Great and Little Wharf Field

Passing Rivers Wood the boundary of the parish leaves the road at Upper Ryelands bridge and follows the old winding course of the River Ouse. This was abandoned when the canal was made at the end of the 18th century, and is now nothing but a large ditch, which, however, still forms the boundary of the parish. A new cut was made, which carries the main stream, and a wharf marked the highest point to which barges could come. In the original survey it was proposed to carry the canal further up the river, but the scheme was not completed. The adjacent fields bear the name of Great and Little Wharf field in the Tithe map of 1840, and it was to this point that the bricks for building the Ouse Valley Viaduct were brought by water. It is said that they numbered eleven million. The arches rise a clear hundred feet from the river, and the whole structure is a splendid feature in the neighbourhood. This portion of the parish was a busy scene at the time of the making of the main line, 1839-42, and again when the Ouse Valley Railway was commenced in 1866. This was a branch which was planned to pass through Lindfield to Uckfield. The banks remain at Copyhold, Kenwards, Town Hill, Lindfield, and other places, but the project was never carried through.

There were six cottages on Naldred Farm, and stables, outbuildings, workshops, etc., were scattered about for the use of the navies employed, which have all disappeared.

The existing branch railway which runs through Ardingly is much later, having been opened in 1885. Its construction also entailed a “foreign” population for a time, which has left its mark in our Parish Registers during the previous three years. The huts on Lywood Common used by the workmen have only recently disappeared.

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