Twittens and Cat Creeps

Jackie had gone to London for the day so I decided to walk around Hollingbury and Patcham, exploring by the network of little alleys and alleys-with-steps – hereabouts known as twittens and cat creeps respectively – which run between gardens and connect streets.

I started by stiking north from Surrenden Road up this twitten.  I wonder how many steps it takes to convert a twitten to a cat creep? 

Then I found myself amongst somewhat smaller homes, with much smaller gardens, heading downhill towards Patcham.

Down on Carden Avenue this roofline appeared – a pub and two churches. 

I guess these twittens once ran over open fields, or at least between fields, and they became fossilised in the housing that came later.  This one runs between what I know to be the site of an old windmill, known as Ballards or Patcham Mill, and a big house called Patcham Grange, just east of the Old London Road.  The brick wall on the south side was probably part of an outbuilding at the edge of the grounds of the Grange.  The new fence hides the grounds of the mill house, now being developed with a number of detached homes.

I wanted to learn more of both mill and Grange, but the mill had gone by 1926, though the mill house still stands, and the Grange (a large timber-framed house of 1893 says the Brighton Encyclopaedia)may or may not exist.  A large private gate says it leads to the Grange, and Google Earth shows a building in the right place – but  I cannot tell. But the two maps below show the mill and National School before the Grange was built,

and the mill buildings with Grange and the School. 

I have shown them with north to the left so they better reflect the Regency Society photograph of the same bit of Patcham, which reveals the old mill building just behind Ashburnham House, and the Grange just south of the mill buildings.

patcham Grange on the right, some mill buildings centre left, Ashburnham House just below them

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