The next name along the border of the parish which calls for any comment is Eastlands. The woods bearing that name run down to the brook near Sheriffs Mill. The name reminds us of the common fields, which were often called after the points of the compass. Westlands, in the extreme north of the parish, has already been mentioned. The word “lands” almost invariably means plough lands, and it was in these “lands” held in common that the people had their individual strips, divided from one another by baulks, and generally assigned to the holder by lot. These common fields were thrown open at Lammastide (August) after the crops were off and the cattle allowed to range over them. The “lands” were ploughed by the village plough, which was often provided by many persons, each of whom was responsible for a part of the plough. Others provided an ox or a horse or part of the harness, which was their share in the cumbrous machinery for providing for the tillage of the land, and which was the tribute by which they held their strip in the common field. It is possible that Eastlands served the settlement at Lywood, which belongs to the Manor of Street and is one of the early clearings which the dwellers by the Downs made in the Forest district. Manorial customs are dying fast, but it is not so very long since a claim to common pasture on Lywood Common made by a tenant of Street Manor would have held good.

The parish touches Lindfield at Eastlands woods. To those who know that Lindfield is now in the Rape of Pevensey the statement made in the last section of these articles that Ardingly never touches the Rape of Pevensey will seem erroneous. But at the time of Peter of Savoy and John de Burstow, Lindfield was in the Rape of Lewes, and a tiny corner of it comes up to the brook just below Sheriffs Mill and cuts off Ardingly from Horsted Keynes, which is the border line of Pevensey Rape.

Place Name Index