We turn west at Awell Cross and follow Copyhold Lane towards Borde Hill. The farm now called Copyhold is in the Manor of Ditchling, and the name comes from the copy of the Court Roll of the Manor, which was held by the tenant and which was the sole evidence of his right of tenure. There is some evidence that the Copyhold which originally gave its name to the lane was the detached portion of Ardingly beyond the viaduct, but the present house is sufficiently old to answer the same purpose. Before reaching it we cross the line of the ancient track which leads from Haywards Heath to Selsfield. It crosses Copyhold Lane just where the bridge of the abandoned rail way stood and goes straight north by Rivers Farm and Wood to Ardingly Church.
It may be well to put on record that in 1840 a survey was made of Ardingly by some “foreigner”, whose description of the roads is indeed peculiar. North Street, East Street and West Street are names of his own invention which the natives would find it hard to place, and it is only by a knowledge of the inhabitants of the houses that it has been possible to identify North Street as Hapstead, East Street as Street Lane and West Street as Balcombe Lane! Copyhold is called Cook’s Lane in view of a Mr. Cook then holding some of the land there. The lane also seems to have been called Parkes Lane at one time, as there is an entry in the Street Hundred Roll for 1618 as follows: “Richard Parkes – to clean his ditches and cut his hedges by the King’s highway in Ardingly called Prakes (sic) Lane”. The lane does not form the boundary of the parish, which runs along the high ground to the south and reaches its furthest limit at Sugworth, part of this farm being in the parish. Just before reaching
Copyhold Farm on the north side of the lane is a field called Bellowsnose, a name which is fairly common in this district, where the bellows used in the iron works gave the idea of the names for a field of somewhat similar shape. Another field name which may be mentioned here is that of the Butlets, which comes from the plough term “Butt”, meaning a short piece which will not allow of a whole furrow. It is of fairly common occurrence, but is here mentioned because in one of the parish books it has got corrupted into Battel field, and lest some future archaeologist be led into thinking it the site of a long-forgotten battle its true origin is recorded. It lies on the southern bank of the river in Lower Awell. After we cross the railway the parish boundary is formed by the lane, and continues along the road to Balcombe as far as Upper Ryelands Bridge. The “new” Cottages by the Copyhold railway bridge stand on ground that was called the Flax Plat in 1840, and the adjoining saw mill occupies Shepherds Orchard. These were part of the farm called for many years Kings and Cripps Land, the latter name often being mis-spelled Scripps. The Cripps family is found in the parish registers from their beginning. Richard Cripps was Church-warden in 1580, and several others of the family later on. Nicholas Cripps was Churchwarden in 1766, and his initials are on the second Bell with those of his co-Churchwarden, Edward Flint.