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Cross in Hand
(The Crusaders Assembly)
Cross in Hand lies 2 miles to the West of the
market town of Heathfield on the A265.
An eye catching feature here is the old post mill.
'The New Mill' as it is named (The old mill went out
of action in 1903), was built at Mount Ephraim in
Framfield , and moved to Cross in Hand in 1855.
However the local Squire (Squire Hurth), did not
approve of its proximity to his mansion and grounds,
where local gossip suggested that there were unseemly
goings-on! It was then moved again to its present
location 1/4 mile away in 1868, carried on rollers,
and pulled by a team of oxen.
In 1868 the partnership of Newnham and Ashdown commenced
grinding at the mill. This family association continued
until 1969, when a stock broke, while the mill was
working. However the sails may turn again, as a
restoration programme is under way.
The village used to have 2 fairs a year, on 22nd June and 19th
November,when the landlord of the Cross in Hand Hotel,
was expected to prepare a feast of roast beef and plum
pudding with all the trimmings for the revellers.
Traditionally the fairs featured weight lifting contests.
These were always won by Strong John Saunders, a local
miller who could lift 2cwt. He died in 1835, at the
age of 82.
A cottage industry that grew to greater things was
established at Homestalls, in New Pond Hill, where
George Foord lived with his wife Eliza and son Thomas.
Mrs Foord made ginger beer for the thirsty workmen
in the fields. The young Thomas must have paid
careful attention to his mothers creation, as in later
life he made a successful business from it. He is
recorded in Kelly's Directory of Sussex for the year
1882 :'Foord,Thomas Manufacturer of Ginger Beer,
lemonade, soda, seltzer, potash, ginger ale and other
mineral waters for which he is famous'. He was also
the Parish Surveyor at an annual salary of £10, and
also found time to be a farmer as well.
| The nearest town is Heathfield about 2 miles
East, for further larger shopping centres,
Eastbourne lies about 12 miles south, and
Tunbridge Wells about 12 miles north.
Busses pass through the village, however the nearest
trains run from Wadhurst about 8 miles north east, or
Tunbridge Wells .
| Cross in Hand has some nice views from the top of
the hill on the Lewes road.
The road down the hill towards Lewes has a very
nice deciduous tree lined view, which looks
beautiful in an autumn afternoon.
On the back road from the Lewes road to the Tunbridge
Wells road lies the windmill, which provides a striking
contrast to the blue sky.