Cottage Homes

The Cottage Homes in Cuckfield, West Sussex, have an intriguing social history.

Established on May 21, 1881, the Cottage Homes came into being when the Sergison Trust transferred Church Field, located on the west side of Cuckfield Churchyard, to Miss Mary Frances Maberly, daughter of a former Vicar of Cuckfield. She oversaw the construction of three cottages. By 1882, the Homes were officially opened and dedicated by Holy Trinity Church, and residents began to move in. These homes were designed to provide housing for those in need within the community.

Between the 1880s and 1945, the Homes underwent minimal changes. They retained shared outdoor toilet facilities, lacked running water (except for the WCs), featured brick floors in the kitchens, and had no electricity. Additionally, at least one upstairs flat had access through the downstairs flat’s kitchen. Over the next 30 years, significant improvements were made, including the addition of indoor facilities and another cottage to the south. Electricity was finally installed and operational by 1955. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that plans were approved for internal sanitation and private bathrooms in all flats, along with the replacement of the brick kitchen floors.

The first residents were Widow Burtenshaw and her 2 daughters Sarah Ann and Emily Burtenshaw who occupied the 3rd Cottage. Emily remained a resident of the cottages until late 1926 until she was admitted to the Infirmary and was not be able to return. Other residents since have included widows Packham, Richardson and Wynter, Mrs Willetts, Miss Osborne, Miss Walker and Mrs Miles.
The 1921 census return shows that Miss Packham still lived there as well as Miss Osborne, Miss Pattenden and Miss Burtenshaw.

The1939 register shows that Widows Bromley and Miles and the Misses Jeffrey, Hayward, Fitzgibbons, Waller and Gubbins lived there.

More information about the Cottage Homes can be found on the website for Holy Trinity.

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