THE VILLAGE OF MARK CROSS - IT'S ORIGINS AND
The village takes it's name from the "March" or
boundary of three parishes, Rotherfield, Mayfield and Wadhurst
which intersect not far from the junction of the Mayfield-Frant(A267)
and Rotherfield-Wadhurst (B2100) roads. The boundary or "March" crossroads
which, on subsequent habitation, became known as "Mark
Cross". Rent Roll records show tenant holdings in
the area of "Merc Cross" or "Mercrosse".
Though the village itself is fairly small,
it is nevertheless an ecclesiastical parish with boundaries
approximating to those shown on the map below. The parish
extends for roughly 4.5 square miles embracing about 3,500
acres of which one quarter is woodland, a minute part of
what was once the vast "Forest of Anderida" which
in ancient times covered the Weald of Kent and Sussex.
There is some evidence to suggest that habitation
in the area covered by the parish commenced as early as
750BC. Records show for certainty that Alfred the Great
(871-899AD) held lands around Rotherfield probably embracing
Eridge, Frant and possibly the future Mark Cross.
The records also show that the present parish
of Mark Cross fell within two Manors, those of Mayfield
and Rotherfield. The former was granted to the Archbishops
of Canterbury around 830AD probably by Egbert the then
King of Wessex.
Rotherfield appears to have remained in Saxon
hands until the Norman Conquest
after which William 1(1066-1087) granted the manorial rights to Odo Bishop
of Bayeau then, when he fell from favour, to Richard De Clare of Tonbridge
whose family held it until the early 14th century.
Various sources, again rental rolls among
them, show the gradual development of Mark Cross, both
as a parish and as a village with it's major houses and
farms through the centuries.
Some of those houses and farms, it is a delight
to note, are still in habitation and work today.
The Village School was erected in 1851 and
converted to a church in 1873. The clock on the church
commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.
The village had its own constable by 1865 and the local
map for 1874 shows that a "police station" had
taken the place of the Toll House. Until very recent times
local magistrates sat in the Court House which was sited
opposite the existing Mark Cross inn where they are known
to have "wined and dined".
The Village Hall which was erected in 1907
at a cost of £120, raised by public subscription,
continues in frequent use to this day for various functions
and as a Polling Station for both local and national elections.
By the creation of this Millennium Green
the Village is celebrating not ONE but TWO Thousand Years
of it's history and looking forward with anticipation to
it's THIRD millennium.
Further historical articles from assorted