Rottingdean was always an agricultural community, the beach merely a convenient access point for smugglers.
Sheep were grazed for their wool and meat, while teams of oxen were used to plough the fields for the grain harvest.
Some shepherds became famous in their own right: John Dudeney the scholar shepherd (1782 -1852) who studied and became a schoolmaster; John Henty who fought in the Crimea and Steve Barrow who died in 1932 and was so sure that Kipling would steal his songs that he refused to sing them in his presence!
Some accounts here relate to Court Farm, some of whose barns now form Tudor Close: wages of agricultural labourers in 1896, John Copper’s lambing account and a thatching agreement which states “no beer allowed …1 ½ d to be paid instead of beer.”
Click on any image below to view