Walking the High Weald:
‘Mad Jack’ Fuller wasn’t mad, just a little colourful but his eccentricities and his legacies are plain for all to see. Without Mad Jack, Sussex and this walk would be poorer for it was he that saved Bodiam Castle from demolition.
Brightling really is Mad Jack Fuller’s village. he inherited the family mansion and estate in 1777, on his 20th birthday. An M.P. for East Sussex, his reputation for being outspoken and eccentric finally put him at loggerheads with the House and he stood down in 1812. His biography ‘Fuller of Sussex, A Georgian Squire’ by Geoff Hutchinson contains much more detail for those interested in Mad Jack’s life.
Although a patron of the arts and a public benefactor (he provided the Belle Tout lighthouse at East Dean) he is best known for the many follies that he built around Brightling after leaving politics.
Fuller died a bachelor in 1834 and is commemorated by a tablet on the south wall of the Nave of St Thomas a Becket Church.
Regrettably, one of Mad Jack’s less favourable actions attributed to him, or so the story goes, was to move the pub, The Green Man, ½ a mile away from the village centre to stop the Vicar’s congregation from holding their own service at a rather different altar. It later became known as Jack Fullers but subsequently closed, much to the chagrin of walkers who now have to walk to Robertsbridge to quench their thirst.
Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House
From History Walks, Talks and Books
More than just footsteps on a Path.
For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk