Archive for the ‘Local History’ Category

History of Barnham

July 11, 2012 1 comment


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:  Date accessed: 11 July 2012.

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History of Aldingbourne


The parish contains 3,098 acres and measures 4 miles from north to south with an average width of a littleover a mile. It is mostly good agricultural land lying between 25 and 50 ft. above sea-level, but rising to 120 ft. on its northern edge. The church and village lie near the centre of the western boundary, here formed by the Aldingbourne Rife, which flows southwards past Tote Copse, a circular mound with traces of a moat, adjoining the site of the Bishop’s Palace. (fn. 1)  The boundary follows the rife, crossing the railway, to the course of the disused Arundel-Chichester Canal. Here it turns south-east by Lidsey, to meet another small stream which forms part of the eastern boundary of the parish and of the rape.

The road from Chichester to Arundel crosses the north part of the parish, skirting the grounds of Aldingbourne House, (fn. 2)  formerly the seat of Lady Molyneux Howard and later of Richard Hasler but now a county sanatorium. From here a road leads south through Norton to the church, passing Limmer Pond and sending a branch eastwards by Nyton to Westergate, which is now the chief centre of population, houses having been built along the road which runs south to Woodgate, Headhone, and Lidsey. From the latter SackLane runs to Sack Barn, near the railway line to Bognor,mentioned in 1612 as two closes ‘commonly called thebottome of the sacke’. (fn. 3)  On the eastern edge of the parish, and partly in Eastergate, is Fontwell Racecourse.

Aldingbourne was from early times one of the chief seats of the Bishop of Chichester, who had there a ‘palace’ or manor-house and a large demesne farm of some 500 acres of arable, cultivated on the three-field system. (fn. 4)  When Bishop Ranulf de Warham in 1220 laid down the minimum quantities of livestock to be maintained on the episcopal estates Aldingbourne had the largest number of beasts (44 oxen, 15 cows, and a bull) and, for some reason, was the only one where goats—120 she-goats and 6 he-goats—were kept. (fn. 5)  The experiment seems to have been abandoned, as a later extent (undated) shows none, but the flock of sheep had then gone up from 100 to 560. (fn. 6)  The bishops frequently resided here: Robert de Stratford died here on 8 April 1362; (fn. 7)  Robert Rede in 1414 (fn. 8)  and Simon Sydenham in 1427 (fn. 9)  made their wills here; Edward Story in 1502 bequeathed to his successors ‘the bell hanging in the belfry of my chapel of Aldingbourne’; (fn. 10)  and Robert Sherborne in 1536 left £10 towards building ‘the new tower’, (fn. 11)  probably like that, usually attributed to him, at Cakeham in West Wittering (q.v.). Whether this tower was completed is not known, but by 1606 the place seems to have fallen into decay, as in that year the Chapter confirmed a faculty granted by the Archbishop to Bishop Lancelot Andrews to pull down ruinous buildings at Aldingbourne. (fn. 12)  Tradition asserted that the parliamentary troops levelled the manor-house with the ground; (fn. 13)  but when the manor was sold in September 1648 the sale included the manor-house and chapel. (fn. 14)  There are, however, now no remains of the building.

Nyton has a 17th-century façade, but the north west wing shows 16th-century features inside, and there are two staircases, of the early and late 17th century respectively. In the same neighbourhood are two low thatched houses with 17th-century features, and there are others at Lidsey. Here Lidsey House is an early-17th-century building of rubble and brick, with a fine central chimney-shaft of cross-plan with a pilasterat each end. The site of Lindsey Chapel is unknown, but worked stones probably from its fabric have been found. Two carved heads now built into Bersted Schoolroom are said to have come from here, but, if so, they have been re-tooled. (fn. 15)

At Westergate, at the north-west corner of the road from Bognor, is a mid-16th-century cottage, now called ‘The Tudors’. It faces east and the front is of four bays, the southernmost of 18th-century flint work the other three of original timber-framing with curved braces below the wall-plate. Between the north and second bays is an internal chimney-stack with a wide fireplace, of which the oak lintel is cut to form a shallowarch. The shaft above the thatched roof  is of the local rebated type. Cut on the fireplace on the southernmost room is the date 1711.

Norton Grange, ¾ mile north-east of the church on the east side of the road, is an Elizabethan house partly altered. The main block facing west has cemented flint walls; the ends are gabled. The windows are all modernized, but one at the north end retains an original moulded label. A central chimney-stack has a wide south fireplace with an original moulded oak curb to the raised hearth; above the tiled roof the shaft of thin bricks is of cross-shaped plan. A moulded ceiling beam with stops is seen in the south room; others are encased. A back wing has some ancient timber-framing, enclosed by a modern addition north of  it, but the external walls are of  later brickwork and the roof slated: the ceilings have 17th-century beams. A barn of five bays has weather-boarded walls and a thatched roof. On the same road farther south are several thatched cottages, one or two of which may be of the17th century.

About 1620 the Bishop of Chichester agreed with Henry and William Peckham and other tenants of the demesne that the commons belonging to the demesne should be inclosed and converted to tillage. Representatives of the copyholders were elected and the land was allotted and inclosed, leaving ways and setting upgates for access to each man’s piece. (fn. 16)  A further 400acres of common at Westergate were inclosed in 1777. (fn. 17)


The early history of Aldingbourne is obscure, depending upon copies of Saxon charters (fn. 18)  which are certainly corrupt in detail, though they probably embody facts. According to these, Nothelm, King of the South Saxons, in 692 gave to Nothgithe his sister for the erection of a monastery and church 33 cassatos, of which 12 were in Lydesige [Lidsey] and Aldingbourne, and she transferred the endowment to Bishop Wilfrid. It is not clear how this can be reconciled with the fact that Caedwalla, King of  Wessex, in about 683 endowed the monastery of Selsey with these two places, here called 6, instead of 12,cassatos. (fn. 19)  In 899 King Alfred in his will left ‘the hamat Ealdingburnan’ to his nephew Ethelm; (fn. 20)  but, whatever the significance of this bequest, it is clear that by the time of Edward the Confessor the manor of ALDINGBOURNE was in the hands of the Bishop of Selsey, (fn. 21)  and it remained with his successors the Bishops of Chichester without a break, except during the Commonwealth, until taken over by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the 19th century.

See of Chichester. Azure Our Lord enthroned with a sword issuing from His mouth proper.

In 1086 the manor was rated at 36 hides; (fn. 22)  of these, the local priest held 1 hide, three clerks,Robert, Hugh, and Alward, held 5 hides, 3 hides, and 1 hide respectively, which may represent later prebendal estates, and there were four knights, of whom Herald and Murdac held 3 hides each, and Ansfrid and Lovel 1 hide each. The bishop’s temporalities in Aldingbourne in 1291 were valued at £48 1s. 2d. (fn. 23)  The demesne arable in about 1330 amounted to 382½ acres; (fn. 24) this had increased by 1387 to 485 acres. (fn. 25)  At this latter date there was a windmill, worth 26s. 8d., and reference to the mill is made in the custumal drawn up in1257; (fn. 26)  this may have been at Westergate, where one existed at the beginning of the 19th century. (fn. 27)  A watermill, doubtless on the site of the present mill, is mentioned in 1535, when the total yearly value of the manor was £58 11s. 6d. (fn. 28)

Under the order made by Parliament for the sale ofbishops’ lands the manor of Aldingbourne was sold inSeptember 1648 to William Kendall, a London merchant. (fn. 29)  He died before July 1652, when his executorsdisposed of the manor, (fn. 30)  which was conveyed in 1653by Denis Bond and Elizabeth his wife to ThomasPlayer and others. (fn. 31)  At the Restoration it returned tothe see.

In 1086 there was woodland attached to the manor which yielded three swine for pannage dues, (fn. 32)  and this was probably the nucleus of the PARK which was an important feature of this manor. Both Henry I (1100–23) (fn. 33)  and Henry II (1180–4) (fn. 34)  granted to the Bishop of Chichester rights of free warren in Aldingbourne, which were confirmed by later kings, (fn. 35)  but the first actual reference to the park appears to be in a letter written in about 1225 by Simon de Seinliz, the bishop’s steward, to Bishop Ralph de Nevill asking him to provide dogs to catch foxes in the park of Aldingbourne. (fn. 36)  In the 13th century more than a mile of the park paling was kept in repair by the bishop’s tenants throughout the diocese, at the rate of one perch of 20 ft. for each hide held. (fn. 37)  The office of keeper, which carried with it the privilege of sitting at the head of the ‘yoman borde’ in the manor hall, (fn. 38)  seems to have been hereditary in the family of Parker in the 14th century, (fn. 39)  and its holder in 1387 received ½ bz. of wheat and ½ bz. of barley weekly. (fn. 40)  Most of the large timber had been felled before the middle of the 17th century and the whole was disparked about that time. (fn. 41)


LIDSEY, as we have seen, was linked with Aldingbourne in the Saxon charters, and the manorial over-lordship remained with the bishops. In 1229 a commission was appointed to define the bounds between the bishop’s estate of Lidsey and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s estate of Shripney. (fn. 42)  Part of Lidsey constituted the hide in Aldingbourne held in 1086 by Ansfrid, (fn. 43)  who also held of the bishop 2 hides in Ferring, (fn. 44)  from which place his descendants took their name. About the end of the 13th century these 3 hides were said to be held by the successors of Amfrid de Ferryng, (fn. 45)  and in 1310 more definitely by Nicholas de Barenton. (fn. 46)  This is explained by the fact that in 1279 John de Palyng, son of Simon de Ferryng and representative of Amfrid, (fn. 47)  sold his West Sussex lands to George de Barenton and Emma his wife. (fn. 48)  In a rental of 1379 Alice atte Setene appears as holding a hide (glossed as, or corrected to, ’32 acres’) at Lidsey called atte Setene, formerly of Nicholas Baryngton of Ferring, called Hedehone. (fn. 49)  This Alice was wife of Richard atte Hurlonde in 1352, when Richard Laxman and Joan conveyed to them 2 messuages and 62 acres of land in Aldingbourne, (fn. 50)  which is identified as the manor of HEADHONE in a suit of 1363–5 brought against Alice and her then husband John atte Setene. (fn. 51) The suit, for ⅓ of the manor as dower, was brought by Agnes widow of Nicholas Avenel, to whom Edmund Crepyn and Mary his wife (who held the manor of Headhone in her right) (fn. 52)  demised a messuage and acarucate of land in Aldingbourne in 1342. (fn. 53)  An earlier Nicholas Avenel and Maud his wife had in 1272 granted to Master Geoffrey de Gates a life interest in 3 virgates and 2/3 of 2 virgates in Westgates, Lidsey, and Headhone, with reversion to the heirs of Maud. (fn. 54)

In 1398 Henry Blondel did homage to Bishop Robert Rede for the estate of  Hedehone and of Hills (de montibus), (fn. 55)  as did Richard Blundel in 1408 for Hedhone alias Setene. (fn. 56)  Headhone is next found in1546 in the hands of John Smith, (fn. 57)  in which family it descended. A John Smith who died seised of the manor in 1635 left it to his kinsman John, younger son of William Smith of Stopham. (fn. 58)  In 1706 Edward Smith conveyed the manor to Nicholas Mayhew, (fn. 59)  and by1780 all manorial rights had apparently lapsed, Burrell then describing it as ‘a freehold manor farm of 100 acres’. (fn. 60)

In 1428 Agnes Tyxale held ¼ knight’s fee of the Bishop of Chichester in Lidsey, (fn. 61)  but nothing is known of her identity or that of her holding.

In 1257 John Daundevill held ‘I yard land’ in Lidsey, (fn. 62)  which was presumably identical with ‘the land of Ralph Pesson of Ludeseye’ for which he had to maintain 1 perch of the Aldingbourne park paling, (fn. 63) —a length corresponding to 1 hide of land. As Amfrid deFerryng was returned as responsible only for 2 perches of paling, (fn. 64)  it is possible that Daundevill was tenant of his hide in Lidsey, where a Roger Daundevill still had some property in 1325. (fn. 65)  In 1398 William Cheyne held land late of Daundevill in Lidsey, (fn. 66)  and Thomas Cheyne held there in 1478. (fn. 67)

The park paling list of 1257 shows that Geoffrey Brown held ½ hide in some unnamed place, (fn. 68)  which the scutage lists of 1299 and 1310 show to have been Lidsey, where John Brown was holding in succession to Robert Brown. (fn. 69)  Edward Brown occurs in the subsidy lists for Aldingbourne in 1327 and 1332. (fn. 70)  The next entry in the park paling list gives Robert de Ernesbemeas tenant of a yard land (in Lidsey). His successors were Geoffrey, Peter (1299), John (1310), (fn. 71)  and in 1332 William son of  Thomas de Ernesbeme, who in that year sold a yard land in Aldingbourne to William le Croucher of Lidsey. (fn. 72)  This was presumably the messuage and 100 acres in Lidsey called Ellesbeame, held of the bishop by Richard Gawen who died in 1607, (fn. 73) and Allan his son, who died in 1633. (fn. 74)

Nothelm’s benefaction to Selsey included 10 (in Caedwalla’s charter 6) (fn. 75)     cassatos ‘aet Genstedegate’. (fn. 76) Part of this, probably represented by one of the holdings of the three clerks in Domesday Book, seems to have become the prebendal manor of WESTERGATE, attached to the prebend of Gates in Chichester Cathedral. It was surveyed in 1649 by the Parliamentary Commissioners, who leased it for one year to William Cawley, the regicide, and then included 340 acres of common and a few fields; among these Woodhouse Closes had been the site of the manor-house but then contained only a barn. (fn. 77)  In 1653 the manor of Gatesalias Westergate was conveyed with that of Aldingbourne by Denis and Elizabeth Bond to Thomas Player and others, (fn. 78)  but was recovered at the Restoration by the prebendary and eventually came into the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

Land called Worth (Werda, Wurda) was given by William de St. John and others to Boxgrove Priory, (fn. 79) where its revenues were assigned to the kitchen. (fn. 80)  It is later always found associated with Nyton, (fn. 81)  which the priory farmed at 66s. 8d. in 1535. (fn. 82)  After the suppression of the priory Robert Thornhill, a land speculator, acquired on 16 August 1546 the farm of Nyton and two fields of ‘lez Worthe’ in Aldingbourne, (fn. 83) which he alienated next day to John More and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 84)  John More died in 1559 leaving this property, defined as a messuage, 50 acres of  land, and 6 acres of heath, to his son Nicholas, (fn. 85)  who shortlyafterwards alienated to John Trunnell. (fn. 86)  He died in1584 and his son John in 1595, (fn. 87)  when it passed to the latter’s nephew Richard, who was holding Nyton and Worthe when he died in 1610. (fn. 88)  His son Richard Trunnell still held them in 1650, (fn. 89)  but by about 1680 Nyton had passed into the hands of  Thomas Peckham, in whose family it descended. Mary, daughter of John Peckham who died in 1782, married Charles Hewitt Smith, and their son Charles took the name and arms of Peckham. His son the Rev. Harry John Peckham sold the estate in 1880. (fn. 90)

Among the bishop’s tenants by knight service in 1478 was Robert Hartele who held in Lidsey. (fn. 91)  It is possible that this may refer to the estate of Norton, which was held in the early 17th century by Thomas and Joseph Hartley. (fn. 92)


The church of THE VIRGIN MARY   (fn. 93) is built of rubble with ashlar dressings, largely plastered, and is roofed with tile; it consists of a chancel with south organ chamber, nave flanked on the north by a tower and a vestry, south aisle, and south porch. The oldest work recognizable, probably part of the church mentioned in Domesday Book, consists of the three westernmost arches of the arcade formerly opening into a north aisle, since destroyed. The south arcade is of the late 12th century; the vaulting inserted in the east bay of it (which is now used as a side chapel), the chancel, the tower, and the east part of the north arcade are of the 13th; the porch appears to be of the 17th; the upper stage of the tower, formerly wooden, was reconstructed in stone in the19th, when the organ chamber, originally built to be the squire’s pew, was added; the vestry is still later.

Grimm’s drawing of 1791 (fn. 94)  shows a lancet triplet in the east wall of the chancel, there is now a modern three-light window in the Decorated style. In the south wall is a single lancet window of the 13th century; west of this is a modern pointed arch of two orders opening into the organ chamber. Grimm’s drawing here shows a square-headed two-light window, and, west of it, a lancet, apparently a low side window. In the south wall is a piscina with plain pointed arch and single drain,west of this are double sedilia having arches of one moulded order and a hood-mould with carved heads as stops; a corbel with nail-head moulding supports the common springing of the two arches; the jambs have nook shafts with moulded caps and square abacus. In the north wall are three lancet windows, modern, reproducing work of the 13th century. There is no chancel arch; and the chancel roof, of trussed rafters with a single tie-beam, is modern.

The organ chamber (wholly modern) has a two light window in the east wall and a three-light window and a doorway in the south.

Parish Church of St Mary Aldingbourne

The floor of the nave originally rose towards the east, as may be seen from the differing levels of the bases of the south arcade. This is of five bays of varying widths; the piers are cylindrical with scallopped caps and water-holding bases, the responds have the form of half-piers. The arches are pointed, of two orders, the inner chamfered the outer square, there is a hood mould of roll section on both sides. The easternmost arch of the former north arcade gave access to the tower, it was pointed, of two orders; it is now blocked and a modern doorway, with square-headed trefoil head, is inserted in the blocking. The next arch, also blocked, seems to have been of the same design; both these were of the 13th century. The three western arches, of the 12th, were semicircular and of one order; the westernmost has been partially unblocked to provide access to a modern vestry, and has crude painting (fn. 95) on its plastered soffit; the piers of this arcade are no longer visible, but evidently were oblong in plan. Inserted in the north wall of the nave are two modern windows, each of two ogee trefoil-headed lights. In the west wall is a doorway having a plain pointed arch of one order and a hood-mould with grotesque heads as stops and a depressed rear-arch, of the 13th century or later; the ironwork of the hinges of this door isancient. Over this is a window like those in the northwall, modern. The roof resembles that of the chancel, but is ancient.

The lowest stage of the tower has modern diagonal buttresses at both north corners; in the east wall is a modern doorway with a plain pointed arch of one order, in the north wall is a lancet window of the 13th century. In the west wall was formerly a pointed arch of two orders opening into the aisle, and in the blocking is a lancet window, originally 13th-century but repaired. Small modern piers to support the bell-frame occupy all four corners. The second stage has a square-headed window, perhaps of the 13th century, on each of the east and north sides, and a small round window of doubtful date on the west. The uppermost is entirely modern, replacing the wooden bell-chamber and shingled pyramidal cap shown in Grimm’s drawing. It has two-light square-headed windows like those of the nave on each of the east, north, and west sides.

At the east end of the south aisle is a small buttress of one stage with sloping offset and a Mass dial, and there is a like buttress one bay west; these were probably added when the bay was vaulted. In the east wall was a small lancet window with concentric splay, now blocked by the organ chamber, and in the south wall of the eastern bay is a modern three-light window. Into this bay which, like the rest of the aisle, was originally of the late 12th century, there was inserted in the 13th a single bay of vaulting, slender shafts being built against the easternmost pier of the arcade and the aisle wall opposite to carry the arch which forms the west limit of the vaulting. This arch is of one order, square in section, and originally semi circular; it has pushed both its abutments perceptibly out of plumb and is now elliptical. Its shafts have caps with stiff foliage and square abaci; the vault has groin ribs and wall ribs, both moulded; some of the ashlar here is partly of chalk, partly of freestone of a different colour, deliberately disposed in contrast.

Three other windows in the south wall of this aisle resemble those in the north wall of the nave, in the west wall is a single lancet, these are all modern. The south doorway has a semi circular arch of two moulded orders and a hood-mould; the jambs have attached shafts; this is of the late 12th century. On the west jamb is a Mass dial; over the door is a one-light window of doubtful date, now blocked. The aisle roof west of the vaulted bay consists of four ridges running north and south, now modern and having trussed rafters, but reproducing the ancient arrangement. (fn. 96)

The porch shows signs of 17th-century brickwork under rough casting; it has a door in the east wall and a three-light window in the south, both modern in 16th century style.

The vestry (modern) occupies the western end of the site of the former north aisle, and has one three-light window on the north side.

The altar table is made of the remains of old altar rails supporting the pre-Reformation slab; the font has a square bowl resting on four slender and one thick shaft, without capitals, and has shallow arcading cut on its sides; it is of the 12th century. At the west end of the aisle are the Royal Arms of William III, and on the north wall of the nave those, apparently, of George III before 1800, but not easily legible. There are traces of wall paintings on the walls of both nave and aisle, both pre-Reformation figures and post-Reformation black letter texts from Scripture.

The communion plate includes a large silver cup with engraved ornamentation and a paten cover, both of 1568, and another paten with hall marks for 1679–80. (fn. 97)

There are three bells by Thomas Wakefield, 1615. (fn. 98)

The registers begin in 1558.


There was a church at Aldingbourne in 1086, (fn. 99)  which formed part of one of the richest prebends of the cathedral until 1227, when it was assigned by the Chapter, with the consent of Bishop Ralph Neville, to the Dean of Chichester, (fn. 100)  who held it with reservation of the vicar’s endowment. The Dean held it until 1840,when the patronage was transferred to the Bishop of Chichester. (fn. 101)  The vicarage was worth £10 in 1291, (fn. 102) and £10 5s. 6d. clear in 1535. (fn. 103)

The rectory and great tithes were farmed by the Dean, and during the Commonwealth were in the hands of the Gunters of Racton under a lease for three lives granted in 1618. (fn. 104)

In 1535 tithes ‘in the parish of Lydsey’ were farmedby the Dean to William Royse at £4 16s. 8d., (fn. 105)  and other tithes from Lidsey belonged to the Chancellor of Chichester. (fn. 106)  There was a chapel at Lidsey in 1282,when it was settled that all oblations there belonged to the mother church of Aldingbourne, (fn. 107)  and services were still held there as late as March 1544, when Robert Lylyott left ‘to the chapell of Lydsey xijs. to have a Torch every Sonday and Hey Day’ for a year after his death. (fn. 108)  It does not figure in the records of the suppression of chantries, and Sir John Miles made his will on 1 September 1551 as ‘curate of the chappell of Lydsey, annexed to the parish church of Aldingbourne’. (fn. 109) It had, however, gone out of use by 1583, when ‘the old chapel of Lydsey with one acre of land’ was among the miscellaneous properties granted to Theophilus Adams. (fn. 110)


Church Acre. The origin of this charity is unknown, but from about theyear 1862 the rent received in respectof the land belonging to the charity has been applied by the churchwardens to church expenses.

Walter William Kelly by will dated 10 June 1921 gave £1,000 to the vicar and church wardens of Aldingbourne to be applied by them, in their absolute discretion for the advancement of Christ’s religion in the parish according to the teaching of the Church of England. The annual income of the charity amounts to £35.

From: ‘Aldingbourne’, A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4: The Rape of Chichester (1953), pp. 134-138. URL:  Date accessed: 11 July 2012.

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History of Eastergate



The parish of Eastergate, (fn. 1)  which lies on thecoastal plain north-east of Bognor Regis, includes Barnham railway station and most of thebuilt-up area described as Barnham in 1993; thesite of the 19th- and 20th-century Barnhammarket also lay within it. The ancient parish had918 a. (372 ha.); (fn. 2)  a small area was transferred toBarnham in 1985. (fn. 3)  In the Middle Ages bothparish and manor were generally called Gate orGates, but the modern name was in use by the15th century. (fn. 4)  The present article deals with theparish as constituted before 1985.

In the south-west and south-east the boundaryruns along streams, and in the west and northit partly follows the modern Church Lane,Fontwell Avenue, and Arundel Road. Theoutline of boundaries suggests that Eastergateand Barnham, perhaps with Yapton too, mayonce have formed a single administrative area.

The southern part of the parish lies on brickearthand the northern part, including the site of themodern village, on valley gravel; there is alluvium in the valleys of the Barnham brook andLidsey rife in the south-east and south-west,and a little London clay east and north-east ofBarnham station; (fn. 5)  severe flooding was experiencedin the latter area in the later 20th century. (fn. 6)  Aspring in the northern tip of the parish gave itsname to the modern settlement of Fontwell. (fn. 7)  Asin other coastal-plain parishes there were severalponds in Eastergate in 1845. (fn. 8)

Woodland on the manor yielded five swine in1086, (fn. 9)  but in 1558-9 there were only 12 a. ofwoods, mostly oak; pasture closes then mentioned which included the elements ‘wood’ or’rede’ were presumably assarts from woodland. (fn. 10) Oak, ash, and elm grew in Eastergate in the 18thcentury, (fn. 11)  and in 1845 there were 6 a. of woods. (fn. 12) The less fertile north end of the parish remainedopen heathland until 1779. (fn. 13)  In the late 19th and20th centuries much land was orchards or marketgardens; (fn. 14)  in 1993 other chief uses were housingand paddocks for horses.


There is evidence for Romanoccupation, including possibly a villa site, nearthe church; the south wall of the chancel incorporates Roman brick. Settlement seems to havecontinued in the same area in the Middle Ages. (fn. 15) Several pre-20th-century buildings are groupednorth and north-west of the church, includingManor Farmhouse and its outbuildings. (fn. 16)  TheOld House is 17th-century, timber-framed, witha moulded brick string course on part of theexterior. One gable wall was replaced in brick inthe late 17th century and the other rebuilt in flintand brick in the late 18th century or early 19th. (fn. 17) Eastergate House further east is late 18th- orearly 19th-century, with a three-bayed front offlint with brick dressings.

Another group of older houses (fn. 18)  stands ¼ mile(400 metres) to the north, at the junction ofChurch Lane, Fontwell Avenue, and Nyton andBarnham roads. Flint House was apparently atimber-framed building of late medieval originand had a three-roomed plan with a largechimneystack on the north lateral wall of themain room. During the 17th century and early18th the outer walls were largely rebuilt in flintand brick and the roof was replaced. In the mid18th century a wing was added to the northcontaining principal rooms and a staircase.Malthouse cottages nearby were originally asingle house of the early 17th century; its timberframing was largely replaced by flint and brickin the late 17th and 18th centuries, and there aremoulded brick mullions and hoodmoulds on thefront. The building was converted to cottages c.1800. The island site of Shelley House and itsadjacent shop at the top of Church Lane, apparently settled by 1596, (fn. 19)  presumably representsencroachment on waste land. Shelley House, andthe White House to the east of it, are externally18th-century, of rubble, brick, and flint, partlyrendered or painted.

The two settlements remained separate in 1845,when there were c. 20 houses there in all,including the new rectory, besides others nearbyin Aldingbourne parish forming part of the samegroup. (fn. 20)  The area between Barnham Road andthe church was further developed with housesand bungalows in the 20th century, part of therectory grounds being built over, and a marketgarden and poultry farm being replaced withstreets c. 1983. (fn. 21)  In 1993 the church could beapproached only through the farmyard of Manorfarm, which almost had the character of a villagegreen. (fn. 22)  The junction of Nyton and Barnhamroads with Fontwell Avenue retained two opengrass islands in the early 20th century; one hada prominent tree, (fn. 23)  and the village war memorialincorporating a stone lion was constructed onthe other c. 1920. (fn. 24)  Road widening had removedpart of the grass by 1993.

Several houses were built from the 16th century or earlier on roadside waste along Barnhamroad. (fn. 25)  One immediately east of its junction withthe modern Fontwell Avenue is probably timberframed and is faced with flint and brick; it bearsa datestone of the 1690s. Buildings opposite thesite of the railway station included an inn, thepredecessor of the Railway, later Barnham, hotel. (fn. 26)

There were said to be many new cottages in1867, (fn. 27)  but the opening of Barnham station wasnot immediately followed by building nearby. (fn. 28) A terrace of brick houses east of the Barnhamhotel which belonged c. 1910 to the London,Brighton, and South Coast Railway (fn. 29)  had presumably been built by the company: it wasapparently the ‘railway cottages’ mentioned in1886. (fn. 30)

The market gardener E. J. Marshall hadapparently begun to put up houses on what hecalled the Barnham Park estate in 1896, (fn. 31)  but thedevelopment of the area first known as BarnhamJunction (fn. 32)  and later as West Barnham (fn. 33)  followedimmediately on the purchase by the Marshallfamily of virtually the whole northern half of theparish from the ecclesiastical commissioners inor shortly before 1899. The land was let for 35years in 1900 to a company called West BarnhamEstate (fn. 34)  and by 1901 building had begun, theland already increasing greatly in value. (fn. 35)  By 1910much of Barnham Road, Elm Grove, and ElmGrove South had been developed, while Downview Road had been marked out for building andtwo houses erected there. The spacious layout ofthe estate, with large detached houses, shrubberies,and roadside trees and verges, (fn. 36)  has been compared with London suburbs like Wimbledon, (fn. 37) Ealing, and Dulwich. (fn. 38)  Smaller houses were alsoput up; some were for nursery workers, (fn. 39)  but sixat the west end of Elm Grove may have been builtby the coal merchant Harry Knight. (fn. 40)

By 1950 the roads named were almost fullydeveloped. (fn. 41)  Most of Elm Grove remainedprivate in 1992. There were then more recentlybuilt houses among the earlier ones, some of thelatter having been converted to flats or nursinghomes.

New houses were put up at the end of ElmGrove South by 1965, (fn. 42)  and between that date andthe late 1970s the former Station nursery north ofthe Barnham hotel was developed as Orchard Wayand adjacent roads, with a mixture of houses andbungalows, including some terraces; (fn. 43)  on theeastern fringe were council houses.

The immediate surroundings of the stationwere said in 1972 to have an ‘impermanent’,’makeshift’ character; (fn. 44)  that was less marked 20years later, when the recently built shoppingcentre provided a focus, though the formerstation yard on the south side of Barnham Roadremained ramshackle.

A few buildings had been put up at the southend of Eastergate common by 1778, includingwhat was later the poorhouse in Fontwell Avenue. (fn. 45) There seems to have been no settlement in thenorth end of the parish until the 19th century. (fn. 46) Fontwell House is a small 19th-century buildingof square plan with a three-bayed east front. Itwas perhaps altered c. 1910 by the residentowner A. J. Day, and a large ‘luncheon room’was added on the south side in 1923-4 to servethe new racecourse opened at that time; it has aCorinthian colonnade brought from Richmond(Surr.). Stonework from elsewhere, includingArundel castle, was also used in the grounds, forinstance in gate piers, in balustrading, and in acircular summerhouse. (fn. 47)  A small building westof Fontwell House was converted as a post officeat the same period using medieval mouldedstonework; (fn. 48)  it survived in 1995. A few houseshad been built in the angle between FontwellAvenue and Wandleys Lane by 1910; morehouses and bungalows were put up later in the20th century, both there, along Wandleys Laneitself, and in Eastergate Lane; (fn. 49)  in Eastergate Laneis a terrace of nursery workers’ cottages.

Twenty-eight tenants of Eastergate manor,perhaps including some in Madehurst, wererecorded in 1086 (fn. 50)  and 15 taxpayers were assessedin the vill in 1327. (fn. 51)  Thirty-seven adult malessigned the protestation in 1642 (fn. 52)  and 60 adultswere listed in 1676. (fn. 53)  In 1724 there were 17families. (fn. 54)  The population in 1801 was 163 andit remained about the same, apart from anunexplained increase in the 1830s, until 1881. Itthen rose continuously, with especially largeincreases in the 1900s and 1960s, to 606 in 1911,943 in 1951, 2,115 in 1971, and 3,018 in 1991. (fn. 55)


The Roman road fromChichester to Brighton seems to have run throughthe north part of the parish, (fn. 56)  and was succeededby the modern Chichester-Arundel road whichformed part of the northern boundary beforewidening and reconstruction in the 1980s. Theparish is bisected by the road from Chichesterto Cudlow in Climping recorded from the early13th century. (fn. 57)  Barnham bridge, by which itcrossed the Barnham brook on the boundarywith Barnham, is discussed above. (fn. 58)  The alignment of the road east of Barnham station wasaltered when the railway embankment wasconstructed c. 1846. (fn. 59)

A road to Walberton, apparently using thelower part of Fontwell Avenue, was mentionedin 1229, (fn. 60)  and the road to Slindon recorded in1304 (fn. 61)  was evidently the same. The continuationof the Walberton road, the modern EastergateLane, was Stotham Lane in 1596. (fn. 62)  In 1724the line of the modern Wandleys Lane formedpart of a suggested route between Pagham andArundel. (fn. 63)  Fontwell Avenue and Wandleys Lanewere given their modern straight courses at theinclosure of Eastergate common in 1779. (fn. 64)  Thetrees flanking the northern part of the formerroad were planted between 1896 and 1910. (fn. 65) The ‘new lane’ and ‘the park way street’ mentioned in 1596 (fn. 66)  have not been located.

There was a carrier in 1851. (fn. 67)  Carriers plied toChichester in 1886 (fn. 68)  and to Bognor Regis andBrighton as well in 1934. (fn. 69)  Cabs could be hired atthe Railway inn from 1874 or earlier, (fn. 70)  and therewas a taxi office at Barnham station in 1992. Motorbuses from Bognor to Slindon passed through theparish by 1924 (fn. 71)  and buses from Chichester toLittlehampton by 1927. (fn. 72)  In 1965 the formerservice continued but the latter went only toYapton. (fn. 73)  In 1992 there were regular buses toBognor Regis and Yapton and less frequent onesto Chichester, Arundel, and elsewhere.

The Shoreham-Chichester railway was openedthrough the parish in 1846, with a station atWoodgate in Aldingbourne south of Westergate. (fn. 74)  At the opening of the Bognor branch line,as a single track, in 1864, a junction station calledBarnham was opened in the south-east corner ofEastergate parish. (fn. 75)  Through trains from Londonto Bognor began running in 1903 (fn. 76)  and in 1911 thetrack was doubled. (fn. 77)  Refreshment rooms wereopened on the station by 1895 and a newsagent’sby 1909; (fn. 78)  both remained in 1993. A new stationbuilding was put up before 1938, (fn. 79)  when thelines were electrified. (fn. 80)  The goods station closedin 1964. (fn. 81)  In 1996, besides frequent services toLondon, Brighton, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton,Portsmouth, and Bournemouth, there wereoccasional trains to Reading (Berks.) and toSouth Wales via Bristol.

A public house was mentioned in 1606, (fn. 82)  aninn in 1686, (fn. 83)  and a victualler from 1799. (fn. 84)  Itis not clear if any can be connected with theWilkes Head in the village recorded from1845, (fn. 85)  the reason for whose name is uncertain.The City Arms inn on Barnham Road in thesouth-east corner of the parish, recorded between1809 and 1817, (fn. 86)  was later called the BarnhamBridge inn (fn. 87)  and between 1845 and 1862 theKnights of Malta; further changes of namemade it the Railway inn by 1866, the Railwayhotel by 1895, (fn. 88)  and the Barnham hotel by1965. (fn. 89)  A three-bayed building apparently ofthe 18th century or earlier 19th (fn. 90)  was replacedc. 1907 (fn. 91)  by the present, much larger, one. In1861 a bowling alley adjoined it (fn. 92)  and in 1874and later the publican was also a cab proprietorand coal merchant. (fn. 93)  The hotel was a popularvenue for wedding receptions, dinners, anddances in 1965 (fn. 94)  and accommodated fortnightlyauctions in 1992. (fn. 95)

Social and cultural activities.

In 1623 thevestry agreed that a maypole which had previously been in use should be turned into aladder for church purposes. (fn. 96)  A Rogationtideprocession, to which occupiers of land broughtcakes, was held at the same period. (fn. 97)

A village hall in Barnham Road was opened in1908; it was provided by A. J. Day of FontwellHouse and others, and with two rifle ranges wasto serve also as a training centre for the territorialarmy. The main room is decorated with scenes fromSussex history by the painter Byam Shaw. (fn. 98)  It wasin frequent use in 1993 by local groups includingthe Eastergate players. The market room of Barnhammarket also accommodated club meetings anddances in the early 20th century. (fn. 99)

Cricket was played on a field south of WandleysLane in or before 1845. (fn. 1)  The recreation groundnear the junction of Barnham Road and FontwellAvenue was presented to the parish by WilliamCollins in the early 20th century; (fn. 2)  in 1992 bothcricket and football were played there. AnEastergate football club and a Barnham andEastergate cricket club based in Eastergate hadexisted by 1910. (fn. 3)  In 1992 there were also clubsfor badminton, stoolball, bowls, and table tennis.Fontwell racecourse, straddling the boundarywith Aldingbourne, was opened in 1924, and hasan oval hurdle course and a figure-of-eightsteeplechase course. (fn. 4)  Fourteen fixtures a yearwere held in 1974, besides other social events. (fn. 5)

The Bognor Water Co. in 1895 constructed awell and pumping station off Fontwell Avenuein the north end of the parish; the village wassupplied by 1909 (fn. 6)  and the vicinity of Barnhamstation by 1912. The Bognor Gas Co. providedgas to the latter area by the same date (fn. 7)  and moregenerally by 1938. (fn. 8)  Electricity was laid on in the1930s by Chichester corporation (fn. 9)  and streetlighting by the same body in 1946. (fn. 10)  Maindrainage was installed c. 1974. (fn. 11)

The ‘Clubmen’ movement of 1645 had afollowing in Eastergate. (fn. 12)  Barracks south-east ofthe village, presumably of the Napoleonic period,were commemorated from 1845 by addresses anda field name. (fn. 13)

The composer John Ireland often stayed in theparish in the early 20th century, and named ahymn tune after it. (fn. 14)


The manor of GATE, later EASTERGATE, which occupied most of the area of theparish in 1861, (fn. 15)  was held in 1066 by KingHarold and in 1086 by Sées abbey (Orne) of earlRoger, who had given it to them in free almsshortly before. (fn. 16)  In 1415 it was transferred withthe rest of the Sées estates to Syon abbey(Mdx.). (fn. 17)  After the Dissolution it was retainedby the Crown (fn. 18)  until granted in 1560 to RichardBaker and Sir Richard Sackville. (fn. 19)  Sackville in1564-5 exchanged it with the dean and chapterof Chichester, (fn. 20)  which thereafter had it until themid 19th century. Between the mid 16th centuryand the later 18th the demesnes were leased tomembers of the related Rose, Sheldon, andDolben families; (fn. 21)  their successors in 1845 weretwo members of the Bine family. (fn. 22)

In 1860 the manor was made over to theecclesiastical commissioners, (fn. 23)  who in 1865 reallotted 404 a. as part of the endowment ofChichester cathedral. (fn. 24)  That land remained inthe hands of the church commissioners, successorsto the ecclesiastical commissioners, in 1993. (fn. 25) Much of the land was held in 1861 by twotenants, Thomas Wisden with 349 a., mostlyleasehold, and James Hamilton, marquess ofAbercorn, with 267 a. leasehold and copyhold;in addition the marquess owned 87 a. outside themanor. (fn. 26)  In or shortly before 1899 the ecclesiastical commissioners sold land including most ofthe northern half of the parish to the marketgardening firm of S. S. Marshall Ltd., which in1900 leased 470 a. for 35 years to a developmentcompany called West Barnham Estate. After alarge area had been developed for housing thatcompany was wound up in 1930. (fn. 27)

A manor house on Eastergate manor with adovecot and garden was recorded in 1379; (fn. 28)  in1534 a chapel was alluded to (fn. 29)  and in 1558-9 thebuilding had a Horsham stone roof. (fn. 30)  The presentManor Farmhouse is a large and massive timberframed building of the mid or late 16th century,which has a central range with rooms on twofloors and long north and south wings making aU-plan with the open side to the west; the northwing contained the kitchen and the south wingthe living accommodation. There is close studding on the west face of the building, and theinfilling of the timber frame includes brick andflint. The south and west walls contain ashlarblocks presumably either from the previousbuilding or from the church. There are remainsof original painted decoration on beams in oneroom of the south wing. A fireplace in the samewing has a moulded lintel. The staircase is18th-century.

Extensive farm buildings to the north and westinclude a granary on staddle stones and a largebarn with a 16th-century roof and 16th-centurydiapered brickwork in its east wall; it may be thebarn roofed with stone mentioned in 1558-9. (fn. 31)

Free warren was claimed at Eastergate in thelate 13th century, (fn. 32)  but no park is known.



Thechief open fields and furlongs of the parish inthe Middle Ages (fn. 33)  were Southfield south ofBarnham road, (fn. 34)  Northfield between Barnhamroad and Fontwell Avenue, (fn. 35)  the Broomes, (fn. 36)  theStaines, (fn. 37)  and Stotham (fn. 38)  south of EastergateLane, and the Rough rakes north of the laterrailway station. (fn. 39)  Others were Adderush, also inthe east, (fn. 40)  Garston, south of Barnham Road, (fn. 41) and ‘Elesstumble’. (fn. 42)  Mention of a stile in Northfield in 1304 (fn. 43)  indicates partial inclosure by thatdate, and in the 1460s and 70s tenants of themanor were ordered to repair fences in andbetween several of the fields. (fn. 44)  Stotham wasapparently being inclosed in 1506, when thetenants’ pasture rights on the stubble there wereexchanged for rights elsewhere. (fn. 45)  In 1510, however,the recent inclosure of a rood in ‘Elstombyll’ wasordered to be undone; (fn. 46)  pasture rights for sheepin the remaining fields were redefined in 1521; (fn. 47) and a term for arable fields (campis seminal’) wasstill in use in 1543. (fn. 48)  Inclosure seems likely tohave been complete by 1596, when much ofthe area of the fields was in small pasturecloses; (fn. 49)  there is no later indication of communalagricultural practices.

The north end of the parish supplied commonheathland. (fn. 50)  The manor demesne farm in 1378-9had 16 cow leazes and 200 sheep leazes. (fn. 51)  In the17th century each tenant of a yardland claimed20 sheep leazes on what was by then calledEastergate common and the farmer of the demesne 60; by 1649 part of the common had beeninclosed and added to the demesne farm. (fn. 52)  Thatthe remaining area was not adequate to thetenants’ needs is indicated by a presentment atthe manor court for overstocking sheep in 1671and by general restrictions on pasturing cattleand horses and on taking bracken in the 18thcentury. (fn. 53)  The tenants’ claim to dig marl therewas disputed at the later period. (fn. 54)  The commonwas inclosed by private agreement in 1779; ofthe 102 a. which it then comprised 9 tenantsreceived allotments of between 4 a. and 19 a. and8 others smaller amounts, the total number ofplots being 33, mostly small. (fn. 55)

The demesne farm had 221 a. of several pasture in 1558-9. (fn. 56)  In 1778 Manor Farmhouse wasadjoined by pasture closes to south, south-west,and south-east. (fn. 57)

There were 4 a. of meadow on the demesnefarm in 1086, (fn. 58)  6 a. in 1378-9, (fn. 59)  and 21 a. in1558-9. (fn. 60)  No common meadow is known.

The demesne farm had 206 a. in 1378-9, (fn. 61)  330a. in 1558-9, (fn. 62)  and 262 a. in 1649. (fn. 63)  It was leasedfrom the early 15th century; (fn. 64)  in the mid 16thleases were for 21 or 30 years but between 1595and the mid 19th century for three lives. (fn. 65)

The 18 villani and 10 cottars listed on themanor in 1086 (fn. 66)  are presumably represented bythe free tenants and neifs mentioned in the 14thcentury (fn. 67)  and the freeholders and copyholdersrecorded from the later 15th. (fn. 68)  About 40 personsowed suit to the manor court c. 1406. (fn. 69)  Eightfreeholders including the rector were listed in1473 and 1639. (fn. 70)  Three freeholds in 1473 consisted of one yardland each, a yardland in 1558-9being 20 a.; the two which lay in Madehurst werepresumably former manorial outliers. The numberof copyholders fluctuated between 15 and 22 inthe period 1473-1596 (fn. 71)  but by 1639 had fallento 10. Many copyholds were single or halfyardlands in 1473, and by the later 16th centuryamalgamation had produced one holding of twoand a half yardlands (50 a.); others then rangedin size from 5 a. to 27 a. and there were also fourcopyhold cottages. (fn. 72)  Copyholds were generallyheld for three lives from the later 16th century; (fn. 73) they could be sublet by 1515 (fn. 74)  and mortgagedby 1667. (fn. 75)

By 1779 there were only 17 tenants in all. (fn. 76) Some manorial tenancies were converted toleaseholds in the 17th and 18th centuries, (fn. 77)  and in1861 of 748 a. held of the manor 188 a. werecopyhold for lives and 561 a. leasehold, mostly alsofor lives. (fn. 78)  From the mid 17th century membersof the Boniface family were prominent among thetenants, (fn. 79)  but in 1861 most of the manor land washeld by James Hamilton, marquess of Abercorn(267 a.), or Thomas Wisden (349 a.). (fn. 80)

In the mid 16th century pastoral farming wasapparently dominant, the demesne farm having 221a. of pasture, including former woodland, to 76 a.of arable. (fn. 81)  In the 17th and 18th centuries (fn. 82)  cattle,sheep, pigs, and geese were widely kept; from thelater 17th century several flocks of over 100 sheepwere mentioned, including two of over 300 in 1679and 1713. Crops grown in the same period werewheat, clearly the most important, barley, (fn. 83)  oats,peas, tares, vetches, and hemp. (fn. 84)  Grasses wereintroduced by 1728 and turnips by 1770.

Large farms in the 17th and 18th centurieswere those of John Spicer (1679), with at least175 a. of crops, Richard Treagoose (1728), withat least 116 a., and John Boniface (1770), withat least 200 a. (fn. 85)

By the 1840s arable land (790 a.) was far moreimportant than meadow and pasture (85 a.). (fn. 86) The two largest holdings at that date werecentred on Manor Farmhouse (361 a.) andEastergate House to the north-west (240 a.), theothers being much smaller; only Manor farmand a holding of 40 a. worked from Tile barn onBarnham Road were single blocks of land, otherholdings being widely scattered. (fn. 87)  Between the1840s and c. 1875 many closes were amalgamated into larger ones, evidently for arable; thelargest had 80 a. (fn. 88)  In 1861, however, the marquessof Abercorn’s land (354 a.), including Wanley’sfarm (107 a.), was described as a desirable stockfarm, (fn. 89)  and the acreage under grass increased to194 a. in 1875 and 287 a. in 1909. (fn. 90)  A shepherdwas mentioned in 1881. (fn. 91)

In the early 20th century the largest farms wereManor farm (350 a.), what was apparently TileBarn farm (143 a.), and Wanley’s farm in thenorth (127 a.), (fn. 92)  and in 1909 there were also 13holdings under 50 a. in area. (fn. 93)  A poultry farmexisted in 1913, and by 1938 there were four. (fn. 94) One remained east of Fontwell Avenue in 1991; (fn. 95) another north of Church Lane, which was alsoa small market garden, had closed before c.1983. (fn. 96)  Over 500 cattle were kept in 1985, chieflyfor meat. (fn. 97)  By 1995 the only sizeable holding wasManor farm (350 a.), a mixed dairy and arableholding which was farmed with another holdingat Tangmere near Chichester. (fn. 98)  Forty-nine peoplewere employed in agriculture and marketgardening in 1985. (fn. 99)

Market gardening.

There were 8 a. of orchards in and around the village c. 1875. (fn. 1)  Marketgardening and fruit growing on a large scale,however, began after the arrival in the area ofthe Marshall family c. 1880. (fn. 2)  By 1896 what waslater called Station nursery, (fn. 3)  belonging to BarnhamNurseries Ltd., had been laid out north of thesite of Barnham market in Barnham Road. (fn. 4)  Ithad grown to 13 a. by 1913 (fn. 5)  and grew furtherby 1950, when there were glasshouses. (fn. 6)

By 1910 there were also market gardens andglasshouses further west, covering much of theland between Station nursery and Eastergatevillage. South of Barnham Road (fn. 7)  lay theBrooks nursery of John Poupart and the nursery of J. H. Robinson, both growing fruit. (fn. 8) Robinson sold his business to his brother-inlaw Jack Langmead in 1952. (fn. 9)  Another marketgarden occupied land in the village itself northof the church and manor house. (fn. 10)  North ofBarnham Road some orchards existed by 1910in the angle of Fontwell Avenue and EastergateLane and north of Wandleys Lane. (fn. 11)  By 1950virtually the whole area between FontwellAvenue, Wandleys Lane, and Barnham Roadwas orchards and glasshouses. (fn. 12)

Fruit farming flourished greatly by 1903,supplying the London markets, and by 1913there were seven firms including those mentioned. (fn. 13) In 1909 there were 29 a. under orchards,mostly for apples, and 15 a. growing smallfruit. (fn. 14)  By 1920 peaches were being suppliedto large country houses and ocean liners. (fn. 15)  Amarket gardener in Elm Grove pioneered theproduction of cultivated mushrooms in WestSussex in the early 20th century, and therewere two mushroom growers in 1934. By 1913the firm of Phipps and Ireland traded in a widevariety of plants and flowers including alpinesand rockery plants, (fn. 16)  while another businessexperimented with forcing outdoor daffodilsand growing chrysanthemums commercially. (fn. 17) One market gardener offered himself as a gardening instructor, presumably for laying outlarger gardens, by 1909. (fn. 18)

Barnham Nurseries’ Station nursery was closedbetween 1955 (fn. 19)  and 1965 and was later builtover. The market-garden site in the village alsosuccumbed to housing development in theearly 1980s. (fn. 20)  In 1985, however, there werestill 41 ha. (101 a.) of horticultural crops,notably apples, (fn. 21)  while one holding in 1982 hadpreviously grown chiefly salad vegetables. (fn. 22) Much of the land between the built-up areasof Eastergate and West Barnham remainedmarket gardens and glasshouses in 1993, producing fruit and flowers. (fn. 23)

Fair and markets.

A fair was held in the1790s, (fn. 24)  presumably on the close called Ten acrefair field on the east side of Fontwell Avenuerecorded in 1845. (fn. 25)

In 1882 W. R. Winter of North Bersted beganfortnightly Monday auction sales of fatstock alongside Barnham station; by 1885 the frequency wasweekly. From 1901 Stride and Son of Chichesterwere owners of what became known as Barnhammarket despite being in Eastergate parish. (fn. 26)  By1896 an additional site had been acquired north ofthe Railway hotel in Barnham Road; during thenext 14 years it expanded greatly, (fn. 27)  while theoriginal site ceased to be used. (fn. 28)  On the new site alarge cattle shed was built, and there were pens forsheep, pigs, and poultry. (fn. 29)  There was a cornexchange by 1903. (fn. 30)

An important Christmas fatstock show washeld in the early 20th century, at first followedby a dinner at the Railway hotel, and there werespecial sales, notably for lambs, at Easter andWhitsun. (fn. 31)

By 1929 the market had become one of thethree or four most important in Sussex; as a fatcattle market it rivalled Lewes, while the tradein sheep was also important. Trade had increasedconsiderably since before 1914, and numbers ofstock passing through in a recent typical yearwere 4,330 cattle, chiefly fat, 3,690 calves, 30,000sheep and lambs, chiefly fat, and 8,500 pigs, alsochiefly fat. The chief customers were butchersfrom the area between Portsmouth and Eastbourne, others from London and Birminghamoccasionally attending to buy pigs. About 20,000head of poultry a year were sold at the sameperiod, besides eggs, in both cases largely for thecoastal towns, while small quantities of fruit andvegetables were dealt with both wholesale andretail. The corn exchange did little business in1929, but horse sales were then held annually inspring. (fn. 32)

By 1945 business had greatly declined, partlybecause of rail transport’s replacement bylorries; the market’s hinterland was then apparentlyonly a few miles in radius, small produce mostlybeing sold. (fn. 33)  Stride and Son, who also ownedChichester market, therefore closed Barnhammarket in 1949, later holding the one at Chichester weekly instead of fortnightly. (fn. 34)

From 1953 the market-gardening firm of Langmead, Robinson and Co. occupied the site, usingthe former butter market as offices, the areabehind it for retailing fruit, vegetables, andflowers, and the former cattle market for wholesaling. (fn. 35)  By 1956 the corn merchants Alfred CortisLtd. had moved there, (fn. 36)  and the freehold of thesite passed in the following year to a trading societybegun by Sussex Associated Farmers Ltd. (fn. 37)  By1970 it belonged to the wholesalers Nurdin andPeacock, who replaced the cattle shed with a large’cash and carry’ warehouse. (fn. 38)

A market was held illegally on Fontwell racecourse carpark on Sundays between 1975 and1977 (fn. 39)  and was revived legally on Fridays in 1991. (fn. 40)

Other trades and industries.

Trades mentioned in Eastergate before 1800 included thoseof smith, (fn. 41)  brewer, (fn. 42)  butcher, (fn. 43)  mariner, tinker, (fn. 44) wheelwright, (fn. 45)  and tailor. (fn. 46)  A tanner was recordedin the mid 16th century, (fn. 47)  and a fellmonger in1662 dealt in wool and various sorts of hides. (fn. 48) The house and workshop surrounded by roadson all sides in 1596 (fn. 49)  presumably occupied theisland site at the junction of Church Lane andNyton Road where a grocer’s shop flourishedfrom 1845 (fn. 50)  or earlier. An excise officer wasmentioned in 1770. (fn. 51)

In the early 19th century the trades of butcher,baker, brewer, carpenter, wheelwright, shoemaker, grocer, and draper were represented. Agrocer in the early 1850s dealt in corn and coal.There was a music master in 1819. (fn. 52)  One familyout of five or six in work was supported chieflyby activities other than agriculture in 1811 andin 1831. (fn. 53)  In 1851 there were also a gardener, abasket maker, and two bricklayers. (fn. 54)

The grocer’s business at the junction of ChurchLane and Nyton Road belonged for many yearsin the 19th and 20th centuries to the Collinsfamily. Between the 1870s and 90s WilliamCollins was also butcher, baker, dairyman, anddraper, and kept the post office. In 1878 hefarmed land himself, and in 1886 he sold bootsand shoes, glass and earthenware. (fn. 55)

After 1864 some parishioners worked on therailway, in 1881 at least six. (fn. 56)  Barnham station alsoserved for the distribution of heavy goods. Thelandlord of the Railway inn, later hotel, dealt incoal from 1874 or earlier, (fn. 57)  and there was a ‘coalwharf’ in the station yard by 1886. (fn. 58)  A firm ofbuilders’ merchants had arrived by 1922. (fn. 59)  Coaland fuel were still distributed in 1992.

Barnham market, itself owing its existence tothe railway, brought ancillary businesses. Therewas a milk contractor near the station in 1895and a corn merchant and a horse dealer by1899. (fn. 60)  By 1895 the Arundel ironmonger AlfredPain ran an agency for agricultural implementsin the station approach. (fn. 61)  The corn merchantAlfred Cortis had premises in the station yardby 1907, at first also dealing in coal. (fn. 62)  By 1956the firm of Alfred Cortis Ltd. had taken overmuch of the former market buildings, sellinginter alia grain, seeds, fertilizers, and animalfeed. (fn. 63)  One branch bank had come to Eastergateby 1905, by 1907 there were two, and by 1913three, all open on market day only; by 1915 theywere open on Fridays as well. (fn. 64)

Other trades recorded in the later 19th centurywere those of dressmaker, firewood dealer, (fn. 65)  andharness maker. (fn. 66)  There was a laundry by 1887. (fn. 67) No smith is recorded at that period, but besidesthe smithy in Barnham there were two othersjust beyond the parish boundary at Westergatein Aldingbourne. (fn. 68)  In the early 20th centurythere were a florist, a cycle agent, a saddler, (fn. 69) and a firm of engineers. (fn. 70)  Several retail businesses settled near the station from the early 20thcentury. (fn. 71)

There was a brickfield of unknown location inthe mid 19th century. (fn. 72)  A brickyard was openedin Elm Grove South to serve the developmentof West Barnham for building after c. 1900; (fn. 73) clay continued to be dug there until 1950. (fn. 74)  Thefirm of West and Dart was responsible for muchof that development between c. 1905 and 1910; (fn. 75) W. H. Dart later continued by himself as builderand contractor, plumber, painter, and housedecorator. (fn. 76)  Another builder and decorator, whowas also a hot water and sanitary engineer, hadpremises at Fontwell. (fn. 77)  Further builders wererecorded in the 1930s (fn. 78)  and estate agents fromthe earlier 20th century; (fn. 79)  there was an architectin the parish in 1903. (fn. 80)

Two larger businesses which began near Barnhamstation expanded far beyond the parish. JamesL. Penfold (fn. 81)  set up as an engineer by 1905 inopposition to his family’s firm at Arundel. Frompremises east of the market (fn. 82)  he at first sold andserviced farm machinery and undertook contractthreshing, but the agricultural connexion wasgradually relinquished as the firm diversifiedinto haulage, dealing in builders’ supplies, andsand and gravel quarrying in Eastergate, Slindon, Eartham, Washington, and the Midhurstarea. In the 1930s the business was divided intothe Barnham Transport Co. Ltd. and PenfoldsBuilders Merchants Ltd.; the Penfold MetallisingCo. was formed in 1947 and Penfolds ReadyMixed Concrete Ltd. in the 1950s. In 1960 therewere a depot at West Worthing and wharves atLittlehampton, Shoreham, and Newhaven, andin 1965 one company within the group operatedfour ships dredging marine gravel in the Solent.Nearly 150 people were employed in all in 1960and c. 250 in 1965. The business’s connexionwith Eastergate ceased after 1967. (fn. 83)

Gerald Toynbee after 1918 formed a haulagecompany called by 1927 F. & G. Toynbee. (fn. 84)  Itlater diversified into general civil engineeringcontracting, and by 1963 was a large organizationundertaking construction throughout southernEngland, including house building, road building, and drainage works. A plant hire subsidiarycompany was formed in 1962. (fn. 85)  The firm left theparish in 1971. (fn. 86)

The market-gardening business of J. H. Robinson,later Langmead, Robinson and Co., besides theretail shop mentioned above later included ahaulage business. (fn. 87)

S. S. Marshall of Barnham Nurseries Ltd. alsopractised as a solicitor in 1905. Two physiciansand surgeons were recorded in 1909 and dentistsfrom 1927. There were two insurance agents in1934. (fn. 88)

In 1965 the population of West Barnham waslargely retired; some people travelled daily towork in London and other towns, but mostworkers were employed locally. (fn. 89)  By 1992, withthe growth of population, the ‘dormitory’ function of the parish had greatly developed.

The railway station in 1976 had a staff of 41. (fn. 90) By 1977 there was an engineering works onBarnham Road between West Barnham andEastergate village and another in the anglebetween Fontwell Avenue and Wandleys Lane. (fn. 91) By 1992 both sites had become small industrialestates (fn. 92)  with six or seven firms at each. The siteformerly occupied by Penfold’s and Toynbee’sbusinesses at the same date accommodated several firms particularly representing the leisureindustry.

A new shopping centre was built in BarnhamRoad on former nursery land c. 1983. (fn. 93)  In 1992it had 13 businesses including a supermarket andan Indian restaurant, and together with othershops in Barnham Road provided a wide varietyof retail goods. Besides the grocer’s and postoffice at the corner of Church Lane and NytonRoad mentioned above, there were then also ashop nearby selling game, fish, and smokedfoods, (fn. 94)  and a general store in Fontwell Avenue.

In 1992 there were three banks, two firms ofsolicitors, and a firm of accountants in the parish,besides two medical practices, two dentists, a vet,and a ‘natural health’ clinic. At the same date therewere two or three riding establishments alongand to the east of Fontwell Avenue, and acaravan park beside Wandleys Lane. (fn. 95)

In addition to the builder’s business at Fontwellin the north end of the parish mentioned above,a post office was opened there in the early 20thcentury, moving to the part of Fontwell inWalberton parish in 1968. (fn. 96)


There are courtrolls for Eastergate manor for the years 1341-2, (fn. 97) various years between 1462 and 1535, (fn. 98)  and theyears 1543, 1548, 1550, (fn. 99)  1617-19, (fn. 1)  and 1660-1874; (fn. 2)  a view of frankpledge was held between1543 and 1550 and a sheriff’s tourn in 1548, butotherwise the records are of the court baron. Inthe late 15th century courts were held up to threetimes a year, in the 16th and 17th centuries oftentwice yearly in spring and autumn, and betweenthe late 17th and early 19th usually only once ayear. After the late 17th century there wassometimes no business, and from 1762 muchbusiness was conducted out of court. From 1810courts were held less regularly, the last in 1855.The place of holding the court in the mid 17thcentury and presumably at other dates was thehall of Manor Farmhouse. (fn. 3)

In the 1340s, when the court’s jurisdictioncovered Sées abbey’s lands in Littlehampton andAtherington in Climping as well as Eastergate,a plea of trespass was heard on at least oneoccasion. Between the 15th century and the 18th,besides land transactions, the court dealt withthe management of the common fields andwastes (fn. 4)  and the repair of houses, (fn. 5)  hedges, andditches. (fn. 6)  Between 1486 and 1519 it elected two’curemen’, (fn. 7)  and in 1618 the reeve. (fn. 8)  The view offrankpledge in the 1540s held the assize of breadand of ale, inspected leather, saw to road repairs,and elected the headborough; a case of assaultwas heard in 1548. Other officers mentionedwere a beadle in the 15th century, (fn. 9)  and a bailiffbetween the later 15th and 18th centuries, (fn. 10)  whoin 1535 also served on Syon abbey’s manors ofAtherington in Climping and Ecclesden inAngmering. (fn. 11)  The office of reeve had existed by1229, (fn. 12)  and in the 1610s was filled by rotationamong the tenants of houses in the village street.The headborough in 1536 also representedAtherington. (fn. 13)  A tithingman still served in1822. (fn. 14)

There were apparently always two churchwardens in the period 1548-1662 and from1883, but from 1664 to 1882 there was usuallyonly one. (fn. 15)  In 1579 the office rotated by holdings. (fn. 16)

Some poor children at least were apprenticedin 1644, (fn. 17)  and a parish poorhouse existed in theearly 19th century in the angle between FontwellAvenue and Eastergate Lane; (fn. 18)  by 1845 it waslet as cottages (fn. 19)  and it was later demolished.

The parish joined Westhampnett union, laterrural district, in 1835; from 1933 it was inChichester rural district (fn. 20)  and from 1974 in Arundistrict.


There was a church in 1086, (fn. 21)  whichby 1087 belonged to Sées abbey (Orne). (fn. 22)  Itremained a rectory. From 1983 it was held withBarnham by a single priest in charge, (fn. 23)  and in1985 Aldingbourne, Barnham, and Eastergatebecame one benefice, the parishes remainingdistinct. In 1992 the three parishes were unitedas the parish of Aldingbourne, Barnham, andEastergate. (fn. 24)

The advowson descended with the manor, (fn. 25) remaining, however, with the dean and chapterof Chichester after 1860. (fn. 26)  The Crown exercised it between 1348 and 1421 because of thewar with France, (fn. 27)  George Benyon and HenryBlaxton each presented for a turn in the later16th century, and William Cawley the regicideand Richard Boughton together in 1657. (fn. 28)  After 1985 the patronage of the united livingbelonged jointly to the dean and chapter andthe bishop. (fn. 29)

The living was worth £10 in 1291 (fn. 30)  and £8 orless in 1440; it remained impoverished in 1513 (fn. 31) and was valued at £6 14s. 8d. in 1535. (fn. 32)  By 1473the rector paid £1 yearly to the lady of themanor, (fn. 33)  the Crown maintaining the right to thepayment after the manor was granted away in1560. (fn. 34)  Rent was also paid to the manor for glebein 1473 and later. (fn. 35)

A rectory house of unknown site was mentionedin 1473; (fn. 36)  in 1635 it had 7 rooms. (fn. 37)  It may nolonger have been used in 1724, (fn. 38)  and in 1758had been so much out of repair for many yearsas not to be habitable. (fn. 39)  It had been demolished by c. 1830. (fn. 40)  A new house was built inChurch Lane in the early 1840s; (fn. 41)  it is partlyof flint and partly rendered, in Tudor style. Itwas enlarged in 1882-3 (fn. 42)  but was replaced in1976 by a building in Barnham Road nearerthe centre of population. (fn. 43)

Between the mid 16th century and the 19th therector had glebe estimated at between 10 and 20a. (fn. 44)  and all the tithes of the parish. (fn. 45)  Between the16th century and the 18th he also had commonrights for 20 sheep. (fn. 46)  The glebe was widelyscattered in 1615 (fn. 47)  and later; (fn. 48)  part was sold toredeem land tax in 1803 (fn. 49)  and two outlying plotswere exchanged for other land in 1848. (fn. 50)

The real value of the living was said to be £50in 1649 (fn. 51)  and £52 in 1724. (fn. 52)  By c. 1830 it wason average £308 net. (fn. 53)  At the commutation oftithes in 1845 the rector received a rent chargeof £370. (fn. 54)

The rector resided apparently in 1440 (fn. 55)  andcertainly in 1563. (fn. 56)  Assistant curates were apparently recorded in the mid 16th century. (fn. 57) Between that date and the early 19th centuryincumbents often held other benefices, usuallyalso in the West Sussex coastal plain, (fn. 58)  and asdean and chapter appointees they sometimesserved as prebendary (fn. 59)  or vicar choral of Chichester cathedral. (fn. 60)

The rector in 1579 was failing to supply thesermons required, either himself or throughothers, and to instruct children in the catechism, (fn. 61) and a successor in 1622 was presented for omission of services; (fn. 62)  in the following year twoparishioners were letting out seats in the churchfor money. (fn. 63)  Augustine Payne, instituted 1631,was ejected in the 1650s in favour of a ‘preacherof the gospel’ but restored in 1660. (fn. 64)

In 1724 a service with sermon was held eachSunday and communion celebrated three timesa year with c. 6 communicants. (fn. 65)  The then rectorThomas Wellings (d. 1736) was buried on hisother cure of Aldingbourne, where he had presumably lived. (fn. 66)  Between the mid 18th centuryand the mid 19th, for lack of a suitable house,his successors perhaps always resided outside theparish, (fn. 67)  and in 1758 the incumbent was said notto perform services himself more often thanevery two months. (fn. 68)

Between 1798 and 1849 successive rectors wereresidentiary canons at Chichester, one servingalso as precentor, and had other livings besides. (fn. 69) During that period the church was served byassistant curates or the clergy of neighbouringparishes; (fn. 70)  the curate in 1838 was not residenteither, (fn. 71)  but in 1845 the rector lived in the newrectory house. (fn. 72)  Two Sunday services were heldfrom c. 1832 (fn. 73)  and communion five times a yearby 1844, monthly by 1884, and twice monthlyby 1898. (fn. 74)  On Census Sunday 1851 morningservice was attended by 95 besides Sundayschoolchildren and afternoon service by 130. (fn. 75)  Abarrel organ had been installed by 1841. (fn. 76)

The church’s position near the western edgeof the parish led some parishioners to useBarnham church at the end of the 19th century,while residents of Westergate in Aldingbourneattended at Eastergate. (fn. 77)  At the same periodthe existence of a Salvation Army barracks atWestergate was claimed to foster ‘a very irreligious irreverent feeling’ among many youngparishioners. (fn. 78)

The church in 1993 could be approached onlythrough the farmyard of Manor farm; the granary belonging to the farm was used for churchpurposes from the 1970s. (fn. 79)  There were bothSunday and weekday services in 1995.

The church of ST. GEORGE     (fn. 80)  consists ofchancel and nave with north vestry and westbellcot. The walls are mostly pebbledashed overrubble and an exposed part of the south wall ofthe chancel is of Roman brick laid in herringbone pattern. The bellcot is shingled.

The chancel is late 11th- or early 12th-century,one original window surviving in the northwall. (fn. 81)  The nave is probably of similar datethough with no features earlier than the blocked14th-century north doorway. There are twomuch restored 13th-century windows in thesouth wall of the chancel, and the east windowis 14th-century. There are 15th-century windows in the south wall of the nave, and the westwindow and doorway date from 1534 whenmoney was left to enlarge the church at the westend by 12 ft. (3.7 metres) and to construct a newthree-light window. (fn. 82)  The crown-post nave roofis also 16th-century, and the chancel roof isprobably 17th-century.

In 1776 the nave was in good repair thoughthe chancel was ‘very ruinous’. (fn. 83)  A west galleryfor the schoolchildren had been inserted by1856. (fn. 84)  The chancel was conservatively restoredin 1876-7, the roof being raised. (fn. 85)  In 1883 thenave was restored and reseated, the gallery presumably removed, and the bellcot re-erected atthe west end; a vestry was also built (fn. 86)  but wasreplaced by new vestries c. 1925. (fn. 87)

There were remains of 11th-century architectural and figure painting on the north wall ofthe chancel in 1907, (fn. 88)  and a window in the southwall of the nave has armorial stained glass datablec. 1360 with the FitzAlan arms. (fn. 89)  Some medievalbenches with poppy heads survived in 1776, (fn. 90)  butby 1847 the church was ‘full of hideous highpews’ (fn. 91)  later replaced. The communion rails are18th-century and there are two early 19th-centuryGothic priests’ stalls. The east window commemorates Lord Kitchener (d. 1916). (fn. 92)

The single bell of 1737 is by Joshua Kiplingof Portsmouth. (fn. 93)  There are a silver communioncup probably of 1568 and a silver paten of 1798. (fn. 94) The registers begin in 1564. (fn. 95)


The dean and chapterof Chichester’s lessee William Rose and twoother parishioners were indicted for recusancybetween 1605 and 1615 (fn. 96)  and single recusants onthree dates between 1669 and 1767. (fn. 97)  The churchof Blessed (later St.) Philip Howard next to thepresent St. Philip Howard R.C. school wasregistered for worship in 1970; (fn. 98)  it was served atfirst from Slindon but by 1992 had replaced thechurch there as the parish church. (fn. 99)


Therewere five Dissenters in 1676. (fn. 1)  In 1903 someparishioners attended Salvation Army servicesat Westergate in Aldingbourne. (fn. 2)  Methodist serviceswere held at the market room of Barnhammarket in the parish from 1923, but later movedto Barnham. (fn. 3)


An unlicensed teacher was recorded in 1600, (fn. 4)  and in 1758 there was a schoolin which the catechism was taught; (fn. 5)  it may havebeen the same school which was supported bythe rector and assistant curate in 1818, whenthere were 12 pupils. (fn. 6)

Eastergate National school was started in 1829and in 1833 was attended by 15 boys and 18girls. (fn. 7)  A new building was built on part of theglebe between 1838 and 1845; (fn. 8)  of one storey, itwas similar in style and materials to the contemporary rectory house nearby. About 1845 therewere 98 children on the books from Eastergate,Aldingbourne, and Barnham. (fn. 9)  The school continued to serve Aldingbourne until at least 1865 (fn. 10) and Barnham until 1906. (fn. 11)  In 1855 it was supported by school pence and subscriptions, theshortfall being made up by the rector, (fn. 12)  and in1859 it had 46 pupils. (fn. 13)

After several years’ suspension (fn. 14)  the school wasreopened as Eastergate and Barnham C.E. schoolin 1873. (fn. 15)  Average attendance was 43 in 1875-6 (fn. 16) and 75 in 1905-6; (fn. 17)  in 1880 there was a lendinglibrary. (fn. 18)  After the opening of Barnham councilschool average attendance fell to 55 in 1921-2and 51 in 1937-8. (fn. 19)  The school was later calledEastergate C.E. (controlled) primary school. Anew building near the Wilkes Head inn, the firstcompletely open-plan design in West Sussex,was opened in 1970, (fn. 20)  the old building becomingfirst a school of arts and dancing (fn. 21)  and later aprivate house. (fn. 22)  There were 114 children on theroll in 1993. (fn. 23)

A private school or ‘seminary’ existed in theparish between 1855 and 1862. (fn. 24)

An evening school for older children washeld occasionally in the 1860s, (fn. 25)  and c. 1880there was another. (fn. 26)  From 1958 the parish wasserved by Westergate secondary modernschool, (fn. 27)  but in the following year the Blessed(later St.) Philip Howard R.C. secondaryschool was opened, originally for senior Roman Catholic boys and girls from the Catholicparishes of Chichester, Arundel, Slindon,Bognor Regis, and Littlehampton; (fn. 28)  the choiceof site was evidently due to easy rail communication, since neither Barnham nor Eastergatehad a notable Catholic tradition. The buildings were later extended. In 1982, when theintake was comprehensive, there were 750 onthe roll, mostly Catholics; the school was thenalso used for adult education classes. (fn. 29)  In 1993the roll numbered 659. (fn. 30)


None known.

From: ‘Eastergate’, A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 5 Part 1: Arundel Rape: south-western part, including Arundel (1997), pp. 148-160. URL:  Date accessed: 11 July 2012.

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