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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, 'Westbourne', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester, (London, 1953) pp. 126-132. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/sussex/vol4/pp126-132 [accessed 28 May 2024].

. "Westbourne", in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester, (London, 1953) 126-132. British History Online, accessed May 28, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/sussex/vol4/pp126-132.

. "Westbourne", A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester, (London, 1953). 126-132. British History Online. Web. 28 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/sussex/vol4/pp126-132.

In this section


The parish, which contains 4,500 acres, with an additional 422 acres of foreshore and 58 acres of tidal water, forms a roughly rectangular block, 3 miles from north to south and 2 miles from east to west, with a narrow tongue, containing the estate of Adsdean, projecting north-east from its north-east angle. From sealevel in the south, where the Great Deep creek separates it from Thorney Island, the ground rises gradually to about 120 ft. in the north of the parish. There are no large blocks of woodland. At the end of the 18th century there were some 660 acres of common fields and 670 acres of commons. (fn. 1) The fields were inclosed between 1818 and 1823, and much of the commons in 1859. (fn. 2)

The main Chichester-Portsmouth road crosses the parish in the south, passing the hamlets of Nutbourne, Prinsted, and Southbourne and crossing the western parish and county boundary into Hampshire at Hermitage Bridge. The railway runs parallel with the road, a little to the north, with halts at Nutbourne and Southbourne. At the latter is the church of St. John the Evangelist, built in 1876 from the designs of T. Chatfield Clark.

The village is large and of irregular layout, about a mile north of the Chichester-Portsmouth road and right on the western border of the parish. There is a small triangular island in the middle, now covered with 18th-century and later buildings, which may have been the medieval market-place. Roads run north, south, and east from it and from these other roads branch off in four or five different directions.

Few of the ancient buildings have survived and none is of striking interest. To the south of the triangle and facing north-west is a 17th-century house (fn. 3) (now two or three tenements) with the lower story of flint and brick and the upper of square timber-framing with flint infilling. A small panel is inscribed with the initials J & A H and date 1631. The lower windows have brick dressings. The altered upper windows were of the projecting oriel type and the remains of some of the original sill-brackets still remain. Another, opposite the east point of the triangle and facing south, has a roughcasted front of timber-framing, of which one angle-post is exposed; the roof is thatched. Another thatched cottage, 'Box Cottage', a little to the east on the south side of the road, is also of 17th-century square framing, and more eastward on the other side at the bend to the north-east is a good early-18th-century house of red brick, with a dentilled cornice and parapet and a small portico to the front entrance. In the lane running southwards from this bend is a thatched timber-framed house, facing east, now two tenements, of c. 1600 or earlier. The lower story of the front has been mostly underbuilt with 18th-century brick, but the gabled north end has large curved braces below the cambered tie-beam; there are also large braces below the front wall-plate. The thatched cottage next south, now mostly of 18th-century brick, retains some 17th-century framing and has a chimney-stack of 17th-century bricks.

North of the churchyard short roads form a square loop west of the main street. At its south-east corner is a low thatched building of several tenements refaced with red brick but exhibiting some 17th-century framing in the east end, and a central chimney-stack. On the west side of the square at the south angle is an early18th-century house of red and black bricks with sash windows. The middle entrance has an entablature with a moulded cornice. Farther north on the same side is a reconditioned house, 'Smuggler's Cottage', with a rough-casted east front and timber-framed north end. There is little else of interest in the main street, which runs northward from east of the church, but near the north end on the east side is Norman House, which contains a beam dated 1639 inside; it has been much altered but parts of the walls, of red and black brickwork, may be of that period. In the walls of a modern outbuilding at the bottom of the garden are reset three old carved square stones—keystones or corbels. One is a lion's mask, another a grotesque man's face, perhaps of the same period, and the third is a woman's head that may be earlier. Another lion's mask in perished red stone is set in a porch at the back of the house.

Woodmancote Farm House, about a mile east of the village, is a 17th-century house enlarged in the 18th century and later. The gabled east end is of original thin bricks, the front of later 17th-century red and black bricks. The windows have been mostly altered; straight joists indicate the former existence of a baywindow in the west half. The central chimney-stack is of staggered attached square shafts. The fire-places have been reduced.

The hamlet of Prinsted is grouped chiefly about a loop south of the main Chichester-Portsmouth road and contains a number of ancient buildings.

The Manor House, on the east side of the east road of the loop, is dated 1663 with the initials I & S. G. on a stone panel in a brick frame in the west front, but the foundations are probably older. The front has a plinth of Sussex freestone and above it four courses of ashlar; above this the wall is of flint-work and has a brick string-course at first-floor level. The entrance, about midway, is modern, but farther north is a straight joint with ashlar dressings of a former doorway. Over this in the upper story is a lozenge pattern picked out in black bricks and above this the dated panel. The angles have stone quoins, but the windows have brick dressings and are mostly altered or blocked. The north end has a plinth and four courses of freestone like the front, with 18th-century brick above, but the south end is of freestone up to half height of the upper story, and the top of split flints. At the back the outshot is of flint and brick. There are no details by which the date of the ashlar-work can be assigned but it is probably of the 16th-century or earlier. The interior has been entirely modernized. The roof has purlins with straight wind-braces of the 1663 period.

Farther south on the same side is a reconditioned thatched cottage, 'The Old House', of one story and attic with dormers, retaining much of its 16th- or early-17th-century timber-framing. The chimneystacks have been rebuilt. Farther south also on the same side is a 17th-century thatched house showing the original framing in the half-gabled north end. The west front and south end have been replaced by flint and brickwork to the lower story and 18th-century brickwork above. This road is a cul-de-sac leading merely to the water of Thorney Channel, and the loop branches off the west side of it. On the north side of it 'Little Orchard' is a house of 17th-century square timber-framing with a jettied upper story on shaped brackets, and a thatched roof. Behind is a timberframed wing with modern brick to the lower story. The chimney is of 18th-century brick. 'West Cottage' opposite is similar but has an original rebated central chimney-shaft. Other cottages show remains of framing, and two houses of flint and brick may be of the 17th century.

At Nutbourne, ¾ mile farther east, on the east side of a lane south of the main road is another 17th-century house with a jettied upper story on moulded brackets and with modern herring-bone brick infilling. The roof is now covered with slates but the rebated chimneyshaft is original.

In 1086 there were 4 water-mills, (fn. 4) worth 40s., in the manor. There are in the parish two streams; in the east the Ham Brook runs southwards through Nutbourne, where there was a mill in the Middle Ages; the other, much larger, stream, probably the original Bourne but called in modern times the Ems, runs down the valley from Stoughton to Aldsworth mill-pond, where it is joined by a stream from the brick-ponds on the west; it then flows to the village, where it forms Westbourne mill-pond, and so down the western boundary of the parish. Here most of the water was diverted, probably in the 18th century, to serve Lumley Mill. In 1327 there were 3 mills in the manor, valued at only 100s. 'because they sometimes stand idle for want of water'; and in 1663 part of the rent of a water corn-mill was remitted because it had stood idle for a month and 20 days. In 1492 one of the mills had been converted for fulling. The Slipper tide-mill, to the south of Hermitage, was apparently built in the 18th century. In 1802 Edward Tollervey bought Lumley Mill and installed a bakery on a very large scale for supplying bread and biscuit to the Navy at Portsmouth; but the too-ambitious project ended in his bankruptcy. (fn. 5) About this time there seem to have been three windmills in the parish; (fn. 6) but even their sites are now uncertain.

Westbourne was probably a trading centre from early times. In 1302 there was a weekly market and a fair on 28 August, the day of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (the patron of the church); the combined tolls being estimated at 20s. There were also 19 tenants who held stalls in the market-place for which they paid £1 10s. 6½d. rent. (fn. 7) In 1327 the tolls of the market were worth 13s. 4d.; in 1330 the market was said to be worth 20s.—perhaps in rents of stalls, as the tolls were at that time leased out at 50s. (fn. 8) A detailed rental (fn. 9) of c. 1375 gives the rent of the tolls as reduced to £1 6s. 8d. and mentions four tenants holding stalls and two shops. The market had died out before the end of the 18th century, but the fair lingered on until about the middle of the 19th. (fn. 10)


The manor of BOURNE, or WESTBOURNE, containing 36 hides but assessed for 12 hides, was held in the time of the Confessor by Earl Godwin. In 1086 it was held in demesne by Earl Roger, under whom Payn held 4 hides which Alric had held 'as belonging to the minster'—presumably the cathedral of Selsey. There were 6 haws in Chichester (fn. 11) appurtenant to the earl's estate and one to that of Payn. (fn. 12) At this time Warblington in Hampshire was attached to Westbourne, (fn. 13) but the connexion must have been severed not long after. The manor descended with the honor of Arundel, and on the death of Hugh d'Aubigny, Earl of Arundel, in 1243 it was assigned to his widow Isabel in dower. (fn. 14) She survived until 1282, when it passed to her husband's great-great-nephew Richard FitzAlan. (fn. 15) He was a minor in ward to King Edward, who in 1283 gave the custody of the late countess's manors of Westbourne and Stansted to the Abbot of Vale Royal, (fn. 16) the monastery in Cheshire which the king had recently founded. An extent of the manor (fn. 17) made in 1302 after the death of Richard FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, shows that it then included Stansted; there were 623 acres of arable in demesne, 13 free tenants paying £6 16s. 8½d. in rents, 92 customary tenants, whose services are recited, and 90 cottagers; the total value was £73 7s. 6½d. A detailed rental of the manor drawn up about 1375 shows that the tenements in Bourne itself were mostly small cottager holdings, while in its members of Prinsted and Woodmancote they were mainly virgates and halfvirgates respectively, (fn. 18) the virgate here being about 25 acres. (fn. 19) Stansted had by this time become a separate manor, though both it and Westbourne descended with the earldom of Arundel until in 1566 Henry, Earl of Arundel, settled his Sussex manors on his daughter Jane and her husband John, Lord Lumley, retaining a life interest in them. (fn. 20) Westbourne remained with the family of Lumley until in 1721 it was bequeathed by Richard Lumley, Earl of Scarborough, to his younger son James, who left it to his nephew George Montague Dunk, Earl of Halifax. The earl died in 1771 and left the manor to his natural daughter Anna Maria Montague, from whose trustees it was bought in 1781 by Richard Barwell. After his death in 1805 Westbourne was sold by his executors in 1809 to the Rev. Lewis Way of Stansted, whose executors sold it to Charles Dixon in 1829. His widow left it to her elder son by her first husband, George Wilder, (fn. 21) and it descended with Stansted in Stoughton (q.v.).

FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel. Gules a lion or.


PRINSTED seems to have acquired the status of a separate manor by the middle of the 16th century, (fn. 22) though it continued to descend with the main manor until 1829, when it was sold to William Padwick, from whom it passed about 1846 to Thomas Britain Vacher. He was succeeded by Herbert Perkins Vacher, who in 1885 sold the manor to Edward Roy Longcroft. (fn. 23)

The other member of Westbourne, WOODMANCOTE, had already become a manor by 1466, the date of the earliest surviving court roll. (fn. 24) The manor was settled by Henry, Earl of Arundel, upon his son Henry, Lord Maltravers, and Anne his wife and their heirs male in 1555. (fn. 25) Lord Maltravers, however, died the next year and the manor passed to his widow (fn. 26) and then reverted to the earl and was among the estates settled on his son-in-law Lord Lumley in 1566. (fn. 27) Five years later the Earl of Arundel, with Lord Lumley and his wife, sold the manor to Arthur Gunter of Racton. (fn. 28) It then descended in this family with Racton (q.v.), coming eventually to the Earls of Dartmouth.

About the middle of the 12th century William, Earl of Arundel, gave to Ralph de la Roche the estates of Aldsworth, Elbridge, and Adsdean which Torumherd and Semen held, to be held by the render of a huntingspear at Martinmas. (fn. 29) The earl had previously given to Robert de la Roche (de Rupe) certain lands to be held as a quarter of a knight's fee, (fn. 30) and it is not quite clear whether the grant to Ralph was a confirmation of this or an addition. Richard de la Roche was holding lands worth 70s. 8d. yearly of the honor of Arundel in 1189. (fn. 31) At the division of the Arundel estates in 1243 a ½ fee in ALDSWORTH was assigned to John FitzAlan, (fn. 32) but the tenant is not named. In 1292, however, Richard de la Roche transferred the manor of Aldsworth to John Dawtrey and Cecily his wife, presumably Richard's daughter, retaining a life interest and the reversion of the manor if they had no issue. (fn. 33) Richard was still alive in 1296, when he paid towards the subsidy, but in 1327 and 1332 his name is replaced by that of Cecily Dawtrey, evidently then a widow. (fn. 34) In the rental of Westbourne drawn up c. 1375 it is stated that 'the tenant of the manor of Aldsworth renders one boar-spear (borsper) or 6d.', (fn. 35) but the tenant is not named, and a detailed rental of Aldsworth is included among the Earl of Arundel's manors, (fn. 36) which suggests that the manor was in the earl's hands through the minority of the heir. The same explanation probably accounts for the manor appearing in the hands of Thomas, Earl of Arundel, in the subsidy of 1412, (fn. 37) in which Alice Dawtrey appears as holding the manor of 'Bykewell', (fn. 38) an unidentified manor which had been granted by Richard de la Roche to John Dawtrey in 1291. (fn. 39) In 1412 the manor is valued at £1 6s. 8d. beyond an annuity of £2 16s. 8d. charged thereon for John Scardevile. For a century no more is heard of it, but Sir John Dawtrey, who died in 1542, settled it on his son Sir John, who died in 1549 leaving as his heir a son Richard, who was an idiot. (fn. 40) Richard died in February 1534, holding the manor of the Earl of Arundel as of his manor of Stansted. (fn. 41) Although Richard's heir was stated to be his cousin Nicholas, Aldsworth seems to have passed to his half-brother William Dawtrey and in 1624 to have been conveyed to William's granddaughter Anne and her husband Thomas Stanley of Fittleworth. (fn. 42) In 1633 Francis Dawtrey and John Stanley sold the manor to Philip Jermyn, (fn. 43) and it then followed the descent of Lordington (q.v.) until 1661, when both manors were sold by Alexander Jermyn to Lord Lumley. (fn. 44) Since that date it has followed the descent of Westbourne.

Dawtrey. Azure five fusils in fesse argent.


NUTBOURNE may represent the 4 hides held in 1086 by Payn, as that estate included a water-mill, (fn. 45) as did the later manor of Nutbourne. In the 12th century this was in the hands of the family of Aguillon, of whom the first on record is Manser, or Manasser, Aguillon, who received from Henry I 2 knight's fees in the honor of Arundel. (fn. 46) In 1180 Manser's son Robert paid 15 marks to have seisin of Nutbourne and for leave to come to an agreement with his brother (unnamed); (fn. 47) and in 1195 William Aguillon was claiming a knight's fee in Nutbourne against a later Manser and Richard Aguillon, (fn. 48) which Richard asserted his right to a knight's fee in Nutbourne in 1206. (fn. 49) In 1242 William son of Richard Aguillon was holding 3 fees in Nutbourne, Up Marden, and Burpham; (fn. 50) and in 1308 when these fees were assigned to Thomas de Cailly, one of the heirs of Robert de Tateshale, they were held by Eleanor widow of Richard Aguillon. (fn. 51) She died shortly after this, leaving a granddaughter Julian daughter of Thomas Aguillon, who herself died as a child in 1312. (fn. 52) Orders were then given for the division of the manor of Nutbourne, held of the heirs of Robert de Tateshale as 1 knight's fee, between her alleged heirs, the descendants of the three sisters of her great-grandfather William Aguillon; these were: Richard de Weston, Richard Jeudewyne, Maud wife of Henry de Bulkestrode, and Nicholas de Cheney. The manor house, consisting of hall with solar and cellar, pantry and buttery, and outbuildings, was assigned to Weston; the gatehouse, with kitchen and a small chamber, to Cheney; various barns and byres, including one 'near the chapel', went to the other two; the demesnes, consisting of about 100 acres, rents, pasture, a fishery, and a moiety of a water-mill were divided between the claimants. (fn. 53) The partition, however, never took effect as it was shown that William Aguillon had a brother John, whose daughter Sarra and her husband William Whateman were the true heirs. (fn. 54) They sold the manor, including the moiety of a water-mill, to Nicholas de Pershete, or Sperschute, in 1313. (fn. 55) In spite of litigation by the rival heirs (fn. 56) Nicholas was returned as lord of Nutbourne in 1316 (fn. 57) and died in 1327 seised of what is then called ½ the manor, (fn. 58) leaving a son Peter, who died in 1361. (fn. 59) Peter had before his death settled the manor on his son Nicholas and his wife Joan, (fn. 60) and in 1363 Nicholas de Perschute and Joan sold the manor of Nutbourne to Richard, Earl of Arundel. (fn. 61) By his son Earl Thomas (d. 1415) it was granted to William Okehurst for life, with reversion to the College of Arundel. (fn. 62) On the dissolution of the college in 1544 the manor came to the Crown and was granted, with the other college estates, to the Earl of Arundel. (fn. 63) It was sold by Philip, Earl of Arundel, in 1580 to Robert Brett, (fn. 64) who died in 1586. By his will he gave his wife Elizabeth full authority to sell 2/3 of the manor, (fn. 65) but she did not avail herself thereof; for the whole passed to their son and heir John Brett, who sold it to William Hildrop in 1603. (fn. 66) By 1606 the manor was held by Richard Berwick, clerk, and in 1628 by Curtis Berwick. (fn. 67) The history of the manor then becomes obscure. (fn. 68) In 1645 Edward Madgewick and Mary his wife sold ½ the manor to John Tilley, and in 1656 Richard Brinley and Katherine conveyed a moiety to Laurence and Robert Brinley. Two years later William and Edith Wavell conveyed to Richard Wavell, perhaps for a settlement, ½ the manor of Nutbourne, and the court rolls show that William Wavell held the manor in 1681 and his widow Edith from 1689 to about 1695. She seems to have left two daughters: Edith who married Thomas Arnold and died without issue, and Jane wife of George Bowler, who sold the manor in 1705 to Robert Reynolds. He sold it to John Mounsher in 1714, and he to Charles Randall Covert in 1733. He was succeeded in 1759 by Richard and Martha Newland, and in 1788 the manor was bought by Richard Barwell, since when it has followed the descent of Prinsted (see above).

Aguillon. Gules a fleur de lis argent.

That Nutbourne is spoken of indifferently as a manor and a ½ manor is due to the fact that at some date in the 13th century one of the Aguillons granted the ½ of the estate east of the Ham Brook, with ½ of the mill on that stream, to some person, probably William de Wyntereshull, who in 1277 sold to Robert de St. Clare and Joan his wife a messuage, 1 carucate of land, and ½ a mill in Nutbourne. (fn. 69) Robert must have died shortly after this, as in April 1278 William Aguillon claimed against Robert's widow Joan the custody of John the son of the said Robert who held ½ the manor of Nutbourne of him by military service. (fn. 70) This became the manor of ST. CLARES or NUTBOURNE-SEYNTCLERE. In 1336 John de St. Clare died seised of an estate in Nutbourne with manorial rights, held as ½ a knight's fee of Peter de Spershute's manor of Nutbourne. (fn. 71)

St. Clare. Azure a sun or.

The manor descended to Sir Philip St. Clare, who died in 1422, when it was said to be held of the Bishop of Exeter (fn. 72) —probably through confusion with other Aguillon property which had come into the bishop's hands. (fn. 73) Sir Philip's heir was his grandson Thomas, then a minor, of whom Hugh Short held lands in Westbourne as of his manor of Nutbourne in 1423. (fn. 74) Thomas died in May 1434 leaving three infant daughters, of whom Elizabeth became the wife of William Lovell and inherited this manor. Their son Henry Lovell died in 1506 seised of the manor, then said to be held of Lord Bergavenny. (fn. 75) Henry's daughter and heir Elizabeth married Sir Anthony Windsor and in 1547 Henry Windsor and Eleanor his wife sold the manor to Edmund Forde. (fn. 76) He probably conveyed it to George Stoughton, who in 1560 devised it to his wife Cicely with contingent remainders to his nephews John or George or Adrian and their heirs male. (fn. 77) In 1592 John Stoughton conveyed the manor to Ralph Cooper, (fn. 78) probably on mortgage, as in 1603 Cooper and Adrian Stoughton together sold it to John Moorey. (fn. 79) At Moorey's death in 1606 his manor of St. Cleres was held of Richard Berwick as of his manor of Nutbourne in socage by 18d. rent and was valued at only 3s. 4d. clear; apparently he had acquired the manorial rights in fee but had only a lease of the lands, as his son John in 1613 left to his brother-in-law Richard Langrish his manor house and lands of St. Clere in Nutbourne 'for the whole term of 21 years'. (fn. 80) Richard's son John Langrish died in 1628, leaving two infant daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. (fn. 81) The manor then probably lapsed, as no further reference to it is known, except that in 1809 James Sait and Fanny his wife sold to Dr. Samuel Pett what was called, probably wrongly, the manor of St. Cleres and tenements in Nutbourne. (fn. 82)

In the survey of Westbourne manor made c. 1375 there is mention of a holding of 1 virgate late belonging to Say. (fn. 83) This may be connected with the John le Say of Chichester who held property in Westbourne and Aldsworth in 1331. (fn. 84) The holding passed into the hands of the family of Tawke and in 1587 John Tawke sold SAYES COURT alias TAWKES MANOR to Richard Lewkenor. Sir Richard died in 1616 seised of this so-called manor, held of the king in socage. It descended in this family until early in the 18th century when Elizabeth married Bulstrode Peachey, who afterwards took the name of Knight. It continued in the family of Peachey and was still held in 1808 by Sir John Peachey, 2nd Lord Selsey. (fn. 85) After this it probably lost any manorial quality that it possessed and was absorbed in the other Peachey property.

When Queen Aeliz, the widow of Henry I, married William d'Aubigny and brought him the honor and earldom of Arundel she founded a small priory on the Causeway outside Arundel, to which she gave land in Westbourne. Another 60 acres there was given by John le Botiller in 1352. The priory was suppressed in 1525 and its property assigned to Cardinal Wolsey for his college in Oxford. On the fall of the cardinal the estate was seized by the Crown and in 1530 the socalled 'manor of Bourne', late of the Priory 'de Calceto', was settled on Lucy, daughter of the Marquess of Montague, (fn. 86) who married Sir Anthony Browne. Their descendants held it as the manor of WESTBROOK (fn. 87) until about 1607, soon after which it passed to Nicholas Westbrook. In 1664 it belonged to Richard Westbrook; in 1694 it was held by William Westbrook, who mortgaged it to Elizabeth Barnard, (fn. 88) and it passed into the hands of her descendants, being held in 1761 by William Barnard. It was bought by Richard Barwell of Stansted, with whose estates it descended.



The church of ST. JOHN BAPTIST (fn. 89) stands in the middle of the village; it is built of flint rubble with ashlar dressings, and is roofed with tile, except the spire, which is shingled. In the 13th century it consisted of a chancel, aisled nave, and tower; (fn. 90) in the late 14th the aisles were lengthened westward, their walls raised, and a sacristy added north of the chancel; in the 16th (fn. 91) the chancel arch, nave arcades, and tower were rebuilt and the north porch added; an organ chamber and south porch are modern.

In the east wall of the chancel, on each side of the present east window, a small blocked lancet window (13th-century) is visible on the outside; these once formed part of a group of five, surmounted by a round window, part of the remains of which is also visible. The present east window, of three cinquefoiled lights under Perpendicular tracery, is a modern renewal of that of c. 1400. On the south side is a piscina with subcusped cinquefoil head inclosed in square hood-mould with quatrefoils in the spandrels. In each side wall were originally two windows, each of two cinquefoil-headed lights, Perpendicular tracery, and segmental arched heads and rear-arches; the western of these on the south side has now been rebuilt on the south side of the organ chamber. This opens into the chancel by a plain segmental arch on square jambs; drawings show that a small priest's door once stood here. Between the two windows on the north side is the door leading to the sacristy, having chamfered jambs, moulded pointed arch, and segmental rear-arch; its contemporary door survives, with one stock lock and the keyhole and place of a second. Save for the organ chamber and its arch this is all of c. 1400.

The chancel arch is four-centred, of one chamfered order, on responds of like section, without imposts; this is 16th-century, but may incorporate parts of its 13th-century predecessor.

The sacristy (originally c. 1400) now has in the north wall a two-light window in 13th-century style, and, in the east, a doorway resembling that leading into the chancel, both modern.

The north arcade of the nave is of three bays with four-centred arches of one chamfered order resting on octagonal piers with moulded capitals and bases, the latter about 3 ft. high; (fn. 92) the responds have the form of half-piers. The south arcade resembles the north, save that the eastern respond is square, into which the arch dies away. These are both 16th-century.

The outer wall of the north aisle as far west as the east arch of the tower, originally of the 13th century, shows signs of having been heightened c. 1400, to which date also the two buttresses, each of two stages with sloping offsets, belong. In the east wall is a modern two-light window with tracery of an early Perpendicular type; in the north wall are three windows of two lights each (c. 1400) resembling those in the side walls of the chancel. (fn. 93) In the third bay is the north door, the mouldings of the pointed head of which are continued on the jambs; this is c. 1400. In the west wall is a modern window of two lights with tracery in 14th-century style.

The outer wall of the south aisle shows no sign of having been heightened; besides buttresses corresponding to those on the north it has one (coeval with the organ chamber) at the east corner. In the east wall was formerly a modern window like that in the north aisle, now rebuilt in the east wall of the organ chamber; its place is taken by a pointed arch of square section resting on square responds; in the south wall are three windows of two lights with Perpendicular tracery, the eastern c. 1400, the others modern. The south doorway resembles the north but is modern; west of it is a slender respond and arch springing of c. 1400, the remains, probably, of an arch then made to abut the former tower when the aisles were extended west to flank it. In the west wall is a modern window like that in the north aisle.

The tower (c. 1545) rests on three four-centred arches of two chamfered orders resting on responds of like section with bases but no imposts. At its northwest angle is a flat buttress of one stage with sloping offset; in its place on the south side is the projection of the tower staircase; the doorway to this has a fourcentred arch and plain jambs. The west doorway and the four-light window over it are modern, in 16thcentury style. In the next stage there is said to be on the east face a reused window of the 12th century opening into the nave roof; on each of the other sides is a small square-headed window of one light. On each side of the uppermost stage is a two-light window, transomed; its lights have uncusped four-centred arches and are filled with pierced stone panels. The tower is finished with cornice and battlements; at this level the exterior of the newel staircase becomes octagonal. Except where otherwise stated, this work is all c. 1545. The spire (1770 (fn. 94) ) formerly had an external gallery, but is now of the usual form.

The roofs throughout the church (except a flat boarded ceiling in the tower) are ancient, those of chancel, sacristy, and nave have trussed rafters, that of the nave also tie-beams.

The north porch, projected c. 1530, (fn. 95) originally built c. 1545, is now almost wholly a modern reconstruction, but retains the beam bearing the arms of FitzAlan quartering Widville, Maltravers, and Clun, and impaling Grey. (fn. 96) The south porch, of stone, is modern.

The fittings include a pair of latten candlesticks, Flemish, of 1618, two brass chandeliers of 1736, (fn. 97) a chair and a chest settle, both of the 17th century.

In 1770 the four bells then existing were recast by Lester & Pack as five and a sixth was given by the Earl of Halifax. The second bell was recast in 1796, and the third and fourth in 1865. (fn. 98)

The communion plate (fn. 99) includes a silver cup and paten, flagon, and alms dish, all given by the Countess of Scarborough in 1717. There is also a fine highly ornamented chalice of copper gilt with silver gilt bowl, made in Siena about 1390, probably given to the church by J. H. Sperling, incumbent from 1862 to 1871.

The registers begin in 1550.

On the north side of the church is an avenue of eight yews, perhaps 16th-century, and there are three more on the south side.


The advowson (fn. 100) of the rectory was attached to the manor of Westbourne until 1829, when it was sold by Lewis Way to Major Newland, whose son Henry Garrett Newland was presented to the sinecure rectory in that year. As rector he was patron of the vicarage, and on its falling vacant in 1834 he presented himself and resided in the cure until 1855. Meanwhile, in 1842, he had sold the rectory to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and after his death in 1860 the rectory and vicarage were united, the tithes being divided between the incumbent and the Dean and Chapter of Chichester.

The rectory was returned in 1291 as worth £40 and the vicarage £8. In the Nonae returns (fn. 101) of 1341 the rector was said to have 21 acres of arable, 4 acres of meadow, and a water-mill, various tithes, including those of the water-mills worth 40s., and other sources of income, including the assize of bread and ale and perquisites of courts. The latter phrase suggests a rectorial manor, of which there is no other trace; probably the amercements of his tenants in the court of the lord's manor were made over to the rector. In 1535 the rectory was valued at £25 and the vicarage at £10 8s. 6d. clear. In 1813, during the period of agricultural prosperity, the rectorial tithes were worth £1,209 12s. 2d. and the vicarial £328 15s. 7d.

The ecclesiastical parish of Southbourne was formed in 1878 out of the southern portion of this parish, and the patronage of the church is in the hands of the incumbent of Westbourne.

The chapel of Nutbourne is mentioned in 1312 as being outside the gate of the manor, (fn. 102) and it was evidently in use as late as 1537, when a small bequest was made to it; (fn. 103) but nothing more is known of it.

Hermitage, where the Portsmouth road crosses the Ems into Hampshire, derives its name from the former presence of a hermit, apparently in charge of the bridge, at this point. The only known hermit is Simon Cotes who in his will, (fn. 104) made 3 April 1527, mentions the chapel of St. Anthony which he had built. He left his property in trust to the Earl of Arundel for a 'professyd hermit' to reside and pray and also 'maynteyne such breggys and hyways as I have mayd'. The site of the chapel is no doubt the meadow still called 'Chapel Croft' on Hermitage Hill. A reference in a rental of 1513 to lands called 'Ermeteslandes' (fn. 105) suggests that the hermitage may have been established fairly early.


Henry Smith (Longstock Estate). The share applicable in this parish is administered by four trustees appointed by the parish council of Westbourne. The annual income, amounting to £40 approximately, is applicable for the poor of the parish.

The Anna Maria Cooper charity. By a Declaration of Trust dated 22 November 1915 a sum of £200 2½ per cent. Consolidated Stock was settled upon trust, the income to be applied by the rector and churchwardens of Westbourne at their sole discretion for any of the purposes included in the definition of an ecclesiastical charity as set forth in section 75 (2) of the Local Government Act, 1894.


  • 1. Details of these are given in Mee's Bourne in the Past, ch. vi.
  • 2. Suss. Arch. Coll. lxxxviii, 147, 151.
  • 3. This is said to have been the old market house: Mee, op. cit. 3.
  • 4. Ibid. ch. iv.
  • 5. Ibid. 265.
  • 6. Ibid. 269.
  • 7. Ibid., 37, 39.
  • 8. Ibid. 41.
  • 9. Ibid. 43–51.
  • 10. Ibid. 1–3.
  • 11. Apparently in East Street: Ibid. 33, 51.
  • 12. V.C.H. Suss. i, 425.
  • 13. Ibid.
  • 14. Cal. Close, 1242–7, p. 112.
  • 15. G. E. C., Complete Peerage (2nd ed.), i, 240.
  • 16. Cal. Pat. 1281–92, p. 66.
  • 17. Given in full in Mee, op. cit. 37–9.
  • 18. Ibid. 43–61.
  • 19. Ibid. 63.
  • 20. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 9.
  • 21. Mee, op. cit. 60.
  • 22. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 57.
  • 23. Mee, op. cit. 60.
  • 24. Ibid. 62.
  • 25. Suss. Rec. Soc. xx, 441.
  • 26. Mee, op. cit. 64.
  • 27. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 9.
  • 28. Ibid. xx, 500.
  • 29. Cal. Chart. R. ii, 169.
  • 30. Red Bk. of Exch. 202.
  • 31. Pipe R. 1 Ric. I (ed. Hunter), 212.
  • 32. Tierney, Hist. of Arundel, 17.
  • 33. Suss. Rec. Soc. vii, 1071.
  • 34. Ibid. x, 88, 110, 232.
  • 35. Mee, op. cit. 43; cf. ibid. 40.
  • 36. Ibid. 66–8.
  • 37. Suss. Arch. Coll. x, 131.
  • 38. Ibid. 136.
  • 39. Suss. Rec. Soc. vii, 1066. It occurs as 'Begwell' in 1400: Esch. Accts. 14, no. 1. It is probably the 'Bachella' named with Adsdean in 1196: Pipe R. 7 Ric. I.
  • 40. Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv, 321.
  • 41. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxxii, 117.
  • 42. Mee, op. cit. 69; Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 2.
  • 43. Ibid.
  • 44. Ibid. 281.
  • 45. V.C.H. Suss. i, 425.
  • 46. Suss. Arch. Coll. lxxix, 45.
  • 47. Ibid. 48.
  • 48. Pipe R. 5 Ric. I.
  • 49. Ibid. 8 John.
  • 50. Suss. Arch. Coll. lxxxix, 48.
  • 51. Ibid. 51.
  • 52. Ibid.
  • 53. Mee, op. cit. 70–1.
  • 54. Ibid. 72.
  • 55. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 1356.
  • 56. Mee, op. cit. 72. As late as 1359 William atte Watere, as son of Cecily daughter of Richard Weston, claimed ⅓ of the manor: Add. MS. 39374, fol. 179 v.
  • 57. Feud. Aids, v, 140.
  • 58. Cal. Inq. p.m.
  • 59. Chan. Inq. p.m. 35 Edw. III, p. 2, n. 26.
  • 60. Add. MS. 39374, fol. 179 v.
  • 61. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 2281.
  • 62. Mee, op. cit. 74. Okehurst was returned as lord in 1428: Feud. Aids, v, 158.
  • 63. Mee, op. cit. 75.
  • 64. Pat. 23 Eliz. pt. 5, m. 10; Close 23 Eliz. pt. 18.
  • 65. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccix, 55.
  • 66. Suss. Rec. Soc. xx, 325.
  • 67. Mee, op. cit. 75.
  • 68. Ibid. 75–6; Suss. Rec. Soc. xx, 325.
  • 69. Ibid. vii, 865.
  • 70. Add. MS. 39373, fol. 51 v, citing De Banco R. East. 6 Edw. I, m. 12.
  • 71. Mee, op. cit. 73–4.
  • 72. Ibid. 74.
  • 73. See Thorney.
  • 74. Chan. Inq. p.m. 2 Hen. VI, no. 4.
  • 75. Mee, op. cit. 76, quoting Exch. Inq. p.m. file 1065, no. 8.
  • 76. Mee, op. cit. 76; Suss. Rec. Soc. xx, 324–5.
  • 77. Close 26 Eliz. pt. 21.
  • 78. Suss. Rec. Soc. xx, 325.
  • 79. Ibid. 326.
  • 80. P.C.C. 111 Capel.
  • 81. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccccxxxix, 16.
  • 82. Suss. Rec. Soc. xx, 381.
  • 83. Mee, op. cit. 77–8.
  • 84. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 1789.
  • 85. Ibid. li, 91.
  • 86. Statutes, iii, 354.
  • 87. Mee, op. cit. 78–9.
  • 88. Chan. Proc. (Ser. 2), 322, no. 39.
  • 89. Suss. Arch. Coll. xxii, 78–85, from which much of the following account has been derived.
  • 90. The evidence for the existence of the former tower is slender, being no more than the now useless respond in the south aisle.
  • 91. Probably 1544–51, see Suss. Arch. Coll. xxii, 82.
  • 92. 'in 1865 … the large square bases of early Norman pillars were exposed to view …' (Suss. Arch. Coll. xxii, 79). The different spacing of the two arcades suggests that their 12th-century predecessors were not built at the same time.
  • 93. The small lights in the tracery have cinquefoil heads in the chancel, trefoil in the nave.
  • 94. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxii, 82.
  • 95. Ibid. xlv, 318.
  • 96. Suss. Arch. Coll. xxii, 81, the inferior date is fixed at 1551.
  • 97. Ibid. 83; lii, 260.
  • 98. Mee, op. cit. 189.
  • 99. Suss. Arch. Coll. liii, 259, and pl. 22.
  • 100. Mee, op. cit. 192–4.
  • 101. Ibid. 193. The return for Westbourne (Cler. Subs. 189, no. 18) was not printed in the Rec. Com. volume.
  • 102. Mee, op. cit. 71.
  • 103. Suss. Rec. Soc. xlv, 323.
  • 104. Ibid. 322–3.
  • 105. Mee, op. cit. 19.