Chailey lies on the main East Grinstead to Lewes road and consists of
three small villages North Common , Chailey village and South Common.
North Common lies on the cross roads of the East Grinstead to Lewes
and the Heathfield to Horsham roads, the settlement being built up around
a coaching inn. A church was built here in the 1800's but is now abandoned .
Chailey village is the old part of the village and lies about 2 miles south
of North Common. The church is one of those in the area whose roof is tiled
with Horsham Tiles but in Chailey's case most of the roof is covered, not
like others which only have the tiles at the bottom of the roof.
South Common lies south of Chailey village and became famous for its bricks
as it lies on a seam of Sussex Clay.
In 1703 a Mr Norman set up a business in South Common to manufacture bricks
the manufacture continued through 2 centuries until the mid 1900's.
In 1903 Dame Grace Kimmings and her friend Alice Rennis took in seven physically
handicapped children from the East End of London . They provided accommodation and
nursing facilities in an old workhouse. Nowadays Chailey Heritage provides care for
a few hundred handicapped children.
This village is associated with the Sussex Bonfire Societies , who provide
noisy processions, unbelievable outfits and fantastic firework displays throughout
the month of November - a spectacle not to be missed.
Chailey has a few local services as you would expect from a small village.
The nearest trains run from Haywards Heath .
The main shopping centre for the area is also at Haywards Heath .
The green in Chailey village is very pretty , with the church and its
Horsham Tiles providing a pretty spectacle.
The views from the churchyard south to the Downs are very pretty.