Goffs Park is the borough’s oldest park, and has evidence of settlement dating back to at least the 1300s and a reference to an Adam Goffe exists in a parish document of 1341. Much of the Goffs Park Estate was built upon when Crawley New Town was developed from the 1950s, leaving over 20 hectares of public open space today. The south-western corner of the park is now the playing field of St Wilfred’s Roman Catholic School.
There are two buildings of interest in Goffs Park – Goffs Park House, which is home to Crawley Museum Society, and the older Goffs Manor which is now a pub and restaurant with a garden area and duck pond.
Goffs Manor is a Grade II Listed Building and one of Crawley’s oldest houses. The earliest parts date back to c1450. The first floor is now tile hung, but the original framing is still visible on the ground floor with brick infilling.
The building has a Horsham slab roof, which is a typical roof tile for the area. Inside you can see the ceiling beams and the open fireplace. It was a farmhouse until the 1930s, then before its conversion to a public house, the house was owned by the actor Peter Vaughan, better known as the character ‘Grouty’, in the popular television series Porridge. Peter Vaughan was asked back to open the building when it became a public house.
A stone’s throw from the manor is Crawley Museum Centre which is based in Goffs House, and offers an interesting insight into the local history of the Town and District through a series of continuous and changing exhibitions.
The house was built in 1882 by Messrs Peter and Redford of Horsham for the banker Edwin Henty at a cost of £3750. The architect was William Buck. The house is faced with red kiln bricks, and bath stone dressing with a local tile roof. In the mid-1900s the house was acquired by Crawley Urban District Council for use as council offices. The building is now leased to the Probation and Community Services and the Crawley Museum Society. Contact the Museum Society on 01293 539088.
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