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What You Didn’t Know About Forest Row

Discover Forest Row

One of the more desirable Sussex villages, we thought we’d test your knowledge of it with these 8 quirky facts about Forest Row that you may or may not already know:

It’s officially posh

Earlier this year The Times released its list of the poshest places in the UK in 2023. Forest Row came third out of 22.

Forest Row

It has celebrity status 

Celebrities are common in Forest Row. Boris Johnson and Damian Lewis went to the nearby prep school Ashdown House School. The school has since closed but not because they went there! Other celebrities who have lived there include David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Richard Jones (The Feeling), and Ben Elton while Led Zeppelin owned Hammerwood Park in the 1970s. Nearby East Grinstead often enjoys celebrity visits and Tom Cruise, who used to own a house there, has been spotted in Forest Row and The Brambletye Inn was frequented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

It’s got ley line energy 

Ley lines are straight lines drawn between various historic structures and prominent landmarks that crisscross the globe, like latitudinal and longitudinal lines. They are believed by some to have rivers of supernatural energy and where they intersect, pockets of intense energy. East Grinstead sits on a ley line and Forest Row is believed to derive positive energy from nearby ley line intersections.

Forest Row

Rudolf Steiner was here 

Michael Hall was the first Steiner Waldorf school in Britain and it’s just outside Forest Row in Kidbrooke Park on the edge of Ashdown Forest. It was founded in 1925. Kidbrooke Park is a Grade II listed house built for the Earl of Abergavenny in 1735. The parklands were landscaped by the landscape architect Humphry Repton and are also listed as Grade II.

It’s fit for a president 

In 1963, the former American President, John F. Kennedy, attended mass at the “Our Lady of the Forest Church”. This was the first time an American president had attended Roman Catholic Mass in England. He was assassinated later that year.

Forest Row

Scene of the great mail robbery 

In 1801, two men (John Beatson and William Whalley Beatson) robbed a mail coach as it made its way up Wall Hill and stole a whopping £4,000 (estimates are between £4,000 and £5,000 – a huge sum back then). They were caught and sentenced to death by hanging on the spot where the robbery took place on 17 April 1802.

Winne the Pooh lived nearby 

A.A. Milne, the writer and creator of Winnie the Pooh, lived on the edge of Ashdown Forest and Pooh Sticks bridge is nearby.

Smugglers are in town 

Part of The Swan pub (formerly The Yew) was a centre of smuggling in the 18th century.

If you’ve enjoyed this post about Forest Row, you may also enjoy:

Discovering Forest Row

Eateries & Places to Stay in Forest Row

Bimble Around Ashdown Forest (East Sussex)

Let’s Eat at Forest Brasserie, Ashdown Park

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