West Hoathly Heritage Trail
Our beautiful village of West Hoathly has many historic buildings worth exploring. In the village centre, we have the 11th Century St Margaret's Church which has seen the village grow around it including the Manor House and the Priest House museum.
Once the village shops were able to supply everything required. These included a butchers, bakers, general stores and haberdashery. There were at least four village pubs in 1899 and West Hoathly had its own band and even its own fire station. Farmers would often walk their cattle to East Grinstead market, some five miles away. Then in 1882, the railway arrived in West Hoathly on the line from Lewes to East Grinstead, part of which is now the famous Bluebell Railway.
There were many sporting groups and clubs and the village school regularly won competitions against both neighbouring and county schools.
The Village Hall developed from a reading room and was used for a time during the Second World War as a school for the children evacuated from London. In 1946, West Hoathly had its own cinema when Granada set up a mobile cinema that toured around Surrey and Sussex.
Today the parish has have over 2000 residents and although many shops and facilities have been lost, it retains its charm and quietness.
We hope you enjoy our Heritage Trail around the centre of the village which will take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.
We would like to thank the following for their help and contributions to our Heritage Trail
- West Hoathly Bonfire Society for their kind sponsorship of this leaflet
- West Hoathly Local History Archives
- Roger Bourne (Map)
- Royal Observer Corp Heritage Collection, Newhaven
- West Hoathly Parish Council.
- Gatwick Airport Community Trust.
Other places to visit in Parish:
- Selsfield Common towards Turners Hill for delightful walks
- The old station site in Station Road, Sharpthorne where you canview the Bluebell Railway steam trains passing through the village.
- The Church and Smokery in the hamlet of high Highbrook.