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Mark Cross Millenium Green Village Sign
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Rural Living



The village takes it's name from the "March" or boundary of three parishes, Rotherfield, Mayfield and Wadhurst which intersect not far from the junction of the Mayfield-Frant(A267) and Rotherfield-Wadhurst (B2100) roads. The boundary or "March" crossroads which, on subsequent habitation, became known as "Mark Cross". Rent Roll records show tenant holdings in the area of "Merc Cross" or "Mercrosse".

Though the village itself is fairly small, it is nevertheless an ecclesiastical parish with boundaries approximating to those shown on the map below. The parish extends for roughly 4.5 square miles embracing about 3,500 acres of which one quarter is woodland, a minute part of what was once the vast "Forest of Anderida" which in ancient times covered the Weald of Kent and Sussex.

There is some evidence to suggest that habitation in the area covered by the parish commenced as early as 750BC. Records show for certainty that Alfred the Great (871-899AD) held lands around Rotherfield probably embracing Eridge, Frant and possibly the future Mark Cross.

The records also show that the present parish of Mark Cross fell within two Manors, those of Mayfield and Rotherfield. The former was granted to the Archbishops of Canterbury around 830AD probably by Egbert the then King of Wessex.

Rotherfield appears to have remained in Saxon hands until the Norman Conquest
after which William 1(1066-1087) granted the manorial rights to Odo Bishop of Bayeau then, when he fell from favour, to Richard De Clare of Tonbridge whose family held it until the early 14th century.

Various sources, again rental rolls among them, show the gradual development of Mark Cross, both as a parish and as a village with it's major houses and farms through the centuries.

Some of those houses and farms, it is a delight to note, are still in habitation and work today.

The Village School was erected in 1851 and converted to a church in 1873. The clock on the church commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. The village had its own constable by 1865 and the local map for 1874 shows that a "police station" had taken the place of the Toll House. Until very recent times local magistrates sat in the Court House which was sited opposite the existing Mark Cross inn where they are known to have "wined and dined".

The Village Hall which was erected in 1907 at a cost of £120, raised by public subscription, continues in frequent use to this day for various functions and as a Polling Station for both local and national elections.

By the creation of this Millennium Green the Village is celebrating not ONE but TWO Thousand Years of it's history and looking forward with anticipation to it's THIRD millennium.

Further historical articles from assorted sources:


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