Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dallington “Six miles from everywhere”:

The history of a Sussex village
By Karen Bryant-Mole 1999.

Chapter: Buildings of Interest
The Sugar Loaf, Pp 96-97

'This unusual building is situated next to the main Heathfield to Battle road, due east of the playing field. It is the only one of Jack Fuller’s follies to fall within the parish of Dallington. Jack Fuller was an M.P. in the first decade of the nineteenth century and was also the wealthy owner of Rose Hill (now Brightling Park) and its estate. He has been variously portrayed as eccentric, extravagant, benevolent and outspoken. One thing is for certain and that is that he enjoyed a good party.
The traditional tale of the Sugar Loaf is that during one such party he wagered that the spire of Dallington church could be seen from his home, Rose Hill. When he found that this was not so he ordered the conical building to be constructed, some say overnight, in order to fool his guests and win the bet. The exact date of its construction is not known but it is possibly around 1822. Jack Fuller later had the building converted into a labourer’s cottage. It is thought that Simeon Crouch and his family may have lived in the Sugar Loaf in the late 1870s, as family members have been told that one of his daughters, Mabel, was born there in 1879. Relatives of the Lulham family are believed to have been the last people to live in the Sugar Loaf. The stone building had two storeys, with windows on each floor. There was a ladder between the two floors and there’re was also a lean-to kitchen.
Local people recall that during the Second World War it was used as an anti-invasion machine gun post. Over the ensuing years, the abandoned building began to fall into disrepair. However a newspaper article of 1955 states that although ‘crumbing to a ruin’. The Sugar Loaf was ‘still a magnet to thousands of tourists every summer’.
The Sugar Loaf is situated on land that used to form part of Christmas Farm. In the 1950s, Dennis Baker bought Christmas Farm form the Brightling Estate and in 1962 he donated the Sugar Loaf to the local council. '