The Slaugham Archives

Stone Court, Staplefield Common
The Slaugham Archive
Stone Court, Staplefield Common

This is a view of the present site of Stone Court from the Common. I am not sure when Stone Court was built, but I believe the house on the extreme right to be Dorcas Cottage which was either demolished to provide the site for Stone Court, or was incorporated within the new-build. The building in the centre of the picture was a smithy and was accorded a bench mark indicating that it was 224.9 feet above sea level.
Picture added on 23 June 2012 at 10:24
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Staplefield Common
Stone Court was the most beautiful house in Staplefield in 1969. I was living there for a few months, I loved it.
Added by C. Lopez Alvarez on 13 January 2013
I worked at Stone Court in 1968-1969 as cook. At the same time there was a lady, Mrs Douglas, who lived very near, and five "dailys" to clean the house and do the laundry. My husband was the butler.
The owners at that time were Mr and Mrs Anderson.
Added by Carmen Beade Dopico on 20 January 2013
My dad, Edwin George Cosens (known as Ted), worked at Stone Court, I believe in the 1950s, as a decorator and handyman.
Would love to hear from anyone that knew him.
Ron 01751 477790
Added by Ron Cosens on 20 January 2013
We, the Tomsett family, knew your Dad, Ted Cosens, as we were neighbours. We lived at No. 30 Truggers from 1948 until my parents moved to a flat in Covert Mead after we girls had all left home.
We would like to congratulate your mother, Elsie, on her 100th birthday.
Added by Mary Alder (née Tomsett) on 27 March 2013
Hi, Mary.
Thanks for your kind comments. Hope you are well.
Yes, I do remember you at Truggers but I was only a kid. I would like to find out more about Dad's time working at Stone Court.
Added by Ron Cosens on 28 March 2013
To Ron Cosens and the Tomsett family.
My father, Roy Barrett, also worked at Stone Court as a gardener in the 1950s. Does anyone remember him?
I must have been around 5 years old at the time which would make it 1954. My first recollections were living in a cottage between Stone Court and the church as St Marks Primary was my first school.
I also remember watching Dad playing cricket on the village green by the crossroads. I'm sure he would love to hear from anyone who remembers him.
Regards, Doug Barrett ( - Please email me.
Added by Doug Barrett on 27 May 2013
My grandmother, Ruby Tomsett, was working at Stone Court in the late 1920s with Miss Cheeseman, the housekeeper. Please, does anyone know the names of the two ladies that they were working for?
Added by Naomi Buckley on 30 May 2013
My name is Moira Purnell and I am the granddaughter of Albert and Ethel Marchant. Albert was head gardener at Stone Court.
My mother, Edith Marchant, was born in Pear Tree Cottage.
I now live in Canada and was going through some old photographs and decided to look up Staplefield online and goodness the memories and stories came alive for me.
I will be contacting Barry Ray and hopefully posting some great pictures. This is a wonderful site thank you so much.
Added by Moira Purnell (née Howard) (Canada) on 07 January 2015
To Moira Purnell. Hi Moira, please can you let me know when your grandfather, Albert, was head gardener at Stone Court. As you can see above my father was a gardener there in the 1950s.
Looking forward to hearing from you. Regards, Doug Barrett
Added by Doug Barrett on 07 January 2015
Moira, you may already be aware of this, but prior to your grandparents' wedding in 1915, your grandmother, Ethel Annie Foster, worked as a domestic servant at Hill Top, Brighton Road, Handcross for Bryan and Mary Taylor, proprietors of the Handcross Laundry. See picture #77.
Any interesting photographs, old or modern, of the five villages covered by the website will be very welcome as my resources are not inexhaustible! Details of an email address are shown on the Home Page to which high resolution scanned pictures with descriptions can be sent.
Added by Barry Ray on 07 January 2015
Hi Moira. I have just spoken to my father who remembers working with Albert (Bert), although at that time he thinks Albert was in his 70s and no longer head gardener.
The Marchants were our neighbours in Rose Cottages and I remember playing with a young boy named 'Tiffer' (probably Christopher), whom my father thinks was probably their grandson. I was about 5 years old at the time and probably a similar age to Tiffer.
Does any of this mean anything to you? Would be very interested to hear from you and, if preferred please contact me on my e-mail:
Added by Doug Barrett on 08 January 2015
I am working on digging through all my family pictures and will be sending some soon.
The last I heard of "Tiffer" was that he lived in Australia. His sister, Jane Hellicar (née Whitters) lives in Hurstpierpoint. Their mother, Ethel, is buried in Staplefield behind my mother, Edith Mary Howard, and my grandparents are also buried a few rows in front of Mum.
I will comment further to you privately if you would like. Does anyone remember the Dengate sisters?
Added by Moira Purnell (née Howard)(Canada) on 21 January 2015
Hi Moira. Thank you very much for your message.
Yes, I would be very pleased to chat to you by private message if you don't mind. You have my e-mail address on my previous message. Looking forward to hearing from you.
All best wishes, Doug
Added by Doug Barrett on 21 January 2015
Please can anyone tell me if the row of poplar trees is still standing?
It was along the road from the church heading towards Balcombe.
And, is there still a climbing rose in the side of St. Mark's church? It was on the side that faces Stone Court.
And yes, I will be emailing you, Doug.
Added by Moira Purnell (née Howard)(Canada) on 02 February 2015
Thank you, Moira. I look forward to your email.
Best wishes, Doug
Added by Doug Barrett (Cyprus) on 02 February 2015
Moira, I presume you are referring to the Lombardy poplar and not another variety of the genus. Some 150 yards from the church heading towards Balcombe, on the right there is a row of Lombardy poplars at about 90 degrees angle to the road and heading down the hill towards the Cuckfield road. It was planted along the edge of fields probably as a windbreak. You will be pleased to know that it is still there, but with several gaps where trees have perished due to disease, wind, or old age. I know the feeling!
I do not know if the rose at St Mark's still survives, but more information can be found at picture #322. Please can someone advise?
Added by Barry Ray on 02 February 2015
The rose on the church, Homere, is still there and still flowering.
It is said to be one of the oldest living roses. A cutting was taken and grows on the school wall.
Added by Sam Butler on 04 February 2015
The churchyard is also home to a rare orchid.
I took some photographs when I was there in 2013.
Added by Naomi Buckley on 05 February 2015
I have two healthy Homere roses growing in my garden here in Dunfermline, Fife.
They were both from a single, small cutting taken from the rose at Staplefield church some years ago.
Added by John Robins on 01 August 2015
My husband and I were the owners of Stone Court from 1984 to 1990.
Our family loved and enjoyed our time there and our youngest son, Matthew, went to St Mark's.
Our head gardener was Laurie Clear, and his wife, Maggie, worked in the house. I would love to know what happened to them.
I am now living in Australia.
Added by Valerie Smith (Australia) on 28 July 2016
I believe that Laurie and Maggie separated.
Their oldest daughter, Katie, works at Woodlands Meed Special School in Burgess Hill.

Added by Anon. on 29 July 2016
Hi Val! I'd also love to know how you and your family are.
This is Katie, Maggie's daughter.
Added by Katie on 15 May 2017
Hi Katie, we are all well and living on the Gold Coast in Australia.
My husband, Fred, passed away in 2011. Matthew married in July last year.
My email is
I was in the UK last year and went down to Staplefield.
Give my regards to your family, Val.
Added by Val Smith (Australia) on 18 May 2017
I lived at 3 Stone Court Cottages from about 1958 to the late 1970s with my sister and parents. My father was gardener at Stone Court and my mother worked in the house for the Andersons; the then new buyers.
For a time a family from Saudi Arabia owned it.
I recall Laurie and Maggie as he took over as head gardener from my father.
Added by Rosalie Haymon on 17 August 2018
Hi Rosalie. I think our fathers must have just missed each other in the gardens.
We lived briefly in Staplefield around 1954 (I remember that because my first school was the church school up the road from where we lived in Rose Lane, I think). My Dad, Roy Barrett, was a gardener at Stone Court at the time, before we moved on elsewhere.
Added by Douglas Barrett on 18 August 2018
Hi Douglas, we were there when Mr Phelps was the Head Gardener and the Slazengers owned Stone Court. Then, after Mr Slazenger died, the Andersons brought it.
Both my sister and I went to St Mark's School and Church.
Added by Rosalie Haymon on 27 August 2018
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