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.
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The parish of Yapton (fn. 1) lies on the coastal plain south-west of Arundel and c. 2 miles (3 km.) from the sea. In 1881 it had 1,740 a. and was irregular in shape. (fn. 2) Between 1882 and 1891 it was enlarged by the addition of two detached parts of Walberton in the north (20 a.) and five detached parts of Barnham in the west (31 a.), (fn. 3) the latter representing parts of estates formerly centred in Barnham. (fn. 4) In 1933 a further 449 a. including Flansham hamlet was added from Felpham, so that in 1971 the area was 906 ha. (2,239 a.). (fn. 5) In 1985 two salients of Barnham within Yapton, one of which had also once partly belonged to an estate centred in Barnham, were added to Yapton, while the north-western tip of Yapton was transferred to Barnham and a larger area in the north-east, including Wicks Farmhouse, to Ford. (fn. 6) The present article treats the history of the parish as constituted before 1985.
The southern boundary follows the Ryebank rife and parts of the northern boundary a stream and roads, but the configuration of the old western boundary with Barnham and Eastergate suggests that the three parishes may once have formed a single area.
Most of the parish lies on brickearth, with alluvium in the valleys of streams in the northeast and south. (fn. 7) Flooding was common in the Middle Ages (fn. 8) and still occurred in the mid 20th century. (fn. 9) The deep Ryebank rife which marks the southern boundary is apparently an artificial channel linking two streams which once flowed west and east. (fn. 10) A pond called the great pond (fn. 11) and later Greens pond formerly lay across the Yapton-Barnham boundary west of Yapton village. (fn. 12)
There was woodland yielding six swine on what was apparently Yapton manor in 1086, (fn. 13) and a wood of the lord of Bilsham, much of it oak, was mentioned in the 16th century. (fn. 14) In the 19th and 20th centuries, however, there was virtually no woodland. (fn. 15)
William of Etchingham had free warren in his demesne lands in Yapton in 1316. (fn. 16) There is no evidence for a park in the parish before c. 1813, when parkland extended south of Yapton Place as far as the line of the future Portsmouth-Arundel canal, and northwards and westwards to Ford Lane and North End Road. (fn. 17) After the demolition of Yapton Place in the 1830s (fn. 18) the land was returned to agriculture (fn. 19) except for a small area around the remains of the house. (fn. 20)
There is scattered evidence for occupation between the Bronze Age and RomanoBritish periods in the southern half of the parish. (fn. 21) The best agricultural land in the parish, however, lies around the village. (fn. 22) Medieval settlement there may have centred on the church, south of which earthworks define roughly rectangular areas perhaps representing house plots. (fn. 23) In later centuries dwellings were loosely scattered along Main and North End roads and along the two streets linking them to the church, Church Road and Church Lane; (fn. 24) there were c. 45 dwellings in that area c. 1840. (fn. 25)
The earliest known secular building in the village is Coachman's cottage in Church Lane, a probably 16th-century timber-framed house with a later west wing lying north-south. The Old Malthouse and Laburnum cottages at the west end of the village are apparently 17th-century. Apart from houses in the village associated with three manors, (fn. 26) other buildings put up before 1800 are chiefly small, materials usually being flint and brick, with roofs of thatch, tile, or slate; one house near the school in North End Road and another at the west end of Main Road have datestones for 1734.
Stakers Farmhouse in North End Road, apparently 18th-century, and Yew Tree House which faces it have similar stuccoed façades of mid 19th-century character, while Park Lodge in Church Lane is early 19th-century with a Doric porch between two later projecting bay windows. Church House opposite the church is a small, stuccoed, double-pile house of 1831 which was extended to the south in the later 20th century. Reset beams in the cellar and a datestone apparently for 1692 may survive from an earlier building on the site. Two ball finials in the garden which once decorated the gate piers had come from the demolished Yapton Place. (fn. 27)
From the mid 19th century wealthy families lived in the larger houses of the village. (fn. 28) Park Lodge, Yapton Lodge, Yew Tree House, and Stakers Farmhouse each had a tennis lawn in the early 20th century. (fn. 29) Members of the Sparks family, owners of an engineering works, lived at Church House, Yapton Lodge, Grove Lodge, and the large red-brick Sunnyside in Church Road in the late 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 30) Smaller houses were also built in the village in the late 19th century and early 20th, (fn. 31) including three terraces of cottages in Bilsham and Burndell roads for employees of the engineering works. (fn. 32)
In the mid 20th century several roads were laid out south of the village on either side of Bilsham Road; they contain both houses and bungalows, including many council houses. (fn. 33) North of Burndell Road other closes, chiefly of terraced and semidetached houses, were built in the later 20th century. (fn. 34) One larger house of the 1930s was the Arts-and-Crafts style Dyers Croft in Main Road. In 1991, despite recent infilling by new houses and closes, (fn. 35) the older part of the village was still characterized by large houses in walled gardens with much greenery. There was an estate of mobile homes south of Main Road in 1994. The modern centre of the village, with the church, the village hall, and tall trees round the edges of the playing field, suggests, quite unhistorically, a long-established green.
At Bilsham late Anglo-Saxon finds around the medieval chapel may suggest a nucleus of settlement there at that date. (fn. 36) The second element of the place name is apparently hamm, alluding to low-lying land beside the Ryebank rife. (fn. 37) Buildings in the hamlet dating from before c. 1800 besides those mentioned elsewhere (fn. 38) include Bilsham Croft and Old Bilsham Farmhouse, both of flint with brick dressings; the former has 16th-century timbers, and the latter may be partly 17th-century. There were c. 10 dwellings in all at Bilsham c. 1840. (fn. 39) In the mid 20th century elm trees since cut down made of Bilsham Lane virtually a narrow tunnel. (fn. 40)
North of Yapton village along the road to Walberton is a scattering of buildings of the 18th century or earlier, some perhaps built on roadside waste. (fn. 41) The name North End described the area by c. 1813. (fn. 42) Four cottages near the railway were built by the railway company. (fn. 43) More houses were put up there in the 20th century including some council houses, (fn. 44) and a mobile home park lay to the west in 1994.
On the south side of Burndell Road eight dwellings which existed c. 1840 were evidently built on roadside waste since their plots have a continuous southern boundary. There was also ribbon development before 1900 along Bilsham Road between Yapton village and Bilsham; (fn. 45) there too some houses occupy former waste land, a terrace on the east side facing south. (fn. 46) Many detached houses and bungalows were built in Lake Lane in the north-west corner of the parish in the 20th century, besides some cottages for nursery workers. (fn. 47) There are 19th- or 20th-century cottages near Wicks Farmhouse on the Ford boundary.
The place called Wildbridge, mentioned from the early 13th century and called a vill c. 1237, (fn. 48) seems to have lain near the Walberton boundary, (fn. 49) the first element of the name perhaps alluding to an exposed situation. (fn. 50)
Fifteen persons were assessed to subsidy in Yapton vill in 1327 and 9 at Bilsham; (fn. 51) in 1332 the figure for Yapton was 32, but Bilsham was then included with Madehurst, (fn. 52) and in 1524 Yapton's total was 24 and Bilsham's apparently 8. (fn. 53) Eighty-four parishioners signed the protestation in 1642, (fn. 54) and 122 inhabitants were listed in the Compton census in 1676. (fn. 55) There were 48 families in 1724. (fn. 56) From 543 in 1801 the population fell to 512 in 1811, then rose and fell alternately during the 19th century and early 20th, reaching 712 in 1921; thereafter the increase was continuous, to 1,505 in the enlarged parish including Flansham in 1951, and 3,742 in 1981. Rates of increase in the three decades 1951-81 were 33, 25, and 50 per cent respectively. In 1991 the altered area of the parish had 3,377 inhabitants. (fn. 57)
The parish is bisected by the road from Chichester to Climping, mentioned from c. 1212; (fn. 58) the enlargement of Ford airfield south-east of the village caused its closure at that point between 1942 and 1959. (fn. 59) Bilsham Road leading to Felpham and Middleton is recorded from 1646, (fn. 60) and North End Road leading to Walberton and Arundel from 1678; (fn. 61) by 1835 they formed part of the route from London to Bognor. (fn. 62) The corner of Main and Bilsham roads was called Bognor bridge by 1886. (fn. 63)
Drove Lane mentioned from 1542 (fn. 64) was presumably the Flansham road recorded in 1641. (fn. 65) The road from Bilsham to Climping was called Grevatt Lane in the 1820s, when it became part of a new road between Bognor and Littlehampton; (fn. 66) it remained private until acquired by Littlehampton urban district council, together with the Arun ferry to which it led, in the early 1900s. (fn. 67) A new section of road to replace part of Grevatt Lane was cut to the south before 1967. (fn. 68)
Both Lake Lane and Ford Lane in the north were named in 1778. (fn. 69) They originally formed a continuous route, (fn. 70) whose central section in the parish is sunk between the land on either side, indicating a long period of use.
Cab or fly proprietors were listed between 1895 and 1905. (fn. 71) There were bus services in 1992 to Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Chichester, and Arundel.
The Portsmouth-Arundel canal was constructed through the centre of the parish c. 1821 (fn. 72) and opened in 1823, (fn. 73) but it had little effect on Yapton as there was no wharf. (fn. 74) By the mid 19th century it had ceased to be used. (fn. 75) It crossed Main Road on the site of the modern recreation ground; earthworks were still apparently visible there in 1945 (fn. 76) but were later levelled. The route remained traceable west of the village in 1995; one brick bridge survived there and another near the Ford boundary in the east. (fn. 77)
The Worthing-Chichester railway was opened through the north end of the parish in 1846; (fn. 78) to avoid the need for two level crossings the eastern section of Lake Lane was diverted to run north of the line. (fn. 79) There was a station on the road to Walberton from 1846 to 1847 and from 1849 to 1864; (fn. 80) the building survived in 1995.
An inn in 1686 had three guest beds and stabling for two horses (fn. 81) and an innholder was mentioned in 1725. (fn. 82) The site referred to seems likely to be that later occupied by the Shoulder of Mutton, afterwards the Shoulder of Mutton and Cucumber, which was recorded from c. 1832, when the publican was also a wheelwright. (fn. 83) The Black Dog, also in Main Road, and two outlying inns, the Maypole and the Lamb, are recorded from the 1870s or 80s. (fn. 84) All four remained in 1995.
Bowls was played in the parish in 1553, (fn. 85) and in 1623 a fiddler from Boxgrove was presented for leading dancing on Sundays. (fn. 86) The parish bounds were still beaten at Rogationtide in the 1620s; refreshments had previously been provided by landholders, the occupier of the Yapton manor demesnes giving a dinner to most parishioners. (fn. 87)
The owner of Stakers farm in 1896 allowed the vicar to put up an iron recreation room on land next to the school in North End Road at the rent of 1s. a year. (fn. 88) In 1932 part of the former Sparks's engineering works south of Main Road was conveyed to trustees as a village hall for Yapton and Ford. (fn. 89) It was replaced c. 1988 by a purpose-built building of brick on the other side of the road, (fn. 90) next to which there was a county council youth centre in 1991. In 1955 the old hall was used by 14 clubs and societies and served also as a cinema at weekends and as a library staffed by voluntary helpers two days a week; (fn. 91) the new hall was even more popular as a venue in 1995. A Yapton and district cottage gardeners' society, founded c. 1905, still flourished in 1991. (fn. 92)
From the early 20th century a field northeast of the church and Church Farmhouse was used as a recreation ground by permission of the owner Walter Langmead. (fn. 93) In 1948 West Sussex county council bought 8 a. north of Main Road which was thereafter known as King George's field; in 1980 it was conveyed to the parish council. (fn. 94) A football club flourished by 1928, (fn. 95) and in 1992 there were clubs for football, cricket, stoolball, badminton, and short mat bowls.
A Yapton and Ford festival, with dancing, sports, and a car rally, was held in 1962. (fn. 96)
Gas was supplied from Bognor by 1912. (fn. 97) Yapton Lodge had its own electric lighting plant in 1924, (fn. 98) and electricity was available more generally by c. 1937. (fn. 99) There was street lighting by 1965. (fn. 100) The Bognor water company supplied parts of the parish in 1928. (fn. 101)
Some Yapton labourers took part in the agricultural riots of 1830. (fn. 102) Ford airfield, at one time named after Yapton, is described above; the noise of aeroplanes was a constant background in 1955. (fn. 103)
There was a nursing home in North End Road from c. 1982. (fn. 104)
The poet Andrew Young (d. 1971) retired to Park Lodge in or before 1967. (fn. 105)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
The 2½ hide held by Ansgot of earl Godwine (d. 1053) and by Acard of earl Roger in 1086 seem likely to be what was later YAPTON manor. (fn. 106) The 'land of Yapton' which Humphrey Visdeleu demised to Simon of Norwich and his assigns for four years in 1231 (fn. 107) was perhaps the same. The manors of YAPTON SHULBREDE, YAPTON COVERTS, and BERCOURT and WILDBRIDGE, originating in the 13th and 14th centuries, (fn. 108) seem once to have been part of Yapton manor, since all like Yapton itself were later held of the lord of River in Tillington as mesne lord. (fn. 109)
Undertenants of Yapton manor were William of Etchingham (fl. 1295-1316), (fn. 110) his relative William le Moyne (fl. 1326), (fn. 111) and Edward de St. John 'the nephew' (fl. 1341-6). (fn. 112) The descent is then lost until 1568, when Henry FitzAlan, earl of Arundel, with John Lumley, Lord Lumley, and his wife Jane, granted Yapton to John Edmunds. (fn. 113) The title Yapton manor is not recorded after 1621, when in any case it may have referred to one of the other manors of the parish; (fn. 114) what were presumably the demesnes, however, with the probable manor house adjacent to the church, (fn. 115) thereafter passed in the direct line (fn. 116) from John Edmunds (d. 1571) to Walter (fn. 117) (d. 1612), William (d. 1630), William (fn. 118) (d. 1658), and Henry (d. 1675), whose heir was his brother John. The latter at his death without issue in 1688 was succeeded by his sister Charity and her husband Laurence Eliot, who at his death in 1726 settled the estate on Samuel and John Marsh. Courts were held in the name of Samuel between 1729 and 1739 for manors that descended with the Yapton manor demesnes, (fn. 119) and after his death, at Yapton, in 1740 or 1741 his surviving executors sold the estate in 1749 to George Thomas.
Thomas (created Bt. 1766), former Governor of Pennsylvania and of the Leeward Islands, (fn. 120) was living at Yapton Place by 1750. (fn. 121) He was succeeded at his death in 1774 by his son Sir William (d. 1777), whose nephew and heir George White also resided; he took the surname Thomas in or before 1781 and was M.P. for Chichester. At his death in 1821 (fn. 122) his heir was Inigo Thomas (d. 1847), who was succeeded in the direct line by Freeman (d. in or after 1853), Freeman Frederick (d. 1868), and Freeman, who took the surname Freeman-Thomas in 1892 and was created Lord Willingdon in 1910. (fn. 123) About 1840 the estate comprised 563 a. including Wicks farm (260 a.) in the east part of the parish. (fn. 124) By c. 1910 most of the land had passed to John Metters, who owned Wicks Farmhouse and 320 a., (fn. 125) and who was called lord of the manor in 1913. (fn. 126) Wicks farm was bought by the tenant Walter Langmead c. 1916, descending to his grandson Andrew (fl. 1995). (fn. 127) Church Farmhouse, on the other hand, and the former park (27 a.) remained the property of Lord Willingdon c. 1910, (fn. 128) and by 1924 had passed to the Sparks family. (fn. 129)
Yapton House (fn. 130) or Place, (fn. 131) the presumed manor house, was evidently the 'great farm' where William Edmunds lived in 1621. (fn. 132) As depicted in 1782 it was a large building with a seven-bayed north front of 18th-century character, the central three bays projecting with a pediment and a pedimented doorcase or porch, and the ends marked by stone quoins. The irregularity of the west front suggests that older work was incorporated at the rear. (fn. 133) In the 1790s the house was said to have recently been 'improved'. (fn. 134) The Thomas trustees were empowered to demolish it in 1829; (fn. 135) it was still inhabited by a tenant c. 1832 (fn. 136) but by c. 1840 had disappeared. (fn. 137) The site of the house is shown by a raised area in the garden north of the building called Church Farmhouse in 1995, perhaps representing rubble from the demolished building. Church Farmhouse itself was at first apparently a 17th-century timber-framed service range of one storey running south from the west front of the manor house. After c. 1835 it was heightened and converted into two cottages, later becoming one house which was enlarged to the north. The walled garden of the manor house survives on the west and north-west, and a possibly 18th-century dovecot to the south-east.
The manor of YAPTON SHULBREDE, first so called in 1544, (fn. 138) evidently originated in the land which Shulbrede priory had from 1239 or earlier until the Dissolution. (fn. 139) In 1544 the Crown granted it to John Pope, (fn. 140) who conveyed it in the same year to John Edmunds and his son John; (fn. 141) after 1568 it descended almost continuously with the Yapton manor demesnes. (fn. 142)
The manor or reputed manor of YAPTON COVERTS, of which neither courts nor tenants are known, was first so named in 1505, (fn. 143) but presumably derived from land with which John le Covert was dealing in 1346-7; (fn. 144) he or a namesake had been a taxpayer in the parish in 1332. (fn. 145) By 1477 it had perhaps passed to Thomas Bellingham, (fn. 146) who died seised of a 'manor of Yapton' in 1490. His son and heir Ralph (fn. 147) had the manor in 1505 (fn. 148) and was succeeded in 1532 by his son John (d. 1542), whose son Ralph (fn. 149) had it in 1551. (fn. 150) Ralph's brother-in-law Richard Boys (fn. 151) was dealing with it in 1559, (fn. 152) but in 1592 with his son Samuel conveyed it to Walter Edmunds. (fn. 153) After Walter's death in 1612 it diverged from the descent of the Yapton manor demesnes through other members of the Edmunds family. (fn. 154)
In 1693 (fn. 155) Yapton Coverts was settled, together with 135 a., the future Bonhams farm, on John Tippetts and his wife Mary, cousin and heir of Robert Edmunds. After Tippetts's death in or before 1709, it was sold in 1713 by his heirs to John Smith and his son John; the latter's brother and heir William, succeeding in or before 1735, devised it in 1736 to his nephew John Bonham, who took the surname Smith. John's son Henry Bonham, who succeeded 1747 × 1787, sold both manor and land in 1790 to Charles Billinghurst and Joseph Long. In 1818 Charles conveyed them to his sons Charles and Thomas, who in 1840 sold them to Thomas Duke. After Duke's death in 1853 his executors sold them in 1860 to Richard Redford (fl. 1871). (fn. 156) Apparently in 1876 the estate was bought by Henry Hounsom. (fn. 157) His son William A. Hounsom (fn. 158) had it by 1903; he was described as the chief landowner in Yapton between 1909 and 1915 (fn. 159) and died in 1934.
Bonhams Farmhouse has a stuccoed front apparently of the early 19th century with earlier work behind; the main range is of two storeys with attics and there is a late 19th-century one-storeyed extension on the west.
The manors, later manor, of BERCOURT or BERECOURT and WILDBRIDGE were first so called in the mid 14th century, (fn. 160) but presumably derived from fees or parts of fees mentioned at those places from c. 1243. (fn. 161) The undertenancy of the two manors was settled in 1364-5 on Edward de St. John and his wife Joan. (fn. 162) Edward died 1379 × 1386, and after Joan's death in 1386 the manors passed under the 1364-5 settlement to Sir John d'Arundel (d. 1390). (fn. 163) His son John, Lord Maltravers, was lord in 1412, and after his succession as earl of Arundel in 1415 (fn. 164) the manors descended with the rape. (fn. 165) They were considered a single manor by the early 15th century. (fn. 166)
In 1568 Henry FitzAlan, earl of Arundel, granted Bercourt and Wildbridge to John Edmunds. (fn. 167) Thereafter it descended with the Yapton manor demesnes (fn. 168) until at the death of Walter Edmunds in 1612 it passed to his son Christopher (d. 1620), (fn. 169) whose widow Mary married George Oglander in 1620 or 1621. In 1633 they conveyed the manor to William Madgwick; (fn. 170) he or a namesake was dealing with it in 1662 and 1674 (fn. 171) and Edward Madgwick in 1694. (fn. 172) Another William owned land in Yapton in 1705. (fn. 173) In 1771 William Madgwick sold manor and lands to Ann Billinghurst, whose relative John Billinghurst (fn. 174) had been lessee in 1752. (fn. 175) After Ann's death 1798 × 1807 they were sold to James Penfold; at that date the lands totalled 131 a. (fn. 176) About 1840 John Boniface was owner of the farm (fn. 177) and in 1877 Ann Boniface. (fn. 178) The manor house, variously called Bury, Berea, and Berri Court in the 19th and 20th centuries, seems often to have been let from the 1880s. (fn. 179)
A manor house at Bercourt was mentioned in 1460. (fn. 180) Its successor was called Berri Court in 1995. (fn. 181) It is L-shaped, its outer walls and some re-used ceiling beams probably being 17th-century. Parts of the staircase and one door surround on the first floor suggest a late 18th-century remodelling, and there was a much more thorough one in the early 19th century, when a new wing was added between the existing ranges. At some date the south front was given a parapet, later removed, and in the late 19th century or early 20th a conservatory was built along it; after its removal a pedimented doorcase was added. The building materials include flint, brick, stucco, and Bognor rock sandstone.
In 1946 there were well matured grounds containing fine specimen trees, a walled garden, a tennis lawn, and a tea lawn with lily pool. (fn. 182) They remained notable in 1995, making ingenious use of the small site.
A manor at BILSHAM was held by Godwine, a free man, in 1066, and by Hugh of earl Roger in 1086; there was also a sub-manor containing three hides which was held by three free men in 1066 and by Warin in 1086. (fn. 183) At the division of the d'Aubigny inheritance after 1243 one fee at Bilsham formed part of Robert Tattersall's portion. (fn. 184) Members of the Avenell family held land at Bilsham between 1197 and 1244. (fn. 185)
Lettice of Bilsham, who was dealing with ½ yardland at Bilsham in 1241, (fn. 186) was perhaps related to William of Bilsham who held ¼ fee there in 1303. (fn. 187) It was called Bilsham manor in 1345, when William of Bilsham (fl. 1327) died seised of it; his son and heir John (fn. 188) (d. 1349) was succeeded by his brother Roger, (fn. 189) but the lands have not been identified later.
Another ¼ fee which Philip de Croft held in 1242 (fn. 190) had passed by 1303 to Hugh de Croft, (fn. 191) who in 1307 granted a life interest to Andrew of Medstead in the manor of Bilsham, so called. (fn. 192) The reversion was conveyed by Hugh son of Hugh de Croft to Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel, in 1337-8, (fn. 193) after which it presumably passed with the rape.
By 1291 Arundel priory had an estate in Yapton. (fn. 194) By 1325, when there were two barns, at least 197 a., and both free and customary tenants, it was described as a manor, (fn. 195) also later called Bilsham.
In 1316 the vill of Bilsham was said to be divided between William of Bilsham and Andrew of Medstead, while the prior of Arundel's estate was described as part of Yapton vill. (fn. 196) It is not clear which estate was the land at Bilsham owned by John Taverner in 1412. (fn. 197)
Arundel priory's estate passed with the other priory endowments in 1380 to Arundel college. A further 108 a. were granted by the earl of Arundel in 1386. From 1394-5 until the Dissolution the lands were at farm. (fn. 198) The manor was described as ¼ fee in 1428. (fn. 199) In 1544 the Crown granted it to the earl of Arundel. (fn. 200)
After the Dissolution there were two estates at Bilsham, whose relationship to the estates mentioned is not clear. One, called BILSHAM manor and having a court and tenants, (fn. 201) evidently incorporated either or both of the former Croft and Arundel college estates. It was conveyed in 1568 by Henry FitzAlan, earl of Arundel, John Lumley, Lord Lumley, and his wife Jane to John Edmunds, (fn. 202) and thereafter descended with the Yapton manor demesnes. (fn. 203) The attached farm had 75 a. in 1667 (fn. 204) and 100 a. in 1699, (fn. 205) and corresponded to the later Hobbs farm east of Bilsham Road. (fn. 206) By c. 1910 that farm belonged to G. and S. Sparks (fn. 207) and in 1929, when it was 76 a., to Miss S. E. Sparks. (fn. 208)
The second estate belonged by 1608 to Sir Garrett Kempe, lord of Slindon manor, (fn. 209) and though never a manor was the later Bilsham Manor farm west of Bilsham Road. Garrett and Anthony Kempe were dealing with Bilsham farm, so called, in 1664, (fn. 210) and the same or another Anthony Kempe in 1685. (fn. 211) Thereafter it evidently descended with Slindon (fn. 212) until in 1908 it was sold to the tenant John C. Loveys (d. 1931). (fn. 213) The farm comprised c. 190 a. in 1819, (fn. 214) 216 a. c. 1840, (fn. 215) and 381 a. c. 1910. (fn. 216) Loveys' son Walter succeeded him in it before 1924, and was succeeded by his son John. (fn. 217)
There was a manor house on the land belonging to the Bilsham family in the 1340s. (fn. 218) Hobbs Farmhouse, called Bilsham Farm c. 1875 (fn. 219) and evidently the true manor house of Bilsham manor, was erected in or shortly before 1718. (fn. 220) It is of two storeys and rendered, with a tiled roof. The farmhouse which belonged to the Slindon House estate is in two parts. The north end is a 17th-century timber-framed house called in 1995 Manor cottage; it has north and south rooms separated by a chimneystack, with another chimneystack, perhaps originally that of the kitchen, at the south end. It was encased in brick in the late 18th or early 19th century. In the early 19th century a taller block of three bays, called Bilsham Manor in 1995, was added at the south end, stuccoed and with a projecting porch; the older range became its service end.
Elizabeth Shelley, née Michelgrove, had property at Bilsham before 1474, (fn. 221) which then descended with Clapham until the later 16th century. (fn. 222) The estate was called a manor in 1581, (fn. 223) but it has not been identified.
Yapton RECTORY belonged to Arundel priory before 1380, and passed with the priory's other estates to Arundel college. (fn. 224) It was at farm to the former bailiff with the college's manor at Bilsham in 1394-5, and presumably continued to be farmed with that until the Dissolution. (fn. 225) It was then granted to the earl of Arundel, (fn. 226) descending thereafter usually with the Yapton manor demesnes. (fn. 227) It remained a manor, with courts and tenants. (fn. 228) Members of the Standen family leased it in the later 16th century. (fn. 229)
There was a rectory house in the 1560s, (fn. 230) but its site is unknown.
Tithes valued at 13s. 4d. were payable to Tortington priory in 1291; (fn. 231) by 1535 they were valued at £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 232) From that date the estate was sometimes referred to as the RECTORY of TRYNEBARN or TRINEBARN; (fn. 233) it included a tithe barn south-west of the Yapton-Climping road with 1 a. opposite it. (fn. 234) Between 1568 and 1571 at least the estate descended with the Yapton manor demesnes, (fn. 235) but by 1589 it belonged to the Crown. (fn. 236) Thereafter the lordship apparently followed the descent of Priory farm, Tortington, (fn. 237) until in 1693 Sir William Thomas, Bt., conveyed it to John Dobell. (fn. 238) Sir John Miller, Bt., was dealing with it in 1709, (fn. 239) and after his death in 1721 it passed to his son John (d. 1735), whose son Challen (fn. 240) sold it in 1756 to Walter Sydserfe. (fn. 241) He settled it in 1759 on his daughter Margaret at her marriage with William Thomas, and after 1774 it again descended with the Yapton manor demesnes. (fn. 242)
The house and land which Urse of Linch gave to Chichester cathedral in 1199 became the nucleus of Burndell or Bundle farm east of the village. (fn. 243) In 1595 it was held for three lives, (fn. 244) but in the early 16th century and from the late 17th to the mid 19th it was leased for 21-year periods. (fn. 245) In 1862, when the cathedral's estate was for sale, it comprised c. 130 a. in Yapton and Binsted. (fn. 246) Burndell farm belonged to William Wareham c. 1910. (fn. 247)
Tortington priory was granted land in Yapton from 1235 (fn. 248) which included a mill (fn. 249) and by 1537 totalled at least 78 a. The estate, which then had 13 tenants, (fn. 250) was still called a manor in 1602, when Thomas Knight was dealing with it. (fn. 251)
Other religious houses which owned land in Yapton included Boxgrove priory (from the later 12th century), (fn. 252) Durford abbey in Rogate (from the late 12th or early 13th century), (fn. 253) Waverley abbey near Farnham (Surr.) (from 1220 or earlier), (fn. 254) Hardham priory (by 1534), (fn. 255) and the Hospital of St. John (from before 1290). (fn. 256)
Chichester corporation held land of Tortington priory in 1537. (fn. 257) In 1582 its estate comprised 74 a., including 35 a. at Bilsham, (fn. 258) and there were 60 a. c. 1806-7, lying in scattered parcels chiefly along Bilsham and Drove lanes. (fn. 259) Between the late 17th century and the mid 19th leases were for 21 years. (fn. 260)
STAKERS FARM west of the village was held of Laurence and Charity Eliot in 1699 by Thomas Staker. (fn. 261) Benjamin Staker was occupier in 1781 (fn. 262) and was succeeded by his son Zaccheus (d. 1795 × 1797), whose heir was his son Benjamin. Benjamin acquired the freehold of the farm in 1808 (fn. 263) and sold it in 1824 to John Browning Staker, apparently his brother. (fn. 264) After John's death in 1836 his executors sold the farm in 1837 to the Revd. Thomas Penny White (fn. 265) (d. 1845 × 1860), and after the death of Thomas's widow Charlotte c. 1861 it passed to their son Arthur, (fn. 266) who at his death in 1899 left it to his nephew (Sir) Herbert White. He in 1929 conveyed it to Anthony P. White, (fn. 267) from whom it passed to A. R. M. White (fl. 1995). The farm had 271 a. in Yapton and elsewhere in 1699, (fn. 268) 128 a. c. 1840, (fn. 269) and 234 a. in Yapton and Barnham in 1929. (fn. 270)
The Yapton manor with which members of the Venables family were dealing between 1597 and 1610 (fn. 271) has not been identified.
Six villani and six cottars held land in 1086 of what was later apparently Yapton manor. (fn. 272) References to a freeholder with 7 a. in 1551 (fn. 273) and a copyholder with 18 a. c. 1614 (fn. 274) may be to one of the other manors of the parish, since the title Yapton manor was used loosely to describe other manors and estates at different times, and since the main manor cannot be traced after 1621. (fn. 275) Tenants of Yapton Shulbrede are recorded from 1544. (fn. 276) Several copyholds remained in the 18th and early 19th centuries; they could be sublet by 1772. (fn. 277) On Bercourt and Wildbridge manor in the 15th and 16th centuries there were both free and copyhold tenants. (fn. 278) Some demesne land was being leased out in small parcels in 1460. (fn. 279) Copyholds could be sublet by 1535 (fn. 280) and were being enfranchised by the mid 17th century. (fn. 281)
Fourteen villani were listed on Bilsham manor in 1086, and 5 villani and 5 cottars on its sub-manor. (fn. 282) There were both free and customary tenants on the Arundel priory (fn. 283) and Bilsham family (fn. 284) manors in the earlier 14th century, but all the latter died during the Black Death, their lands remaining unoccupied in 1349. (fn. 285) There were still free and copyhold tenants at Bilsham in the 16th century. (fn. 286) Copyholds could be sublet by 1549. (fn. 287) Two copyholds of 22 a., each described as a yardland, and one cottage tenement remained in the 18th century. (fn. 288)
The rectory manor had both free and copyhold tenants in 1621. (fn. 289) Only copyholds survived by the 18th century, (fn. 290) when one of 17½ a. was called a yardland and there was another of 17 a. Copyholds could be sublet by 1730. (fn. 291)
Waverley abbey's estate had tenants in the 14th century, (fn. 292) and 4 freeholders, 7 copyholders, and 2 leaseholders held land of Tortington priory in 1537. (fn. 293) Land was also held of manors outside the parish: Walberton, (fn. 294) Ilsham St. John in Climping, (fn. 295) Tortington, (fn. 296) Avenells or East Angmering in Angmering, (fn. 297) and Barnham. (fn. 298)
The demesne farm belonging to the Bilsham family's manor at Bilsham had 126 a. in 1345 (fn. 299) and at least 160 a. in 1349, (fn. 300) and that belonging to Arundel priory's manor in the same place had c. 200 a. at the same period, labour services still apparently being exacted in the 1320s. (fn. 301) After 1394 the Arundel priory land, which by then had passed to Arundel college, was let, the first farmer being the former bailiff. (fn. 302) The Bercourt and Wildbridge manor demesne farm had 200 a. of arable, apparently 80 a. of several pasture, and 12 a. of several meadow in 1421; labour services were mentioned then but it is not clear whether they were still performed. (fn. 303) The Bercourt and Wildbridge demesnes were let by 1460. (fn. 304)
Open arable fields seem to have ringed Yapton village on three sides in the Middle Ages: East Town field north of Ford Lane, (fn. 305) the Cinders east of Bilsham Road, (fn. 306) and Tacklee or South Street field south-west of the village. (fn. 307) The Warmare or Warnmere north of Main Road on the site of the modern recreation ground may also have been an open field. (fn. 308) Several other open fields mentioned from the early 13th century are unlocated. (fn. 309) A three-course rotation of the fields at Bilsham was apparently practised in the 1340s. (fn. 310)
The open fields were apparently inclosed piecemeal by agreement through exchanges like that evidenced in 1553 at Bilsham between the farmer of the manor demesnes and the tenants. (fn. 311) By 1460 land on Bercourt and Wildbridge manor in a field called Woodcroft already formed small closes. (fn. 312) In the mid 16th century, though some land remained commonable, (fn. 313) there were closes in individual open fields of up to 19 a. (fn. 314) The trend to consolidation continued later. (fn. 315)
A tenants' pasture on Bercourt and Wildbridge manor was mentioned in 1542, (fn. 318) but no other common pasture is known in the parish except possibly for marshland in the north-east (fn. 319) and roadside waste along Main and Bilsham roads including Berri Court green in the centre of the village, (fn. 320) the location of which is not clear. Common meadow called East Town mead or meads (fn. 321) presumably lay in the north-east, and there was other common meadow at Bilsham. (fn. 322) Pasture and meadow were also held severally; (fn. 323) it was presumably for its quality that meadow in the parish was granted to landowners in other places. (fn. 324) Tenants of one of the Bilsham manors could common on the demesne meadow outside the hay season in the mid 14th century. (fn. 325)
In the 17th and 18th centuries demesne farms remained prominent. That centred on Yapton Place was known as 'the great farm' in 1621 and 1718. (fn. 326) The future Hobbs farm had 75 a. in 1667 (fn. 327) and 100 a. in 1699, (fn. 328) and Bury Court farm, the Bercourt and Wildbridge manor farm, 131 a. in 1807. (fn. 329) The demesne farm of Yapton Coverts manor, later Bonhams farm, had 135 a. in 1693, (fn. 330) and Burndell farm 106 a. in 1595 and 93 a. in 1727, on each occasion including land in neighbouring parishes. (fn. 331) Stakers farm had 271 a. in Yapton and elsewhere in 1699. (fn. 332)
Crops grown in the 17th and 18th centuries (fn. 333) were wheat, barley, oats, peas, vetch, and tares, with clover seed by 1731; wheat seems usually to have had the highest acreage. Hemp (fn. 334) was also grown. Animals raised at that period were chiefly sheep, cattle, and pigs, with some poultry. Inhabitants by the later 17th and early 18th centuries sometimes farmed in neighbouring parishes as well as in Yapton, and one farmer at Bilsham in 1671 had stock in the Weald at Kirdford. Sheep were washed by the mid 18th century where Bilsham Road crossed the Ryebank rife. (fn. 335)
Some farms in the earlier 19th century remained in scattered closes. (fn. 336) About 1840 there were five chief farms in the parish: Wicks, representing the Yapton manor demesnes (260 a.), Bonhams (131 a.), and Stakers (128 a.) in the north half; and in the south the future Bilsham Manor and Hobbs farms of 216 a. and 138 a. respectively. (fn. 337) Those remained the chief farms c. 1910, when Wicks farm had 320 a. and Bilsham Manor farm 381 a.; (fn. 338) most land in the parish was then rented. (fn. 339) Only one of the larger landowners was resident in 1867. (fn. 340)
Arable farming predominated in the earlier 19th century; there were reckoned to be only 100 a. of pasture in 1819, (fn. 341) and c. 1840 there was nearly four times as much arable as meadow and pasture, wheat remaining the chief crop. (fn. 342) There were numerous field barns, especially in the south-west part of the parish, c. 1813. (fn. 343) The land in the centre was said to be very productive in 1841. A six-course rotation was then widely practised, viz. turnips; barley or oats; seeds; wheat; peas, beans, or tares; and wheat. (fn. 344) Much of Bonhams farm was pipe-drained by 1871. (fn. 345)
In the mid 19th century Yapton supplied agricultural labour to other parishes and was a popular place of residence for lodgers. About 3 a. of glebe were let as allotments in 1867. (fn. 346)
In 1875 arable crops returned totalled c. 1,000 a., the chief being wheat, oats, and turnips and swedes; there were then 533 a. of grass, with 193 cattle, 720 sheep, and 85 pigs. The proportion of pasture to arable was slightly higher in 1909; oats were then the largest crop and numbers of cattle and pigs were greater, though there were fewer sheep. (fn. 347) The Loveys family from Devon bred cattle at Bilsham during the later 19th century and early 20th. (fn. 348) There was also a dairy herd at Cox's farm in the north-west in the early 20th century. (fn. 349) Church farm was described as a dairy farm in 1924 (fn. 350) and Hobbs farm had pedigree Jerseys in 1957. (fn. 351) Wicks farm in 1924 had a Southdown flock as well as pedigree shorthorn cattle and a small Guernsey herd. (fn. 352)
In 1985 the 10 holdings listed in the parish included three of 100-200 ha. in area; two and a half times as much land was rented as was in owner occupation. Wheat remained the chief crop and stock kept were 133 beef cattle, 759 pigs, 278 sheep and lambs, and 165 poultry, chiefly hens for laying. (fn. 353) In 1991 Northwood farm of 435 a. based at Bilsham, which included much land in Climping, was almost all arable, including some oilseed rape and linseed. Wicks farm was then c. 400 a. (fn. 354) By 1996 those two farms were worked with a holding in Ford as a co-operative of c. 1,200 a. The parish was then 95 per cent arable, growing cereals, pulses, and oilseed rape. In the south-west part Drove Lane farm (250 a.) fattened continental breeds of beef cattle on 39 a. of permanent grassland, while some land near Bilsham was farmed from Flansham. There were then very few agricultural workers in the parish. (fn. 355)
Henry Kennett had a nursery in Burndell Road on the eastern boundary c. 1840; (fn. 356) it still flourished in 1882. Another nurseryman was listed in Yapton in the 1850s. (fn. 357) In 1909 Barnham Nurseries Ltd. worked 2 a. of small fruit and 1 a. of orchards in the north-west corner; (fn. 358) the firm acquired more land nearby after 1918. (fn. 359) Pollards Nurseries Ltd., originally from Cheshunt (Herts.), moved to a site on the south side of Lake Lane c. 1960; in 1965, when there were 4½ a. under glass, two thirds cucumbers and the rest roses, the workforce included several Italian families. (fn. 360) By 1978 glasshouses on the site totalled 29, (fn. 361) but the scale of operations had been greatly reduced by 1994.
Southdown Flowers beside Yapton Lane north of the railway line was set up in 1960, selling mixed flowers to supermarkets. In 1991 it had 30 a. and employed 132 workers there and in a site further west on Lake Lane; after bankruptcy in that year the main site was bought by a Dutch firm (fn. 362) which in 1995 had 12 a. and employed c. 50. It then grew both seasonal and round-the-year crops and imported cut flowers, supplying cut flowers and pot plants to multiple stores, garden centres, and the wholesale trade. (fn. 363)
Frampton's Nurseries, with 6 a. in Lake Lane, had revolutionized flower-growing techniques in the 1950s and 60s but went bankrupt in 1992. (fn. 364) Another nursery north of Church Lane flourished between 1978 (fn. 365) or earlier and 1994. A nursery in Bilsham Road offered a landscaping service in 1991.
In 1985 45 ha. of horticultural crops were listed in the parish including 37 ha. of peas, 2 ha. of strawberries, and 3 ha. of bulbs. (fn. 366)
John of Polingford erected a windmill in Yapton without licence in the 1270s. (fn. 367) It is not clear if that was Tortington priory's mill at Yapton recorded in 1291. (fn. 368) The mill of Bilsham mentioned in 1293 (fn. 369) was perhaps the same as the windmill belonging to Arundel college, which had a manor there, in the 1390s; a century later it was vacant and by 1500 it was derelict. (fn. 370) There was a water mill on Bercourt and Wildbridge manor in 1460. (fn. 371) No later mill is recorded, presumably latterly because of the nearness of Barnham windmill.
Other trades and industries.
There was a butcher at Bilsham in 1335 (fn. 372) and apparently a shoemaker in the parish in 1327; (fn. 373) a butcher mentioned in 1655 had c. 75 animals and at least 20 a. of land. (fn. 374) Brewers were recorded on three occasions between 1450 and 1542, including two members of the Dammer family. (fn. 375) Other trades recorded before 1800 were those of tailor, (fn. 376) weaver, (fn. 377) blacksmith, (fn. 378) carpenter, (fn. 379) wheelwright, (fn. 380) mercer, (fn. 381) thatcher, (fn. 382) and wig maker. (fn. 383) A smithy erected near Berri Court in the centre of the village c. 1549 (fn. 384) survived as a business into the 20th century. (fn. 385) Some parishioners were said to practise physic and surgery without licence in 1742. (fn. 386)
Thirty-six families out of 92 in work in 1811 were supported chiefly by non-agricultural pursuits, (fn. 387) and many different trades continued to be practised in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Others occupying sites in the village itself besides the smithy mentioned included a wheelwright's or carpenter's also near Berri Court (fn. 388) and a general store in Main Road. (fn. 389) By the early 20th century there were two bakers, two butchers, two shoemakers, and five grocers, among others, in the parish; one of the grocers was at Bilsham. (fn. 390)
Less common occupations recorded in the 19th and early 20th centuries (fn. 391) were those of wood dealer and coal and manure merchant, tea dealer, station master, signalman, (fn. 392) watch repairer, harness maker, (fn. 393) upholsterer, cycle repairer, fruiterer, and piano teacher. After 1922 Albert James ran a business making toy motor cars. (fn. 394)
There was a builder in 1845 and another from 1887, latterly in Burndell Road, who did business over a wide area: (fn. 395) in 1912 the firm also acted as decorators, contractors, and undertakers. (fn. 396) A firm of builders' merchants flourished in 1934. (fn. 397)
The chief employer in Yapton in the later 19th and earlier 20th century, however, was Sparks's engineering works. (fn. 398) John Sparks (d. 1880) from Holkham (Norf.) began an agricultural machinery business in the parish in 1856. By 1864 (fn. 399) he was established on the western corner of Main and Bilsham roads, which came to be called Sparks corner, the site containing various workshops and stores. (fn. 400) By 1861 twelve men and four boys were employed, and by 1871 there were 30 men and 7 boys; many like their employer had come from Norfolk. (fn. 401) Six threshing machines were hired out in 1867 (fn. 402) and ploughing machines, steam wagons, and other traction engines in the later 19th century and early 20th. By c. 1900 the firm also hired out steam rollers, especially to local councils in Sussex and elsewhere; in 1903-4 it dug and hauled stones for new roads laid out at Goodwood racecourse. In 1916 a repair service for all kinds of machinery was offered and pumping, irrigation, and dredging were undertaken. In addition, small implements were manufactured for farm and garden.
Part of the works site was used as brickfields by 1895 (fn. 403) and Church and Hobbs farms were bought to provide further land for the same purpose. (fn. 404) At the peak of operations c. 800,000 bricks a year were produced. The brickyard covered 3 a. north of Burndell Road in 1924, when bricks were in great demand. (fn. 405)
After John Sparks's death in 1880 the firm was carried on by his widow Sarah (d. 1914), but disputes between their children George and Eliza led to a lawsuit in 1924 which resulted in the sale at auction of the whole concern. Thereafter the agricultural machinery business continued under Eliza's control until closure in 1931. (fn. 406) About 1932 the main engine shed was converted into the village hall; (fn. 407) by 1991 it had become a general store.
Another brickyard flourished briefly in the 1930s to serve the construction of new estates in the parish. (fn. 408)
A surgeon practised in Yapton from 1862; his successor described himself as also a physician and in 1938 there was another besides. (fn. 409) There were two doctor's and one dentist's surgeries in 1991, besides a firm of solicitors and an estate agent.
The growth of motoring and tourism from c. 1920 brought a motor garage and two tearooms by 1934. (fn. 410) Wicks Farmhouse was a guest house in 1993.
There were a haulage contractor and a dogbreeding business in the 1930s. (fn. 411) In the 1960s and 70s a baker in Lake Lane in the north-west corner of the parish delivered in nearby villages. (fn. 412) A full-time thatcher worked at Bilsham in 1983. (fn. 413) In 1991 a variety of shops and businesses in Main, North End, Burndell, and Bilsham roads included a second-hand tool firm, a scrap metal merchant's founded in 1953, and a joinery works. There was a small industrial estate near the Lamb inn in Bilsham Road in 1994.
In 1958 many inhabitants worked at Ford naval air station or further afield. The coastal towns also provided seasonal work in the 20th century. (fn. 414)
There are court rolls for Yapton manor for 1517, (fn. 415) 1545, (fn. 416) and 1551, (fn. 417) in each case for a single court. In 1551 the court was held at Arundel castle. Tenants were presented for non-repair of their houses in 1517. The court held in 1545 was also for Bercourt and Wildbridge.
Court rolls for Yapton Shulbrede manor survive for the years 1726, 1731, and 1772-1853. After 1772 there were generally one or two courts in a decade but most business was treated out of court. Only conveyancing was dealt with. (fn. 418)
Court rolls or draft court rolls survive for Bercourt and Wildbridge manor for various years between 1460 and 1553. (fn. 419) Two courts were held three weeks apart in 1460 (fn. 420) but thereafter no more than one is recorded in any year. Besides conveyancing the court dealt with encroachments on the common lands, stray animals, and the repair of houses, ditches, and fences. There was a pound in the 16th century. (fn. 421)
There are court rolls for a manor or manors at Bilsham relating to four courts held between 1517 and 1553, on the last occasion at Bercourt, (fn. 422) another four between 1722 and 1790, and seven between 1810 and 1851. (fn. 423) Presentments were made in the 16th century for cutting down trees and for non-repair of a gate, but only conveyancing was dealt with after 1722 when most business was treated out of court.
There are court rolls for Yapton Rectory manor for the years 1549, (fn. 424) 1553, (fn. 425) and 1723- 1846. (fn. 426) In 1553 the court was held at Bercourt. Five courts were held between 1723 and 1739; after 1770 the frequency of holding was up to seven or eight times a decade. Pound breach was presented in 1549 and the non-repair of houses in 1553 but after 1723, when most business was treated out of court, only land transactions are recorded.
Tithingmen served for 'Yapton' and Bilsham c. 1822. (fn. 427)
There seem always to have been two churchwardens between 1548 (fn. 428) and 1672. From 1681 to 1860 there was only one but from 1861 two again served. (fn. 429) Two overseers were named in 1642 (fn. 430) but only one in the 1740s. At the latter period it was common to serve as overseer and churchwarden in successive years. (fn. 431) The parish clerk in 1817 was paid a salary of £3. (fn. 432)
The parish agreed in 1746 to buy a building for use as a workhouse; (fn. 433) it presumably occupied the same site as the 19th-century workhouse near the Black Dog inn. (fn. 434) Other paupers were boarded out in 1754. (fn. 435) A Gilbert union for Yapton, Felpham, and Walberton was founded in the 1780s. (fn. 436)
In the early 1830s nearly all able-bodied labourers received an allowance or regular relief during part of the year and many the whole year. (fn. 437) Parish work on the roads, however, was not productive. (fn. 438) In 1835-6 more than 30 parishioners were helped by the vestry to emigrate to New York and Canada. (fn. 439) The workhouse ceased to be used by 1839 (fn. 440) and was later let as cottages. (fn. 441)
A parish pound was constructed c. 1842 and was moved to a new site in 1852. (fn. 442)
After 1894 the parish council managed successive playing fields in Yapton. (fn. 443)
There was apparently a church at Yapton in 1086, (fn. 446) which before 1255 was a prebend of Arundel's minster church. In 1255 it was appropriated to Sées abbey (Orne), (fn. 447) passing to its English priory of Arundel and in 1380, with the priory's other possessions, to Arundel college. (fn. 448) A vicarage was ordained in 1255. (fn. 449) The living was united to Walberton between 1753 and 1875 (fn. 450) and to Ford from 1875. (fn. 451) In 1985 Climping was added to make the benefice of Climping and Yapton with Ford, the parishes remaining distinct. (fn. 452)
At the ordination of the vicarage in 1255 the bishop reserved the right of collation. (fn. 453) The Crown and the dean and chapter of Chichester presented during vacancy in 1415 and 1430 respectively, (fn. 454) and from 1501 the bishop always collated except during vacancy and on two occasions when the archbishop of Canterbury exercised the patronage. (fn. 455) After the union of livings in 1985 the bishop (as former patron of both Yapton and Ford) was to collate on two occasions in three and the Lord Chancellor (as former patron of Climping) to present on the third. (fn. 456)
The vicarage was valued at £5 6s. 8d. in 1291 (fn. 457) and at £7 11s. in 1535. (fn. 458) In the 1570s the living was let. (fn. 459) By 1724 the real value was £43 16s. 1d. (fn. 460) and in 1750 it was £60; (fn. 461) the average net income of Yapton and Walberton together, however, was £468 c. 1830. (fn. 462)
A vicarage house existed in 1255, (fn. 463) perhaps standing south or south-west of the church as apparently later. (fn. 464) In 1573 it was in decay for lack of thatching, (fn. 465) and by 1662 most of the building had collapsed through neglect (fn. 466) so that a new vicarage house was built c. 1664. (fn. 467) After the union of the living with Walberton it was pulled down in 1757-8. (fn. 468) Incumbents of Yapton with Ford from 1875 at first lived in rented housing (fn. 469) but c. 1905 a new vicarage was provided through alterations and additions to a house in North End Road. (fn. 470) That was later sold, and a new house south of Church Lane was bought in 1990 for the incumbent of the benefice of Climping and Yapton with Ford. (fn. 471)
There were 21 a. of glebe divided between four locations in 1255. (fn. 472) In the early 17th century there were 22 a. in all: an orchard next to the house, 12 a. called Simpoles in the eastern angle of Burndell and Bilsham roads, and 9 a. unlocated. (fn. 473) The last named land was exchanged in 1750 for 11 a. elsewhere, (fn. 474) and the site of the demolished vicarage house with its garden and a croft was exchanged before 1822 for 3 a. in Yapton Lane, Walberton. (fn. 475) Other land had been exchanged for land in Walberton by 1838 (fn. 476) so that only 12 a. remained in Yapton c. 1840: the close called Simpoles, now reckoned as 9 a., and 3 a. by the Walberton boundary. (fn. 477) There were 22½ a. in all belonging to the living of Yapton in the two parishes in 1887. (fn. 478)
At the ordination of the vicarage in 1255 most of Yapton's tithes were settled on the vicar except for those of corn and pulses. (fn. 479) Some corn tithes were payable to the vicar in 1615. (fn. 480) By 1841, however, the vicar's entitlement was all the small tithes, hay tithes from part of the parish, and half the hay tithes from the rest, besides all the tithes of 'holibreads', i.e. small portions of various fields around the parish. (fn. 481)
Tithe portions also belonged to others from the Middle Ages. The tithes at Wildbridge and elsewhere which Boxgrove priory had in 1253 (fn. 482) seem to be represented by those later payable to Walberton rectory and vicarage, since Walberton rectory had belonged to Boxgrove. (fn. 483) Similarly, Syon abbey (Mdx.) as successor to Sées abbey (Orne) had both great and small tithes from land at Wildbridge in 1473, (fn. 484) which descended with Eastergate manor farm; (fn. 485) in 1649 the portion was said to comprise corn tithes from 20 a. (fn. 486) 'Trynebarn rectory', representing tithes belonging to Tortington priory from 1291 or earlier, is discussed above. (fn. 487)
At commutation in 1841 the vicar received £188 6s. 9d. as vicar of Yapton and £5 2s. 6d. as vicar of Walberton; the bishop £10 5s.; Inigo Thomas £396 for corn tithes from 774 a., presumably including those of Trynebarn rectory, besides £6 for corn tithes from the vicarial glebe; and the dean and chapter of Chichester and various individuals £232 13s. 11d. in all for corn tithes from their own or others' lands. (fn. 488)
In the later Middle Ages the pastoral needs of the southern part of the parish were served by a chapel at Bilsham. (fn. 489) The vicar of Yapton resided in 1440 (fn. 490) and 1563 (fn. 491) and the vicar from 1558 was a former chantry priest. (fn. 492) A successor in 1571 was presented for negligence in saying services. (fn. 493) John Curtis, vicar from 1575, also held Eastergate; (fn. 494) he was a licensed preacher, though the bishop and others preached at Yapton too in his time. (fn. 495) Hugh Roberts, who succeeded him in 1596, was also a preacher (fn. 496) and clearly had Puritan sympathies, eschewing a surplice for the celebration of communion, which could be received standing or sitting rather than kneeling, and which he refused in 1622 to two parishioners who knew none of the commandments. (fn. 497) Many outsiders, evidently sympathizers, attended Yapton church at that period. (fn. 498) In 1623 a parishioner was reported as saying that church attendance on Sundays was no longer important since 'every day . . . is a Christian's Sabbath'. (fn. 499) A Puritan conventicle was recorded in the parish in 1603. (fn. 500)
The vicar in 1662 was said to come only to collect his tithes; there was then a curate with a stipend of £30. His successor but one, however, served for 50 years from 1669. Two other vicars in the earlier 18th century held Walberton, the second being also the bishop's chaplain. (fn. 501) In 1724 a Sunday service with sermon was held alternately in morning and evening and communion was celebrated four times a year with 40-50 communicants. (fn. 502)
During the period of the union with Walberton, 1753-1875, Yapton was often served by curates. (fn. 503) In 1838 morning and afternoon services were on alternate Sundays in the two parishes, (fn. 504) but by 1844 the new vicar T. S. L. Vogan had introduced two Sunday services at Yapton with monthly communion. (fn. 505) Attendances on Census Sunday in 1851 were 100 in the morning and 150 in the afternoon, on each occasion with 64 Sunday schoolchildren besides. (fn. 506) A string band had played in the church in the 1780s (fn. 507) and then or later also a bassoon. (fn. 508) By 1872 an organ had been installed and there was a paid choir. (fn. 509)
In 1884, when services were held alternately at Yapton and Ford, congregations were c. 150 in the morning and 180-200 in the afternoon. Communion was then celebrated c. 33 times a year with an average of 16-18 communicants (fn. 510) and by 1903 it was weekly. (fn. 511) About 1910, when there was an assistant curate, choral evensong was held on Wednesdays in winter. (fn. 512) Two or more services were held on Sundays in 1994 after the union with Climping.
The church of ST. MARY (the dedication is implied by 1555) (fn. 513) consists of chancel, aisled nave, south-west tower in continuation of the south aisle, and west porch; the nave and aisles are covered by a single roof which comes down to little more than 3 ft. (1 metre) above the level of the churchyard. The building is chiefly of flint rubble and brick with ashlar dressings and the tower, which leans markedly, is shingled. (fn. 514)
The tower and the arcades are of c. 1200; the north arcade has four bays and the south arcade only three, the four octagonal piers and one circular one, which are of different heights, having capitals of varied design. Masonry at the base of the tower, however, may be earlier, (fn. 515) and the tower's position in the angle between nave and aisle suggests that it may be a fragment of an older building. A window of c. 1100 at the east end of the south aisle may also be from that earlier church. The spacious chancel was built in the earlier 13th century and has lancet windows and a contemporary priest's door. The chancel arch with fluted corbels of a kind also found at Climping was enlarged a little later. The quatrefoil windows in the south aisle appear to be 14th-century, and the west window, the timber-framed west porch, and the crown-post roof of the nave are 15th-century.
In 1617, when the tower was already beginning to lean dangerously, it was recommended to build buttresses to support it; (fn. 516) they are of brick and re-used Caen stone, some of it moulded. Large dormer windows were inserted c. 1670, (fn. 517) perhaps to light a gallery, and the roof was ceiled in 1726. (fn. 518) The chancel was rebuilt apparently in the later 18th century (fn. 519) and was restored between 1902 and 1905, when the east window dating from the time of that rebuilding was replaced with lancets and the east gable reconstructed; (fn. 520) the work on the second occasion was done by the vicar and churchwardens, not the rector. (fn. 521) The rest of the church was restored in 1870-1, a west gallery being removed and a new west window put in. (fn. 522) An altar was installed at the east end of the south aisle in 1905. (fn. 523) Fire damaged the tower in 1909. (fn. 524)
The font, on a circular base, is 11th- or 12th-century; its cylindrical bowl of Sussex marble has continuous arcading with a swordshaped cross in each opening, and a chevron frieze above. There are traces of medieval painting, clearest on the north wall of the nave. Monuments include a 13th-century coffin slab and a memorial to Stephen Roe, founder of the village school. Of the four bells one was mid 14th-century, another of 1617, and two of 1712; all were recast after the fire of 1909, (fn. 525) the rim of the medieval one being converted into a candelabrum. The plate includes a communion cup, two patens, and a flagon, all of silver and of various dates between 1657 and 1716. (fn. 526) A new pulpit and high pews were inserted in 1765 (fn. 527) and replaced in 1871. (fn. 528) The existing pulpit is of 1905. (fn. 529)
The chapel at Bilsham consisted of a single undivided space and was originally of flint with sandstone dressings. (fn. 532) It was built in the 14th century, windows of that date remaining in the north and east walls as well as a north doorway. It seems to have fallen out of use by 1551. (fn. 533) By c. 1840 it was used as cottages, the south wall having been rebuilt in brick. (fn. 534) About 1878 it was restored: post-medieval windows on the south side were replaced by plain two-light ones with brick surrounds, the south doorway was rebuilt, also in brick, and a new tiebeam roof was inserted to replace the lost medieval one. (fn. 535) Thereafter the building was used for storage (fn. 536) until conversion as a house after 1972. (fn. 537)
John Trunell the elder, who was detaining the cope, chalice lid, and silver pyx in 1571, (fn. 538) may have been a Catholic sympathizer.
Puritan leanings in the parish in the early 17th century are discussed above. (fn. 539) The Lutter or Luttard family were Baptists in the 1660s; (fn. 540) in 1669 John Lutter was described as a Presbyterian and there were c. 6 members of that sect. (fn. 541) Six Nonconformists were listed in 1676 (fn. 542) and one Quaker family in 1724. (fn. 543)
An Independent, later Congregational, (fn. 544) congregation existed from the mid 19th century and perhaps from 1830. (fn. 545) A first-floor room in the former workhouse was registered for worship in 1846 (fn. 546) and another room on a different site in 1850; the registering minister on the second occasion was George MacDonald of Arundel. (fn. 547) On Census Sunday in 1851 the evening congregation totalled 24, and 42 children attended Sunday school in the afternoon. (fn. 548) Some Dissenters from Barnham attended in 1856. (fn. 549) In 1865 the chief shopkeeper of the village led the congregation and the minister apparently came from Littlehampton. (fn. 550)
A purpose-built chapel of flint, brick, and stone was erected in 1861 at the expense of Henry Bateman. (fn. 551) In 1884 it was said to be attended by two well-to-do families, a few poor parishioners, and a fair number of outsiders. The minister then did not reside (fn. 552) but in 1886 and c. 1910 he occupied the house attached to the chapel. (fn. 553) At the latter date two Sunday services and a Sunday school were held. (fn. 554)
In 1991 the congregation was known as Yapton Evangelical free church. (fn. 555) The manse had been demolished at some time after 1972 and meetings were then held in the village hall as the chapel was too small. (fn. 556)
Three licensed teachers were recorded between 1579 and 1606. (fn. 557) The vicar Edward Burnand (d. 1719) was said to have taught in the church during the whole of his 50-year ministry. (fn. 558) There were other unlicensed teachers in the mid 18th century. (fn. 559)
In 1766 Stephen Roe, a native of Yapton buried in Islington (Mdx.), devised £20 for teaching poor boys and girls. (fn. 560) By 1833, when his school had become a National school, 20 pupils were taught free and another 14 paid fees, (fn. 561) but in 1846-7 there were only 20 in all, other Yapton children going to school in Walberton. (fn. 562) The schoolmaster was appointed by the vicar and parish officers in 1838. (fn. 563)
A new school was built in North End Road, partly through subscriptions, in 1864 (fn. 564) and was enlarged in the 1880s when a separate infant class was started. (fn. 565) By then there were three teachers. (fn. 566) In 1872 as well as the income from the Roe charity and voluntary subscriptions finance was received from school pence, the vicar making up the shortfall. (fn. 567) By 1874-5 there was also a government grant. (fn. 568) In 1867 pupils included children from adjacent parishes. (fn. 569) Average attendance was 61 in 1873 (fn. 570) and 84 in 1884-5. (fn. 571) Thereafter it continued to rise, to 129 in 1893-4, (fn. 572) 152 in 1900-1, (fn. 573) and 181 including 62 infants in 1905-6; (fn. 574) after falling in the 1910s and 20s it rose again to 162 in 1931-2 and 201 in 1937-8. (fn. 575)
The school was remodelled in 1960-1 (fn. 576) and extended in 1974. (fn. 577) It was called Yapton C.E. controlled school in 1959. (fn. 578) The Roe charity produced £18.48 for educational purposes in 1990. (fn. 579) There were 273 children on the roll in 1993. (fn. 580)
Two other day schools with 20 children existed in 1819 (fn. 581) and in 1833 there were four: one with 16 pupils of both sexes and three infant schools with 25 pupils in all. (fn. 582) A boys' boarding school was recorded c. 1832, (fn. 583) a private girls' school at Yapton Lodge in 1882, and a boys and girls' preparatory school apparently at the same building in 1938. (fn. 584) A school attached to the Congregational chapel was apparently well attended in 1856 (fn. 585) and had 90-100 pupils, two thirds of whom came from other parishes, in 1884. (fn. 586) On the same site later was the Kingsway school, of Evangelical Christian character, which had c. 30 pupils in 1991 (fn. 587) but had gone by 1994.
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR.
Before 1724 Mrs. Madgwick, lady of Bercourt manor, gave 13s. 4d. a year, half for the poor and half for a Good Friday sermon. (fn. 591)
Stephen Roe by will dated 1766 left £16 a year to support seven householders or ex-householders not receiving alms. About 1835 £15 was distributed (fn. 592) and in 1867-8 £17 15s. 11d. in money. (fn. 593) The income was £14.68 in 1990. (fn. 594) By the last date the parish council administered the fund. (fn. 595)