New roots for old cottage

JPCT-16-08-11 SC11330446a  Fulling Mill Cottage, School Ln, Fittleworth, Pulborough, Old cottage left to Cat Welfare Sussex charity hasn't been touched since the 1800s. exterior     -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-16-08-11 SC11330446a Fulling Mill Cottage, School Ln, Fittleworth, Pulborough, Old cottage left to Cat Welfare Sussex charity hasn't been touched since the 1800s. exterior -photo by steve cobb

RESTORATION work has started on the ‘cottage that time forgot’ in Fittleworth.

As reported in the County Times on August 25 Fulling Mill Cottage, dating back from the 1400s, was left in a sorry state when its owner Fred Saigeman died in January 2010.

A great supporter of the charity Cat Welfare Sussex, based in Portslade, he left the house and his 80 cats in their capable hands.

Julie Grant, trustee of Cat Welfare Sussex, said: “We have been working hard at the property although the restoration is very slow as we have to do everything step by step.”

The overgrown trees from the front garden have been removed, and they are planning to hold a community tree planting event.

“We have been given a grant by the Sussex Wildlife Trust and they are providing approximately 20 old Sussex varieties of fruit trees in order to restore the Old Orchard,” said Mrs Grant.

Orchards are a magnet for wildlife and she says ‘many have been lost to development’. She added: “There is a big drive to reinstate such orchards at the moment by wildlife associations.

“Orchards planted in conservation areas, as is Fittleworth, receive statutory protection by law. So this should help to save our land from development in the future.”

The planting will take place at the cottage on School Lane on Sunday December 11 at 1pm, and will be followed by refreshments, a raffle, home produce stalls and a visit from Father Christmas in the Fittleworth Village Hall, School Lane. Anyone wanting to take part in the tree planting should bring wellies and a spade.

All the proceeds from the day will go to the Cat Welfare Sussex Fulling Mill Cottage Restoration Project.

They plan to restore the building to its former glory, minus any modcons, this is expected to take about three years to complete.