Banker and philanthropist Richard Alexander Bevan (1834-1918) moved to Cuckfield in 1862 and built Horsgate House as a family home in 1865, with the whole estate extending to just over one hundred acres.
The Museum has numerous pictures of Horsgate in its heyday, which are interesting to compare with those of the house and grounds as they are today. For over fifty years, Richard Bevan was deeply involved in village life and, as a result, was known as “the father of Cuckfield”.
At his funeral it was said of him that he was “ever ready to assist any good project with sound and ripe advice and to help with generous liberality any deserving cause or person”. His greatest memorial is the Queen’s Hall in Cuckfield, built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
The objects he and his family gave to furnish and embellish the Hall form the basis of the Museum’s collection. Marked display labels illustrate the wealth and variety of the bequeathed objects and Richard Bevan’s collection of photographs of Cuckfield men who died during World War 1 forms an important part of the Museum’s picture archive.
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