A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 5 Part 1, Arundel Rape: South-Western Part, Including Arundel. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1997.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The small parish of Binsted, (fn. 1) still mostly quiet and rural in the 1980s, lies 2½ miles (4 km.) west of Arundel, the Chichester-Arundel road crossing its north end. The ancient parish covered 1,106 a., which were incorporated in Tortington in 1933 and transferred from Tortington to Walberton in 1985. (fn. 2) It was regular in shape, c. 2¼ miles (3.6 km.) long from north to south and 1 mile (0.6 km.) wide. The ground falls from 150 ft. (45 metres) above sea level in the north to 30 ft. (10 metres) in the south, and lies upon Tertiary gravels and clays. Where the clay meets the Upper Chalk near the northern boundary it is mixed with flinty gravels. The gravels in the north and north-east have been dug commercially. In the east and west the heavier clays of the Reading Beds have yielded material for brick and pottery making. (fn. 3)
The southern half of the parish was in 1615 called Lower Binsted, (fn. 4) but earlier Hoeland or the Hoes, (fn. 5) from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning a heel or projecting ridge of land: it lies between the Binsted brook on the west and a tributary, the streams along much of their courses forming the parish boundary. Both drain south towards the river Arun, and were once subjected to a sewers rate. (fn. 6) Springs rise at intervals along the scarp above the Binsted brook. A small stream rising in the centre of the parish flows south-east through Lake copse into the eastern tributary, and two others into the same stream from sources where the clay joins the Upper Chalk further north.
The Chichester-Arundel road was shown on maps in the early 17th century (fn. 7) and in 1675 across the north end of the parish. (fn. 8) Immediately east of Avisford, the former meeting place of the hundred, it was straightened in 1834. (fn. 9) By 1981 it had been rebuilt as a wide dual carriageway. (fn. 10) Another east-west route 400 metres to the south may be on the line of the Roman road to Chichester. (fn. 11) A broad bridleway between well defined banks, it was mentioned in the 13th or 14th century as the king's highway (fn. 12) and shown as a roadway in 1606 and 1715. (fn. 13) It was called Arundel highway in 1727, (fn. 14) and partly Andrew's Lane and partly Scotland Lane in 1840. (fn. 15) The name Old Scotland Lane, used for the whole length in 1899 and later, (fn. 16) derives from that of adjoining land, (fn. 17) which may have owed a customary payment (or scot). A third east-west road crossing the centre of the parish, mentioned in 1615 as a road between Binsted and Arundel, (fn. 18) survived in 1992 as a fairly wide footpath for most of its course within Binsted. West of the church it crosses the Binsted brook by a footbridge called Kenimore bridge in 1727. (fn. 19)
A road, mostly metalled, runs in a U from the main road round the centre of the parish to link the various settlements but does not cross the parish boundary. It was called Church Lane in 1840 (fn. 20) and Binsted Lane in 1961. (fn. 21) Although by 1990 its section on the east side of the parish had, probably recently, ceased to be used as a through route for vehicles it continued there as an unmetalled trackway, rejoining the Chichester-Arundel road by way of Tortington parish. Another track, leading by 1606 from Binsted Lane into the south-east corner of the parish, (fn. 22) was called Hoes Lane in 1840 (fn. 23) and Hoe Lane in the 20th century. By 1992 it was only a footpath. (fn. 24) Footpaths to Ford and Yapton were mentioned in 1728 (fn. 25) and one leading to Walberton farm in 1729. (fn. 26)
Mature woodland covering one third of the parish, mostly in the north, consists of mixed deciduous oak and ash with remnants of coppicing. Its extent has not changed greatly since 1840, (fn. 27) and it contains many indications of being ancient. (fn. 28) The woodland reaches the parish boundary on the north, which in the Middle Ages was the pale of Arundel Great park. Binsted's woods were evidently part of Arundel forest, which in the early 15th century included Avisford in Walberton. (fn. 29) Avisford was the meeting place of the hundred, which was called Binsted hundred in 1086. (fn. 30) An earthwork which in 1992 ran south from Avisford through Hundredhouse copse in Binsted (fn. 31) was perhaps a forest bank. In the early 15th century the forest included Favarches wood, named after a 14th-century lord of Binsted. (fn. 32)
The most northerly woods were demesne woods of Binsted's main estates. In the north-west in the early 17th century Mr. Shelley's wood (fn. 33) was presumably the demesne woodland of Binsted manor, until then owned by Sir John Shelley, (fn. 34) and in the north-east corner the Queen's wood, so called at the same date (fn. 35) and later described as the new inclosure, (fn. 36) had probably belonged either to Binsted manor or to Priory farm, Tortington; in 1840 it covered c. 50 a. (fn. 37) A wood called in 1452 North Lea (fn. 38) was apparently that of the later Marsh farm. (fn. 39) Goblestubbs copse in the north recalls Alan and Albany Goble, churchwardens 1662-75. (fn. 40)
In 1454 a canon of Arundel college hunted with dogs and a bow on the Binsted demesnes, taking pheasants and partridges. (fn. 41) Gamekeepers were registered in 1784-5 by Edward Staker of Binsted House and from 1786 to 1861 by the owners of Church farm. (fn. 42) About 1910 a gamekeeper to the duke of Norfolk, who had bought some of the Binsted woodland, lived at the north end of the parish. (fn. 43)
The demesne woods were apparently separated by Scotland Lane from common woodland and pasture to the south. Further south again, in the centre of the parish, there was evidently an open field before the 17th century, with meadow to the south-east and marshland to the south. (fn. 44) In the north-west corner of the parish there was a large assart by 1795; (fn. 45) by 1840 that area contained much arable. (fn. 46) Field names such as Oak field and Old Furze field indicate their former condition. (fn. 47) In the southern half of the parish the only wood to survive in 1992 was the narrow 6-a. Lake copse. The name Oakley, recorded in 1537, (fn. 48) suggests the former existence of oak woodland south of the church, and in 1606 Marsh farm included an oak wood of 4 a. (fn. 49)
Eight inhabitants were mentioned in 1086. (fn. 50) At least 6 of the 22 people taxed in Binsted, Madehurst, and Tortington in 1296 were probably of Binsted, (fn. 51) and Binsted may have had up to half of the 15 taxed in Binsted and Tortington in 1327, of the 20 in 1334, and of the 31 in 1524. (fn. 52) Forty Binsted men signed the protestation in 1642, (fn. 53) 21 adults were reported there in 1676, (fn. 54) and the parish had 20 families in 1724. (fn. 55) Its population, numbering 100 in 1801 and 111 in 1841, increased to 139 in 1871, but had fallen back to 105 by 1901. It fell further to 87 in 1921 but had risen again to 107 in 1931, the last year for which it was separately recorded. (fn. 56)
The south-east corner of the parish has yielded Mesolithic flakes, flints, and axes. (fn. 57) In the modern period settlement has been scattered, but the uneven surface of the field north of the church, which now stands isolated, may suggest that there was a village there, (fn. 58) linking the church with the former vicarage and the manor house (Church Farm), which are known to be on early sites: (fn. 59) a spring near the church makes the site suitable for early occupation. Near the former vicarage what are thought to be the platform for a tithe barn and a medieval bellfounding pit have been excavated. (fn. 60) Medieval pottery has been found further north, (fn. 61) near the site of a cottage known as Pescod's Croft, at the junction of Binsted Lane and Scotland Lane. (fn. 62) The medieval kiln site (fn. 63) opposite perhaps included a dwelling. A house standing there in 1601, called All the World, had disappeared by 1715. (fn. 64) A house on the site later used for the Black Horse public house beside the lane north-west of Church Farm was apparently built by 1825 (fn. 65) and scattered houses were built nearby during the 20th century. Marsh Farm, at the south end of the parish, occupies a medieval site, and another small settlement may have stood on the east side of the parish near the later Binsted House (fn. 66) and Meadow Lodge. Meadow Lodge, so called by 1867, (fn. 67) is a two-storeyed house of red brick, square on plan with a symmetrical front of three bays formerly stuccoed, a modern central porch, and a hipped tiled roof above a modillion eaves cornice. It was built c. 1800 apparently for Zacchaeus Staker or his son-in-law William Laker on the site of a cottage which George and Mary Drury leased to Edward Staker in 1682; by 1864 it had passed to H. C. Bones (later Lewis), the rector, whose son owned it in 1936. (fn. 68)
North of Marsh Farm a group of dwellings called Oakley cottages was erected on what was probably a medieval assart; the present building is 17th-century in origin, of two bays with a central chimneystack and some moulded beams internally. It housed two families in 1839, three c. 1910, (fn. 69) and was still inhabited in 1992. Other cottages were new built on the waste in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Two that stood in 1614 on the common on the east side of the parish, (fn. 70) south of the site of Binsted House, had gone by 1876. (fn. 71) Morley's Croft a short way south, a timber-framed two-storeyed house of the 17th century, later extended and faced in brick, has an external chimneystack on the east wall towards Binsted Lane. Two cottages with central chimneystacks, shown in 1715 further south on Binsted Lane, (fn. 72) were perhaps 17thcentury. One had gone by 1840; (fn. 73) the other was replaced by two 20th-century cottages. A more substantial house standing in 1715 on the south side of Scotland Lane, with chimneystacks on both end walls, had probably been recently built. (fn. 74) A small cottage and garden just west of that house in 1840 (fn. 75) had disappeared by 1876. (fn. 76) Both were clearly built after the common there was inclosed in the 17th century, (fn. 77) and both sites were under woodland in 1992. A cottage called Goose Green in the south end of the parish may have been that mentioned in 1669. (fn. 78)
There were 19 dwellings in the parish in 1841, 24 in 1881, and 22 in 1911. (fn. 79) In 1923 Church Farm and Marsh Farm with their dependent farm cottages accounted for thirteen of those dwellings. The sales of land in that year (fn. 80) allowed new houses to be built on scattered sites throughout the parish. By 1950 three new ones had been built in the northern woodland in Wincher's copse and Singer's piece; (fn. 81) a mobile home park nearby had c. 50 dwellings in 1996. (fn. 82)
Alehouse keepers were recorded four times between 1621 and 1650. (fn. 83) A vintner was at Binsted in 1691. (fn. 84) In a house said to have been built by Edward Staker (d. 1825) for his daughters but used as labourers' cottages, a beerhouse was opened in 1871. It was later rebuilt and was called the Black Horse by 1881, (fn. 85) surviving by that name in 1992.
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
Before 1066 three free men held Binsted, and in 1086 Osmelin held it from earl Roger. (fn. 89) The overlordship descended to the earl's successors, and Binsted was listed among the manors of the honor of Arundel in 1566. (fn. 90) The division among three tenants may have survived, for three lords held Binsted in 1316, Richard Favarche, Henry le Fiste, and William of Bilsham. (fn. 91) In 1840 most of the parish lay in three estates, Binsted manor (Church farm), Marsh farm, and the Binsted House estate, (fn. 92) but meanwhile two at least of the estates had undergone much change.
In 1314-15 William of Bilsham held land at Bilsham (in Yapton) and Binsted, (fn. 93) and in 1345-6 his son John held BINSTED manor, (fn. 94) later centred on the house called Binsted Farm in the 19th century and CHURCH FARM in the 20th. (fn. 95) In 1412 John Taverner held land worth £2 in Binsted. (fn. 96) Under a settlement of 1444 Edmund Turnant, son of Gillian, daughter and coheir of Alice Taverner, perhaps John's widow, had rights in Binsted manor. (fn. 97) In 1447 he released Binsted manor to Edmund Nenge, John Michelgrove, and their wives, perhaps the other coheirs. (fn. 98) Thereafter the manor descended in the Michelgrove and Shelley families with Michelgrove in Clapham. Following the attainder of William Shelley in 1586-7, (fn. 99) the Crown leased much of the demesne in 1595 to Sir Thomas Fludd. (fn. 100) In 1612 Fludd or a namesake was claiming under that lease, after the restoration in 1604 of William's nephew (Sir) John Shelley. (fn. 101)
In 1615 Sir John Shelley conveyed the manor to Sir Garrett Kempe, (fn. 102) and thereafter it passed with the Slindon House estate. (fn. 103) In 1840 the Binsted estate of Anne Radclyffe, dowager countess of Newburgh, contained 359 a., chiefly in the west and north-west parts of the parish. (fn. 104) Binsted manor remained with the Slindon House estate until c. 1908 when it was sold to Lt.-Col. C. P. Henty of Avisford House in Walberton. (fn. 105) In 1927 Church farm, of 273 a., was separated from the Avisford House estate by sale to Col. Sir Sidney Wishart (d. 1935), who lived in the farmhouse and worked both Church and Marsh farms through a bailiff. (fn. 106) His son E. E. Wishart (d. 1987) inherited the two farms, (fn. 107) which belonged in 1992 to Binsted Farms Ltd. run by his son Luke. (fn. 108)
The estates of Richard Favarche and Henry le Fiste in 1316 have not been traced later, except that Andrew Favarche of Binsted was mentioned in 1331. (fn. 109) In 1428 two estates in Binsted paid subsidy as ¼ knight's fee; one was divided between several tenants and the other was held by the prior of Tortington. (fn. 110) The priory, which had appropriated Binsted rectory by 1291 (fn. 111) and acquired further land in 1342, (fn. 112) held in 1452 what was called the manor of MARSH AND BINSTED, (fn. 113) which was evidently the origin of the modern estate called MARSH FARM. After the Dissolution the land descended with the rest of Tortington priory's estates (fn. 114) until the mid 17th century. (fn. 115) In 1606 it comprised 140 a. called Binsted farm, lying chiefly around what was later Marsh Farm. (fn. 116)
In 1651 William Thomas sold the land to Thomas Bridger, (fn. 117) who was succeeded in or after 1654 (fn. 118) by his daughter Mary, wife of Richard Shelley. By 1683 it belonged to John Davies and his wife Mary, the Shelleys' daughter. (fn. 119) Thomas Fowler of Walberton, the owner in 1738, when Marsh farm had 148 a., was succeeded in 1780 by his son, also Thomas, (fn. 120) whose widow Mary was the owner in 1785. (fn. 121) Their son Thomas, the next owner, had moved from Felpham to live at Marsh Farm by 1791. (fn. 122) His son and heir Thomas remained there until c. 1830. (fn. 123) Thomas's lands passed to Henry Upton, apparently his son-inlaw, who owned Marsh farm by 1840 when it included 268 a. in Binsted. (fn. 124) In 1853 he was succeeded by his son Henry, (fn. 125) the non-resident owner in the 1880s. (fn. 126) In 1903 the estate belonged to Sidney J. Upton (d. by 1909), in 1913 to Sidney H. F. Upton. By 1915 (fn. 127) Marsh farm, 265 a., was like Church farm part of the Avisford House estate in Walberton, (fn. 128) from which it was sold in 1923. (fn. 129) By 1936 it had been reunited with Church farm in the ownership of E. E. Wishart, (fn. 130) and with Church farm belonged to the Wisharts in 1992. (fn. 131)
The earliest part of Marsh Farm is 16th- or early 17th-century, being partly faced with chequered work of knapped flint and stone with red brick dressings. It has a 19th-century wing in flint to the south-east and a modern addition to the west. In 1581-2 it had a barn and a dovehouse. (fn. 132) In 1606 the manorial enclosure contained three outbuildings, one near the entrance apparently a gatehouse and two larger ones to the north and west. (fn. 133) There was a dovehouse in 1683 (fn. 134) and 1716. (fn. 135) A polygonal horse gin survived in 1969. (fn. 136)
The BINSTED HOUSE estate, c. 1815 called Binsted Ball farm, (fn. 137) included former freeholds and copyholds once held of Tortington priory and sold by the Crown as Binsted manor in 1600 to two Londoners. They at once sold that land to William. Ottley and Edward Blofield, who in 1601 conveyed it to the Revd. Henry Blaxton, Thomas Knight, and Edward Staker of Yapton. (fn. 138) By 1663 Staker or a namesake had acquired other property in Binsted, and Edward Staker (d. 1673) was suceeded by his second son Edward, who bought more land in 1679 and died at Binsted in 1694, apparently without issue. (fn. 139) The estate passed in turn to Henry Staker (d. 1726 at Binsted) and to Edward Staker; one or more men called Edward Staker were churchwardens at intervals from 1742 to 1800, (fn. 140) and one was a J.P. in 1781. (fn. 141) An Edward Staker was buried in Binsted church in 1825. (fn. 142) His estate had passed by 1861 to William Henry Read, then occupying Binsted House (fn. 143) as in 1882 when he was one of the chief landowners and described as lord of the manor. Edward Staker Read, the owner in 1903 and 1924, had by 1927 been succeeded by C. E. Read. (fn. 144) By 1947 the estate had passed to Read's son-in-law Henry Pethers, and most of the land was later bought by E. E. Wishart and added to Binsted Farms Ltd., centred on Church Farm. (fn. 145)
Binsted House, standing in 1795 near the parish's eastern boundary, (fn. 146) may have incorporated a building of flint of c. 1600 (fn. 147) and have been the house occupied by Henry Staker (d. c. 1712) including a hall with a parlour and chamber, a chamber over the hall, and a porch with a room above it. (fn. 148) The later house was on an L-plan, in classical style and stuccoed. Its south-facing main block had a central porch with a bay window to the east. (fn. 149) About 1815 it stood in park-like grounds of 41 a., called the Paddock, with a lake south-west of the house. A north- south road running west of the park had been removed since 1795. (fn. 150) The house was demolished c. 1940 (fn. 151) in or following a fire. (fn. 152) The park and the site of the house had become woodland by 1992. A small house called Manor House built 330 yd. (300 metres) south of Binsted House by 1927 was occupied in that year by C. E. Read, while his sisters lived in Binsted House. (fn. 153) In 1946 Mrs. E. Wishart of Marsh Farm erected near the lake a shrine to the Virgin Mary in memory of her mother. (fn. 154)
The dean and chapter of Chichester acquired land in Binsted in 1415, (fn. 155) represented in 1536 by two freeholds called Crossbarn and Greycroft. (fn. 156) In 1565 the Crown granted other land to the dean and chapter, (fn. 157) whose land in Binsted in the early 18th century was part of Burndell or Bundle farm in Yapton. (fn. 158) That land, sometimes farmed c. 1800 with the Church farm estate, (fn. 159) had by 1922 been incorporated into the Avisford House estate in Walberton (fn. 160) and by 1936 into Marsh farm. (fn. 161)
Tortington or Tortington Cheyneys manor included land in Binsted in 1706 and later. (fn. 162) The duke of Norfolk's Binsted property, acquired by 1895 and over 200 a. c. 1910, included c. 150 a. of woodland in the north end of the parish. (fn. 163)
Binsted was assessed at 4 hides in 1086, relatively high since there was land for only 2 ploughteams, the demesne having 2 teams while 2 villani and 6 cottars had ½ team. (fn. 164)
The Anglo-Saxon name Binsted signifies a place where beans were grown. (fn. 165) In 1341 jurors assessed the value of corn produced in the parish at ten times that of wool and lambs, and placed relatively high values on the tithes paid on cider, on flax and hemp, on piglets and calves, and on milk, honey, and eggs. (fn. 166)
Medieval tenants' holdings were not large. Two in 1454 were 12 a. and 10 a. (fn. 167) In 1536 three were 15 a., 16 a., and 30 a. (fn. 168) A customary yardland called Onlies, which appears to have survived unchanged, was 17 a. in 1701. (fn. 169) In 1536 the Tortington priory estate included 13 tenant holdings, of which 6 were freeholds and 7 were copyholds. The freeholds were small, held at rents of c. 1d. an acre and contributing less than one tenth of the total rental. (fn. 170) One of the freeholds had been created in the 13th or 14th century by a grant out of the demesne; (fn. 171) the others are likely to have been assarts or enfranchised copyholds. A customary holding was created in 1452 by a grant of demesne pasture and woodland. (fn. 172) In 1601 the former priory estate had 10 copyholders. (fn. 173)
The glebe of the vicarage, which may give an indication of the pattern of medieval tenant holdings, in 1341 had 10 a. of arable besides meadow and pasture. (fn. 174) In 1615 (fn. 175) and 1840 it lay apparently little changed, with a house, barn, and croft on Binsted Lane north of the church, dispersed arable in the centre and north part of the parish, and a piece of meadow in the far south. (fn. 176) A tenant holding with 15 a. in the common field in 1536 indicates open-field agriculture. (fn. 177) The field apparently lay in the centre of the parish, east of the church. In 1606 land there belonged to the estates centred on Marsh Farm and Church Farm, (fn. 178) and in 1840 all six proprietors of arable land in Binsted had at least one piece there, many of the holdings being intermixed. (fn. 179) The land had been inclosed possibly by 1606 and certainly by 1615, when the vicar's glebe lay in severalty, (fn. 180) and by 1635 the pieces of glebe had been hedged and ditched. (fn. 181) In 1840 the long and narrow shapes of Church croft and of the closes of 3 a. on each side (fn. 182) were evidently a survival of former strips in the open field.
The woodland and pasture commons of the parish were divided and inclosed gradually from the late 16th century, and the process may not have been completed until c. 1800. In 1581 the Crown leased 9 a. of wood and underwood, described as part of Binsted and Tortington common, to be enclosed and fenced for coppicing; (fn. 183) the woodland seems to have been on the south side of Scotland Lane against the boundary with Tortington. A common called Binsted Ball, on the east side of the parish, was mentioned in 1601, but by 1614 at least part of it was in several ownership; later it became the western part of the parkland of Binsted House. (fn. 184) Woodland occupying 70 a. immediately north of Binsted Ball was common in 1600 and common was claimed there in 1789, but by c. 1815 it was part of the Binsted House estate. (fn. 185) West of that woodland there was a tract of common called Binsted heath in 1647, (fn. 186) later belonging to Marsh farm and described in part in 1840 as Furze field. (fn. 187) Common of pasture was mentioned in 1663 on Binsted's lower common, (fn. 188) adjacent to the cottage (fn. 189) later called Goose Green, the name of which itself suggests a common.
The marshland in the south end of the parish had been drained by 1572, when Binsted men were ordered to make their portion of the common ditch along the south side of the parish, and in 1573 the meadow land of various tenants was separated by ditches. (fn. 190) In 1635, however, there was still common meadow belonging to the parish, (fn. 191) perhaps that added to the Church farm estate (fn. 192) and called Town mead in 1840. (fn. 193)
Copyholders' shares in the meadow, which lay along the three sides of the southern half of the parish, were never large: in 1601 one with 3 crofts and 9 a. of arable had only 1 rood of meadow. (fn. 194) Although the smaller estates were mostly bought out, and Marsh farm included the whole south-west corner of the parish as several meadow in 1606, (fn. 195) some small holdings of meadow remained in 1838. (fn. 196)
After 1600 the three large estates absorbed most of the smaller ones. (fn. 197) One of the three was based on Marsh farm, 140 a. in 1606, including 25 a. of meadow and 57 a. of pasture, (fn. 198) and 228 a. in 1840. (fn. 199) It was said to have kept great flocks of sheep before 1706, when it had a flock of only 40. It also had then a dairy herd of 4 cows, and pigs, geese, ducks, and chickens; it grew wheat and barley in almost equal parts of 51 a. and pease on a further 10 a. (fn. 200) In 1797 the farm also produced hops, potatoes, turnips, fruit, pigeons' eggs, honey, and garden herbs. (fn. 201) The lessee in 1785 was required to fallow the arable in alternate years or sow it with peas and vetches. (fn. 202) Smaller farms grew wheat, barley, peas, and oats in the 17th century. Clover was grown by 1730 and turnips by 1749. (fn. 203) The main crops on Binsted's arable in 1840 were wheat, barley, and turnips, (fn. 204) as in 1875. (fn. 205)
In 1801 the parish had in all 21 draft horses with 8 wagons and 12 carts, 297 sheep with 34 lambs, 43 cattle including 4 fatting oxen, and 107 pigs. (fn. 206) During the agricultural unrest of 1830 some ricks in Binsted were burnt. (fn. 207) In 1840 Henry Upton, the owner of Marsh farm with 173 a. of arable, also farmed the agricultural land of the Binsted House estate, with a further 73 a. of arable. Church farm, the core of the third main estate, had 135 a. of arable, 38 a. of meadow, and 11 a. of pasture in 1840. (fn. 208) About 1880 both Church farm and Marsh farm had considerable acreages of root crops. (fn. 209) By 1922 Church farm and Marsh farm, together 710 a. forming two thirds of the parish, both belonged to the Avisford House estate. (fn. 210)
Labour had to be imported from adjacent parishes in 1867. (fn. 211) In the later 19th century hedges were removed to create larger fields: the largest in 1838 was 14 a., (fn. 212) whereas the big field east of Church Farm was 53 a. in 1903. (fn. 213) In 1879 half of Church farm's 94 a. of arable grew turnips and swedes, (fn. 214) and in 1889 Marsh farm and the Binsted House land grew 38 a. of turnips and 37 a. of seeds. (fn. 215) Wheat, oats, turnips, and tares were the only crops reported in 1909. In 1875 there were 492 sheep and lambs, but none in 1909, when the stock of cattle, at 92, had almost doubled since 1875. (fn. 216) In the 1870s a dairyman occupied Meadow Lodge. (fn. 217) In 1938 there were a fruit grower and dairy and poultry farms. (fn. 218) In the 1990s herbs were grown commercially near the church.
Both the old demesne woods and the former commons that had been taken into the Marsh farm and Binsted House estates were coppiced in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 219) Coppices occupied 349 a. of the 378 a. of woodland in the north in 1840, when there were also 13 a. of young plantations. (fn. 220) The woodland acreage was virtually unchanged in 1875-6. (fn. 221) The name Sawpit field recorded in 1838 (fn. 222) suggests exploitation of the woodland. Sales of timber from Binsted woods were recorded in 1279. (fn. 223) A tanner was recorded in 1536, (fn. 224) a carpenter in 1559, and a sawyer in 1574. (fn. 225) In 1861 two woodmen lived in the parish, (fn. 226) and in 1870 a grocer also dealt in timber. (fn. 227) A wheelwright in the parish took an apprentice in 1750, (fn. 228) and another worked 1861-81 at Marsh farm. (fn. 229) A hurdle maker was recorded in 1915. (fn. 230)
A mill may once have stood in or near a close called in 1838 Mill Ball, at the head of the valley west of Binsted House. (fn. 231)
Pottery was probably made at Binsted in the early 14th century, some inhabitants being surnamed at Potte in 1332 (fn. 232) and in the early 15th century. Kilns stood on a pocket of Reading Beds clay where Binsted Lane meets the lane from Walberton. (fn. 233) The southward slope has been made steeper by digging clay. (fn. 234) Two of the kilns and a workshop there, in use in the later 14th century, produced mainly coarse red or sandy cooking pots. (fn. 235) Fragments of Binsted ware, with its distinctive decorations and glazes, are distributed widely both ways along the Sussex coast and to a lesser extent inland. (fn. 236) The later kiln continued in production until c. 1425. (fn. 237) One man called Tyler was taxed at Binsted in 1332, and making other pottery may have been subsidiary to making floor tiles and crested ridge tiles. (fn. 238) Sherds of green-glazed medieval pottery have been found near the kiln site, at Church farm, and at the former Pescod's Croft. (fn. 239) The kiln site, called All the World in the 17th century, (fn. 240) was still used in 1715 as a clay pit. (fn. 241) In 1738 Thomas Fowler of Marsh farm was concerned with a brickyard. (fn. 242) Four 17th-century tile kilns, where lime may also have been burnt, once stood further north, where the Reading Beds join the Upper Chalk, in what were by 1965 the Slindon Gravel Co. pits. (fn. 243) The names of Brick Kiln copse and piece recorded in 1838 (fn. 244) suggest that bricks and tiles may also have been produced from clays in that area. Two of three gravel pits mapped in 1896 were then still in use. (fn. 245)
In 1536 Binsted was a separate tithing within Avisford hundred and had its own tithingman, (fn. 246) but in 1547 and 1593-4 it shared one with Tortington. (fn. 247) The only court recorded for Binsted manor was one in 1650 at which only one of three tenants attended. (fn. 248) Draft court rolls survive for the years 1452-4 for Tortington priory's manor of Marsh and Binsted, (fn. 249) but though it had several copyhold tenants in 1536 (fn. 250) no courts are known to have been held thereafter.
Between 1604 and 1691 two churchwardens were chosen yearly but thereafter only one: (fn. 251) the office was served in the later 18th century mainly by the farmers of the three large estates, who also acted as overseers of the poor, an office mentioned in 1645, and surveyors of highways, (fn. 252) occasionally combining two offices. (fn. 253) The poor rate, 1s. in the £ in 1785, had quadrupled by 1790, meeting resistance, (fn. 254) and before 1820 was sometimes 8s. in the £. In the years 1813-15 only out-relief was given. (fn. 255) In 1829 weekly relief went to 10 people throughout and to 4 others for part of the year. Some people were housed in a parish poorhouse, standing by 1781 on the north side of the churchyard and repaired several times 1809-18. (fn. 256) The poorhouse was used as a cottage by 1840 and demolished between 1896 and 1910. (fn. 257)
Binsted became part of Westhampnett poor law union in 1835, and was transferred from Westhampnett to Chichester rural district in 1933, when it became part of Tortington civil parish. (fn. 258)
Binsted church existed in the mid 12th century. (fn. 259) By 1291 it had been appropriated to Tortington priory and a vicarage had been ordained. (fn. 260) Between c. 1645 and 1689 the lay rector settled the rectorial tithes on the vicarage, (fn. 261) so that the incumbents were thereafter rectors. (fn. 262) In 1929 Binsted was united with Walberton as the united benefice of Walberton with Binsted, the parishes remaining distinct. (fn. 263)
In the Middle Ages Tortington priory presented the vicars, the bishop sometimes collating between 1412 and 1442. (fn. 264) The Crown acted as patron from the Dissolution until 1575, Sir John Caryll and Ralph Hare presented for a turn in 1592, and John Richard in 1605, when the advowson belonged to Jane Shelley, widow. (fn. 265) In 1615 Sir John Shelley and his wife Jane sold it to Sir Garrett Kempe of Slindon, with Binsted manor, (fn. 266) and it descended until 1862 with the Slindon House estate. (fn. 267) The owners, being Roman Catholics, (fn. 268) granted turns to present to others: William Neville presented in 1634, Francis Huddleston in 1689, Henry Peckham in 1734, John Dearling in 1737, Sir George Goring in 1753, and John Pannell in 1764. The archbishop of Canterbury presented in 1695, presumably by lapse. In 1765 the next two turns to Binsted and Slindon were assigned to Maurice Smelt, vicar of Donnington, who presented his son John to both livings, and John in turn presented his son Maurice. (fn. 269) In 1862 Col. Charles Leslie of Slindon sold the advowson to John Bones, who in 1863 presented his son Henry Christopher. (fn. 270) Father and son in 1869 changed their surname to Lewis. (fn. 271) The son's executors presented in 1908 and members of the Lewis family in 1927. (fn. 272) In 1929 the patronage of the united benefice was agreed to be shared between the patrons of Binsted and the bishop of Chichester in the proportion of one turn to two, but from the mid 1980s the bishop alone was patron. (fn. 273)
In 1291 the vicarage was assessed at £4 6s. 8d. (fn. 274) Exempted from taxation in 1414 because of its poverty, (fn. 275) the vicarage had in the 15th century an income below 12 marks (fn. 276) and in 1579 under 10. (fn. 277) The living, as a rectory, was valued at £103 net in 1809 and at £150 on average c. 1830. (fn. 278) The tithes of land formerly Tortington priory's were disputed in the 18th century. (fn. 279) All the tithes were commuted in 1840 for a rent charge of £178 10s. (fn. 280) The glebe, a house with 10 a. of arable besides grassland in 1341, (fn. 281) included in 1615, as in 1840, a house, garden, orchard, barn, 11½ a. of land near the church, and 2 a. of meadow in the south end of the parish. (fn. 282) Part of the glebe was sold in the early 20th century and by 1936 only 6 a. remained, including the rectory grounds. (fn. 283) The vicarage house mentioned in 1615 occupied the site of the later Glebe House or Glebe cottage 220 yd. (200 metres) north of the church. Though said to be in disrepair in 1682 it was in good repair in 1724. (fn. 284) It was burnt down between 1738 and 1746 and rebuilt in 1755 on the same site, and of the same size, to include a hall, parlour, and kitchen, with chambers above, and offices at the back. (fn. 285) Usually let thereafter to tenant farmers, (fn. 286) it was thought in 1853 unfit for the rector to live in. (fn. 287) By 1936 it had been sold. (fn. 288) A large new rectory house was built c. 1865 for the new rector H. C. Bones (later Lewis) (fn. 289) on a piece of glebe south-east of the church. Of red, grey, and yellow brick, it has prominent gables and chimneystacks, and on the entrance front lancet windows and monograms for Bones and his father. It was sold in or after 1943. (fn. 290)
A chaplain of Binsted was a witness in a lawsuit c. 1200. (fn. 291) In 1424 the poverty of the living had led to the neglect of services, but in 1440 a vicar was resident. Possibly then, as between 1478 and 1521, canons of Tortington usually served as vicars. The vicar in 1521 also served Tortington, and in 1528 the prior of Tortington was presented as vicar. (fn. 292) A temporary chantry, to be succeeded by an obit, was founded c. 1523 and there was 1 a. to provide a lamp in the church in the 1540s. (fn. 293) Between the mid 16th century and the early 18th incumbents of Binsted were often pluralists, some living outside the parish. (fn. 294) Robert Knight, resident in 1563, (fn. 295) was in 1567 in dispute with the churchwardens over the use of vestments and altar cloths. (fn. 296) His successor, who also held Madehurst, preached only once a year at Binsted in 1579; neighbouring clergy had provided sermons for the last three years and parishioners also went to hear preachers at Walberton. (fn. 297) Francis Heape, vicar 1605-34, (fn. 298) initially resident and capable of preaching, (fn. 299) was non-resident by 1615, when he let the glebe house. (fn. 300) Curates were recorded in 1555 (fn. 301) and 1662. (fn. 302)
William Turner, rector 1696-1701 and a noted author, (fn. 303) lived at his other living of Walberton. (fn. 304) From 1701 to 1863 Binsted was held in plurality with Slindon, (fn. 305) where the incumbents lived at least from 1739, (fn. 306) Binsted being served by a resident curate in 1758 and 1769, (fn. 307) and again in 1844, when communion was celebrated four times a year. (fn. 308) In 1851 services were held morning and afternoon on alternate Sundays. (fn. 309) H. C. Bones, rector from 1863, lived at Binsted. By 1884 he was holding communion eight times a year and preached not only in church but in people's houses. All the children in the parish were said to attend his Sunday school. (fn. 310) His successors remained resident until the 1940s. (fn. 311)
The church of ST. MARY, so named by 1776, (fn. 312) is built of flint with stone dressings and consists of chancel and nave with south porch, north vestry, and west tower with low shingled spire. The chancel and nave are divided only by a slight break in the line of the roof, perhaps marking off the separate responsibilities of parish and rector for maintaining the fabric. The main structure is of the earlier or mid 12th century and three windows of that date remain. (fn. 313) A low side window may have been put in the chancel c. 1250. (fn. 314) Other windows and the south doorway were inserted in the 14th century, and the north doorway in the 16th. Parts of the roof are medieval. (fn. 315) A major restoration in 1868 to designs by T. G. Jackson, (fn. 316) largely at the rector's expense, (fn. 317) removed a gallery and ceiling and added the south porch and vestry, along with some external buttresses. (fn. 318)
The arcaded circular stone font, projecting slightly over its thick, round pedestal, and the piscina in the south chancel wall are 12th-century. (fn. 319) The stumps of a former rood beam, embedded in the north and south walls, have mouldings apparently of the early 14th century. The rood loft was entered by stairs in an external projection on the north side. (fn. 320)
Wall paintings apparently covering the whole interior of the church were found at the restoration of 1868. (fn. 321) The only painting surviving in 1992 is in the splay of the north chancel window, showing on the west a three-branched tree and on the east a crowned woman, with a star in the apex above them; over the woman a name, lost since 1900, was more probably that of St. Mary than St. Margaret. (fn. 322) The lost paintings included Christ in majesty and perhaps Christ's entombment. (fn. 323) In the nave floor is a 13th-century glazed and incised tile possibly from the Binsted tile kilns. (fn. 324) A bench is possibly medieval. A 17th-century pulpit, (fn. 325) later described as triple-deckered, was removed in 1868. (fn. 326) Set into the south chancel wall is an apparently post-medieval oak tabernacle. (fn. 327)
At or after the restoration of 1868 the church received a multicoloured chancel pavement in the Italian Cosmati manner, a boldly patterned wrought-iron communion rail, and patterned grisaille glass in the east window, designed by T. G. Jackson with Henry Holliday and made by Powell's in 1869. (fn. 328) Jackson also designed a new rood screen modelled on the medieval one, (fn. 329) but it was removed in 1947. (fn. 330)
There were two bells in 1641. (fn. 331) The one that survived in 1992 may be of c. 1330. (fn. 332) The plate includes a cup of 1831 given by the rector Maurice Smelt and a paten of 1806 given by Thomas Fowler. (fn. 333) The registers begin in 1638, and in the 17th century and early 18th are extremely confused. (fn. 334)
Although the owners of the Church farm estate were recusants, (fn. 335) no Catholics were recorded in Binsted until 1781, when there were 10. (fn. 336) Some inhabitants still attended the Catholic chapel at Slindon in the early 19th century. (fn. 337)
Quakers were meeting at Binsted in 1655 at the house of Daniel Gittins, who with William Penfold refused to pay tithes and church rate in 1656. Penfold was imprisoned in 1664 for not coming to church and later died in gaol. (fn. 338)
There was no school in Binsted in 1769 (fn. 339) or in 1818, when a Sunday school in Slindon and day schools in adjoining parishes were thought sufficient for teaching the children of the parish to read. (fn. 340) A Sunday school was started in 1830 and taught 25 children in 1833 (fn. 341) and 24 in 1847, when it had a paid master. (fn. 342) The later Oakley cottages were still the school house and Sunday school in 1896. (fn. 343) In 1838 and 1844 children from Binsted went to the National school at Slindon. (fn. 344) After 1874 Binsted pupils attended Walberton National school, (fn. 345) Binsted parish paying a proportionate share of that school's costs. (fn. 346) In 1891 H. C. Lewis, rector of Binsted, also assisted that school with his own money. (fn. 347) The younger children continued to attend Walberton school in 1992; in 1996 most older children went to school at Westergate in Aldingbourne. (fn. 348)