Plaistow History


  • Plaistow Village is 3.5 miles west of Loxwood on the road from Ifold.
  • The name Plaistow may originate in the Saxon Period however the first mention of “La Playestow” comes from the thirteenth century Court Rolls.
  • Plaistow was not mentioned in the Domesday Book and it assumed the area was uncharted or the details were recorded with another town nearby.
  • John Sirgoods teachings in Loxwood in 1850 was adopted by some of the villagers in Plaistow.
  • John Napper the Chairman of the Wey & Arun Canal donated the school to Plaistow Village in 1869.
  • John Elliott of Hilltop Stores Loxwood was born in Plaistow and the family were property owners in both villages.
  • The first record of a Chapel at Plaistow is from the Will of the Vicar Robert Osbourne in 1527.
  • Plaistow Chapel was a Chapel of Ease of Kirdford Church, with Loxwood Chapel of Ease was tied to Wisborough Green Church.
  • A painting by an unknown artist in 1805, depicts Plaistow chapel of Ease and shows a Curate house built out of the south wall which was a similar style to the Curate house built at Loxwood in 1404.
  • The chapel of Ease at Plaistow was pulled down in 1854 and the new church was built dedicated to The Holy Trinity.


The village of Plaistow is approximately 3.5 miles west of Loxwood a short distance along the road from Ifold. The origins of the name Plaistow may derive from the Saxon period, however the first record of “La Playestow” comes from the 13th century Court Rolls” a similar period to the records of the first settlers in Loxwood.

As with Loxwood, Plaistow was not mentioned in the Domesday Book and the area was either uncharted or settlements at that time were attributed to other nearby towns. The village has sixty-three Listed Buildings many of which date back to the medieval period.

Glassmaking, Industry and Shillinglee Park

Glass making was an important local industry between the 13th and the 15th centuries, the first site was at Wephurst Park, which is just south of Lakers Lodge and Headsfoldwood Farm on the Loxwood to Plaistow Road. Iron making used local ironstone and charcoal manufactured out of timber from the forests. There were substantial furnaces in the 16th century at Shillinglee, which is 3 miles west of Plaistow and Ebernoe which is 4 miles southeast.

In the 16th century Crouchlands Farm in the village was owned by Robert Strudwick, who came from a family of glass makers. Throughout the district, there are remains of smelters, furnaces and the many holding ponds which were needed for the smelting processes, the most important being at Shillinglee Park.

In the 19th century brick and tile making was an important local industry, driven by the Victorian building programmes. There were brickyards in Shillinglee Park and at Foxbridge, to the east of Plaistow on the Loxwood Road and at Pephurst Wood in Loxwood.

The main house and estate at Plaistow was at Shillinglee. Shillinglee Park was established by 1342 but in 1542 it passed to the Crown. Later, it formed part of the Arundel Estate, belonging to the Duke of Norfolk.  In 1907, on the death of the 5th Earl Winterton the owner of Shillinglee, one of the stained-glass windows in the Church was provided for his memory. His wife Georgiana, who died six year later, was similarly commemorated by two further windows and a stone memorial.

Shillinglee was occupied by Canadian troops during World War II but in 1943 a fire swept through the house leaving it in a perilous state. After lying empty for many years, it was restored between 1976 and 1977 and converted into one House and three flats.


Bibliography of primary reference sources used to create this article:
Andy Gammon Art and Design
British Library
Buckwell, J, C. The Stories of Loxwood
English Heritage
National Archives
Lambeth Palace Church Archive
Loxwood History Archive
Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory
Surrey History Centre
West Sussex Record Office

This historical summary has been compiled from research using a wide range of sources. The information, dates and details are based on that research, but Loxwood History does not guarantee the original source contained accurate information. While Loxwood History uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information in its articles, Loxwood History makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Loxwood History assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content of this article and any reliance you place on the information is entirely at your own risk. Please contact us if you believe any of the details in this article are inaccurate, and we will review those details and where appropriate, amend the article accordingly.

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