Uckfield’s Cardale Monument has stood unloved by most and unnoticed in the car park of the Victoria Pleasure Ground.
Now it looks like being restored to its former glory and installed in a prominent position near to the new railway station car park.
But who was Cardale and why did Uckfield make such a fuss about him?
The following article is extracted from a document presented by Uckfield and District Preservation Society to the town council in support of moving and restoring the monument.
UckfieldNews.com acknowledges the copyright of the preservation society and Mick Harker for the material reproduced.
The Cardale Monument
The mid to late 1800s was a period of great expansion in Uckfield which was mainly brought about with the coming of the railway in 1848.
The photograph (above) shows the original “unveiling” of the Drinking Trough in 1894 to commemorate the life of the Rev Edward Thomas Cardale (1810-1893).
The Rev Cardale was the first Rector of Uckfield when the parish church became a church in its own right in 1839, rather than being a chapel-of-ease to the church at Buxted.
Charge of the Light Brigade
All the great and the good are in the picture, including General George Calvert Clerk (in the bath chair), who led the charge of the Royal Scots Greys at the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War.
He lived in a large house along Church Street, now called Church House.
The Battle of Balaclava was where the famous Charge of the Light Brigade happened under the command of the 3rd Earl of Lucan.
7th Lord Lucan disappeared
Interestingly, his descendent the mysterious disappearing 7th Earl of Lucan was last seen in Grants Hill House in Church Street after his nanny was found murdered in their London flat.
The Trough was originally located near to Bridge Cottage, to the right of the old Holly Bush cafe building where the Boots shop now stands.
It was moved to the Victoria Pleasure Ground when Boots and the link road were created.
Restored memorial to former glory
Originally positioned in a garden, it has now become surrounded by cars as its sits, rather abandoned, on the edge of the car park.
The Trough is in relatively good condition and a good clean will restore it to its former glory.
It would need to be rebuilt to its original height – during various moves both the supporting stones for the trough, the dogs under the drinking trough and the superb wrought iron finial that topped the monument were lost.
Photographs exist of the monument so stonemasons and a blacksmith could recreate the missing parts.