The photo below shows the site of another ancestral home, like Goreland Farm a few weeks ago there is virtually nothing left to see. This is where my grandmother Dorothy Annie GASSON lived in West Grinstead, Sussex with her young family for part of the Second World War.
Between the pond and the nearest oak tree and to the right-hand side of the photo, once stood Hatterells (sometimes known as Hatterells Cottages or Hatterells Farm) which consisted of a pair of cottages and a couple of farm buildings. I remember the last of the buildings, one of the farm buildings, which was still standing until the hurricane in 1987, but the other buildings have long since gone.
The most notable thing about Hatterells is its remoteness, the nearest building was another farm over the horizon in the photo, and the nearest main road was about three-quarters of a mile in the opposite direction, and even then it was probably the same distance again to the nearest village shops. Not the most convenient place for a mother to raise a family, whilst her husband was away on active service during the war. If you don’t believe me just have a look at the location on Google Maps, nothing much has changed in the intervening 60 or 70 years apart from the disappearance of the buildings and a few less hedgerows.
I don’t know for certain the exact dates when my grandmother was at Hatterells but I do have on interesting piece of evidence which I will tell you about tomorrow.
The weather today was absolutely glorious, it was still quite cold but the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky, the ground was still a bit damp underfoot but the patches of mud were easy to avoid.
In contrast to yesterday I was on my own (most of the time) and knew where I was going without the need a of map. Although I knew where I was heading (West Grinstead Church, Sussex) the route I was taking changed several times, such is the joy of knowing an area so well.
To be honest this is not the best-looking side of West Grinstead Church, but just look at that clear blue sky. I wanted to go to the church to photograph a few gravestones, and everything just came together today, some free time and good weather.
The best part of the walk however was the walk back, a combination of clear skies, bright sunshine and splendid views certainly raised my spirits after some cold, damp and dark days. The photo below is the view looking roughly south-east towards the South Downs.
I have walked these paths for many years and as well as the fine weather there were many good memories of time spent exploring the countryside. From a family history perspective just to the left of the photo at the bottom of the field is where my grandmother lived for a few years, something which I really should have blogged about by now.
I took the opportunity of a dry (but overcast) New Year’s Day to pay a quick visit to Goreland Farm, West Grinstead, Sussex.
As I mentioned in my Ancestral Profile posts on my 4x great-grandparents John FAIRS and Eliza WORSFOLD nothing remains of their home at Goreland Farm. Actually that is not quite true, as you can see from the photo below there are still traces of the buildings in the form of pieces of brick and other building debris, darkened soil and a depression in the level of the field.
There is a footpath that passes over the site of Goreland Farm, but the conditions underfoot were so wet and muddy that it wasn’t long before I turned around and headed back the way I came.
Fortunately there is a country lane which runs close by the site of Goreland Farm, which provides a drier path to the nearest village a couple of miles away.
Looking on old-maps.co.uk (search co-ordinates: 517095, 118205) it looks like Goreland Farm was demolished/fell down in the 1950s, long after my FAIRS family had moved on. It would be nice to find out more about Goreland Farm and perhaps find a photograph/postcard of it, even though my ancestors were only there for a short time.
This is second of two postcards of the interior of St. George’s Church in the parish of West Grinstead, Sussex. This photo was obviously taken at the same time as the one I wrote about yesterday, and published by the same people.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the church was starting to get overgrown, but presumably there was some sort of special occasion for which floral displays had been created, even if they do look a bit like ivy taking over the church. You can find out more about the church at the Parish of West Grinstead website.
If you have read my last two Ancestral Profile posts (if not, why not?) about John FAIRS and Eliza WORSFOLD you will remember that the church at West Grinstead, Sussex was an important part of their lives. Both John and Eliza were baptised at the church, they were married there and both were buried in the churchyard.
This is the first of two postcards I have of the interior of West Grinstead Church. It was either published by Archibald and Frederick Baker or their partner Cecil Travers, it is not clear which one it was, or whether it was a joint effort. The date is probably between 1905 and 1910, or at least the original photo was probably from that date, as it was probably reprinted at least once.