The Newmarket Farm consisted of a cottage and barns built in about 1830, covering an area of 0 acres, 1 rood, 1 perch (quarter of an acre), enclosed by a flint garden wall with brick quoins. The pointing between the flints was double struck, such as is typical for the parish of Kingston near Lewes to which it belonged. The cottage was gable fronted, of flint and brick, with a Welsh slate roof. It was situated in a hollow immediately above a steep sided valley, a short distance to the east and south of the highest hill in the area. The ground sloped from west to east, and the cottage, farmyard and barns were terraced into the hillside – the farmyard occupying the higher ground. The front garden gate opened onto a yard in front of the house, diagonally across which ran a path to the front door, which was paved with large slabs of flint. This yard was later built up with domestic rubbish – broken ceramics, glassware, metal and ash from the fire.
The front yard was remodelled in the early 1930s. A rectilinear path was constructed – from the front door; a fork to the left led to the rebuilt outside toilet, the right hand pathway to the front garden gate. The path was edged with pale cream coloured limestone rocks to help people find their way in the dark. The toilet was a ‘one-holer’, with a small door at the side to remove the bucket. Its contents would been used on the vegetable garden. Also at about this time, the kitchen sink received a drain, which led via a ceramic drainpipe to the vegetable garden, to the east of the cottage.
Whilst the older Phipps and Latham children (of the time) later recalled that their water was from a well, all the archaeological, map and plan evidence strongly points towards their ‘well’ having been a six foot deep by six foot wide by eleven foot long underground rainwater tank, such as my father’s family possessed in Woodingdean in the 1920s. Access to the water, in the 1930s and early 40s, was identical to that of a well, with a winding handle for a bucket on the end of a rope, which was lowered down a dark, seemingly deep, circular hole. A relatively short ladder, however, was used to retrieve the bucket when it lost its rope. The 1873 and 1898 Ordnance Survey maps indicated that it used to have a pump. None of the former children agreed on the location of their ‘well’, but the Newmarket Farm water-tank was half-way down the garden, behind the cottage, near a small gateway leading to the farmyard.
In the nineteenth century the cottage’s front door led directly into the ‘wash-house’ or scullery. This had a sink next to the window, and a copper in the opposite (north-east) corner for boiling laundry and puddings. In the twentieth century it became the kitchen, and a paraffin stove was used for cooking. The copper probably went out of use at this time. Immediately to the right of the front door was a very narrow staircase, underneath which was a tiny pantry, with a window overlooking the farmyard.
Directly opposite the front door was the door which, in the nineteenth century, opened into the kitchen. The small fireplace on the east wall would probably have been designed to burn coal, and almost certainly possessed a small Georgian ‘hob-grate’ for cooking. Sometime, probably in the early twentieth century, the hob grate was removed, leaving only a small decorative cast iron fire back in place. This was then partially bricked in to create a much more fuel efficient fireplace suitable for a parlour or living room. A decorative beige coloured ceramic tile surround was added, with a grape vine design. By way of protection, a low iron fender was included, with brass knobs. During the excavation a caster was found which may have belonged to my grandfather’s armchair which he sat on next to the fire. Sadly the remains of my grandmother’s piano were not found. Opposite the fireplace, on the west wall was a ‘coal cupboard’. To the south a ‘sort of lean to conservatory’ had been added in the late nineteenth century, which had a backdoor. Lots of window glass shards were found in its vicinity.
Upstairs were three bedrooms. The front two shared a single window, and the door to the second was accessed via the first. It may have been a single room which was later divided. The third bedroom overlooked the back yard to the south. Of note was that three chimneys are visible in the photograph, so one of the bedrooms must have had a fire. the remains of a wash jug and basin were found, for there was no running water for a bathroom.
The east side of the cottage was the most exposed to the elements. No-one recalled any windows on this side of the cottage, and little or no window glass was found in its vicinity. It was this wall which had the extra protection from the external fireplaces. It was also the only wall to have been rendered on the outside.
Farmyard: A barn (one bay of which was fitted for use as a water tank), open cattle lodge (or hovel), stable, hay room, and lean-to wagon lodge.
Date Owner `Manager' Tenant 1830 Thomas Rogers’ Henry Rogers ? Trust; James Hodson and John King —Newmarket Farm built 1833 Goring Estate " " ? 1841 " " " " William Davies(?) 1842 " " Anthony W. Hodson, " " James Hodson 1851 " " James Hodson John Rich(?) 1861 " " " " " " 1868 " " " " David Baldy 1871 " " Richard J. Woodman James Timms(?) 1880 " " James Stacey ? 1881 " " " " David Davey 1891 " " " " Charles Barrow(?) 1895 " " John Hodson ? 1901 " " " " David Davey 1908 " " Henry F. Howell ? 1911 Henry F. Howell ? Frederick Moon 1920 " " ? " " 1921 Oscar Selbach Benjamin Edwards ? 1924 " " " " Benjamin Edwards? 1925 Brighton Corp. Guy Henry Woodman ? 1933 " " " " " Henry James 1934 " " " " " Alfred Jones? 1934 " " " " " Edward Phipps 1938 " " A. W. H. Dalgety(?) Reginald Latham 1942 " " Requisitioned - by military 1975-present " " Natural England -