Village Trust and Archive

In forming the Hadlow Down Village Trust our aim was to record the memories of the village and its people in sound, vision and print for future generations, and to preserve vital oral history and accounts of village life in the twentieth and twenty first century.

The original idea came from Eddie Westfield who felt strongly that we record this type of social history, and retain interesting documents and photographs for future generations. A Trust was formed in May 2018 and our first task was to secure the wonderful archive of Peter Gillies, author of the excellent HadlowDown: An Autobiography. We have been well supported by local people who have donated or lent us old photographs and material to scan and archive, and shared their stories.

We aim to share the images and stories with you here, if you have any stories or ephemera you would like to pass on to us please do get in touch.

Contact Sarah Prall
Telephone 01825 830373

The Spy From Hadlow Down

Diana Hope Rowden (January 31st. 1915 – July 6th. 1944) was a Special Operations Executive (SOE) member who was put to death in a Nazi concentration camp.
Born in England she moved with her family to southern France when she was still a young girl.  She attended schools in Saint-Remo and Cannes on the French Riviera, but her family soon returned to England settling at Hadlow Down.   Continue reading “The Spy From Hadlow Down”

An Article on Hadlow Down

The following article is by an unknown author:

‘A strange place to find an unusual business, especially one that got the royal seal of approval. The Keston Foreign Bird Farm, proclaimed in 1927 as ‘the only farm of its kind in the world’, was appointed agriculturalists to King George V and the Duke of Bedford. The exotic birds of the world flourished in this corner of Sussex and the business with them: as Southern Aviaries it was put on the market as a going concern in 1985. ln the middle of the 19th century Hadlow Down got its school, presided over by a one-legged schoolmaster indelicately known as Cripple Wood by his pupils. It also got its church. It was here that a farmer called Bridger wanted to have his son christened Beelzebub.  Continue reading “An Article on Hadlow Down”