Enigmas that have not been forgotten in Southwick feature in new history book

Southwick Society chairman Mary Candy by Hobden's Cottage wall
Southwick Society chairman Mary Candy by Hobden's Cottage wall

Long-lost places in Southwick that are often referred to by residents are explored in a new local history book.

Southwick Enigmas is published by the Southwick Society and written by its chairman, Mary Candy.

Sheep drinking from the pond on Southwick Green

Sheep drinking from the pond on Southwick Green

Hobden’s Cottage, Hope Cottage, Crab House, the Egg Field, the Indian Temple and the Mystery Towers are just some of the places she has investigated.

Mary said: “Living very close to the parish church, I was particularly interested in the mysterious Hobden’s Cottage, which had somehow managed to leave its front garden wall in the middle of Church Lane, and the Indian Temple, which had apparently towered over Ivy Lodge at the end of the same road. What was an Indian temple doing, not just in Southwick but in someone’s back garden?

“Then there was the Egg Field, Crab House and the pond on Southwick Green. Where exactly had they been and what did they look like?”

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Hope Cottage

Hope Cottage

Drawing on extensive research, as well as the personal memories of Southwick residents, written records and photographs from the society’s own archives, Mary has created a picture of what these places once looked like and explained how they have left their legacy on the town.

One important find was the diary notes of Mr Frank Chandler New, the son of Southwick’s schoolmaster Elisha New.

In 1891, the family lived in the school house on the green. After Elisha’s death, they moved to Spring Gardens. Frank was a stationer’s clerk and never married.

Mary said: “These reminiscences were obviously never intended for publication, written as they are in note form. They do, however, give us a wonderful insight into the changes taking place in Southwick at the turn of the century.

Crab House and the power station in 1920

Crab House and the power station in 1920

“They cover a period between 1895 and 1906 and mainly concern the goings on around the green, including references to Kingsfield House, Hope Cottage, Lady Wasteney’s Indian Temple and the filling in of Southwick’s pond.”

Southwick Enigmas costs £5 and all profits go to support the work of the Southwick Society.

There will be an official book launch on Saturday, 10.30am to 12.30pm, at Manor Cottage Heritage Centre, Southwick Street, and Mary will be there with a small exhibition of pictures from the book.

The cottage is open every Saturday morning until September 8. Buy the book there or email southwicksociety@gmail.com.

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