Jordans Cottages

The cottages now called Jordans Cottages have a curious history, of interest to archaeologists in that they belonged to Lewes Burgus, otherwise Borough. How did Lewes get possession of this and another little piece of land in Ardingly? The town owned no other land outside its own bounds.

The earliest available references to these cottages is in Rowe’s Book dated 1575. The Cheeseman family lived there for many years, and their records appear in the Church Registers from 1560. During the Parliamentarian troubles of the 17th century, when the Rector was ejected, the inhabitants of Ardingly chose George Cheeseman as the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in 1655. His marriage with Anne Teynton, presumably the daughter of the late Rector, occurs in the same year, as solemnised before Major Chaloner, of Kenwards. Several members of the Cheeseman family were Churchwardens between 1587 and 1629. They appear to have been tailors, as a Token dated 1667 with the name George Cheeseman on one side and a pair of scissors on the other, was found in Wakehurst Warren some years ago. A drawing of Ardingly Church by J. Buckler in 1802 shows the chimneys of these cottages in good Elizabeth style. They must have been rebuilt since then.

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