Little is the operative word for this village (which in earlier times also went by the name of Horsted Parva). But despite its humble size it can claim some highly distinguished connections. Our Royal Family were friends of Lord and Lady Rupert Nevill who lived at Horsted Place and the congregation at the village church often included the Queen when she paid visits to this corner of the county.
A slightly more tenuous royal link can be found in the grounds of the big house where there flourishes a myrtle bush grown from a sprig out of Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet. The impressive Victorian mansion and a big chunk of Little Horsted were later to become the East Sussex National Golf Course.
Read the village school’s log book for the latter half of the 19th century and you swiftly become involved in the preoccupations, hardships and aspirations of the community as a whole. The families, through the children, take on a real identity. The Diplock family certainly kept the teacher busy – here are some typical entries for the years spanning 1878 to 1879:
“Reprimanded Caroline Diplock for her idleness at her lessons … Reproved Caroline Diplock for being idle, but offended her mother for so doing … Ruth Diplock swept the school so badly that I was obliged to get another girl to do her work… Caroline Diplock is careless with her needlework … Punished Caroline Diplock for impudence … The Diplocks have broken three of the school slates this week through carelessness … Kept Alberic Diplock after school hours yesterday, as he is continually disturbing the girls when they are going home and this afternoon knocked Mary Kidd’s head against the wall because she did not do something he wanted her to … Caroline Diplock is very troublesome that she will no do what she is told and is therefore detained to do her lesson after the usual time … Caroline and Alberic Diplock away stone picking all day.”