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Nutfield History Group

Welcome to the website of the Nutfield History Group.

The historic Parish of Nutfield has long been a farming community, with its Lords of the Manor, Ulwi in 1066 to F J Nightingale in 1932.  It is now administered by Nutfield Parish Council and Tandridge District Council.  Even Kings Edward IV and Richard III had an active interest in the parish for 18 years.

The parish was first recorded in detail in 1086 in the Domesday Book, being almost a holy writ to be measured on Judgment Day. Details of its 25 villani (men of the manor), cattle, pigs, ploughs, a church, a mill and also its servants, are an important part of Nutfield’s history.

Nutfield Parish has many hidden treasures immersed in its rich landscape of ancient hedgerows and mystical woods.  With 62 buildings of note, including 22 Grade II listed buildings, the latest being Nutfield Priory, which is Nutfield’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’. First built by H E Gurney, a banker, and redesigned by John Barry, who was involved in the design of the Houses of Parliament, for its new owner Joshua Fielden in 1854.

The big change occurred when the Victorians changed the Nutfield landscape, knocking down buildings to exploit the views over the South Downs with their grand mansions and estate buildings.  Pevsner described these as ‘ferociously angular houses’.  In 1884 the Victorians brought the railway to the area which gave easy access to London. From that date Nutfield grew into a thriving community.

Today we can stand back and admire the work of our ancestors in the way they have shaped our parish, as the villages of today are shaping the future for generations to come.  The aim of Nutfield History Group is to look at the past so we can plan the future, working with the Parish Council so we can protect the future by learning from our past.