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Old Cottage

Mayfield is the most beautiful East Sussex village! Even in this morning's fog it has an intriguing tranquility and timelessness that I love.. I can almost hear the whispers of the ghostly residents of the past; the wool smugglers 'Owling', Queen Elizabeth I's visits to the Palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury, now the girls' boarding school, the cries of the wife locked up like Bertha Rochester in the attic of the Middle House pub. Then along the old red bricked pavements by Stone Court, formerly the work house and on towards Yeomans, a statement of the former wealth of the iron industry here, black and white and beamed and unpretentiously grand.

Queen Victoria came to Mayfield as a young girl and left her silver- topped riding crop as a memento and interestingly, Sir Thomas Brook, the sculptor who engraved the portrait of Victoria used on coins in the late 1890's, is buried here in the Mayfield churchyard.

I've just begun the first of many paintings I'm doing of Mayfield buildings and scenes to be displayed in the window of the Mayfield Gallery throughout December. This first one is going to be one of my favourites I's 'Old Cottage', originally built in about 1580 and wonderfully wonky. A little gem of lost history.



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