Cobb Lane

Following the course of the brook which forms the eastern boundary of the parish we come to Cobb Lane, known to us all as one of the steepest hills in Sussex, with a general gradient of 1 in 6, and in some places steeper. The earliest reference to the name is in a Release from William de Wulborgh to William de Chittingelegh of a water mill and land in West Hoathly called Colbe melne and dated 1308. Whether the mill in question was what we know as Stone Mill on the Cobb brook or whether it was the mill which undoubtedly existed at the foot of Cobb Lane is not quite certain. The evidence for the latter is found in the name of Old Mill Shaw as well as in the artificial alteration of the brook. The brook itself is mentioned in a Lambeth Court Roll dated 1488, as Scobby dyke. We find that there was a gate called Cobb Gate in 1620, when the occupiers of the lands between it and Cobb Bridge were ordered to cut their hedges by the Hundred Court of Strete, to which Ardingly then belonged.

The steep bank of land which runs north from the lane towards Stone may be the holding known in early days as Banklands. The latest reference to it is in 1662, when it was held, with Horncombe, by William Hamlin, and farmed by his father, Francis Hamlin, who then held Bolney Farm.

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