A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1953.
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The parish, containing 3,677 acres, consists of a main block about 2 miles from north to south and the same from east to west, with a projection southwards for about a mile on the east. On the west a detached portion containing Goodwood House and part of the Park lay within Westhampnett, into which parish it has now been absorbed for administrative purposes. The southern part is flat, lying at a height of about 60 ft., but north of the village it rises fairly rapidly, reaching 400 ft. on Hat Hill at the north-west corner of the parish. The road from Chichester to Petworth crosses the parish diagonally, running on the line of the Roman Stane Street for 2 miles, when it diverges slightly to the east, rejoining the old line near Seabeach on the eastern boundary. The road to Arundel runs from west to east in the south of the parish, these two main roads being connected by one road to Strettington and another, past the church and village, to Halnaker.
The remains of the conventual buildings of Boxgrove Priory, which lie to the north of the church, are scanty. (fn. 1) Of the cloister arcade, most probably of wood, there is no trace; its width (10 ft.) may be inferred from the foundations of two piers to carry flying buttresses to support the west wall of the dorter; the corbels on the walls of transept and nave give some clue to the design of the cloister roof.
The front of the chapter-house, early-12th-century, follows the usual design of a doorway flanked by twolight windows; the responds of the former are square with attached shafts carrying an inner order, which in the flanking windows is that of the lights, divided by a shaft with capital and base. The vault was in three bays and three alleys; the foundation of one of the four supporting piers is traceable, and the springings of a ribless groined vault, and the corbels they rest on, are visible on its south and west walls.
No other part of the buildings surrounding the cloister exists above ground, though dry weather has made it possible to detect foundations. The frater (in the usual position for a Benedictine house) and kitchen were converted into a dwelling-house at the Suppression and pulled down in about 1780. (fn. 2) The ancient well, steened with hard chalk, and conveniently placed for the kitchen, still exists. The foundations north of it are presumably those of post-Suppression buildings.
North-east of the cloister lay a separate building, most probably the monastic guest-house, (fn. 3) of the early 14th century. It consisted of a rectangular building running north and south divided into two unequal parts; on the west side of this there was a subsidiary wing at the northern end and a porch farther south; the northern and larger part of the main building alone survives, though roofless. (fn. 4) It was of two stories; the lower was vaulted in five bays and two alleys; some corbels and moulded springings still exist. Access was by a porch (destroyed) whose vaulting sprang from corbels carved with foliage, through a doorway with moulded pointed arch, flanked by a small lancet window. In the south wall a plain pointed doorway led to the ground floor of the southern part of the building (which was not vaulted). Remains of a small doorway exist in the east wall and, farther north, the opening of what evidently was a two-light window; on the south side where the subsidiary wing adjoined are the remains of a narrow skew passage, awkwardly placed and perhaps not part of the original design, and in the next bay the tiled back of a large fire-place.
The upper floor seems to have resembled a contemporary layman's house, the surviving building being the Great Hall, the north-west wing containing the stairs and perhaps the buttery, while the south wing and the upper story of the porch served as withdrawingrooms. Three doorways with plain pointed heads exist; one at the north-west corner presumably led to the screens passage, the other two to the two withdrawing-rooms. In the north wall is a large two-light window with trefoil-headed lights surmounted by a quatrefoil (the mullion and part of the head are missing), the rear-arch is moulded, below sill level are two stone seats. What is apparently a similar window exists in the west wall, and the older drawings give reason to believe that there were two similar ones in the east wall, which is now ruined above ground-floor level. In each gable above tie-beam level are three lancets intended as smoke outlets.
The village street runs north and south to the west of the Priory Church. Most of the buildings are post1700, but at least two are earlier. On the west side is a thatched house with an inscription, RB 1641, on a stone panel in the chimney-shaft. The north half of the house is of timber-framing of that period with red brick infilling and stone foundations. The south half has flint-rubble walls and was probably an earlier building adapted in the 1641 lengthening. The chimneystack in this half has a wide fire-place. East of it is the entrance lobby and west of it an ancient steep staircase of oak. The entrance is flanked by low buttresses and above it is a tiny blocked window of stone. The ceiling beams are chamfered.
A quarter of a mile to the south on the other side is a late-17th-century thatched cottage of flint rubble with lacing courses, angle dressings, and window openings of red brick. The chimney-stacks are at the ends.
The group of buildings at Crockerhill, a mile farther east on the Arundel road, is mostly of the 18th century with walls of flints or bricks. One thatched cottage bears the inscription, M/IM 1738. Another on the west side of the Eartham road is partly of flints with 17thcentury brick dressings and has, in the south end-wall, a blocked window with a label.
Oldbury Farm, ¼ mile south of Crockerhill at the angle of a loop-road, incorporates the remains of a building of c. 1500, but has been much altered. It faces south. The west end is of flint rubble and has a massive projecting chimney-stack of similar masonry with stone angle-dressings and plinth; it is gathered in above the eaves of the roof to an 18th-century brick shaft. The fire-place inside is of stone with moulded jambs and four-centred and square head with carved foliage spandrels. North and south of the chimneystack are small windows of brickwork with labels. The front wall, with thin brick dressings at the west angle, is of flint-work up to a straight joint, c. 30 ft. from the west; beyond this it is of 18th-century brickwork. The doors and windows are modern. One ceiling beam in the west room is of early-16th-century moulding and is carried on similarly moulded east and west posts. The roof is thatched.
A farmhouse, now tenements, 3/8 mile to the west of Oldbury Farm on the loop-road, is an early-17thcentury or earlier house facing south. The west end is of flint and stone rubble with a stone plinth and angle dressings, but the front is covered with rough-cast cement. The easternmost part was a low building of 17th-century brickwork, heightened much later to tally with the main block. The west wall has blocked windows, the upper with a brick label. The massive central chimney-stack, of thin bricks, is of rebated type with a V-shaped middle front pilaster and square back pilaster. The fire-places are reduced for modern grates. The ceilings have stop-chamfered beams. The back wall, covered by later additions, is of timber-framing.
Oar Farm, a mile south of the last and ½ mile west of Aldingbourne, is a house of c. 1600 refronted with 18th-century and later brickwork, but the gabled east wall is of original bricks with a chamfered plinth and a string-course. It has a central chimney-stack with a wide fire-place having a cambered and chamfered bressummer, and the ceilings have chamfered beams.
At Strettington, about a mile west of the church, is an early-17th-century thatched house facing east. The walls are of flints and some free-stone, with 17th-century brick angles and later brick window openings. The north half has an internal chimney-stack with reduced fire-places and a rebated shaft of thin bricks. At the south end is a fine projecting chimney-stack of flints with brick angles gathered in above with brick cross-stepping to a rebated shaft.
Farther south a farmhouse, formerly known as Strettington House, now called 'The Old House', dates from c. 1550–60. The south front is faced with dressed flints and has a moulded brick plinth and thin-brick angle-dressings. The windows have moulded brick labels and have been reduced for narrower frames. An upper window on the west wall is blocked and retains vestiges of the original plaster applied to represent stonework. The central chimney-stack has original four-centred fire-places of brick, one plastered, and above the tiled roof a shaft of a modified cross-plan. Most of the rooms have encased beams and early-18th-century wall linings, but the westernmost room shows wide flat ceiling-joists. A gabled stair-wing behind is of ancient flint rubble in the lower part and timberframing above.
At Halnaker hamlet, about ¼ mile north of the church, most of the domestic buildings are of the 18th century or later, but a thatched cottage on the north side of the road has walls partly of 17th-century timberframing and partly of flint-work, some of it ancient. At one end is a late-17th-century chimney-stack.
Seabeach, 1¾ miles north-east of the church, is a small house of two stories and attics, facing south-east. The front wall is of checker-work in flints and pieces of freestone and may be of the 16th century. The windows are modern reductions of wider openings. At the first-floor level is a brick string-course. The northeast end is of similar material, but the back half of the gable-head was heightened at some later period, and it has a late-17th-century brick chimney-shaft. At the south-west end is a modern lengthening, but above the original end is a similar chimney-shaft. Both rise from wide-splayed fire-places (now reduced for modern grates) across the rear angles of the two rooms. The ceiling beams are chamfered.
On Halnaker Hill south-west of Seabeach stands an 18th-century windmill, (fn. 5) forming a conspicuous landmark. It is of round tapering form with a wooden cap and the skeletons of the four sails.
Halnaker House, (fn. 6) which was allowed to fall into total ruin during the 19th century, was a semi-fortified manor house, surrounded by a curtain-wall with a gatehouse in the south range and a square tower at the south-west angle. There may have been towers at the other angles. Buildings occupied three sides of the court, those on the north including the hall. The main structure of the buildings was of the 14th century, with modifications in the 16th century; but the chapel, in the middle of the east range, was of the 13th century, having six lancet windows on each side and a group of three at the east end.
The Goodwood Park estate, on which a house had been built before 1675, was bought c. 1720 by the 1st Duke of Richmond. (fn. 7) A house was built for the second duke by Sir William Chambers, with the principal front, of Portland stone, facing south. This was much enlarged for the 3rd duke by James Wyatt in squared flints, (fn. 8) the front, facing east, having a central portico of two stories of six columns and dome-capped angleturrets. The house is architecturally undistinguished, its interest lying mainly in its furnishing and pictures, mostly portraits, (fn. 9) and in the beauty of its grounds. In the park are many fine trees, including a large number of cedars of Lebanon planted in 1761. An 18thcentury 'grotto', known as 'Carne's Seat' from the name of an old retainer of the 3rd Duke, is famous for the beauty of its view. (fn. 10)
Boxgrove was held of Edward the Confessor by two unnamed freemen. In 1086 it was held of Earl Roger by William, whose estates afterwards formed the honor of Halnaker (see below); of its 6 hides 'the clerks of the church' held 1 hide, Humphrey 3 hides 1 virgate, Nigel 1 hide 1 virgate, and William ½ hide. (fn. 11) Robert de Haye in 1105 gave to the abbey of Lessay in Normandy the church of St. Mary of Boxgrove, with 2½ hides of land round it, and the whole tithe of that parish and of his Christmas rents there, and the tithe of his wood from pannage and sale, with firing and timber for their buildings, pannage for their swine, and pasture for their stock, as well as other churches and tithes. (fn. 12) This resulted in the formation of the priory of Boxgrove, (fn. 13) at first a cell of Lessay, but after 1339 independent of the mother house, and the prior's estates in Boxgrove and Worth (fn. 14) constituted in 1349 a ½ fee held of Halnaker. (fn. 15) In 1535 the manor of BOXGROVE was farmed at £20 12s., (fn. 16) and after the dissolution of the priory it was acquired by Thomas West, Lord de la Warre, (fn. 17) and descended with Halnaker.
HALNAKER (fn. 18) is alleged to have been given by King Eadwig to Bishop Brithelm in 956. (fn. 19) If such a grant was made, it was soon lost to the see, and the manor was held in the time of the Confessor by Alward and in 1086 by William under Earl Roger. The main portion was assessed at 9 hides, (fn. 20) but there was an additional hide, held by the same persons, surveyed separately; (fn. 21) there were appurtenant to the manor 3 burgesses in Chichester, where houses in St. Pancras were still held of this manor in the late 18th century. (fn. 22) The estates of this William (fn. 23) came into the king's hands and were granted in or before 1105 by Henry I to Robert de Haye, son of Rannulf the steward of Count Robert of Mortain. (fn. 24) They constituted the honor of Halnaker, held of the honor of Arundel as 12 knights' fees. (fn. 25) The honor passed by the marriage of Robert's daughter Cecily to Roger de St. John, (fn. 26) who died about 1130. His sons William and Robert were still living in 1187 and apparently held the honor jointly; (fn. 27) they left no issue and it passed through their sister Muriel, who had married Rainald d'Orival, (fn. 28) and her daughter Mabel, wife of Adam de Port of Basing (Hants), to the latter's son William, who took the name of St. John. His son Robert left a son John (fn. 29) who died in 1301, holding the manor of Halnaker of Sir Robert de Mohaut, one of the coheirs of the Earl of Arundel, by service of 4 knights' fees; the manor then contained 400 acres of arable, 20 acres of meadow, a windmill, and a pigeon-house; there were 21 freeholders and 14 customary tenants, each with a yardland containing 12 acres, and the total value was £38 12s. 8¼d.; the manors of Walberton, Barnham, and Woodcote in Westhampnett were members of Halnaker. (fn. 30) His son and heir John de St. John married Isabel de Courtenay and had two sons, William who died without issue (fn. 31), and Hugh who succeeded his father in 1329. (fn. 32) Hugh de St. John died in 1337, holding Halnaker of Queen Isabelle, with whom Robert de Morley, heir of Robert de Mohaut, had exchanged the overlordship in 1335, (fn. 33) and leaving an infant son Edmund, aged 4. (fn. 34) Edmund died in 1347 while still a minor in the king's custody. The manor at this time was said to be held as 1½ fees, and to be charged with the render at Christmas of a pig and two trees to the hospital of St. James outside Chichester, and of a 'second best' pig and a tree to the hospital of 'Lodesdon', (fn. 35) in Westhampnett. (fn. 36)
Edmund St. John left a widow Elizabeth, who received one third of the manor in dower, (fn. 37) and two sisters his coheirs. The elder, Margaret, married John de St. Philibert, and in October 1347 they agreed to a division of the estates by which Halnaker passed to the younger sister Isabel, then wife of Henry de Burghersh. (fn. 38) Henry died in November 1349 and Isabel immediately married Sir Luke de Ponyngs. (fn. 39) On the death of Margaret St. Philibert and her young son in 1361 the whole St. John inheritance was reunited. (fn. 40) Sir Luke died in 1376 (fn. 41) and was followed by his eldest surviving son Sir Thomas, who succeeded his mother in 1393 and used, but apparently incorrectly, the title of Lord St. John. (fn. 42) Sir Thomas possibly moved to Basing (Hants), (fn. 43) the headquarters of the St. John barony, as he made over Halnaker to his son Hugh. (fn. 44) The latter, however, predeceased his father, dying in December 1426, when Halnaker reverted to Sir Thomas, (fn. 45) who, with his wife Maud, made a settlement of these estates in the following year (fn. 46) and died in 1429. (fn. 47) His widow Maud, who subsequently married Hugh Halsham, held the manor till her death in 1453, (fn. 48) when it passed under the settlement of 1427 to John Bonville, son of Joan, eldest of the three daughters of Hugh Ponyngs. (fn. 49) John died in 1495 and Katherine his widow held Halnaker until her death in 1498, (fn. 50) when it passed under settlement to their younger daughter Elizabeth and her husband Thomas West, Lord de la Warre. (fn. 51) At the time of the Dissolution Lord de la Warre tried to save Boxgrove Priory, (fn. 52) but failing to do so secured for himself the site and the manor of Boxgrove. (fn. 53) In 1540, however, he and his wife were induced to convey Halnaker and Boxgrove to the king in exchange for the suppressed abbey of Wherwell (Hants). (fn. 54)
Henry VIII made John Jenyns steward and bailiff of the manors of Boxgrove and Halnaker, with its members, and keeper of the house and parks in 1544, (fn. 55) but two years later gave these offices to Henry, Earl of Arundel, (fn. 56) to whom Queen Elizabeth in 1561 granted the manors. (fn. 57) Five years later the earl settled these and other manors on John, Lord Lumley, who had married his elder daughter Jane. (fn. 58) They seem, however, to have been in the hands of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who had married the earl's younger daughter Mary (died 1557), in 1570. (fn. 59) The duke was attainted and executed in 1572, and in 1587 Lord Lumley sold the two manors to John Morley, (fn. 60) of Saxham in Suffolk. (fn. 61) His son Sir John died in 1622 (fn. 62) and left a son Sir William Morley, K.B., who died in 1701, leaving no male issue. Sir William's daughter Mary married in 1704, in Halnaker chapel, James, Earl of Derby, and died at the age of 84 in 1752. As she had no surviving child she left Halnaker to her distant relative Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, bt., greatgrandson of Sir John Morley's eldest daughter. (fn. 63) Sir Thomas in 1765 sold the estate for £48,000 to Charles, Duke of Richmond, Lennox, and Aubigny, (fn. 64) from whom it has descended to the present Duke of Richmond.
The PARK of Halnaker possibly originated in a grant of free warren made in 1253 to Robert de St. John for his demesnes at Halnaker, Goodwood, and elsewhere, outside the limits of the forest. (fn. 65) An inquiry as to the recent enlargement of the park by 60 acres was ordered in 1283, (fn. 66) and it was said to contain 150 acres in 1329, and to be 2 leagues round in 1337. (fn. 67) Hugh, elder son of Lord St. John, had licence in 1404 to inclose 300 acres of land and wood within the lordship of Halnaker and make a park, according to the metes begun by his father, (fn. 68) but possibly did not avail himself of it, as the licence was renewed to Thomas and Elizabeth West in 1517. (fn. 69) This may be the origin of Goodwood Park, which first appears in 1540, when it was part of the Halnaker estate, (fn. 70) as it was also in 1561. (fn. 71) In 1570 Halnaker Park was estimated to be 4 miles in compass and supported 800 deer. (fn. 72) It continued to descend with the manor, but Goodwood Park was sold in 1584 by Lord Lumley to Henry and Elizabeth Walrond, who transferred it in 1597 to Thomas Cesar; he conveyed it in 1599 to Thomas Bennett, who in 1609 sold it to Sir Edward Fraunceis. (fn. 73) The Earl of Northumberland in 1657 sold it, with 'the house lately erected therein', to John Caryll, (fn. 74) who conveyed the park and mansion house to Anthony Kempe in 1675, (fn. 75) and it subsequently came to the Comptons of East Lavant, from whom it was bought, about 1720, by the Duke of Richmond. (fn. 76)
EAST HAMPNETT (fn. 77)
EAST HAMPNETT was held in the time of the Confessor by Alward, and in 1086 by Nigel under William the tenant of Halnaker, and was assessed at 7 hides. (fn. 78) Nigel seems to have been the ancestor of the Sartilli family, (fn. 79) and Gilbert de Sartilli at the end of the 12th century gave to Boxgrove Priory 1½ virgates in East Hampnett, and 10s. rent there to provide wine for mass. (fn. 80) In 1214 Godfrey de Craucumbe, who was grandson of Clarice daughter of Gilbert de Sartilli, (fn. 81) granted to William Morand for life 2/3 fee here. (fn. 82) East Hampnett is next found in the hands of the Lovels of Castle Cary (Somerset). Richard Lovel and Thomas de Argentein were holding, apparently jointly, lands and pasturage rights here in 1225. (fn. 83) Richard's grandson Hugh Lovel (fn. 84) died in 1290 holding a knight's fee, (fn. 85) of which ⅓ was held by his daughter Olive de Gurney, to whom he had given half the manor of Hampnett ten years before she married John de Gurney; (fn. 86) ⅓ by William Dawtrey, which was given to his mother (Alice, probably the daughter of Hugh's father Henry) (fn. 87) as a marriage portion; and ⅓ by John de Chaggele in dower of Alice his wife, of the inheritance of William de Argenteyn, given in marriage with William's grandmother (probably Henry Lovel's other daughter Christiane). (fn. 88) Accordingly the three chief contributors to the subsidy of 1296 in East Hampnett were Olive de Gurney, John de Chaggele, and William Dawtrey. (fn. 89)
Olive de Gurney died in 1296, holding of the heir of Hugh Lovel ⅓ fee in East Hampnett, her heir being her daughter Elizabeth 'de Badeham'. (fn. 90) Elizabeth and her husband John 'de Badeham', or 'Abadam', settled the manor of Hampnett and other manors, including Beverston (Gloucs.), on themselves and her heirs in 1297. (fn. 91) In 1329 Thomas ap Adam, son of Sir John ap Adam of Beverston, granted the manor to Sir John Inge. (fn. 92) Eight years later a messuage, 2 carucates of land, a mill, and rent in East Hampnett was settled for life on John Inge and Alice Basset, (fn. 93) and in 1340 they sold their respective rights in the manor to Richard, Earl of Arundel. (fn. 94) A further sale to the earl in 1376 of a messuage, 2 carucates, a mill, and rent by Roger Dore and Joan his wife (fn. 95) probably represents the reversionary interest of Alice's daughter Joan. (fn. 96) The manor, held of the king, (fn. 97) descended with the Earls of Arundel and passed to Lord Lumley, who mortgaged it in 1568 to Edward Jackman, (fn. 98) and sold it in 1584 to Edward Peckham and Grace his wife. (fn. 99) Their son Henry died on 1 November 1616 seised of the manor, (fn. 100) and his grandson John held courts until 1674. (fn. 101) The manor is said to have been sold in 1682 to Sir George Jeffreys, the notorious Lord Chancellor of James II, (fn. 102) and he held courts from 27 April 1682 to 22 June 1686; (fn. 103) in the following year he sold the manor to Richard Smith of London, to the use of John Gore for life, and then to his sons and their heirs male, or in default to John Gore's grandson Arthur Turnour. (fn. 104) A court of the manor was held on 11 May 1688 by John Gore, (fn. 105) and Arthur Tournour held courts from 1696 to 1721. (fn. 106) From Arthur Turnour's son Edward, who died in 1736, the manor passed to his cousin Sarah wife of Joseph Garth. Her son Edward took the name of Turnour and was created Earl Winterton in 1766, (fn. 107) and the manor of East Hampnett descended in that family until 1920, when it was acquired by the West Sussex County Council.
Reverting to 1290, the ⅓ fee of the Argenteyns may have been assimilated with the holdings of that family in Northmundham. The ⅓ held by William Dawtrey descended to his granddaughter Eve, the widow of Edward de St. John at the time of her death in 1354; (fn. 108) and her heir Roger, son of her first husband John de Shelvestrode, in 1364 released his rights in his inheritance in East Hampnett to Richard, Earl of Arundel, (fn. 109) after which time it was presumably united with the portion already in the earl's hands.
STRETTINGTON (fn. 110)
STRETTINGTON appears in Domesday as three estates; the largest, rated at 10 hides, with 3 haws in Chichester, had been held of King Edward by four free men and was held in 1086 by William; the second, rated at 3 hides, with 1 haw, had been held by Godwin, a free man, and was then held by Austin; the third, of 2 hides, had also belonged to Godwin and was then held by Arnald, (fn. 111) who was probably the Ernald who held at Up-Waltham, Graffham, and South Stoke. William's estate seems to have been united to his chief manor of Halnaker and only appears as 'the manor of Stretehampton' in 1506, (fn. 112) 1536, (fn. 113) and 1566, (fn. 114) being elsewhere referred to only as tenements or lands. William de St. John in about 1187 gave to Boxgrove Priory the tithes of his rents in Strettington, amounting to 8s., and pasturage rights there. (fn. 115)
Tithes in Graffham and Strettington were given in about 1100 to the abbey of Troarn, (fn. 116) presumably by Ernald or his successor. Strettington seems to have come to Hugh de Falaise, who held 5 knights' fees of the honor of Arundel c. 1135. (fn. 117) Hugh left two daughters, Emma and Agnes, of whom the latter married Hugh de Gundevill and also had two daughters, Agnes who married Geoffrey son of Azo, and another who married Richard Murdac. (fn. 118) Hugh de Gundevill died in 1181, (fn. 119) holding land in Strettington, (fn. 120) and Henry II gave this land to Henry Turpin, who was his chamberlain. When Richard I went to the Holy Land Henry went with him, and in his absence Geoffrey son of Azo and Agnes brought a suit against him and obtained possession. Henry seems meanwhile to have died, as his son William Turpin sent to King Richard at Messina and recovered Strettington and held it until William, Earl of Arundel, 'knowing the ill will which King Richard had to the said William', disseised him. (fn. 121) Eventually, in 1207, William Turpin sold his claim to this knight's fee to Agnes de Gundevill. (fn. 122) In 1229 the Strettington fee was in dispute between the representatives of the two daughters of Hugh de Falaise, (fn. 123) and in 1235 the whole fee was assigned by William Aguillon, Richard de Grensted, and Gilbert Marshal and Cecily his wife, descendants of Emma de Falaise, to Margaret widow of Nicholas de Limesy, granddaughter of Agnes, and Walter de Limesy her son. (fn. 124) At about this time Margaret de Limesy and Walter made arrangements with the Prior of Boxgrove and the Vicar of Westhampnett by which they were allowed to have a chapel in their manor of 'Westrethampton', provided that their chaplain did not celebrate any offices but the mass and the blessing of bread and water, and that only for members of the household, not admitting parishioners. (fn. 125) On the partition of the Arundel fees after the death of Hugh d'Aubigny, Earl of Arundel, in 1243 John FitzAlan received 1⅓ fee in Strettington, and ½ fee which Walter de Cherleton held in the same vill, (fn. 126) but neither these fees nor this manor of (West) Strettington can be traced later.
In two lists of the fees attached to the honor of Halnaker is found 1/10 fee in Strettington held in 1337 by John Haket, Ralph St. Oweyn, and William atte Cleye, (fn. 127) and in 1347 by John Haket, Ralph St. Oweyn, and the Master of the Knights Hospitallers of Poling. (fn. 128) As these last three names are those of three of the holders of the manor of Islesham, which had been divided, c. 1233, between the four daughters of Reynold Aguillon, (fn. 129) it is probable that the 1/10 fee had been held by Reynold, but of its earlier and later history there seems to be no trace.
In 1327 the largest taxpayer, with the exception of John de St. John, in the vill of Halnaker was Thomas de Seuebech, (fn. 130) who died in 1329 holding land in Halnaker, Seabeach, and Boxgrove, (fn. 131) which constituted 1/8 fee held in that year of the honor of Halnaker by the heirs of the said Thomas, (fn. 132) evidently Hugh de Seuebeche who appears in the subsidy of 1332. (fn. 133) Richard de Seuebech held 1/10 knight's fee in Seabeach in 1336 (fn. 134) and 1/16 fee in Halnaker in 1349. (fn. 135) In the subsidy of 1332 in the vill of Easthampnett occurs the name of Ralph atte Moure, (fn. 136) who in 1336 held 1/10 fee at Crocker Hill (fn. 137) and was presumably an ancestor of Thomas atte More who held part of a fee at Crocker Hill in 1349 (fn. 138) and died in 1374 holding of Sir Luke de Ponynges land at Oldbury and left a son John. (fn. 139) Lands in 'Oldebery alias Eldebery' and 'Seebeche alias Sewenbech' were held by Humphrey Hiberden at his death in 1517, when his son and heir John was aged 10. (fn. 140) In 1540 John and Thomas Hiberden sold to Richard Sackville the manors of OLDBURY and SEABEACH. (fn. 141) Sir Richard Sackville made certain leases of the manorial lands in 1551, (fn. 142) but shortly after this the manors seem to have come into the hands of Lord Clinton and to have been granted by him to Edward VI in exchange for other property. (fn. 143) A survey of the combined manors in 1608, (fn. 144) when they were in the tenure of John Holney under a lease for sixty years dating from 1551, shows at Oldbury a ruinous house and 60 acres of arable and pasture, at Seabeach a house and 61 acres, and grazing rights for sheep on the downs of Halnaker and Eartham. Further details are given in the Parliamentary Surveys of the two manors, treated separately, made in 1650. (fn. 145) They were at this time in the tenure of Sir William Morley of Halnaker. The manors were sold in 1650 to William Cawley of Chichester, (fn. 146) but at the Restoration reverted to the Crown, (fn. 147) and were leased during most of the 18th century to the Dukes of Leeds. (fn. 148)
The church of ST. MARY AND ST. BLAISE, (fn. 149) formerly the priory church, stands east of the village street on the south side of the site of the former conventual buildings; it is built of flint with ashlar dressings, mostly of Caen stone, and is roofed with tile. It consists of aisled choir flanked by a sacristy on the north, transepts, crossing and central tower, nave and south aisle with porch (formerly a chapel) in the angle between it and the transept. The nave and aisle originally extended some distance west of the present building, and there was a north aisle west of the monastic cloister.
The church mentioned in Domesday Book (fn. 150) seems to have been collegiate; but no remains of that date exist, though the absence of a north aisle next to the cloisters suggests that an un-aisled pre-Conquest nave may have formed part of the original priory church. In the 12th century, after the foundation of the priory, there was built an aisled (fn. 151) east limb, transepts, and two bays of the nave. Later in the 12th century the crossing piers were reconstructed and the present tower built; about the same time the nave was extended to its (pre-Suppression) full length, and the clearstory of the earlier part reconstructed. Shortly after, probably very soon after 1200, (fn. 152) the whole east limb was rebuilt. The chapel south of the nave is of the 14th century, the sacristy of the 15th; the de la Warr chantry chapel is dated 1532. The unroofing of the western part of the nave and the conversion of the flanking chapel into a porch must have followed hard on the suppression of the priory in 1537.
The choir itself is vaulted in four bays, but its aisles in eight; the arcades separating them have a form more usual in triforia than in ground stages, that of an arch (in this case semicircular) inclosing two arches (in this case pointed). The first and second principal piers, counting from the east, are of freestone, each surrounded by a cluster of four attached shafts and four detached ones of Purbeck marble; the bases, of freestone, and the capitals, of Purbeck, are moulded; the east responds have the form of half-piers. The third principal pier is a plain octagon of freestone with moulded Purbeck capital, and the west respond is like half of it. The arches supported by these are of one order, moulded and with hood-mould, and extend through the wall. (fn. 153) The intermediate piers in the first two double bays are of five Purbeck shafts each, (fn. 154) and support moulded arches of two orders; but the second pier on the south side has been removed, and the two pointed arches converted into a single four-centred one, to provide room for the de la Warr chantry. The pier in the third double bay is cylindrical, of Purbeck, that in the fourth is octagonal, of freestone with Purbeck capital. The tympanum over each intermediate pier has a moulded quatrefoil panel.
There is no triforium stage; but the aisle vault goes no higher than the crowns of the sub-arches, and the glazed openings of the clearstory windows are not carried so low as the moulded string-course over the pier arches; the triforium chamber lies behind this space. The clearstory passage, reached from a newel staircase at the west end of the south choir aisle, is carried across the sills of the windows in the east wall; thence doorways give access to the triforium chamber. The inner face of the clearstory consists of three pointed arches, the two outer almost, if not quite, straightlined, moulded, and carried on Purbeck shafts with moulded freestone capitals and bases; the outer face has a single-light lancet window whose hood-mould is continued as a string-course at springing level. A corbel table supports the dripping eaves.
The vaulting, quadripartite, rests on attached shafts of freestone, with Purbeck capitals, which rise from the level of the springing of the principal arches of the arcade, and rest on corbels in the form of human heads; it has moulded groin, division, and wall ribs (the groin ribs alone have nail-head moulding), but there is no wall rib on the west side. Bosses at the intersection of the groin ribs are carved with foliage. (fn. 155)
In the 16th century the vault received some elaborate heraldic painting, (fn. 156) the style of which suggests that it was the work of Lambert Barnard, who worked for Bishop Sherburne and died in about 1567.
The de la Warr chantry chapel (1535) in the second bay of the south arcade is the sole example in Sussex of that form of building within building which evolved from the practice of flanking a chantry altar with screens; it is made of Caen stone, and is interesting for its mixture of Gothic and Renaissance detail, the latter evidently derived from pattern-books. (fn. 157) Its plan is that of an oblong divided into two bays, each subdivided both in length and breadth into two. At each corner and halfway along each side and end is a pier to which is attached an external shaft covered with carving in Renaissance style in relief. Up to sill level the walls are covered externally with rectilinear panelling charged with badges, the crampet, leopard's face jessant de lys, &c.; the entrance, on the north side, is closed by a two-leaved gate of contemporary wrought iron.
In the east wall is a reredos in three bays divided by narrow vertical strips of Renaissance ornament; the side bays contain niches for statues (fn. 158) and have normal Gothic canopies; the central was presumably intended for a scene in high relief such as exists in contemporary tombs, probably by the same craftsman, at Selsey and West Wittering. At the base of this is inscribed of your charite pray for the souls of thomas la ware and elyzabeth his wyf. This reredos is flanked by two coats of arms. (fn. 159)
On each of the north and south sides of the chapel are four openings under multifoil four-centred arches, each pair of which rests on the piers of the building and meets in an ornamental pendant; the eastern of these on the north side is inscribed thomas la war anno d(omi)ni m vc xxxii, the western elyzabetha la war; those on the south side are uninscribed. Similar but smaller openings exist in the walls at the east and west ends of the building. The vaulting is of fan-tracery form in four bays and two alleys; on a central pendant are carved figures of angels (upside down) and on subsidiary pendants are volutes of Renaissance design.
The entablature is in two stages; in the lower the piers and pendants are surmounted by niches for images; between each of these are shields of arms supported alternately by angels vested in amice and alb, and by naked winged amorini. The upper stage of the entablature has a second tier of niches, between which are more varied carvings, ranging from amorini holding badges to a lion in a thicket. The upper edge of the chapel is finished, appropriately enough, by battlements alternating with the Classical anthemion.
The south aisle of the choir has a shallow buttress on the east, four buttresses of greater depth on the south, and a projection containing a newel staircase west of all; these are contemporary with the choir save that the second buttress from the east was reconstructed late in the 15th century. The east buttress is of one stage with sloped offset, the easternmost on the south side is of three with two sloping offsets and gabled head; it seems to have been designed to carry a flying buttress, subsequently deemed superfluous. The next resembles it, but bears the arms of Bishop Story (1478–1503), six pieces argent and sable on each argent a stork sable, and the initials P.R.C., usually interpreted as those of Prior Richard Chese (1485–c. 1510). The next two resemble the last but are finished with offsets, not gables; on the second are three Mass dials, one having the hours marked in Arabic numerals, of perhaps the 15th century. These three support plain, and very heavy, flying buttresses of a single order, which abut against shallow pilasters on the outside of the clearstory wall. (fn. 160)
In the east wall of this aisle is a three-light window with net tracery of the 14th century; on the south side of the 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th bays are single lancet windows of the 13th century, in the 4th bay is a twolight window, apparently of the 14th but subsequently altered by removal of the upper part of the tracery; in the 3rd and 5th are modern windows having a general resemblance to it; between those of the 5th and 6th is a blocked doorway of the 13th century, with doubtful traces of a squint beside it, perhaps part of the remains of an anchorite's cell.
In the eastern bay are an aumbry and a piscina side by side, each having moulded jambs and pointed head, of the 13th century; a moulded string-course runs below the sills of the 13th-century windows, and has been cut into by those of later date. The doorway to the newel stair has plain jambs and segmental arch.
The vaulting of this aisle, in eight bays, has moulded groin ribs with carved bosses at their intersections and division ribs of semi-octagon section; on the choir side it springs from the arcade capitals (save at the east end, where there is a nook-shaft), on the outer side from moulded corbels.
The north choir aisle resembles the south; the east window, of three lights, has net tracery of the 14th century; in the north wall there are lancet windows of the 13th century in the 1st, 2nd, and 6th bays, three-light windows with Perpendicular tracery of the 15th in the 3rd and 7th; in the 5th is the sacristy door with plain jambs and pointed arch, and in the 8th a blocked doorway, visible with difficulty on the outside, of uncertain date, originally leading to a small sacristy now destroyed. There is no newel staircase on this side; in the easternmost bay there is an aumbry in the north wall and a piscina, with attached pillar, in the east.
A niche tomb in the third bay resembles, and is approximately coeval with, that in the opposite aisle; a similar one east of it has the letters T and M in the spandrels; from this and the resemblance of the workmanship to that of the de la Warr chantry it was probably prepared for Thomas Myles, the last prior, who left Boxgrove before his death.
The sacristy (15th-century) has a two-light window with ogee cinquefoil-headed lights under a square head in both the east and north walls; higher in the north wall a former cross-shaped ventilation opening has been blocked with knapped flint.
The four arches of the crossing are pointed, of two moulded orders each, resting on a common scalloped capital with circular abacus; below the capital each respond is of two attached shafts, one round, the other keeled, resting on moulded bases. The next stage of the tower, open to the church internally, (fn. 161) has on each side an arcade of four pointed arches, grouped in two pairs, resting on shafts with foliaged capitals and square abaci; behind these runs a wall-passage giving access to the bell-chamber. This has on each face two windows with round-headed arches of two orders, abaci continued to form string-courses, and nook-shafts to the responds; all this work is of about 1200. The tower is finished with a corbel table and battlement of the 15th century and a pyramidal tiled roof.
In the north transept the arch opening into the choir aisle is semicircular, of one order resting on imposts with crude torus mouldings and plain jambs, of the 12th century; north of this is a narrow window, now blocked, with round head, of the same date. In the north wall is an opening, now a window, which was originally the doorway leading from the monastic dorter to the night stairs in the church; it is square headed, but a four-centred arch is visible on the outside. In the gable is a single-light window with plain jambs and round head, of the 12th century; this interrupts the weathermould which covered the junction of the dorter roof.
In the west wall, next to the crossing pier, is a doorway, (fn. 162) now blocked, with anse de panier head resting direct on jambs, both moulded; this is of the 15th or 16th century. Next to it is a round-headed window, now blocked, of the 12th century; next is a small doorway, the present means of access to the church on the north side, of similar design to that farther south, apparently 15th-century work but not inserted in its present place till after the Suppression, as it cuts into the space occupied in monastic times by the newel stair from the dorter. At a higher level in this wall are two two-light windows, one with cinquefoil heads, one uncusped, of the 15th or 16th centuries, near the level of the wooden ceiling with moulded beams which was inserted, probably in the 16th century, at the level of the capitals of the crossing arches. Above this is a chamber, normally inaccessible, lit not only by the window already mentioned but formerly by two round-headed windows in the east and west walls. There is also in the north wall a fire-place of probably 16th-century date. (fn. 163) The roof is of trussed rafters.
The south transept resembles the north generally, but in the south wall, against which no conventual buildings abutted, are two shallow buttresses of the 12th century and two three-light windows, with fourcentred heads and Perpendicular tracery, inserted in about the 16th; above these is a small round-headed window of the 12th. In both east and west walls are blocked windows, round-headed and apparently of the 12th century; the eastern one was subsequently converted into an image niche by partial hollowing and the addition of a bracket. In the west wall is an opening into the south aisle of the nave resembling those which open into the choir aisles. There is a pillar piscina against the south wall and a chest tomb with panelled sides; a similar tomb abuts against the east wall. The roof-framing above the wooden ceiling is modern.
The nave was originally of twelve bays, though vaulted in six; the two easternmost alone are roofed to-day. In the north wall is the doorway, now blocked, which was the monks' principal entrance into the church. This has moulded jambs, arch, and hoodmould externally; internally the rear-arch is set in a square frame, both moulded, having shields in the spandrels; this is of the 15th century; over it is a single lancet window, late-12th-century, at clearstory level. On the south side is an arcade of two bays having one cylindrical pier with moulded base and scalloped capital, and two responds having the form of halfpiers; (fn. 164) the arches are semicircular, of two orders, and are plain save where a start has been made at cutting a cheveron ornament on them. Above these can be seen the remains of a single clearstory window of like date; this was blocked when the present window, resembling that opposite, was put in at a higher level.
The lower part of the west wall incorporates the remains of the monastic pulpitum, having two doorways, now blocked, with plain jambs and round-arched heads on the outside and segmental pointed rear-arches; on the west side the remains of the piscina of the nave altar are visible next to the southernmost, and a small recess or niche next to the other. In the post-Suppression wall built on the pulpitum to close in the end of the church is a modern two-light window in 14thcentury style.
In the south wall of the aisle, besides the remains of a blocked window of perhaps three lights, is a single archway with semi-octagonal responds, moulded capitals and bases, and pointed arch of like section, which gives access to the present south porch. In the west wall is a doorway, now blocked, of one moulded order with pointed arch and segmental rear-arch, formerly giving access to the western part of the aisle. The vaulting, 12th-century, in two bays, is groined but with neither groin nor division ribs.
The porch, formerly a side chapel, has a two-light window with tracery, partly restored, of the 14th century, in the west wall; the blocked remains of another, perhaps similar, window in the south, and, east of this, a doorway of one order with pointed arch and moulded arch and jambs, of like date but evidently refixed; remains of a stoup east of the arch leading into the aisle give ground for inferring that this was fitted up as a porch at a date later than the Suppression but before the use of holy water was discontinued.
The western part of the nave, now ruined, was built in the late 12th century and had ten bays, the piers of the arcades being of two designs alternately; one was a Greek cross on plan surrounded by detached Purbeckmarble shafts with freestone capitals carved with foliage; the east respond of the south arcade survives (minus the shafts). The alternate piers, of which the easternmost on the south side survives, were cylindrical with moulded bases and scalloped caps; the arches were of two chamfered orders, pointed. For five bays on the north side, where the cloister took the place of the aisle, the nave wall had blind arches copying the design of the arcade; in the westernmost of these are traces of the west processional doorway. In the foundations of the west wall of the nave the position of the west doorway, and the lowest steps of a newel staircase, are traceable. The clearstory and vaulting were of the same design as those of the bays still roofed.
The outer wall of the south aisle has disappeared, but traces of the vaulting, with moulded groin and division ribs, are visible at the east end. Opposite the fifth and sixth bays from the pulpitum the foundations of a large building, probably a porch, have been traced.
It is on record that in 1535 the Prior of Boxgrove had five bells made. (fn. 165) On the suppression of the priory in the following year three bells, weighing 38 cwt., were sold to Lord de la Warre. (fn. 166) At the present time there is only one bell; this was cracked and recast in 1937, reproducing the old inscription which stated that it was made in 1674 by William Eldridge. (fn. 167) The further inscription—'Resurgimus e ruinis fulgure factis 2 Junii 1673'—suggests that at least one other bell was cast at that time.
At the restoration of the church in 1865 the Elizabethan silver cup was melted down, and the only piece of plate older than that date is a paten of 1763. (fn. 168)
The Domesday Survey speaks of 1 hide in Boxgrove being held by 'the clerks of the church', (fn. 169) which points to the existence of a small collegiate body. In 1105 Robert de Haye gave to the Norman abbey of Lessay the church of St. Mary of Boxgrove with 2½ hides round it, the tithes of the whole parish and of his Christmas rents there, and the tithe of his woods. (fn. 170) The Priory of Boxgrove was subsequently established as a cell of Lessay, becoming independent by the end of the 14th century, (fn. 171) and the advowson of the church, of which the nave was parochial, remained in the hands of the convent until its dissolution in 1537. A vicarage was ordained in 1257, (fn. 172) and in 1291 the rectory was valued at £26 13s. 4d. and the vicarage at £8. (fn. 173) The vicarage was increased in 1409, when in addition to a house and land the vicar was assigned 14 marks and the tithe of all pot-herbs (olerum), 'both kale and leeks and other herbs of which by custom of the country potage is made'. (fn. 174) In 1535 the rectory was farmed for £28 6s. 8d. and the vicarage was worth £9 13s. 4d. (fn. 175) After the Dissolution the advowson and rectory followed the descent of the manor of Boxgrove, being now held by the Duke of Richmond.
An order for the union of the livings of Boxgrove and Tangmere was made in April 1658, (fn. 176) but if ever effective it was reversed at the Restoration.
William de St. John in 1159 established a chantry at Halnaker endowed with rents in Winchester, which he subsequently exchanged for land in Compton. The chaplain was not to take any tithes or any offerings from parishioners of Boxgrove, except on the eve and day of St. Mary Magdalene, in whose honour the chapel was dedicated, and the monks were to provide him with food whenever the lord was not in residence. (fn. 177) In 1519 the other Halnaker chantry, in the church of North Mundham, being too poorly endowed to support a chaplain, was united to this; the cantarist was to reside at Halnaker but to celebrate at least four times a year at North Mundham. (fn. 178) The chantry was usually served by one of the monks, (fn. 179) and was held from 1513 to 1519 by Thomas Myles, who at the latter date was Prior of Boxgrove. (fn. 180) The advowson of the chantry was transferred with the manor to Henry VIII in 1541. (fn. 181) When valued previous to its suppression in 1548 it was worth £6 16s. clear, (fn. 182) and the chaplain, Thomas Deane, was given a pension of £5. (fn. 183)
A fraternity of St. Blaise connected with the parish church of Boxgrove is mentioned in 1487 and 1507, (fn. 184) and a bequest was made to 'the Brotherhed prest' in 1539. (fn. 185) At the suppression of fraternities in 1548 the property of 'the Brotheredde of Bosgrave' was only 6s. 8d. (fn. 186)
Lady Derby. By an indenture dated 2 January 1740 Mary, Countess Dowager of Derby, granted a piece of ground called Mary Garden together with a yearly rentcharge of £140 to trustees to lay out the same in erecting almshouses on the said ground for the habitations of a schoolmaster and twelve poor widows or aged maidens of the Church of England, six of them to be of the parish of Boxgrove, four of East Lavant, and two of Tangmere. The almshouses were erected about 1742. By an Order dated February 1915 the Charity Commissioners determined that part of the endowments of the charity which ought to be applied to educational purposes. Particulars of the part so determined are set out in the Order.
The Rev. Henry Legge by a codicil dated 2 March 1878 to his will dated 2 June 1874 bequeathed £200, the income to be applied in augmentation of the allowances then made to the inmates of the Lady Derby's Almshouses being pensioners from the parish of East Lavant. The annual income of the charity amounts to £5 0s. 4d.
Lady Hyde. By an indenture dated 31 May 1695 Dame Margaret Hyde conveyed to trustees five pieces of land called Kingsland in the parish of Yalding upon trust to dispose of the yearly rents in the following manner: 40s. to the minister of Boxgrove for preaching a sermon in the parish church on Christmas Day, the 30th January, Good Friday, and Ascension Day; 40s. to eight poor widows of Boxgrove on 5 November, and if there should not be in the parish eight poor widows then to such other poor people of the parish as the trustees and the minister and churchwardens should think fit; and with the remainder of the rents to buy English bibles to be given to poor maids or girls of the parish of Boxgrove on 29 May. By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 28 January 1896 it was provided that the trustees may from time to time apply the surplus income of the charity in aid of the stipends of the inmates of the almshouses of the charity of Mary, Countess Dowager of Derby. By a further scheme dated 25 January 1946 it was provided that so far as the income cannot usefully be applied in the manner prescribed by the above-mentioned indenture and scheme, the income may be applied for the spiritual benefit of such poor maids or girls of Boxgrove as the trustees think fit. The annual income of the charity amounts to £41 9s. 5d.
Elizabeth Nash. Particulars of the foundation of this charity will be found under the parish of Bosham. The share of the income of the charity for this parish is applicable for the schooling and clothing of two poor children of the parish. By an Order of the Charity Commissioners dated 22 April 1904 one moiety of the income is to be applied to educational purposes.
Trustees of the above-mentioned charities, with the exception of the part of the charity of Mary Countess Dowager of Derby for educational purposes and Nash's Educational Foundation, are appointed by Order of the Charity Commissioners.
The Hon. Mrs. Dorothy Nelson Ward by her will dated 5 September 1939 bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens of Boxgrove £1,000, the income to be applied in keeping the churchyard of Boxgrove in good order. The income of the charity amounts to £26 5s. 2d.