This area up to and including the shops was known as Chapel Green in the mid-19th century and the road was called Pancake Lane, which is shown in the main picture taken in c1890. In the late 19th Century with the opening of the railway, Pancake Lane was renamed Station Road and the local stations were at Rudgwick, Baynards, Slinfold and Cranleigh.
The Old Cottage dates to the 16th century when part of the land within the triangle of Station Road, Spy Lane and Guildford Road was woodland and areas around here were known as “Slyfhurst”.
The name “Slyfhurst” or “Slifehurst” first appeared in the 13th century records as a surname of landowners in Kirdford, which was a major settlement and also in Alfold and in later times in Ifold and Plaistow. Slifehurst is derived from a topographical description meaning a hollow (slife) (sleeve) and woodland (hurst) which has validity for this area, being wooded and below the ridge which runs around this area from Merry Hills.
The 1841 & 1851 Census both contain the name “Slifehurst” or “Slyfhurst” referring to cottages or bungalows in Pancake Lane, some of which have long since been demolished. The 1841 Census shows Daniel Hampshire living at Slyfhurst and the 1851 Census shows the Cox family living in Slyffield Cottages, which are believed to have either been The Old Cottage or the Victorian bungalows that were next door.
When Appletree, September and Rose Cottages were built by 1861 a new ‘modern’ name “Chapel Green” was adopted and the reference to Slyfhurst faded, however in Kirdford farms and cottages carry the name Slyfhurst to this day.
Census records of 1871 indicate that 26-year-old John Franks and his wife Harriett were living in Pancake Lane, with neighbours Moses & Mary Tickner, Stephen & Harriett Durant, George & Catherine Puttock, William & Ann Grantham and James & Mary Cox. It is not clear which of the cottages or bungalows they were occupying but a number of these people were Dependant Brethren, following the teachings of John Sirgood.
John Franks was a bricklayer, probably connected to the local brickworks which was two miles along Pancake Lane towards Rudgwick in Pephurst Wood.
Towards the end of the 1800’s John Franks was working for the Chapel Trustees repairing various properties that were owned by the church. The church records indicate that John was usually called when repairs were required to ovens and coppers and once when a large Poplar tree crashed through the roof of the cottage by the church!
Farm Cottage was built between 1875 – 1895 and was originally named Orchard House Farm, across the road is South View which was built at a similar time. In the early 20th century, a large dairy farm was operating at Orchard House and the owner was Herbert Field. The dairy farm may have been the site of the first ‘Loxwood Dairy’ with milk delivered door to door and decanted from large milk churns. In 1936 Herbert Field founded a new pedigree herd from which all his cows descended until the farm closed in 1954.
A picture taken of Station Road in 1939 recorded the moment when some cows took advantage of a gap in the wooden railings to have a drink from the village pond. The picture illustrates the rural nature of the area at that time and intriguingly, perhaps it also captured the foundation herd from Orchard House Farm with Herbert Field watching on.
Arun Cottages, Penfold House, Wharf Building, Canal Villa