A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1953.
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Stoughton is a large parish of 5,373 acres, 6 miles long from east to west and 2 miles from north to south. It lies on the southern slopes of the Downs, higher in the north than the south. Two valleys divide it and meet in a V at the south of the parish. The more easterly of these, where Stoughton village itself stands, is made by the River Ems. A secondary road from Westbourne runs through this valley, turning at right angles about 1½ miles above Stoughton, towards East Marden; straight on, it becomes a mere track. A road from South Harting comes over the Downs and through Compton and West Marden into the more westerly valley, and these two roads meet at the village of Walderton. The slopes of the Downs are here wooded, and the western part of the parish is covered by the Forest of Stansted. Here the separate ecclesiastical parish of Stansted and Forest Side was formed in 1856, including small portions of Racton and Up Marden. (fn. 1) Apart from the valleys, this is the most low-lying part of the parish, being between 300 and 100 ft. Northwood Farm is in the north-west of the parish, near Forest Side. On the east, Bow Hill lies in this parish, and rises to over 600 ft.
The district is rich in prehistoric remains. Two of the three long barrows to be found in West Sussex are within the parish and are presumably of Neolithic date, and there are eighteen later round barrows, traces of prehistoric field-systems, a terrace-way, and indications of probable flint-mines. (fn. 2)
Walderton Down, the boundaries of which had been in dispute, was declared in 1788 to be in the manor of Stansted and parish of Stoughton, and 280 acres here were inclosed in 1863. (fn. 3)
Architecturally there is little of antiquity to be seen. The village is a group of buildings, mostly of flint and brick, not earlier than the 18th century, except an L-shaped house at its north-east end. This has walls of red and black brick and a pair of chimney-shafts of the 17th century; one of the windows of the shorter wing retains its brick label. At Walderton in a similar group of houses two with thatched roofs have 17thcentury chimney-shafts, and one of them shows a little timber-framing in its east front.
Northwood Farm and 'Little Busto', both on the northern edge of the parish, are also 17th-century.
At Stansted Park (fn. 4) a house was built for the Earl of Scarborough in 1686 by William Talman. Of this the only remains are six bays of stone cellars, in two adjoining ranges, of quadripartite vaulting with ovolomoulded ribs carried on circular stone pillars that have moulded capitals. These are surrounded by brick vaults belonging to the house built in 1786 by James Wyatt for Richard Barwell, the wealthy East Indian merchant and friend of Warren Hastings, who bought the property in 1781 and had the Park laid out with three magnificent avenues. This house was constructed in white brick, with porticoes on the east and west fronts. It was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1900, after which the present house was built by Sir Reginald Blomfield. It is a very handsome building of red brick with white stone dressings and balustraded parapets. The main east and west fronts have colonnaded stone porticos and pediments. The rooms are finely proportioned and contain many good pictures, particularly portraits of the family of Ponsonby, Earls of Bessborough, and the great tapestry of the Battle of Wynendaal (fn. 5) presented to the 1st Lord Scarborough, who was one of Marlborough's generals. On the north side of the house a low wing containing the domestic offices is a survival of the house of 1786, and beyond it are the stables built by Wyatt, who also designed the lodges at the entrance to the park.
The old house (fn. 6) built by Lord Maltravers, son of William, Earl of Arundel, about 1480 lay to the southwest of the present house. It was a brick castellated and turreted building and during the Civil War was occupied first by the Royalists and then by the Parliamentarians. (fn. 7) Much of it was still standing in the last quarter of the 18th century (fn. 8) but seems then to have fallen into rapid decay. In 1818 a remaining fragment (fn. 9) was converted by Lewis Way into the west end of a chapel, which was consecrated in January 1819 by the Bishops of Gloucester and St. David's. It was damaged by a bomb in November 1940 but has been restored. The west end, of 15th-century brick, has angle-turrets and a restored stone-framed doorway. It is of two stories, as is also the porch on the south. The nave and chancel were built by Lewis Way, whose wealth was largely devoted to the conversion of Jews, and the most remarkable feature is the east window, unique as having no symbol of Christianity, its decoration being entirely concerned with the Old Testament Law. (fn. 10)
Before the Conquest STOUGHTON, assessed as 36 hides, was held by Earl Godwin of the king. After the Conquest 16 hides were for a time attached to the manor of Burne [Westbourne] but by 1086 the manor was again a single holding, except for 1 hide and woodland in the rape of William de Braose. There were 15 haws in Chichester belonging to the manor. It was part of the land held in demesne by Earl Roger. Although the manor consisted of 36 hides, it was assessed for geld at only 15 hides. To the church of Stoughton belonged 1½ hides of land. (fn. 11)
The overlordship of Stoughton descended with the honor of Arundel.
Early in the 12th century it was held in fee with Racton and Up Marden by Savaric fitz-Cane, who granted the church to Lewes Priory. (fn. 12) A portion of the manor (40 acres of land and a messuage) passed to Boxgrove Priory after 1170, when the Earl exchanged it with them for certain tithes. (fn. 13) The tallage of 1187, (fn. 14) and a note, under the Honor of Arundel, of payments for restocking the farm of Stoughton in 1195, (fn. 15) show that it was not yet connected with Bosham; but it was held in 1252 by Hugh le Bigod, brother of Earl Roger Bigod, as a member of Bosham (q.v.). (fn. 16) It passed to Hugh's son Roger who became Earl of Norfolk, (fn. 17) and he held of the Earls of Arundel until his death in 1307, (fn. 18) when his lands reverted to the king under a fine made in 1279. (fn. 19) One third of the manor had been granted by Hugh in dower to Isabel (Mortimer), Countess of Arundel. (fn. 20)
Apparently Stoughton remained in the king's hands for about ten years. In 1317 it was held during the king's pleasure by his brothers Thomas (de Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk) and Edmund. (fn. 21) The manor then descended as a member of Bosham in the family of Thomas, as stated when John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, died seised of it in 1432, (fn. 22) and as such the reversion of it was conveyed in 1476 by Elizabeth widow of John, Duke of Norfolk, to Queen Elizabeth wife of Edward IV and other trustees, (fn. 23) for the marriage of the Duchess's daughter Anne to the king's son Richard, Duke of York. Anne dying without issue, the Mowbray estates were divided between the families of Berkeley and Howard, Bosham (q.v.) went to the Berkeleys but Stoughton is found among the manors settled by Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, in 1497. (fn. 24) His son Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, in 1541 exchanged it with the king. (fn. 25) In 1557 Henry, Earl of Arundel, bought it out of the Exchequer to be held in chief as of the honor of Petworth. (fn. 26)
Lord Lumley, who held the manor with Stansted (q.v.), conveyed it in 1588 to Richard Lewknor. (fn. 27) Stoughton then descended with the manor of West Dean (q.v.) and came to Lord Selsey. He bequeathed it to his daughter, wife of the Hon. Vernon Harcourt, who died s.p. Under her will it came to Lord Clanricarde, who had already sold the reversion to Frederick Bower of West Dean, and he became lord of the manor about 1870. (fn. 28) The manorial rights appear to have lapsed not long after this.
STANSTED may perhaps represent the whole or part of the 16 hides of Stoughton which, shortly after the Conquest, were temporarily attached to Westbourne. (fn. 29) It was mainly forest and something in the nature of a hunting lodge seems to have been built there in the 12th century. Henry II spent a week there in 1177; (fn. 30) two years later Richard and Ralph the king's falconers were there, (fn. 31) and in 1181 Silvester and his comrades were looking after the king's birds at Stansted. (fn. 32) During the next three years large sums were spent on the king's buildings here. (fn. 33) King John was also here in 1214 and 1215. (fn. 34) The first reference to it as a manor is in 1244 when it was part of Isabel's dower at the division of the lands of Hugh d'Aubigny. (fn. 35) It seems to have been closely connected with Westbourne, of which manor it formed a part between 1302 and 1330, (fn. 36) and it was assessed on the Subsidy Roll of 1412 as 'the manor of Burne with Stansted . …' (fn. 37) The manor was held in 1454 of the king in chief by Eleanor widow of John, Earl of Arundel, as ½ knight's fee. (fn. 38)
During the minority of Richard FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel (1272–89), the manor was in 1283 granted with Westbourne to the abbey of Vale Royal in aid of their works. (fn. 39) From 1422 (fn. 40) to 1455, Stansted was one of the manors held in dower by Eleanor widow of John, Earl of Arundel. (fn. 41)
At the death of Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, in 1579, the manor of Stansted descended with Westbourne to John, Lord Lumley, in right of his wife Jane, daughter of Henry, (fn. 42) and remained in the family of Lumley (later Earls of Scarborough). Among the estates of Richard, Viscount Lumley, in 1646 was the manor of Stansted, worth £156 6s. 8d. (fn. 43) In 1721 the manor was settled by Richard, Earl of Scarborough, on his seventh son, James Lumley, and it passed in 1766, by will, to George Montagu Dunk, Earl of Halifax, son of the eldest sister of James Lumley. Lord Halifax left it by will to his natural daughter A. M. Donaldson, (fn. 44) who had married Richard Archdall. (fn. 45) About 1786 her trustees sold it to Richard Barwell, a wealthy Indian merchant, who enlarged the house. He died in 1805, and Stansted was bought by Lewis Way. The executors of Lewis Way sold it to Charles Dixon, who left it to his widow Augustina Ivens Mary. She settled Stansted on her grandson (by her first husband) George Wilder, (fn. 46) whose son sold it to G. C. Whitaker, from whom it was bought in 1924 by the Earl of Bessborough.
Attached to the manor were the Forest of Stansted (fn. 47) and the park, first mentioned in 1302. (fn. 48) In 1587 the Forest contained a little over 1,400 acres, the Great Park 836 acres, and the Little Park 560 acres. (fn. 49)
Part of Stansted was held with Racton (q.v.) at the beginning of the 13th century, when it was the subject of suits between Ralph Sanzaver and William son of Ilbert de Rakinton. (fn. 50)
The manor of WALDERTON was held by Hugh d'Aubigny, last Earl of Arundel of his line, and after his death was divided in 1244 between his four coheirs. (fn. 51) The portion which thus came to the FitzAlans seems to have been attached to their manor of Westbourne, as in 1412 Walderton, like Stansted, was included in the valuation of Westbourne, then held by Thomas, Earl of Arundel. (fn. 52)
The portion assigned to Cecily de Muhaut was conveyed by her in 1261 to John de Wyvill; (fn. 53) and that of Mabel de Somery is not traceable. The remaining quarter went to Robert de Tateshale and was held by him of the honor of Arundel at his death in 1272. (fn. 54) Robert's eventual coheirs were his three sisters, Emma wife of Adam de Cailly, Joan wife of Simon de Driby, and Isabel wife of John de Orreby, (fn. 55) and Walderton was still held jointly by their representatives in 1359. (fn. 56)
Thomas de Cailly died in 1316 and his estate passed to his sister's son Adam de Clifton, then aged 9. (fn. 57) Adam's grandson Sir John died in 1388 (fn. 58) and his son Constantine in 1396, (fn. 59) seised of tenements in Walderton. Constantine's daughter Elizabeth married Sir John Knyvet, (fn. 60) and in 1448 John Knyvet sold to Edmund Mille the 'manor' of Walderton. (fn. 61) His son Richard Mille died seised of the manor in 1476, leaving a son William, (fn. 62) then an infant and subsequently an idiot. (fn. 63) The Mille property passed to Richard's sister Anne and her husband William Apsley, (fn. 64) and their son Nicholas held the manor at his death in 1547. (fn. 65) His son John in 1560 sold it to John Newman, (fn. 66) whose son William had livery of the manor in 1577 (fn. 67) and died in 1593, leaving an infant son John. (fn. 68) The further history of this estate is unknown.
Another part of Walderton was held by the family of Tregoz of Goring, apparently as a subinfeudation of the FitzAlan manor. In 1331 Thomas Tregoz had a grant of free warren in his demesnes in various places including Walderton. (fn. 69) From him it descended to Henry Tregoz, whose widow Joan married Sir Edward St. John and died in 1387 seised of lands in Walderton, held of the Earl of Arundel as of his manor of Westbourne. (fn. 70) Their heir was their grandson Edward, who died in 1400 holding the manor of Goring with its members, including Walderton, said to be held of the Prince of Wales as of the honor of Wallingford; his heir was his uncle John Tregoz, (fn. 71) to whom Edward's widow Alice released her claims. (fn. 72) John Tregoz died without issue in 1404 and 'the manor' of Walderton passed to Thomas Lewkenor, son of Roger son of Joan daughter of Margaret sister of Henry Tregoz father of the said John. (fn. 73) This estate was probably absorbed in the extensive property of the Lewkenors.
The portion of Walderton assigned to Joan and Simon de Driby passed in marriage with their daughter Alice to Sir William Bernak, who died in 1339 seised of ⅓ of the manor. (fn. 74) His son John Bernak died in 1346, holding of the king as of the barony of Tateshale, leaving a son John, aged 3, (fn. 75) and a widow Joan, to whom this estate in Walderton was assigned in dower. (fn. 76) This may perhaps be the manor of Walderton which was recovered against William Scardevyle in 1510 by Thomas Fayremanner and John Sone. (fn. 77) William Fayremanner left this manor to his wife Alice in 1550, (fn. 78) and his son William in 1558 left the reversion of it after his mother's death to John son of his uncle Nicholas Fayremanner. (fn. 79) In 1574 William Fayremanner of Idsworth (Hants) sold the manor, late in the tenure of Margaret Fayremanner, widow, to John Colpys. (fn. 80) John died in 1580, seised of the manor, leaving an infant son John, (fn. 81) who came of age in 1596, when he had livery of what is then called ⅓ of the manor of Walderton. (fn. 82) In 1607 he sold the manor to William Colman, (fn. 83) who in 1610 conveyed it to Hugh Speke and Matthew Woodward. (fn. 84) They in 1622 sold it to Bartholomew Sone, (fn. 85) who in 1623 bequeathed to his eldest son Thomas 'my two manors of Walderton, namely the manor which I bought of Adrian Stoughton, sometime of Queen Elizabeth, and the manor which I bought of Hugh Speke and Matthew Woodward, sometime Colpas'. (fn. 86) The manor which Sone had bought from Adrian Stoughton in May 1602 (fn. 87) had been bought by the latter on the previous 8 January from Henry Best and Edward Britten, to whom the Queen had granted it the day before. (fn. 88) It appears to have come to the Crown as part of the possessions of Tortington Priory. (fn. 89) Thomas Sone died seised of the two manors in 1633, leaving a son Wood Sone, then aged 8½. (fn. 90) In 1658 Francis Sone sold 'the manor' of Walderton to Richard Peckham, (fn. 91) and it subsequently descended with Lordington (q.v.) in Racton.
Part of Walderton was for a time attached to the manors of Old Shoreham and Madeherst, with lands in Stoughton. In 1539, Robert Southwell alienated the holding to Thomas Bowyer, grocer, of London. (fn. 92) In 1552 it passed to Stephen Boorde, (fn. 93) who settled it on his younger son Thomas in 1557. (fn. 94)
In 1244 tenements in NORTHWOOD were held of the honor of Arundel by John Rumyn, and his service of 1/10 fee in Northwood was assigned to Roger de Somery and Nicholaa his wife, third coheir of Hugh d'Aubigny. (fn. 95) Another John Romyn in 1300 claimed haybote in Stoughton and Stansted in right of his manor of Northwood. (fn. 96) In 1314 William Romyn died holding this estate of the Earl of Arundel and leaving an infant son Henry, (fn. 97) who settled land in Stoughton on himself and his wife Joan in 1346 (fn. 98) and died in possession of the 1/10 fee in Northwood in 1349, leaving a son Edmund, aged 8. (fn. 99) It is not improbable that Edmund may have died about the same time, when the Black Death was raging, and that the holding reverted to the overlord.
The manor of Northwood is mentioned among the lands of the Earls of Arundel in 1397 (fn. 100) and 1398. (fn. 101) One-third of the manor was among the property assigned to Beatrice, Countess of Arundel, in dower (d. 1440), while the other two-thirds belonged to the Hospital of Holy Trinity, Arundel. (fn. 102) The whole manor continued to belong to the Hospital and was granted in 1547 with its other property to Sir Richard Lee, (fn. 103) who granted it at once to Henry, Earl of Arundel. (fn. 104) Philip, Earl of Arundel, conveyed the manor in 1582 to William and John Leefe, (fn. 105) and it was held by William Leefe in 1606. (fn. 106)
In 1695 Edward Madgwick, and others, made a conveyance of the manor to Sir Thomas Miller. (fn. 107) However, the interest of the Madgwick family in the manor continued through the 18th century, for in 1713 Edward Madgwick gave the manor to his son John, charged with a rent of £20 for his daughter Mary and her heirs, (fn. 108) and in 1793 the Rev. William, Edward, and Elizabeth Madgwick were called to vouch in the recovery which gave this rent to Richard Barwell of Stansted, (fn. 109) who had bought the manor and manor-house from Martha Woods of Chidham, widow, in 1782. (fn. 110)
The church of ST. MARY (fn. 111) stands in a graveyard that appears originally to have been circular on a spur of the Downs north of the village; it consists of chancel, nave flanked to north and south by transepts, and south porch. It is built of flint rubble which, except in the case of the chancel and the porch, is plastered; the porch is largely of brick; the roofs of the chancel, north transept, and porch are tiled, those of the nave and south transept are covered with blue Welsh slates. The eastern part of the church is probably the very building mentioned in Domesday Book, (fn. 112) the nave was built or reconditioned in the 13th century, the porch dates from the 17th.
The east window is of one semicircular-headed light with concentric splay; the rear-arch is moulded and has a hood-mould; the jambs have nook-shafts (solid with them, not detached) with moulded caps, neckings, and bases. In each of the north and south walls is a similar window, but the chancel roof has been lowered (fn. 113) to such an extent that the whole of the arches of these have disappeared, the roof plate now forming a lintel to a square-headed window; these three windows are of the 13th century, but are somewhat reminiscent of 12th-century forms. In the east wall, on the south side, is a piscina with pointed trefoil head, and a squareheaded aumbry. At the east end of the south wall is a lancet window with plain pointed rear-arch; this is originally of the 13th century, (fn. 114) but its stonework is almost entirely a modern renewal. West of the second window on this side is a priest's door, with pointed arch of two chamfered orders and hood-mould, imposts, jambs of like section to the arch, and semicircular reararch, also 13th-century. West of this is a square-headed window of two trefoiled lights, without tracery, having an external square label stopped with carved heads of a man and a pig-like monster; this is of the late 14th century, its sill is at a much lower level than that of any other chancel window, but it is doubtful whether it should be classed as a 'low side window'; perhaps it was inserted to light a reading-desk. The chancel arch is semicircular, of two orders, each having a bold torus moulding; the capitals of the respond shafts have rather thick abaci of the usual Romanesque section, continued along both faces of the west wall of the chancel as string-courses. The capital bearing the inner order on the south side is of crude Corinthian form, that on the north has volutes but, instead of foliage, a representation of drapery; the capitals of the shafts bearing the outer orders are of simpler form; all the bases are moulded. The jointing of this work is noticeably wide, the tooling is diagonal, not random; its date is 11thcentury. The trussed rafter roof of the chancel is wholly modern.
In the south wall of the nave a pointed arch of two orders, the outer chamfered, the inner having a triple roll moulding, opens into the transept; the outer order rests on square responds, the inner on an attached shaft with square abacus (continued to form an impost for the outer order), capital with palm-leaf foliage, and moulded base. This is of the late 12th century, and is reminiscent of work done in Chichester Cathedral to repair the damage of the fire of 1187. West of the transept arch is a single-light window, set high in the wall, with semicircular head, concentric splay, and exterior rebate, apparently 13th-century work influenced by older forms. The south door has a plain pointed arch of one order resting on plain jambs without imposts, also 13th-century. At the south-west corner is a buttress of three stages with sloping offsets, of uncertain date. The north wall of the nave is of the same design as the south, but there is no buttress at the north-west corner; the north door is blocked by a modern heating chamber. In the west wall is a pointed doorway of two chamfered orders of similar design and date to the chancel door; over this is a window of two lights with pointed cinquefoiled heads surmounted by an oval-headed quatrefoil, of the 15th or 16th century. There are six roof trusses, ancient, but of uncertain date; each consists of tie-beam, kingpost, double principals, and struts; between the trusses are timbers of rafter scantling set purlinwise; the space between them is ceiled with plaster.
The south transept, now used as a vestry, has in the south wall a window of lancet form with pointed reararch but semicircular arch in the glazing plane, probably early-13th-century; in the west wall is a single-light window with semicircular head and double concentric splay, of the 11th century. In about the later 14th century an additional stage was added to the transept to form a bell-chamber; this has on both east and west faces a square-headed window of two trefoil lights with no tracery; the roof is pyramidal. A massive oak bellframe, perhaps coeval with the bell-chamber, rises from the ground floor.
The north transept has a single 13th-century lancet in the north wall, and a double splay window like that of the south transept in the west. In the east wall is a 13th-century piscina (drain missing) with roundheaded trefoil head and nail-head moulding; its hoodmould has the heads of a priest and a widow as stops; immediately over this, perhaps not in its original position, is a plain corbel. There is no upper stage; the roof has two ancient tie-beams, the underside of the rafters is ceiled in plaster.
The porch was constructed of brick in the 17th century, but was remodelled in the 19th, when an outer doorway in stone was inserted.
The altar-rails have slender turned balusters, the alternate ones having spiral fluting, the upper and lower rails are moulded, the styles next to the opening have the form of unfluted Ionic columns, there are no gates; this is of the 18th century. Two oblong panels, with the Ten Commandments, are on the east wall of the nave; similar panels of smaller size with the Creed and the Lord's Prayer have been relegated to the vestry; these are perhaps early-19th-century. The font is a copy of a 12th-century form with square bowl and five shafts, but is, like the other fittings, modern.
There are three bells inscribed: 1. 'Praise the Lord 1597 A. W.'; 2. '+AUE GRACIA PLENA'; 3. 'Prais God 1602 A. W.'. (fn. 115)
Near the gate of the churchyard are two semicircular stones, perhaps the base of a former churchyard cross.
The communion plate includes a silver cup of 1670. (fn. 116)
The registers of baptisms begin in 1671, those of marriages in 1675, and burials in 1674.
At the time of the Domesday Survey, Stoughton church held 1½ hides of land. The church was granted with those of Racton and Up Marden before 1121 to Lewes Priory by Savaric fitz-Cane, (fn. 117) and it was confirmed to the priory by Bishop Seffrid II in about 1200. (fn. 118) In or shortly before 1249 it was transferred to the Bishop of Chichester, who assigned it to the common fund of the canons. (fn. 119) A vicarage was ordained in 1256, (fn. 120) but is not mentioned in the Taxation of 1291, when the rectory was valued at £20 and stated to belong to the 'community' of Chichester. (fn. 121) In 1341 the rector was said to have certain lands and rents and 'the perquisites of the court', (fn. 122) which suggests a rectorial manor, not elsewhere referred to. In 1428 the church was entered twice as assessed for subsidy, at 30 marks and 12 marks, (fn. 123) the latter presumably referring to the vicarage, which was valued at £8 9s. 2d. in 1535, (fn. 124) when the rectory was farmed by the Dean and Chapter for £16. (fn. 125) The Dean and Chapter were the patrons at the time of Dallaway, (fn. 126) but in 1822, although they retained the rectory, the gift of the vicarage was in the hands of the Bishop of Chichester, (fn. 127) and now the advowson belongs to the Bishop of London.
A vicarage of Stansted and Forest Side was created and Christ Church built by Charles Dixon in 1856. The advowson goes with the ownership of Stansted Park (now owned by the Earl of Bessborough). There is a Primitive Methodist Chapel at Walderton. (fn. 128)