•  1869: Suez Canal opened•  1871: Trades Unions legalised•  1872: Secret ballots introduced for elections•  1873: Dr Livingstone dies•  1876: Bell invents telephone•  1878: Electric light bulb invented•  1881: Pasteur invents innoculation•  1884: Speaker Brand retires•  1884: Fabian Society founded•  1885: Glynde & Beddingham Cricket Club founded•  1887: Queen Victoria's Jubilee•  1894: Manchester Ship Canal opened•  1899: Boer War starts•  1901: Queen Victoria dies•  1903: 1st aeroplane flight by Wright Bros.•  1905: Ragged Lands established•  1909: Introduction of Old Age Pension•  1912: Sinking of the Titanic•  1914: Start of 1st World War•  1916: Battle of the Somme•  1918: End of 1st World War•  1919: 1st trans-atlantic flight•  1920: League of Nations founded•  1922: Irish Free State founded•  1924: Lenin dies•  1926: General Strike•  1928: Women get the vote•  1934: Hitler assumes power in Germany•  1936: Regular BBC TV broadcasts begin•  1939: Start of 2nd World War•  1940: Dunkirk evacuation•  1941: Japanese attack Pearl Harbour•  1944: "D-Day" landings in France•  1945: End of 2nd World War•  1946: USA tests atom bomb at Bikini Island•  1947: Sound Barrier broken•  1948: NHS founded•  1950: Korean War starts•  1951: Suez "Crisis"•  1953: Queen Elizabeth II crowned•  1954: Bannister runs 1st 4 minute mile•  1955: Glynde Place opened to the public•  1955: ITV starts broadcasting•  1957: 1st dog in space•  1958: Gatwick Airport opened•  1959: M1, the 1st motoway, opened•  1961: 1st man in space•  1963: US President Kennedy assassinated•  1965: Post Office Tower opened•  1966: England win World Cup•  1967: 1st heart transplant•  1968: Martin Luther King assassinated•  1969: 1st men on the moon•  1970: North Sea Oil discovered•  1971: Decimal coins introduced•  1972: "Bloody Sunday", 13 killed in Derry•  1974: US President Nixon resigned•  1976: Harold Wilson resigned as PM•  1978: 1st "Test Tube" baby born•  1979: Margaret Thatcher elected, UK's 1st woman PM•  1981: Prince Charles married Lady Di•  1982: Falklands War•  1984: Miners' Strike starts•  1985: Live Aid concert•  1987: Hurricane lashes South Coast•  1987: "Black Monday" Stock Market crash
Little Dene House: 1867-2022
Little Dene House, c 1890, before part of it was demolished to reduce the size.
Little Dene House, c 1890, before part of it was demolished to reduce the size.
Little Dene, from a postcard, c1920
Little Dene, from a postcard, c1920
Little Dene House in 1968
Little Dene House in 1968
Little Dene House, another view from 1968
Little Dene House, another view from 1968
Owner
FromNameUntil
1868Glynde Estate1893
1893Charles Brand1912
1927John C Brand & Lady Rosabella Brand1927
1934Lady Rosabella Brand1950
1955Cosmo Crawley1966
Occupier
FromNameUntil
1868Charles Ellis1878
1887Charles Brand1912
1927John C Brand & Lady Rosabella Brand1927
1934Lady Rosabella Brand1950
1955Cosmo Crawley1966

There is much confusion about the history of the various farms in Beddingham. The farms of Combe, Court House and Preston Court were probably the demesne lands of the manors of, respectively, Beddingham Combe, Beddingham and Preston Beckhelwyn, all part of the Glynde estate, while Cobbe Place Farm was owned by the Gage estate. At various times, and particularly between the mid-nineteenth century and the second world war, the size and composition of these farms varied and smaller farms were created from them.

Little Dene (or Littledene) was one of four houses that could lead to much confusion: Little Dene, Preston House Farm, Little Dene Farmhouse and Preston Court Farm. The first two of these are the same house. Henry Brand in Glyndiana recorded that ‘the estates property in Beddingham was considerably improved in 1866 through an exchange with Lord Gage. I surrendered to Gage about 200 acres in Alciston for an equivalent in Beddingham. After that exchange Preston House Farm was created by forming into one farm all my property in Beddingham, except Preston Court Farm and the small farms at each extremity of the parish – Durham Farm on the west and Balcombe Farm on the east, let to the company of limeburners’. A new house was built for the tenant of the newly created Preston House Farm by the Glynde estate between 1867 and 1869 when the estate accounts show the cost of a new house being built at Preston. The estate accounts for the year ending May 1867 included bills for ‘Preston Farm House building’, as did those of 1868. The accounts for the year ending May 1869 included part payment ‘of New Large Farmhouse for Mr Ellis, Beddingham, built in 1868/9’ and Kelly’s directory, 1878, shows Charles Ellis, farmer, occupying Preston House. On the first edition Ordnance Survey map, 1873, the house now known as Little Dene was clearly named as Preston House. Charles Brand, son of Henry Brand, was tenant of this house and a small farm by 1887 when it was named as Littledene in Kelly’s directory 1887. The new name of the house and farm was taken from a field called Little Denlands, named on the Beddingham tithe map of 1842, near to where the house was built.

Henry Brand, Viscount Hampden, died at Pau, France, on 14 March 1892 and the estate passed to his son Thomas Seymour Brand. The estate was in financial difficulties and heavily mortgaged. To attempt to pay off the mortgages Thomas Brand sold the house, now known as Littledene, and 90 acres of farmland in Beddingham, in May 1893 to his brother Charles Brand for £9500.

The house, farmland and associated cottages became a small private estate, the whole area assuming the name Littledene. Charles Brand died in 1912 and the farm, but not the house, was given up by his widow, his farm stock and implements being sold at auction.

A letter written by Cyril Harbour gives some detail about life at Little Dene in the 1930s from the perspective of one of the servants who worked there. In 1936 Lady Rosabella Brand held a fete in the grounds of the house to raise funds for the Firle Nursing Association.

The Little Dene estate was broken up in 1966 when the Crawley’s sold it in lots at auction. The sale particulars and accompanying map detail the extent of the estate at that time.

Other pages for this property:  


Little Dene House: Now

 

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