Mercers is a name which has disappeared from our use, but it is found in the Wakehurst Court Rolls from 1633 and seems to be the land lying behind Little London down to Hickpotts. It appears in the Court Rolls of Wakehurst from 1633, when it was in the hands of Ninian Jenkins. There is an entry in the Registers of the burial of one ‘Steven Mercye, Fremynges father-in-law’, on December 1st, 1588, who may have given the land his name. In 1666 it appears as ‘Merces’, held by John Jenkin with Hickpots. The Jenkins lived at the old house now divided up into three tenements, one of which is the Gardeners’ Arms. Jenkins Croft alongside perpetuates a name which was prominent in Ardingly local history for several generations. The Croft is probably the same which was previously called Beldams or Backshalls, and later is mentioned in Francis Comber’s will in 1701 as ‘a little field called Jenkins Croft’.

Place Name Index