© Uckfield and District Preservation Society Ltd.          Registered Office - 47 Roman Way, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 1UY  All rights reserved.   Company Registered in England Number 04471316    Registered Charity No 1102573         webadmin@udps.co.uk
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Bridge Cottage is an aisled Wealden Hall House built to a relatively high architectural standard in about 1436 for a wealthy client. It has been greatly altered over the past six centuries but much of the original timber-work remains to show how it first looked with a service wing, central hall and solar wing.  The solar wing stood where the brick lean-to shop now stands on the right of the picture, having been demolished in the mid sixteenth century.  The brick lean-to was added in the mid eighteenth century.

The service wing to the left of the picture contained the pantry and buttery.  The first floor was jettied and the upper wall projected out beyond the lower wall at the front of the house.  The kitchen was probably in a separate building away from the main house because of the risk of fire.

The main living room was the central hall.  It was open from clay floor to the rafters with a central open fire hearth.  The hall was expensively decorated with moulded timbers to impress visitors. The owner and his family would have sat at the northern ‘high’ end of the hall, furthest away from the smoke of the fire.  The main framework of the house formed an arch across the width of the hall and supported the cross plan crown post of the roof.  

The now demolished solar wing was similar to the service wing and its rooms were probably the private chambers of the owner and more lavishly decorated than the store rooms of the service wing.
When the solar was demolished, its timbers were reused by putting a first floor in the building and at the end of the sixteenth century, the two brick chimneys were built.

In the early 1980s Uckfield was undergoing redevelopment and the area beside and behind Bridge Cottage became a shopping complex.  The building was in danger of demolition and the Society organised fund raising so the Cottage could be purchased by Uckfield Town Council.  The Society has maintained the building for 20 years and in late 2005, signed a 20 years lease.  This will enable the Society to raise sufficient funds to renovate fully the building and bring it into public use as an information and heritage centre.  Currently architect’s plans have been completed in anticipation of  the start of building work.
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