Ashurst Wood Historians was founded in 1979…“To research and record the history of our village, its landscape, dwellings and the lives of its people through the stories of our residents, past and present.”

Due to the current Covid-19 situation in the UK, the Historians will not be meeting until restrictions are lifted.

Hopefully we will be able to start meeting again in the autumn. We had to cancel John Chisholm who was to have given us a talk ‘A Tour of Sussex with Postcard Artist Alfred Robert Quinton 1855 to 1934’ in April 2020. We will try to re-book him. If you have suggestions for other speakers we could approach please do let Keith know.

Former Members

More sad news I am afraid. Some of you will remember John Craske who was a member of the Historians for several years and a fairly regular attender at our monthly talks. He moved away from the village last October and went into a home. We have now heard from his daughter that he died on 12 February. She says that he was always interested in history and enjoyed our meetings.


It was with sadness that we received news of the death of two stalwarts at the Historians in December 2020 and January 2021.


Arthur Hunt

The first was Arthur Hunt, founder of the Historians. Having undertaken some study on local history in the early/mid 1970s, Arthur put out feelers to see whether there were local residents interested in exploring the history of the village. He received an enthusiastic response and there were 33 members at the inaugural meeting of Ashurst Wood Historians in the autumn of 1979. Since its formation the group have published 4 books, a Parish Map and organised 10 exhibitions. While a significant number of people have been involved over the years in undertaking research and contributing to the group’s work, without Arthur’s enthusiasm and encouragement there would not be such a wealth of information readily available on the history of the village. Members were pleased that he was able to attend the 40th anniversary celebration in October 2019.

Apart from local history, Arthur’s other main interest was rambling. For many years during the summer Arthur led local walks that were enjoyed by many. The Village Council published a book of his walks that is still available today.

Gwen Shuttleworth

The second was Gwen Shuttleworth, who died suddenly on 4 January. She was an Ashurst Wood resident of long-standing, whose service to the community and local groups was selfless and exceptional. As a pillar of the community, she will be much missed by those whose lives she touched and benefitted in many ways.

She was a founder member of Ashurst Wood Historians and its Honorary Treasurer for many years. Her local knowledge and the contacts she had were invaluable. Her enthusiasm was infectious. She contributed to the books published by the Historians and was always at the thick of the exhibitions.

Stay safe everyone.


40th Anniversary

Please click here to see some pictures from our 40th Anniversary celebrations.

In the first few years a great deal of research undertaken and the results are included in two books which are available for sale – see the section of the website headed “publications“.

The group has an extensive range of archive material. This is stored at Ashurst Wood Village Centre by kind permission of the Village Centre Trustees. The archives can be accessed by prior arrangement.

The group continues to meet monthly between September and July and most months have an invited speaker to talk about a matter of historic interest.

Villages at War

The Historians were invited to participate in the Villages at War project undertaken by East Grinstead Museum with the benefit of a grant from Mid Sussex District Council. Each of the neighbouring villages were offered the space on three pop up stands to tell something of what life was like in their village during WWI and some stories about some of those who fought. The Ashurst Wood stands put together by the Historians are now held in our archives.

Recent Events

Click on title above to see a summary of some of our recent events.

AGM 2019.

Held on Tuesday 9th March at 7:30pm,  officers were elected as follows:

Chair: Keith Stacey

Secretary: Wendy Stacey

Treasurer: Angie Jones

Gwen Shuttleworth stepped down as Treasurer after several years in the post. The meeting thanked her for her commitment and loyal service to the group.

Those present reviewed some options for presentations next year, and discussed plans for celebrating 40 years on the Historians in Ashurst Wood.

Formal minutes will follow.

Our programme for 2019-20 can be seen here

If you have an interest in local history and would like to join the group please contact Wendy Stacey (01342 323880) or wendy@keithandwendy.net – annual subscription £15.
Visitors are welcome so if there is an item in the programme of particular interest you can come along on a one – off basis and pay just £3 which includes refreshments at the end of the talk.

If you would like to know more about what’s going on in the village today visit the Village Council website