Putting East Grinstead on the map
"Perchance a happening"
It augured well, the trip that is. The usual late flight; can't find luggage; where are our hire car people; never happened. We were away, loaded up on the M25 motorway well before 9.00a.m. and it was this that led to our discovery, in a roundabout way, a terrible pun when you realise that's where it happened. At one of the M23 turnoff options was a city that would lead to our destination, Beachy Head, and thus it was that we chose a secondary road and, mid route to Eastbourne was a town called East Grinstead and there I missed, albeit a little deliberately, the roundabout exit to Eastbourne and took the option that went through the town's streets as I had espied an interesting church tower in the distance.
It was immediately obvious the place had something going for it. I stopped to snap some Tudor-style buildings, the classic white and black painted wood with slate roof types. Little did I then realise that East Grinstead claims to have the longest intact 14th century street, possibly in all Europe.
The official line is as follows, "East Grinstead, on the edge of Ashdown Forest at the very east of the county and only 30 miles from London, has a High Street with the longest continuous run of 14th century timber-framed buildings in England."
The houses in this photo, as given to me by the ooooooh so helpful tourist information people, are as follows: The stone built building is Porch House which dates back to the early 16th Century (and was up for sale a year ago at a cool one million pounds!) to the left are Nos 86-88 High Street, which is one of the many 15th Century Hall Houses (East Grinstead has the most in the entire UK). Tall chimneys on the right are Cromwell House built in 1599. You should also know that the back of these houses, known as Portlands, stretch back about 400 yards; an amazing sight still here to be seen.