2020 Opening Display

"Cuckfield's History in 20 Objects"

Our opening display for 2020 is “Cuckfield’s History in 20 Objects”. Visitors can expect to see some unusual items, some from our reserve collection and therefore rarely displayed, each chosen to represent an aspect of local life over the centuries, such as the immense wealth generated by the iron industry, the impact of the early 19thC “golden age” of stage coaches passing through between London and Brighton and, not least, the one thing that prevented Cuckfield becoming a town like Haywards Heath.

Cuckfield’s clock making tradition is highlighted by a new acquisition, an Edward Bates silver pocket watch dating from 1793 and also by a Gatland long case clock dial and movement from the 1740s, loaned while awaiting restoration.

An Edward Bates silver pocket watch, 1793
The back of the same pocket watch

We commemorate the Cuckfield men who went to war in 1914-18 and celebrate the goodwill extended to servicemen stationed here in WWII. What is noticeable is Cuckfield’s long-standing fund raising tradition, from Richard Bevan’s Improvement Association and the building of the Queen’s Hall to today’s Independent State of Cuckfield.    

A Talbot dinner bill
A Kings Head soup plate
A relic from the Union Workhouse

One of the dinosaur bones excavated at Whitemans Green, an unusual relic from the Union Workhouse and a more recent reminder of life at Cuckfield Hospital give an idea of the scope of what we have put together. However, we fully expect our visitors to have their own ideas about what else should have been included - and we look forward to hearing them!

If you are interested in this or any other Cuckfield topics, why not visit us in the museum. Click here to see our opening hours.

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