Providing Care for the Elderly since 1945

The Stag

The Diplock Stag, which is the centrepiece in our grounds, has aroused much interest and controversy over the years.

The stag came from Southdown Hall, some say from the garden, some from an archway over the main drive leading from the High Street. An almost identical Stag was placed over a single lofty brick arch at Charborough Park, Dorset in 1841 by Mr Sawbridge Erie Drax (see picture on right).

It is known that the Diplocks had “garden ornaments” imported from France soon after the house was built and an old gentleman from Polegate remembers being chased away by the gardener at “The Hall” for sitting on the stag when he was a boy. It is understood that the Stag was used in the design of beer labels for Diplock’s brewery.

The stag, in the middle of our main drive, has always been in a vulnerable position, and it has suffered both abrasions and fractures from passing vehicles. Several years ago a dust cart backed into it, and, although the stag was severely damaged, it has been restored to its former glory. It is now surrounded by a high kerb in the hope of preventing further damage.

We like to believe that the stag is the Chinese symbol of happiness and good fortune – true or not, it is what we wish our residents.