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History of Barnham


The parish of Barnham, well known in the 20thcentury for its market gardens, lies on the coastalplain north-east of Bognor Regis. (fn. 1)  The ancientparish was 872 a. in area. Five detached portionsto the south-east comprising 31 a. were addedto Yapton between 1882 and 1891, so that in1971 Barnham had 340 ha. (841 a.). (fn. 2)  The easterntip of the parish and a salient of Barnham intoYapton in the south-east were transferred to thatparish in 1985, and at the same date a block ofland comprising parts of Yapton, Walberton,and Eastergate was added to Barnham. (fn. 3)  Thepresent article deals with the parish as constituted before 1985.

The boundary of the ancient parish partlyfollows streams. Its configuration seems to showthat Barnham once formed part of Eastergate orof a larger area also including Yapton.

The parish lies chiefly on brickearth, withalluvium in the valleys of the streams thatseparate it from Eastergate and Yapton. (fn. 4)  Theformer was called the Walberton brook in 1910 (fn. 5) but is more usually the Barnham brook; it seemslikely to have been tidal in historic times (fn. 6)  andwas probably the site of the 40 a. of arable whichlay uncultivated in 1341 because of flooding. (fn. 7) There were several ponds in the parish in the18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 8)  Land along the Barnham brook in the north part was liable toflooding, sometimes severe, in the later 20thcentury. (fn. 9)  Despite the proximity of Barnhamstation in Eastergate in 1993, only a small partof the parish was then built up, the rest beingdivided between agriculture and market gardens.

Woodland belonging to the manor yielded threeswine in 1086. (fn. 10)  A grove called ‘Chelewardesly’,perhaps near the later Choller Farmhouse inWalberton, supplied timber for repairing Barnhammanor house and for other purposes in 1253, (fn. 11) and closes called the Woodread mead and Middlewood and Littlewood reeds mentioned in the 16thcentury and early 17th seem from their names tobe assarted land; the close of 60 a. called the Greatwood in 1558, however, was perhaps then stillwoodland. (fn. 12)

Free warren was granted to the lord of themanor in 1253. (fn. 13)  The close east of BarnhamCourt and north of the church was called theWarren c. 1762 and later. (fn. 14)

The parish is traversed at its north end byan early route from Chichester to Cudlow inClimping, the modern Yapton Road. (fn. 15)  At thepoint where it crossed the Barnham brook onthe boundary between Barnham and Eastergatethere was a bridge by 1317; (fn. 16)  it was calledBarnham bridge in 1649, when the inhabitantsof the two parishes shared the cost of its repair. (fn. 17) The road’s alignment was altered when therailway embankment was built c. 1846. (fn. 18)  Otherroads in the parish which linked the varioussettlements or gave access to the fields includedChurch, Brook, Leys, (fn. 19)  and Hill lanes. Parts ofChurch and Hill lanes are sunk between higherland on either side. (fn. 20)

Buses passed through Barnham between Chichester and Littlehampton by 1927 and betweenSlindon and Bognor Regis by 1934. (fn. 21)  Both servicescontinued in 1965, though the former then ranonly to Yapton. (fn. 22)  Chichester, Slindon, BognorRegis, and Arundel were accessible by bus in 1992.

The Portsmouth-Arundel canal was openedthrough the centre of the parish in 1823, (fn. 23) crossing the Barnham brook and the Lidsey rifein the west by embankments, while south andsouth-east of the village it was crossed itself by twoswing bridges, one inscribed ‘Stewart Bridge1820′. (fn. 24)  After the closure of the canal in the mid19th century the company’s liquidators cut oneembankment at the point where it crossed theBarnham brook but the vestry enforced thebuilding of a bridge instead to preserve the rightof way. (fn. 25)

The Chichester-Brighton railway line crossesthe northern tip of the parish. Barnham wasserved from 1846 by stations at Yapton and atWoodgate in Aldingbourne; at the opening ofthe Bognor branch railway, which also runsthrough the parish, in 1864 they were replacedby the station named Barnham in Eastergate. (fn. 26)

A hoard of Bronze Age celts was found duringthe construction of the Bognor railway in thenorth-west part c. 1864. (fn. 27)  Barnham Court andthe parish church lie slightly to the east, towardsthe centre of the parish and away from themodern main road. There are a few houses orsites of houses nearby, and the close east ofBarnham Court and north of the church mayshow evidence of dwellings otherwise unrecorded. (fn. 28)  Other houses flanked Church Lane,leading north-east from the church, c. 1762, (fn. 29) and since many of them belonged to manorialtenements and occupied parallel plots that patternwas probably medieval. (fn. 30)  The only pre-19th-centuryhouses in the area described apart from BarnhamCourt are Manor cottage, north-east of the church,apparently 18th-century and with a red and bluebrick front dated W E M/1784 (for William andElizabeth Murrell), (fn. 31)  and perhaps the smallercottage called Curacoa in 1992. About 1762 therehad been c. 9 others. Two ponds then existednearby, and later there were as many as seven inthe same area.

BARNHAM c. 1762 (from W.S.R.O., Goodwood MS. E4996)

Parsonage Farmhouse beside the northern boundary of the ancient parish also presumably occupiesan early site, (fn. 32)  but there is no indication of medievalsettlement along the Chichester-Cudlow road inthe north-east; Luccombe cottage by the junctionwith Church Lane, of flint with brick dressings, isapparently 18th-century, and the c. 8 other buildings shown c. 1762 apparently represented recentinclosures from waste land. (fn. 33)

From 19 houses in 1801 the total rose to 30 in1841, 37 in 1871, and 58 in 1901. (fn. 34)  The openingof the railway station in Eastergate in 1864caused an immediate increase, five cottages beingbuilt by the following year, (fn. 35)  and a terrace offour flint and brick cottages was put up at thesouth end of Church Lane in 1890 for the farmlabourers of C. F. Field. (fn. 36)  A few larger houseswere built at the north end of Church Lane inthe period 1890-1910, (fn. 37)  and by the early 20thcentury the junction of Church Lane and YaptonRoad, with the inn, school, parish hall, and shop,had become the new focus of the parish. Suggestions for large-scale development to matchthat in Eastergate, however, were never takenup. (fn. 38)  After 1918 several pairs of brick houseswere erected on new county council smallholdings in Yapton Road and Hill Lane, (fn. 39)  and in1948 a small estate of council houses was builtat the top of Church Lane. (fn. 40)  Other individualhouses and bungalows were built in the 20thcentury in both Yapton Road and Church Lane,some farm buildings in the latter also beingconverted as dwellings; north-west of the church,meanwhile, a few houses were put up beside thenearby orchards. There was further developmenton either side of Lake Lane north of the railwayafter 1957, (fn. 41)  including an area of Arun districtcouncil grouped housing for the elderly. (fn. 42)  In1994 houses were being built on the site ofBarnham Nurseries’ ‘old nursery’ in YaptonRoad. (fn. 43)

Twelve villani and 12 cottars were enumeratedon Barnham manor in 1086, (fn. 44)  but 14th- and16th-century tax lists do not distinguish Barnham vill from Walberton. (fn. 45)  Thirty-nine adultmales signed the protestation in 1642. (fn. 46)  Therewere 16 families in 1724. (fn. 47)  The population in1801 was 124, falling to 112 in 1811 and fluctuating thereafter until 1861 between that figureand 173. From 1861, with the opening of Barnham station, there was a steady rise to 255 in1901, 428 in 1951, 557 in 1971, and 1,222 in thealtered area of the parish in 1991. (fn. 48)

An inn of unknown site was recorded in 1686 (fn. 49) and a victualler in 1811. (fn. 50)  The Murrell Arms atthe junction of Church Lane and Yapton Roadwas opened in 1866. (fn. 51)

A men’s reading room or club room wasopened in or shortly before 1890, when lectureswere being held there; it was presumably thesame as the corrugated iron building next to theformer poorhouse in Yapton Road which waspresented to the parish by W. A. Hounsom ofYapton. (fn. 52)  The parish hall behind it was put upin 1931. (fn. 53)  A Barnham choral society existed by1929. (fn. 54)  In 1965 there were several local groupsincluding a folk dance club, (fn. 55)  and in 1992 thehall was used by 18 organizations. (fn. 56)  It belongedby 1965 to the parish council. In the same yearthe county council managed a library there withvoluntary help, which was open twice a week. (fn. 57)

A Barnham sports club flourished in 1935, (fn. 58) but no sports were played in the parish in 1992. (fn. 59)

Mains water was laid on, presumably by theBognor Water Co., in part of Yapton Road by1912, (fn. 60)  and was available in Church Lane in1933. (fn. 61)  By 1912 gas mains had been laid by theBognor Gas Co. in Yapton Road under an Orderof 1904. (fn. 62)  Electricity was supplied at least toChurch Lane by 1933 (fn. 63)  and more generally by1938; (fn. 64)  the only street lighting in 1965, however,was a single lamp under the railway bridge. Maindrainage had been put in by 1965. (fn. 65)  A sewagetreatment works beside the former canal in thewest end of the parish existed by 1981. (fn. 66)


Alnoth, afree man, held Barnham in 1066, and Williamheld it of earl Roger in 1086. (fn. 67)  Perhaps from thatdate (fn. 68)  and certainly from 1230, when William deSt. John had it, (fn. 69)  it descended as a member ofHalnaker in Boxgrove (fn. 70)  through Robert de St.John (fl. 1250-3), (fn. 71)  John de St. John (fl. 1275;d. 1301), (fn. 72)  and thence in the direct line throughJohn (d. 1329), (fn. 73)  Hugh (d. 1335), (fn. 74)  and Edmund(d. 1347). (fn. 75)  In 1253 it was leased to MasterRichard, king’s cook, and another for 14 years,and in 1299 to the company of the Bonsignoriof Siena for 16 years. (fn. 76)  It continued to descendwith Halnaker (fn. 77)  until at the death of ThomasPoynings, Lord St. John, in 1429 it passed undera settlement of 1416 to (Sir) John Paulet, (fn. 78) husband of his granddaughter Constance. John’sson and namesake succeeded his father in 1437,and at his death in 1492 (fn. 79)  was succeeded by hisson, Sir John (d. 1525), (fn. 80)  whose son WilliamPaulet, created in 1539 Lord St. John, exchanged the manor c. 1542 to the Crown. (fn. 81)

In 1570 the reversion of Barnham was grantedto William Howard, Lord Howard of Effingham. (fn. 82) Courts were held in the names of Agnes Browne,widow, and William Browne in 1593 and ofWilliam Browne alone in 1596. (fn. 83)  Sir WilliamBrowne of Loseley (Surr.) had the manor in1608; (fn. 84)  in 1629 he conveyed it to Sir WilliamMorley (fn. 85)  (d. 1658 or 1659), (fn. 86)  after which it onceagain descended with Halnaker, from 1765 in theLennox, later Gordon-Lennox, family, dukes ofRichmond. (fn. 87)

Barnham farm, the manor demesne, then 201a., was sold in 1700 to the Revd. ThomasMusgrave (fn. 88)  (d. c. 1725), whose niece and heirElizabeth married Ogle Riggs. (fn. 89)  In 1748 theyconveyed the farm to John Page, M.P. for Chichester (d. 1779), (fn. 90)  whose daughter Frances marriedGeorge White Thomas, M.P. (fn. 91)  After his death in1821 it passed to their daughter, also Frances (d.1835), and her husband Lt.-Genl. John GustavusCrosbie (d. 1843). (fn. 92)  About 1848 the estate had 265a. within the parish. (fn. 93)  John’s son and heir Charlessold it apparently in 1853 to the tenant RichardCosens, (fn. 94)  members of whose family had held thelease since 1756 or earlier; (fn. 95)  the same or anotherRichard Cosens had himself owned 159 a. in theparish before c. 1848. (fn. 96)

After Richard’s death in 1871 (fn. 97)  Barnham Courtfarm was sold apparently to George and ArthurWoodbridge. (fn. 98)  The land seems to have been dividedbetween Arthur Woodbridge and James Harrisonbefore 1899, and c. 1910 Woodbridge and JosephHarrison each owned a farm called Church farm,respectively of 166 a. and 187 a. By 1915 Harrisonwas the only large landowner. In the early 1930sthe estate belonged to a Mrs. Kittow; (fn. 99)  in 1934 shesold it to William Forse, after whose death in 1952it passed to his son John (d. 1989); (fn. 1)  John’s sonWilliam retained it in 1993.

The medieval manor house of Barnham manormentioned from 1253 (fn. 2)  seems likely to have stoodeither on the site of its successor Barnham Courtor in the close east of it. In 1337 it had a dovecotand two gardens. (fn. 3)

Barnham Court (fn. 4)  is of red brick and has anorth-east front of five bays, with two superimposedorders of pilasters and prominent entablaturesof cut and moulded brick, above which there areshaped gables surmounted by small pedimentsalternately segmental and triangular. The pedimented brick doorcase has Doric pilasters againsta rusticated surround. The plan is double-pile withfour very tall chimneystacks along the side wallsand a massive oak staircase in the centre of therear block. The original entrance was probablyacross the end of the south-eastern room, sincedivided.

Barnham Court in 1876

Stylistically the building belongs to the groupof ‘Artisan Mannerist’ houses of the mid 17thcentury, other examples of which are AlbournePlace, Ford Place, and Kew Palace near London; (fn. 5) the same bricklayer was perhaps responsible forboth Barnham Court and Kew Palace. (fn. 6)  Since thelord of the manor then lived elsewhere, BarnhamCourt was clearly built by a lessee, presumablysomeone with City of London connexions, likethe builders of other such houses. (fn. 7)  Nothing,however, is known of him or of the date of thebuilding. (fn. 8)  In 1670 it was assessed for 12 hearths. (fn. 9)

For most of its history Barnham Court hasbeen a farmhouse rather than a gentleman’shouse. (fn. 10)  The interior was remodelled in theearly 19th century, and the single-storeyed17th-century service wing abutting the south-easternside of the house was extended upwards andsouth-eastwards in matching style at the sameperiod. The present dining room, formerly thekitchen, was refitted in the 20th century with17th-century-style panelling and a moulded plasterceiling.

A possibly 16th-century barn south of thehouse, c. 150 ft. (46 metres) long with a queen-postroof and two lateral entrances, was demolishedin the 1960s. (fn. 11)

About 1762 an avenue of trees ran northeastwards from the entrance front of the house. (fn. 12) A small formal garden with crisscrossing pathswas laid out behind the building in the 19thcentury; (fn. 13)  tall hedges of box and yew survivedin 1916 (fn. 14)  but most had gone by 1992. Land tothe north between the house and the Barnhambrook, including former marlpits, (fn. 15)  was laid outas a wild garden in the late 1930s, a pondnorth-west of the house being extended southwards in the 1970s to surround a high islandapproached by a bridge from the east. (fn. 16)

The RECTORY estate, which belonged toBoxgrove priory from the late 13th century orearlier, (fn. 17)  in 1324-5 had a house, two barns, 48 a.of arable, and 3 a. of meadow, besides freetenants. (fn. 18)  After 1440 it also included all the vicarialtithes and glebe. (fn. 19)  A portion of tithes descendedwith Bilsham manor in Yapton between 1568 and1727. (fn. 20)  After the Dissolution the reversion ofthe estate was conveyed in 1537 to Sir WilliamFitzwilliam, (fn. 21)  created in the same year earl ofSouthampton (d. 1542), (fn. 22)  but by 1566 the rectory had passed to John Standen and NicholasKnight, (fn. 23)  then or later Standen’s son-in-law. (fn. 24) After Nicholas’s death in 1584 his son John (fn. 25)  andothers conveyed it in 1587 to John Tilly, (fn. 26)  apparently the tenant, (fn. 27)  who died in 1596 or 1597. (fn. 28)

Later members of the Tilly family to have theestate were John (fl. 1643), (fn. 29)  John (fl. 1648-63), (fn. 30) Mary (fl. 1673), and the second John’s sonsGeorge (fl. 1680-4; d. by 1695) and Samuel (fl.1680-1701), who owned it jointly with EdwardMadgwick. In 1695 it was described as a houseand 90 a. (fn. 31)  In 1701 Samuel and Edward conveyedit to William Madgwick. (fn. 32)  A Mr. Madgwick wasdescribed as impropriator in 1724, (fn. 33)  and WilliamMadgwick in 1758. (fn. 34)  In 1762 Edward Madgwickconveyed the estate to Joseph Postlethwaite, (fn. 35) occupier of Parsonage farm (fn. 36)  in succession to hisfather Henry (d. 1730). (fn. 37)  By 1770 Joseph hadbeen succeeded by his son and namesake, (fn. 38)  afterwhose death 1824 X 1827 the farm descended tohis daughters Mary Ann, wife of Thomas Tourle,and Susannah, wife of John Rickman, as tenants incommon. (fn. 39)  By 1849, when the farm had only 8 a. inthe parish, they had been succeeded by Joseph LeggPostlethwaite and John Joseph Tourle, described asjoint owners, who at the commutation of tithes inthat year received a rent charge of £302 10s. (fn. 40)  A ‘Mr.Rickman’, perhaps W. C. Rickman, later patron ofthe living, was described as lay rector in 1865. (fn. 41)

The front range of Parsonage Farmhouse isearly 17th-century, with timber-framed walls ona brick plinth; in 1648 the building had aparlour, a hall, and various chambers, and in1730 there were a study, several chambers, andgarrets. (fn. 42)  A service wing was added to the northwest, probably in the early 18th century. (fn. 43)  Thewalls of the older range were largely replaced inbrick and flint in the 18th century, the front wallwas rebuilt in chequered brick in the early 19th,and the Lutyens-style porch with square woodenpiers was added in the 20th.

John Bonham Smith had 225 a. in Barnham in1747 of which at least 175 a. had passed by c.1762 to his son and heir Henry Bonham. Thelatter estate, which included Manor cottage inChurch Lane, later belonged to John Woods. (fn. 44) Joseph Woods (d. 1800) settled it on his granddaughters Elizabeth and Maria James. (fn. 45)  It waspresumably the farm of 146 a. occupied byJoseph Murrell in 1794, (fn. 46)  and seems to havepassed to the dukes of Richmond, who c. 1848had Manor cottage and 123 a. in the parish,divided into two holdings. (fn. 47)  From 1869 or earlierthat land formed a single farm of 168 a., (fn. 48)  whichin 1919-20 was bought by West Sussex countycouncil for smallholdings. (fn. 49)

The yardland called Borham in 1086, which afree man had held in 1066 and which Morin thenheld of earl Roger, (fn. 50)  may have been in Barnham;it is not otherwise recorded.

In the mid 18th century and later Shipley andWest Dean churches and St. Bartholomew’schurch, Chichester, had glebe lying within theparish. (fn. 51)



Arable fields named in the Middle Ages were laRude, (fn. 52)  Hayley, (fn. 53)  and Northfield. The last namedperhaps lay east of Church Lane, (fn. 54)  and from thetopography seems likely to be the same as Hillfield mentioned in the 17th century. (fn. 55)  Town andEast fields recorded in 1543 (fn. 56)  have not beenlocated. The instruction to all manor tenants torepair fences (clausur’) in the arable fields in thesame year indicates that at least partial inclosurehad taken place. (fn. 57)

Crops grown in 1341 included flax and hemp.Arable farming was then the chief land use, theninth of sheaves being worth nine times those offleeces and lambs together. (fn. 58)  In the 17th and18th centuries wheat was the main crop, othersbeing barley, vetches, peas, oats, and tares. (fn. 59)  Arotation of wheat, barley, and peas and vetcheswith or without oats may be indicated in the 17thcentury. (fn. 60)  Clover was grown by 1713. (fn. 61)

A common meadow called the Long mead wasmentioned from 1298, (fn. 62)  and geese and duckswere prohibited from feeding in the commonmeadows in 1543. (fn. 63)  The common brooks mentioned from 1543, perhaps the same, evidentlylay in the southern tip of the parish. In that yearthey were ordered to be protected by a bank onall sides. (fn. 64)  Tenants of the manor had pasturerights there for small numbers of cattle from thelate 16th century. (fn. 65)

What was called the ‘common brook ofmeadow or pasture’ in 1747 seems likely tohave been the same land. The nine tenants whohad rights there agreed in that year to mowonly part of it in future, and to separate thetwo sections by a ditch and fences. (fn. 66)  Thesection that remained meadow was 72 a. in areac. 1762. (fn. 67)  About 1848 five landowners hadbetween 1½ and 27½ beast leazes, i.e. rights ofpasture, in the common brook, then 84 a. (fn. 68)  Thebrook was inclosed in 1853 under the GeneralInclosure Act, Richard Cosens’ executors receiving 31 a., Charles Crosbie 21 a., the dukeof Richmond 25 a., and the two other commoners smaller areas. (fn. 69)

Land along the Barnham brook in the northwest was perhaps always in severalty. Themanor demesne farm had 20 a. of meadow in1086 (fn. 70)  and larger amounts later: 50 a. in 1302, (fn. 71) 29 a. in 1337, (fn. 72)  40 a. in 1687, (fn. 73)  and c. 100 a. in1784. (fn. 74)  Other landowners had smaller piecesin the Middle Ages, for instance the chantryestate and the rectory. (fn. 75)  At least one estatebased outside the parish had meadow withinit: the Middleton manor demesne farm, whichhad 3 a. in 1606. (fn. 76)  In the 17th century and latermeadow on Barnham manor demesne farm included the Tithing and Chantry meads,afterwards called the First and Farthest tithingmeadows (8 a.), along the Barnham brook; (fn. 77)  thefirst hay crop from each belonged respectivelyto the rectory estate and another farm by 1783. (fn. 78)

Sheep and pigs as well as cattle were widely keptin the parish in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 79)

The demesne farm of Barnham manor had 348a. including 284 a. of arable in 1302, (fn. 80)  and 319a. including 290 a. of arable in 1337. (fn. 81)  That farmwas still the largest in the parish in the late 17thand 18th centuries, when it had 190-210 a.,divided roughly equally between arable andpasture. (fn. 82)  About 1762 it included other land,making a total acreage of 263 a. (fn. 83)  In the mid andlater 18th century it was held on leases of 14 or15 years, and in the early 19th century on a7-year lease. (fn. 84)  The two flocks of 200-300 sheeprecorded in 1671 and 1776 (fn. 85)  seem to have beenon the demesne farm.

There were 12 villani and 12 cottars on themanor in 1086. (fn. 86)  In 1302 there were 12 freetenants; 7 customary tenants holding singleyardlands who owed two days’ work a week formost of the year, and daily work except onSundays and holidays during harvest; 11 customary tenants holding half yardlands whoseworks were assessed at half the rate stated;and 16 cottars who owed two days’ work a weekduring harvest. (fn. 87)  In the late 16th century therewere both freeholders and tenants for life; someholdings were then still described as whole orhalf yardlands. (fn. 88)

Thirteen tenants held land of the manor c.1762, most having a house or what was apparently the site of one along Church Lane. Thelargest holdings apart from Barnham manordemesne farm were those of Henry Bonham (175 a.),Joseph Postlethwaite of Parsonage farm (76 a.),John Hasler (83 a.), and William Murrell (37 a.),and there were then also seven cottages said tobe held freehold. (fn. 89)  By the 18th century some,possibly all, copyholds were held for three lives; (fn. 90) they could be sublet. (fn. 91)  There were still ninefreeholds in the early 19th century, when a laterJoseph Postlethwaite held the six remainingcopyhold tenements and one other tenant held apiece of waste land, the site of a cottage, at thewill of the lord. (fn. 92)  At least two farmers in the 17thand 18th centuries had land in neighbouringparishes too. (fn. 93)

Other tenants in the Middle Ages held land ofthe rectory (fn. 94)  and chantry (fn. 95)  estates.

About 1848 the chief holdings were the manordemesne farm, called Barnham farm (265 a.), afarm belonging to Richard Cosens’ executors(159 a.), and two belonging to the duke ofRichmond (59 a. and 64 a.); all were workedfrom sites close to the church. (fn. 96)  The two pairsof farms were amalgamated soon afterwards, andin the 1860s Richard Cosens owned and occupied c. 500 a., (fn. 97)  while the duke of Richmond’sfarm, also called Barnham farm (168 a.), was letto C. F. Field on a 14-year lease by 1869. (fn. 98)  TheCosens farm had been divided into two farms of187 a. and 166 a., each called Church farm, byc. 1910, when the duke of Richmond’s farmremained the same size as before. (fn. 99)  The farmbuildings south of Barnham Court alreadyoccupied a large area in the mid 19th century, (fn. 1) as they still did in 1993. Parsonage farm in1881 had 60 a. (fn. 2)

Most land was still arable in the early 19thcentury, roughly two thirds of the parish beingunder crops in 1819; (fn. 3)  in the late 1840s at leastone farm practised a four-course rotation. (fn. 4)  Thevery inconvenient intermingling of small closesbelonging to different holdings, characteristic ofland inclosed at an early date, (fn. 5)  was redressed in1862, when c. 325 a. were redistributed byagreement into consolidated blocks under theGeneral Inclosure Act. (fn. 6)  The larger closes thatresulted, some over 50 a., allowed cultivation bysteam power, (fn. 7)  and at the same time pipe drainswere laid through part of the parish. (fn. 8)

From the later 19th century pastoral farminggained in importance. Sheep fattening was apparently practised in 1867, (fn. 9)  and 1,220 sheepwere listed in 1875. (fn. 10)  One farm specialized indairying from 1887 or earlier, (fn. 11)  and by 1909 theproportion of oats to other corn crops grown hadgreatly increased over what it had been 35 yearsbefore. (fn. 12)

After 1918 West Sussex county council boughtland in the eastern half of the parish as smallholdings for ex-servicemen. (fn. 13)  About 20-25 werecreated, each with a house, the tenants disposingof their produce at Barnham market in Eastergate. Most were of 1-3 a. and were used asmarket gardens (fn. 14)  or for raising pigs and poultry, (fn. 15)  but Church farm, which was much larger,had both arable land and grazing for a dairy herdfounded in 1921 that still flourished in 1978. Thescheme was not as successful as had been hoped,due to lack of experience in the smallholders andthe awkward size of holdings; some tenants hadbought their land by 1951, (fn. 16)  other holdingsbecame part-time, and by 1965 much land hadbeen added to adjacent farms. Besides Churchfarm one other smallholding and one other smallfarm specialized in dairying in 1965. Two smallholdings then included small retail shops.

The brookland in the south end of the parishwas described in 1920 as some of the richest inthe neighbourhood. (fn. 17)  In the later 1930s Barnham Court farm had a prizewinning flock, butit had been dispersed by c. 1950. (fn. 18)  The farm hadc. 400 a. in 1949 (fn. 19)  and 1965; at the latter datethere were both arable land and a herd ofFriesians. (fn. 20)

In 1985, of 307 ha. (759 a.) returned, threefifths was in owner occupation. Barnham Courtfarm remained the largest holding and therewere 19 others, including market-garden land,of which 13 were less than 2 ha. in area and therest under 40 ha.; three were specialist dairyholdings and 17 were worked part-time, whilethe total number of workers in agriculture andmarket gardening was 79. Land was then equallydivided between arable and pasture; the chiefcrop was wheat (87 ha.) and 439, mostly dairy,cattle were listed. (fn. 21)  Barnham Court farm in 1993was a mixed arable and dairy farm, growingwheat, peas, and maize for cattle. (fn. 22)

Market gardening.

Cider was made in Barnham in 1341 (fn. 23)  and hops may have been grownin 1637. (fn. 24)  Orchards were mentioned in 1742 (fn. 25) and 1839. (fn. 26)  Three ‘gardeners’, perhaps marketgardeners, were recorded between 1813 and1827 (fn. 27)  and two market gardeners in 1845. (fn. 28)  Inthe 1870s there were 1¼ a. of orchards on thewest side of Church Lane. (fn. 29)

The later growth of market gardening inBarnham and Eastergate was due in the firstplace to the favourable local climate and easyrail transport after 1864 for perishable goods,and secondly to the arrival of the Marshallfamily c. 1880. (fn. 30)  In 1881 the brothers Harry andSidney Marshall, though only 21 and 18 respectively, together ran a nursery, employing 13 menand a boy, (fn. 31)  on two sites: one north of YaptonRoad known as the ‘old nursery’, and the othernorth-west of the church between the Barnhambrook and the railway. (fn. 32)  The company wasknown in 1887 as Marshall Bros., but by 1895it had been divided in two, thereafter trading asS. S. Marshall Ltd. and H. R. Marshall.

The eastern part of the nurseries north ofYapton Road thereafter belonged to H. R.Marshall, and the rest of the land to S. S.Marshall Ltd., (fn. 33)  by 1907 Barnham NurseriesLtd., which also had a large nursery in Eastergate. (fn. 34)  S. S. Marshall was described as nurseryman,’market grower’, and landscape gardener in 1895and the firm were also fruit growers in 1899, thefruit farm of 23 a. occupying the land beyondthe Barnham brook. (fn. 35)  H. R. Marshall was anurseryman, florist, and seedsman in 1895 andalso grew fruit in 1903; he had a shop at Brightonin 1895 and one at Southsea (Hants) in 1899.

By 1940 Barnham Nurseries Ltd. had over 300a. in the Barnham area, growing fruit trees,roses, ornamental trees, and shrubs, and undertaking garden design, (fn. 36)  as later. (fn. 37)  The orchardswest of the Barnham brook expanded furtherwest across the railway line by 1950. (fn. 38)  By thatdate, however, the firm’s total acreage had contracted to 230 a. and by 1955 it was 100 a. (fn. 39)  A’garden centre’ employing c. 45 men was openedon the Yapton Road site in 1965 (fn. 40)  but closed in1981. (fn. 41)

The other large firm in the parish, Toynbee’sNurseries, (fn. 42)  originated in a county council smallholding of c. 19 a. further east in Yapton Roadheld by Frank Toynbee from 1919. At first itgrew market-garden produce and soft fruit, butin the 1920s it diversified into landscape gardening, serving especially owners of houses in thenew residential estates at Middleton. The firmwas later alternatively known as Croftway Nurseries. (fn. 43)  After 1945 a mail order departmentsupplied both the home and overseas markets,and in 1962 all sorts of plants, trees, and shrubswere sold, besides soft fruit, culinary herbs,grass seed, manure, and peat. In 1965, when thepremises extended to c. 31 a., 30-40 men wereemployed. The business survived in differentownership in 1996.

Other market gardeners, including countycouncil smallholders, were mentioned in the1920s and 30s. (fn. 44)  In 1992 there were a firm offruit growers and another specializing in houseplants north-west of the Barnham brook, andmany small market-garden holdings in the eastpart of the parish; of the latter some hadglasshouses, at least three specialized in flowers, (fn. 45) and several had shops on their premises.


The mill recorded on the manor in1086 (fn. 46)  was presumably a water mill on theBarnham brook. A manorial windmill of unknown location was mentioned between 1230and 1683. (fn. 47)  Four millers are known by namebetween 1678 and 1774; one, in 1682, kept stockand had at least 15 a. under crops. (fn. 48)

There was a post windmill on the site of thepresent mill in Yapton Road by c. 1762 andperhaps by 1724. (fn. 49)  After its destruction in 1827it was replaced before 1830 by the existingfour-storeyed tower mill. The woman millerwho had it between 1845 and 1862 was alsodescribed as a baker. (fn. 50)  From c. 1880 (fn. 51)  until itsclosure c. 1985 the mill was worked by membersof the related Baker and Reynolds families. In1886 Maurice and John Baker were also bakersand dealers in malt and hops, and linseed andcotton cakes, additionally working Aldingbourne mill. (fn. 52)  From 1905 the business alsoincluded that of corn merchant, with retailshops in Littlehampton (fn. 53)  and Bognor. (fn. 54)  Asteam engine was added to supplement windpower c. 1890, (fn. 55)  a gas engine c. 1910, and anelectric engine after 1945. (fn. 56)  Wind ceased tobe used in the 1920s or 30s, and the sweepsand fan stage were removed from the buildingin 1958. (fn. 57)  In 1979 some animal feedstuffs werestill processed on site and others bought in forretailing. Six men were employed in 1965. (fn. 58)

Other trades.

Trades recorded in the 16th and17th centuries were those of brewer, (fn. 59)  butcher,sawyer, shoemaker, (fn. 60)  and blacksmith. (fn. 61)  Between1813 and 1845 tailors, bakers, a grocer, a farrier,and a carpenter were mentioned, (fn. 62)  but the opening of the canal through the parish in 1823seems, in the absence of any wharf, to have hadno effect on occupations. After 1866 licensees ofthe Murrell Arms inn successively carried on thetrades of carpenter, wheelwright, and blacksmith. (fn. 63)

The railway provided employment after 1864;in 1881 two railway porters, a railway clerk, anda ticket collector lived in Barnham. (fn. 64)  The subsequent growth of population brought furtheroccupations in the later 19th century and early20th: those of bricklayer, (fn. 65)  stone mason, pattenmaker, chimney sweep, and cycle repairer. (fn. 66)  Thethree ‘agricultural’ engine drivers listed in 1881were probably employees of the firm of Sparksin Yapton. (fn. 67)

The smithy at the Murrell Arms ceased working at some time after 1910 (fn. 68)  and the post officestores nearby, which in 1916 dealt in groceries,drapery, boots and shoes, medicines, china andglass, and hardware, (fn. 69)  closed after 1938. (fn. 70)  In theearly 20th century goods from Chichester weredelivered by carrier. (fn. 71)  A butcher’s shop foundedby 1962 (fn. 72)  still existed in Yapton Road in 1993,when there was also a large shop selling farmand other produce by Barnham windmill.

A building on the embankment north-east ofthe railway bridge accommodated at differenttimes a butcher, a fishmonger, a grocer, a hairdresser, and a vet; (fn. 73)  in 1992 it was a shop dealingin garden machinery. Further north in LakeLane at the same date were a garage and generalstores.

A brickfield on the south side of Yapton Roadwas worked at least between 1910 and 1913. (fn. 74)

By 1965 some residents travelled daily to workin London or other towns, (fn. 75)  as still happened in1993.


There are court rollsor draft court rolls for Barnham manor for theyears 1448 × 1455, (fn. 76)  1543, 1548, (fn. 77)  1593, 1596, (fn. 78) and 1686-1776. (fn. 79)  A view of frankpledge was heldin the 1540s; there is no later record of it thoughfrankpledge jurisdiction was still claimed in 1629. (fn. 80) A sheriff’s tourn was also held in 1543. (fn. 81)

In the 1540s the view and the court held theassize of bread and of ale, heard cases of assaultand one plea of land, managed the commonlands, saw to the repair of roads, fences, ditches,and houses, and elected a headborough, analetaster, and two ‘curemen’. By the mid 18thcentury courts were held between six and eighttimes a decade, but during the years 1761-76only five times in all. Besides conveyancing theythen continued to oversee the common lands andto present buildings in disrepair. Business wasdealt with out of court from 1691. A tithingmanstill served in 1822. (fn. 82)

A manor pound was mentioned in 1566. (fn. 83)  In1636 it stood beside the vicarage land, (fn. 84)  perhapsnear the church.

Two churchwardens were recorded between1548 and 1670 and generally after 1862, butthere was usually only one between 1674 and1861. (fn. 85)  There was a collector for the poor in1642 (fn. 86)  and there were two overseers in 1826,when 15 parishioners received permanent and 3casual relief. (fn. 87)  A parish poorhouse in YaptonRoad east of Church Lane had become twocottages by c. 1848 (fn. 88)  and was demolished after1937. (fn. 89)  The parish clerk received wages in thelate 16th century. (fn. 90)

Barnham joined Westhampnett union, laterWesthampnett rural district, in 1835. From 1933it was in Chichester rural district (fn. 91)  and from1974 in Arun district.

In 1965 the parish council owned the parishhall next to the site of the poorhouse, and fiveadjacent allotments. (fn. 92)


There was a church in 1086. (fn. 93)  In1105 the lord of Barnham, Robert de Haye, gaveit to Lessay abbey (Manche), together with ameasure of wheat called church scot (cerchet). (fn. 94) It later passed to Lessay’s English priory ofBoxgrove. A vicarage was ordained c. 1174 x1180, (fn. 95)  but as a result of the substitution of anannual pension for the vicarial tithes and glebein 1440 (fn. 96)  its status came afterwards to seemunclear. Incumbents from the late 16th centurywere often ‘licensed to serve the cure’ or grantedsequestration of the endowments (fn. 97)  rather thaninstituted; they were called at different timesminister, (fn. 98)  curate, (fn. 99)  or sequestrator (fn. 1)  as well asvicar, and the benefice was usually described asa perpetual vicarage (fn. 2)  or curacy. (fn. 3)  The union ofBarnham with Eastergate was suggested in 1881. (fn. 4) From 1983 the two parishes were held by a singlepriest in charge, (fn. 5)  and in 1985 Aldingbourne,Barnham, and Eastergate became a single benefice,the parishes remaining distinct. In 1992 they wereunited as the parish of Aldingbourne, Barnham,and Eastergate. (fn. 6)

The advowson of the vicarage belonged toBoxgrove priory until the Dissolution, the bishopof Chichester presenting in 1478 and the archbishop of Canterbury in 1464; (fn. 7)  thereafter itdescended with the rectory (fn. 8)  until 1762, when itwas retained by Edward Madgwick at the saleof that estate. By 1776 it had passed to the dukeof Richmond. (fn. 9)  Between c. 1830 and 1862 thebishop was patron (fn. 10)  and in 1859 the Crownpresented by lapse. (fn. 11)  By 1884 the advowson hadpassed to W. C. Rickman (fn. 12)  (d. by 1897), whoseexecutors conveyed it c. 1915 to the bishop. (fn. 13) From 1985 the bishop and the dean and chapterof Chichester were to present jointly. (fn. 14)

The vicarage was endowed at its ordination c.1174 × 1180 with offerings and a third of all thetithes of the parish including the rectory estate. (fn. 15) There was a house in 1341, (fn. 16)  which in 1440 hada garden and dovecot. (fn. 17)  The living was valuedin 1291 at £5 6s. 8d., (fn. 18)  but by 1429 it had becomeso poor that the vicar needed the additionalincome of the chantry endowment. (fn. 19)  In 1440Boxgrove priory substituted an annual pensionof £7 6s. 8d. for the vicar’s share of tithes andglebe; though that represented an augmentation (fn. 20)  the living remained impoverished in thelater 15th century and early 16th. (fn. 21)

The vicarage house was ruinous in 1573 (fn. 22)  butin good repair in 1665; (fn. 23)     c. 1704, however, it waspulled down by the lay rector and the materialswere used to build a house in Yapton. (fn. 24)  Its siteis uncertain but was near the churchyard. The1 a. previously held with it (fn. 25)  was being kept fromthe incumbent in 1724. (fn. 26)

The incumbent is said to have received £10 ayear from the lay rector in the 17th century. (fn. 27)  In1727 the living was augmented with £200 fromQueen Anne’s Bounty, so that the annual incomerose to £24. (fn. 28)  Four further augmentations, eachof £200, were made between 1786 and 1827. (fn. 29) There were five closes of glebe in Yapton c.1762 (fn. 30)  and 22½ a. in Barnham and Yapton in1808; (fn. 31)  some land in Barnham was exchangedwith other land in the parish under a generalredistribution of 1862. (fn. 32)  The average income was£41 16s. 4d. in 1809 (fn. 33)  and £67 c. 1830; (fn. 34)  in 1875the stipend was described as ‘miserable’. (fn. 35)  A newvicarage house at the southern end of ChurchLane was built shortly before 1903; (fn. 36)  it wasreplaced before 1976 (fn. 37)  by a nearby bungalow,which itself ceased to be used in 1983. (fn. 38)

The vicar apparently resided in 1440. (fn. 39)  Between the early 14th century and the early 16thadditional spiritual care was presumably provided by the priests of the chantry of St. James, (fn. 40) founded in 1324 by ancestors of Sir WilliamShelley of Michelgrove in Clapham (d. 1549). (fn. 41)

In the 1570s sermons were delivered at irregular intervals. (fn. 42)  At least one early 17th-centuryvicar was not a licensed preacher, and only threeincumbents appointed during the 17th centuryare known to have been graduates; another wasonly in deacon’s orders. (fn. 43)  The poverty of theliving led to several cases of pluralism betweenthe 17th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 44)  A Rogationtideprocession with perambulation of the parishboundaries, to which occupiers of land broughtcakes, was still held in the 17th century. (fn. 45)

In 1724 services were held only monthly andcommunion was celebrated three times a year. (fn. 46) After the augmentation of 1727 the frequency ofservices was increased to fortnightly, as apparently continued to be the case in 1758 despite anattempt to enforce weekly holding in 1728 or1729. (fn. 47)  In the earlier 19th century the cure wasoften served by assistant curates or the clergy ofneighbouring parishes. (fn. 48)

By 1838 services were weekly, alternately inmorning and evening; (fn. 49)  alternation continued in1851, when c. 30 attended in the morning and c.60 in the afternoon. (fn. 50)  Frequency of communionincreased from four times a year in 1838 to eighttimes in 1844 and later. (fn. 51)  A. P. Cornwall, vicar1859-c. 1900, (fn. 52)  lived at Runcton near Chichesterin 1884 and perhaps earlier (fn. 53)  and in Chichesteritself from 1887, (fn. 54)  walking 10 miles each Sundayto take services in 1875. Parish visiting sufferedat that period from the lack of any gentleman’sfamily in the parish. (fn. 55)

After the building of a new vicarage houseshortly before 1903 Barnham had a residentvicar until 1983, (fn. 56)  but from that date the incumbent lived in Eastergate. Services were no longerheld every Sunday in 1995.

The church of ST. MARY     (fn. 57)  has a structurallyundivided nave and chancel, a north vestry andorgan chamber, a south porch, and a west bellcot. The walls are mostly of rubble, much of itplastered, with freestone dressings and areas oflater brick. The bellcot is boarded.

The nave is 12th-century and the rear arch ofthe south doorway and two small windows areof that date. The chancel was built, presumablyto replace a smaller unit, early in the 13thcentury and retains three lancet windows in theeast and south walls. At or soon after that timea north aisle and chapel were added, probablyaccommodating the chantry of St. Jamesfounded in 1324. (fn. 58)  They were linked to the mainbody of the church by arches cut through theearlier wall. The south doorway, the porch, anda window in the south wall of the nave are 14thcentury, as also are reset windows in the northwall. The west doorway and the window aboveit are 15th- or early 16th-century. The date ofdemolition of the north aisle and chapel is notknown although it must be later than a latemedieval graffito on the west respond of the archto the chapel. (fn. 59)

Both nave and chancel were in bad conditionin 1579 (fn. 60)  and the nave remained so in 1724. (fn. 61)  In1776 the building was described as ‘much out ofrepair’ (fn. 62)  and in 1865 as neither decent nor inproper order. (fn. 63)  It was restored in the latteryear, (fn. 64)  when the gallery erected shortly before1844 (fn. 65)  was presumably removed. The arch intothe former chapel was reopened c. 1930 whenthe vestry was built. (fn. 66)

The square late 12th-century font of Sussexmarble has badly rubbed decoration includingfoliage and arcading; its central supporting pillaris original but the outer four are apparentlypainted drainpipes. (fn. 67)  The single bell of c. 1348probably by John Rufford is inscribed ‘AFE MARIA DRA SIA PLE NA’ (for ‘Ave Maria gratiaplena’). (fn. 68)  The top of a four-tiered pyramidalcenser in champlevé Limoges enamel was foundc. 1930 at the east end of the chancel. (fn. 69)  A French15th-century painted wooden statue perhaps ofSt. Genevieve was inserted in the mid 20thcentury. (fn. 70)  Box pews had been installed by 1865,when they were described as 5 ft. high androtten; (fn. 71)  they were evidently removed in therestoration of that year.

The plate includes a two-handled silver communion cup of 1779. (fn. 72)  The registers begin in1676. (fn. 73)


One parishionerwas presented for not receiving Easter communion in 1584 (fn. 74)  and three parishioners wereconvicted for recusancy in 1668. (fn. 75)  There weretwo papists in 1781. (fn. 76)  Sunday mass was said inBarnham in 1929, (fn. 77)  and apparently by 1938 achurch of timber converted from a workshopstood south-east of the railway bridge; (fn. 78)  it wasserved by the priest from Slindon. The churchwas superseded in 1970 by that at St. PhilipHoward school in Eastergate. (fn. 79)


Therewas one Baptist in the parish in 1664, (fn. 80)  and in1724, presumably because of the infrequency ofservices at the parish church, four out of thesixteen families living in Barnham were Presbyterian. (fn. 81)  In 1856 Dissenters attended theIndependent chapel in Yapton. (fn. 82)  The Methodistcongregation which flourished in 1992 grew outof Sunday evening meetings held in the marketroom of Barnham market in Eastergate from1923. In 1929 there were 11 church members.The brick chapel south of the railway bridge wasopened in 1931; (fn. 83)  in 1940 it could seat 117. (fn. 84)  Theminister came from Bognor Regis in 1965 (fn. 85)  andfrom Littlehampton in 1992. (fn. 86)


Licences to teach in the parishwere granted in 1580 and 1584, on the secondoccasion to a reader at the church. (fn. 87)  In 1818 anold woman kept a school with 10 pupils, (fn. 88)  butfrom c. 1845 or earlier Barnham children wentto school in Eastergate, Walberton, or Yapton. (fn. 89) Barnham council school, later Barnham countyprimary school, was built in Yapton Road in1906. (fn. 90)  Average attendance was 85 in 1914,rising to 100 in 1922 and falling to 67 in 1938. (fn. 91) A new building was put up in Orchard Way,Eastergate, in 1968 (fn. 92)  and the Yapton Road sitewas used thereafter by infants. (fn. 93)  By 1978, as aresult of large-scale building in the area, nearly300 pupils attended on the two sites. (fn. 94)  Therewere 278 on the roll in 1993. (fn. 95)

A workshop for instruction in carpentry wassupported by West Sussex county council in1895 (fn. 96)  and survived till c. 1910 or later. (fn. 97)  From1958 many older children from Barnham wentto Westergate secondary modern school in Aldingbourne, but after the opening of St. PhilipHoward secondary school in Eastergate in 1959most went there. (fn. 98)


None known.

From: ‘Barnham’, A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 5 Part 1: Arundel Rape: south-western part, including Arundel (1997), pp. 105-117. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22939&strquery=  Date accessed: 11 July 2012.

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  1. Glyn P
    January 17, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    “A new building was put up in Orchard Way,Eastergate, in 1968 (fn. 92) and the Yapton Road sitewas used thereafter by infants.”
    In fact it was the other way around, when the new site opened it bacame the infant’s school and the older pupils (myself included) stayed at the old site. I was a pupil from ’65 – ’71.

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