Pearcelands is a modern house built during the late Lady Downshire‘s ownership of Wakehurst, but it represents Piersland, a portion of Ditchling Manor which has been held by the owners of Wakehurst, with one exception, for many hundred years. The exception was Sir Charles Wetherall, Attorney-General, 1826-28, who lived at Feldwicks and farmed Pearcelands. He seems to have called Feldwicks Pearcelands, and the name remained there in the O.S. map of 1879. But the new house being built on Pearcelands proper, it got back its own name, and Feldwicks dropped Pearcelands and became Old House. It may be recorded here that Old House, otherwise Feldwicks, is in the parish of West Hoathly, and belonged to the Manor of Plumpton Boscage.

The boundary of Ardingly runs south along the main road for a few hundred yards from Denshire Lane. It then crosses the road and dips down to the brook on the southern side of Rock Cottage, the lowest of the cottages built by the late Sir Richard Farrant. The cottage stands on the site called Beggar’s Oak, where gipsies used to squat – a dividing line between two parishes and two union districts as well. The brook called Stone, Cobb or Cockchaise according to the lands through which it passes, is the boundary to the end of the parish beyond Sheriff’s Mill.

Place Name Index