green
chapel a small but enthusiastic band
of worshipers meet regularly. The old
Parish Church of St.Giles (CofE) has
a thriving community life.As well as a
full range of services and devotional
activities there are a number of clubs
and associated groups for its congre-
gation (aged 0-90+). The church dates
from Saxon times. St.Stephen's Church
(R.C) has grown in numbers and in its
range of religious and social activity
since it was founded in 1970 as an
offspring of St.Paul's,Haywards Heath.
It caters for a large area (25
Half the lively membership are from
the village. Strong ecumenical links
exist between the village churches

Page 4   St.Giles CE Primary School

    Our school is a church of England
Aided School which was founded in 1708
by Edward Lightmaker. He provided some
education for twenty poor children of
the parish. The present permanant
building was put up in 1872; there
were 120 children educated here then
but the average attendance was 78.
    There are now 94 village children
at the school whose ages vary from
under 5 to over 11.Four class teachers
are helped by six other adults. Our
school has a moat, a large playground
and a field to play in,a quiet garden,
a swimming pool and a kitchen where
they cook our school meals. We go on
lots of outings;we visit local schools
sometimes for basketball and other
sports.Our annual May Fair has dancing
and a specialMayplay in it. This
year the older children went camping
for the first time.

Page 5   Halls for the village to use

     In Horsted Keynes, there are a few
halls for public use. One is called
the Village Hall because the whole
village is allowed to use it. The hall
can be hired from the Post Office for
discos, wedding receptions, parties
and meetings. Organisations which meet
there regularly include Brownies,
the Playschool, the Ivy Leaf Club, the
W.I., the Parish Council and the Youth
    The Congregational Hall has been
used for youth fellowship meetings and
camps. The village doctors' surgery
is held there on Wednesday and Friday
mornings. The primary school has a
hall that is sometimes used by people
in the village. A lot of people belong
to the British Legion Club which meets
in its own building. Public coffee
mornings are held at the village green

Page 6     Shopping in the village

     In Horsted Keynes we have a Post
Office, a butcher's and two shops that
sell most everyday things like food.
There is also a mobile grocer and
greengrocer who comes round twice a
week. Many people go to the super-
markets in Haywards Heath or East
Grinstead fr their main weekly food
     The village butcher sells pet
foods, animal care products and toys
as well as meat. The Post Office also
supplies confectionary and stationery.
At the food shops you can get videos,
wines and spirits, hardware and some
general household supplies. One of the
shops is a building society agent.
     We are quite lucky to have so many
shops as we are only a small village;
but some people would like more such
as a newsagent, a teashop, a fish and
chip shop and a chemist.

Page 7     Industrial Life

     Brickworks, Builders and Blacksmith
    For hundreds of years the village has
had a thriving industrial life ranging
from iron and glass to constructional
crafts and textiles.     Since 1899 the
Freshfield Lane Brickworks have made
Sussex Stock Bricks nearby on the site
of a pre-roman pottery. Nowadays they
produce nearly eleven million oftheir
specialist coloured, clamp- burned
facing bricks each year. Some of these
are used by two local building firms,
Dean Edwards and A.R.Smith and Sons.
Both of these businesses undertake new
building and repair and restoration
work in the area. A number of other
self-employed builders and craftsmen
live locally. A black-smith has
operated by the village green since
the mid-seventies in a smithy first
set up 150 years previously. His
skilled work is mainly craft ironwork.


Page 8    Farming in Horsted Keynes

     There are lots of farms in Horsted
Keynes; some raise cattle, some are
chicken farms, some grow crops such
as wheat, corn, and barley and some
just grow grass for the animals.
     Tremains Farm has been rented by Mr
Butler from Mrs Hatley.They used to
have 10 milking machines but now they
have added 6 more.The cows are milked
between 5.00 and 9.00 in the morning
and at 6.30 in the evening. The milk
goes to a number of different dairies.
There are 170 cows on the farm.
     Belverdere Farm is a meat farm. It
has 4 heifers, 4 pigs, 40 chickens and
2 rabbits. They raise the pigs for
pork and bacon, the cows for beef and
the chickens for eggs. They do not
grow food crops on the farm.
    A lot of the farmland around the
village is owned by the family of the
Earl of Stockton who live nearby.

Page 9    Transport In and Around

     We made a local household survey :
we found that about 70% of the people
need transport to go to work outside
the village. The most popular mode of
transport is the car, then the buses.
A lot of people also use motor bikes,
bicycles, and horses to get about.
     We have two garages in the middle
of the village, the Crown Garage and
the Horsted Keynes Garage. The latter
is mainly a car repair workshop; the
Crown Garage is also a petrol filling
     Among the heavy traffic using the
local roads are buses, petrol tankers,
delivery lorries, farm vehicles and
lorries from the brickworks. Most of
the roads to the village are very
narrow. The only local railway is the
Bluebell Line for tourists - the
nearest main station is at Haywards
Heath, five miles away.

Page 10     The Bus Service

     There is one bus service through
the village, Southdown route 170, and
it goes to East Grinstead (46mins.) and Haywards Heath (17 mins.) It runs
every two hours, starting at around
7.30 a.m. The buses do not run on
Sundays. The adult fare is about 1.20
to Haywards Heath.
     Many people rely on the bus service
for work, shopping and to get to the
nearest secondary school. Some people
in the village do not use the buses
because they think they are not very
convenient; the people who do use them
often say we need a better service.
Some say the buses do not run often
enough, that it takes too long for
them to get to their destination, or
that the last bus leaves too early in
the evening. Most local people have
their own cars because they do not
want to use only the bus service.

Page 11    Sporting Facilities

     The main sports clubs we have are
for angling, cricket, football, tennis
and stoolball.
ANGLING:  The club has many lakes and
one stream with all sorts of fish in
them. There are only about a hundred club
members, mainly men and boys.
CRICKET:  The cricket club is run for
adults and youngsters. The children
don't play matches but the adults do.
FOOTBALL:  In the village there is only
one public football pitch and that is
for men. The club play at Danehill.
STOOLBALL:  Stoolball is a traditional
Sussex women's game. The village team
are the local league champions.
TENNIS:  Horsted Keynes has three
public tennis courts. The club has
about 100 adult members and the same
number who are between eight and
fifteen years old.


Page 12   Village Clubs and Societies

    Horsted Keynes is a very attractive
small community having several dozen
recreational and special interest
groups which meet periodically or
regularly. Clubs for young people
include Brownies, Scouts and Cubs
(with Danehill), and the weekly Youth
Club. Women's organisations abound:
there are Housewives Register and
Mother and Toddler groups, monthly
meetings of the W.I. and Young Wives,
and a Women's Fellowship.
     The Horsted/Cahagnes Society has
re-established links with the place in
Normandy which gave the village its
name. Exchange visits are arranged
from time to time. The Bonfire Club
holds regular functions to support the
annual village fireworks festivities.

For details of some sporting clubs see
Page 11.

Page 13   The Life of Older People

     The old people in the village have
few facilities like the Ivy Leaf Club in the Village Hall. The Ivy Leaf Club
provides a weekly opportunity for the
elderly people to get together, have
tea and chat. Some weeks they go for
outings,others they sit and talk.About
twenty members attend each Wednesday.
    The British Legion Club has things
like bar pool tables and dartboards.
It is open every day for people from
fifteen to eighty.
     Westall House is an old people's
home. There are fourteen bungalows for
active retired employees of the De La
Rue company.
     The elderly people would like things
like better footpaths and street
lighting, better bus services and
improved housing. There is also a CB
network in the village to help
older people (see page 14)

Page 14    The Village CB Network

   Our Rector started a C.B. radio net
club for older people. It is used
to contact them every day to check
that they are well.The radio operators
call up all the people in the morning
using special C.B. names like Rabbit,
Sunshine and Dancing Lady. They say
things like "How are you? Do you need
anything?" and "Do you want to speak
to anyone else?"
    There are about 28 people in the
network using hand-held or home base radios. The Rector carries one with
him all the time.
    The network has been going for
about a year and a half, and it has
been on television, on radio and in
magazines quite a lot. Each C.B. unit
costs about 100 and a group of people
called The Mad Men help the Rector by
raising money.

Page 15   Horses in Horsted

    Our village is a very horsey place
because lots of people own and ride
horses. My friend Helen owns her own
pony and I know six people who ride.

     There are riding stables called
Tremains and they have about thirty
horses. They have a covered school and
an out door school, with about 6 acres
of land.
     There are plenty of bridle paths
around, like the one down Wyatt's Lane
and the one to Broadhurst Manor. Horse
riders and walkers are allowed to use
     The village is called Horsted
Keynes so it is partly named after
horses. In the past the name Horsted
was spelt Horstede, pronounced
Horsteed: it meant a place to keep

Page 16  The Bluebell Railway

    The Bluebell Railway runs for five
miles between the stations at Horsted
Keynes and Sheffield Park. The line
was first opened in 1882, but B.R.
closed it in 1958 because it was not
used much. It was reopened as the
Bluebell Line in the 1960s to keep old
steam trains running. It now carries
nearly 100,000 passengers a year. They
come to see the engines and visit the
stations and to travel through the
beautiful countryside near our
    Children from our school sometimes
visit the railway and some of them
made a television film there. Lots of
fils are made on the famous Bluebell
Railway. I like the railway because I
like the old trains, and the way the
sun glistens and reflects off the
metal engines. They are very old but
they look new and shiney.

Page 17   A Day in the Life of.....(1)

.......................Class 4, Age 5







I get up in the morning and
tickle my brother
I do exercises every day
I yawn then I have breakfast
and then I clean my teeth
I have cornflakes
I brush my teeth and go down
stairs. I put my shoes on and
go to school
I like working at school
I have fish and chips for dinner
I go home with my mummy
I play with my brother every
day and sometimes we go in
the garden together on our
slide and on our swings
I jog every night
I always watch television and
then I go to bed
That's what we do in the day


Page 18 A day in the life of....(2)

.......................Luke,  Age 11

My dad wakes me up and I have my
breakfast of toast and peanut butter.
Then I get dressed, have a wash and
clean my teeth. I walk to school at
twenty to nine and get there ten
minutes later. We play football. We
start the school day by reading and
then we usually have an assembly.
After that we do different work each
day until dinner:  I like writing
stories most.  School lunches are often
quite tasty, especially thin sausuages.
In the afternoon we usually do art or
project work or games: I enjoy painting
and sketching. After school I play at
the rec. on the climbing frame or ride
my BMX round the village. We made a
track in the woods but some older boys
broke the jumps. I watch telly
for an hour and go to bed at 9.0 p.m.,
or later if I can.

Page 19   Three Generations in Horsted

Dorothy came to the village in 1935.
She lived at School House which had no
main drainage or electricity; water
came from a pump.Durinng the war women
were left to run most of the essential
services.  "I was in the fire service"
Sally is Dorothy's daughter. Her first
memries are of the 1952 Coronation
Day party in the Parish Room (Village
Hall) where every child received a
Coronation mug and a huge tea. "We had
an open house and friends called to
see the events on our new television"
Now in 1985 Madeleine, Dorothy's
grand-daughter, takes computers, video
recorders and air travel for granted.
She loves to play tennis at the club
in the village; she is a keen Brownie
and a member of the church choir.

"Fifty years have passed but has the
quality of life improved?"

Page 20   A Future for Horsted Keynes

     What do we want for the future?
     We have tried to find out how the
people in the village would like to
see Horsted Keynes change in the years
to come.
     The youngest schoolchildren want to
see better playing facilities such as
improvements to the recreation ground,
more slides and swings and a zoo.
     Older children see a need for a
greater variety of shops and clubs.
They would like a swimming pool and an
adventure playground. Some find the
village "not very exciting"; others
like it as it is and do not want it to
grow, change or become "spoilt".
Adults too have mixed feelings about
the village's future. Most do not want
it to grow much more. They would like
improved facilities such as the bus
service, a mains gas supply and a
wider range of shops and clubs.

 Notes on calendar changes     November 2006


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