Martyn Lodge

On Church Street stands the majestic white Georgian house of former resident Nathaniel Woodard. As the founder of 16 Woodard schools including Ardingly and Hurstpierpoint, Canon Woodard lived at the property from 1862 to 1891. It is now marked with a blue plaque.

The house originally sat in acres of land, with the garden stretching to the High Street. Later residents included the Misses Ethel and Hilda Dixon-Brown who owned the property from 1915, and were instrumental in setting up the Brownies and Guides in Henfield. In December 1917, Ethel became Captain of the first Henfield Guides and Hilda ran the Rosebuds which later became the Brownies. The conservatory of Martyn Lodge was the location of these early meetings. 

From the 1930s until WWII, the house was also used as a grammar school (nicknamed a ‘crammer school’) run by Mr Mayes who tutored local boys wanting to sit their university exams. In wartime, Martyn Lodge was requisitioned by the Canadian Army – who invited local kids in to watch films.