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The history of Bates Green Farmhouse since it has been owned by the McCutchan family.

Stanley Ross McCutchan moved here in 1921, which as you can see was just a 2 up and 2 down gamekeepers cottage, that belonged to the Michelham Priory Estate, possibly 100 years old, so there is another research project, when I have time!

Front of Bates Green circa 1930

My grandfather who had become blind, was a widower, so wanted to entice my father back from Canada, as when young he emigrated there and was a cattle rancher living in his own self built log cabin!  He fought in the First World War with a Canadian Regiment, and was wounded at Passchendaele.  My grandfather then bought Bates Green Cottage in 1925 for £900, plus Beatons Wood, 33 acres of pastureland and a few buildings for pheasant rearing.  My father then created Bates Green Farm with a herd of Sussex cattle and his beloved horses, as he loved riding with the various Hunts in the area.

He met my mother at a dance held at Michelham Priory and they married early in 1936.  My mother was born in France and as she could drive, was a ‘ladies’ companion’ to a Mrs Savory of the well-established Savory & Moore pharmacy company.  She then trained to be a physiotherapist and worked at the old Eastbourne’s Princess Alice Hospital.  

To increase the rooms in the house, my father changed the ‘cat sliding roof’ at the back by creating a roof valley through the centre of the house, also build on the right hand side of the cottage and tile hung the walls.  When he married, he built on the left hand side around the well that supplied all our drinking water.  I remember the bucket being dropped down the well, then carried to the earthen ware filter in what we called the Larder, which had a stone floor to help keep it cool, as it stored all perishable food, this was before we had the convenience of refrigerators!  Later Carolyn and I built an extension at the back, in keeping with the rest of the house, so no one realizes my home started just as a small cottage!

Front of Bates Green circa 1930
Front of Bates Green circa 1930

The left hand window of the original cottage is the room in which I took my first breath, so starting my fortunate life.  In my ‘bucket list’ is the wish that I could take my last breath in the same room as I took my first, which could be quite unique!  It has been my office for many years, so as it already has a bed in it, I am prepared! 

Every room in the house has many memories from childhood onwards, plus every part of the garden and farm, so each morning I appreciate what a lucky life I have had, which is now entering its 87th year, so of course I wonder how many more I am going to enjoy!

John McCutchan December 2023

Front of Bates Green circa 1930

Bates Green Farm


Polegate, East Sussex

BN26 6SH


+44 (0)7818 888440

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