A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1953.
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The old parish of North Mundham contained 1,892 acres, but since the hamlet of South Mundham, which was historically part of Pagham, has been annexed (for ecclesiastical purposes in 1891 and for civil in 1897) (fn. 1) the area is now 2,385 acres. The course of the disused Arundel-Chichester canal crosses the parish just north of the church and village. From here a road runs south to Fisher Farm and on to Bramber Farm, where there is a thatched barn of squared stone and bricks, which may be of the 17th century, and two old flint cottages and two timber-framed barns. Farther north is Runcton, with a Georgian mill-house and pond, and Runcton Lane leads northwards past the site of Leythorne, the fine house of the Bowyers, destroyed in 1798, after being used for some years by Mr. Newland of Chichester as a manufactory for broadcloth. (fn. 2)
Brinfast Farm, about a mile west-south-west of Fisher Farm, is an early-17th-century timber-framed house that has been recently refaced with cobbles and brick walling and has a new slate roof. The east end shows original framing and has a heavy projecting chimneystack of brick with the sides gathered in to a plain square shaft. A central chimney-stack has a rebated shaft of thin bricks. At the west end is a new addition of brick covering the old framed end.
A thatched cottage nearly opposite is also of timber-framing but has been refaced with stone and brickwork. The ceilings are open-timbered. A central chimneystack has wide fire-places and a rebated shaft of thin bricks.
At South Mundham is a farmhouse of red and black bricks of the late 17th century. Some of the windows in the west front are blocked. The roof is covered with slates and the chimneys are at the north and south ends. A thatched cottage farther south is built of flints with much mortar and has 17th-century brick windows, some of them altered. The central chimney-stack of thin bricks is of the rebated type.
Bowley Farm, ½ mile south-east of South Mundham, is a stone house of medieval origin, probably 13th-century. The plan is rectangular, about 54 by 26 ft. internally, the walls being 2½ ft. thick. The north front wall was refaced or rebuilt late in the 17th century with coursed squared rubble with flint chips in the jointing. The windows are tall and narrow, of dressed ashlar and with mullioned and transomed frames. The east wall is covered with ivy. The west wall is of ancient irregular rubble in the south half, with ashlar angle dressings, the north half being like the front. The back (south) wall is also of irregular rubble. What purpose the original building served is not apparent. The early features consist of: (1) a doorway at the south end of the west wall with chamfered stone jambs and a pointed head of the 13th century; (2) a lancet window, 19 in. wide, about midway in the south wall, and east of it, inside, a small pointed recess. Other features are: in the west wall not very high up a blocked square window with a smaller window in the blocking also filled in with brick; and an ancient rectangular window over the pointed doorway, with chamfered jambs, sill and lintel, and a modern frame. Inside the wall from floor to ceiling of the upper story is a very wide recess with splayed reveals. In the back wall near the west end is a small window of 17th-century brickwork. Between it and the lancet window are two rough vertical seams to the upper story, suggesting a former window walled up. Next east are 18th-century and later windows. A doorway east of the lancet has a segmental arched head of brick and above it a higher segmental arch, perhaps of a former fanlight. A blocked window to the first floor is of the 17th century. The windows in the east wall are not ancient, but inside in the upper story is a blocked doorway forming a recess; it is square-headed and may not be earlier than the 16th or 17th century. One reveal retains a hook for the hinge of a door. The ivy conceals any possible external traces of it. The internal partitions, fire-places, staircase, &c., are of the 18th or 19th century, but one room in the upper story is lined with early-17th-century panelling. The timbers of the roof are of the late 17th century; in the front are three dormer windows. The chimneystacks are modern.
In the charter of 680 by which Caedwalla, King of Wessex, gave Pagham to Bishop Wilfrid, North Mundham and 'the other' (i.e. South) Mundham are named as appurtenant to Pagham. (fn. 3) The same king also gave to Wilfrid for the endowment of the monastic see of Selsey 8 tributarios in Mundham, (fn. 4) this being apparently a confirmation of the gift of 11 cassatos there made by Nothelm, King of the South Saxons, and his sister Nothgithe. (fn. 5) When Pagham was transferred by Wilfrid to the Archbishop of Canterbury South Mundham remained attached to it, but North Mundham had come into lay hands by the time of Edward the Confessor, when it was held by Countess Gida under Earl Godwin, being then assessed for 9 hides. (fn. 6) In 1086 the manor, then rated at 6 hides, was held of Earl Roger by Alcher; there was a church, and a mill and a half. (fn. 7) Subsequently the manor of NORTH MUNDHAM came to the family of St. John and descended with the manor of Halnaker (q.v.) until 1540, when it was among the estates exchanged to the Crown by Lord de la Warre. (fn. 8) In 1544 the king sold the manor to Thomas Bowyer of London and Joan his wife. (fn. 9) Thomas died in 1558 and Joan, who had married Dr. Alexander Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's, in 1579, when their son Thomas Bowyer of Leythorne succeeded to the estates. (fn. 10) He settled the manor in 1580 on himself and his second wife Jane, daughter of John Byrch, baron of the Exchequer, and their heirs male, and died in 1595, (fn. 11) Jane surviving until at least 1636. (fn. 12) Their son Thomas was created a baronet in 1627, was M.P. for Bramber in 1642, and a prominent Royalist. He died early in 1651 and was succeeded by his son Sir Thomas. On his death in 1659 the baronetcy passed to his half-brother Sir James (who died without issue in 1680) (fn. 13) but the manor went to his daughter Anne. In 1675 she, being then widow of Sir John Morley, sold it, with most of the Bowyer estates, to Charles Ballett of Clement's Inn, (fn. 14) who was probably acting for Richard May and Thomas Bickley, as they were lords of the manor from 1677 to 1681, when they sold the manor to Nicholas Covert. (fn. 15) He died in 1722, leaving the manor of North Mundham to his grandson Benjamin Covert. (fn. 16) But although the Coverts held the courts of the manor from 1683 to 1724, (fn. 17) Charles Ballett had retained some interest in the estate, which he left in 1703 to his daughter's son John Halfpenny, who took the name of Ballett. (fn. 18) The latter, or his son, John Ballett, bought the manor from Benjamin Covert, (fn. 19) and on his death in 1755 it passed to his sister Susanna, wife of Cholmely Brereton, whose son William inherited it. (fn. 20) From him it passed to his relative John Ballett Fletcher, whose son W. H. Ballett Fletcher was lord of the manor until his death in 1941.
In 1270 Robert Aguillon conveyed to John Peche and Godeheuda his wife and her heirs 2 messuages and 2 carucates of land in Mundham and Birdham. (fn. 21) John Peche in 1278 granted the reversion of this property after his own death to William de Argenteyn, (fn. 22) but was still living in 1296, when he was far the largest taxpayer in the vill. (fn. 23) In 1316 John de Argentein is named as one of the four lords of Mundham, (fn. 24) and in 1329 he held of John de St. John ¼ fee here. (fn. 25) In 1364, when William Herkestede of London and Agnes his wife conveyed to John de Markely and Agatha his wife and Alice their daughter a hall with chambers on each side, kitchen, grange, &c., within the bounds of the manor of North Mundham, it was stated that the property was bought by John, son of Henry de la Knolle, father of the said Agnes, from John de Argentham, formerly lord of the manor. (fn. 26) These estates presumably formed 'the manor of ARGENTHINS in Northmundham' which is alleged to have been inherited by James Barttelot, who died in 1474, from his sister Catherine, wife of William Luntley; (fn. 27) it was left by him to his cousin Edward Barttelot, (fn. 28) but is not called a manor in his will. It was perhaps included in the estate of Leythorne (see below) acquired by Bishop Sherborne and conveyed to the Dean and Chapter of Chichester in 1524, as in 1552 the Dean and Chapter leased to Richard Parker and Anne his wife a tenement called Argentyns in North Mundham. (fn. 29)
In 1162 William de St. John, with Olive his wife and Robert his brother, gave ⅓ of the manor of Mundham to the Norman Abbey of La Luzerne. (fn. 30) As Godfrey de Hunston was acting as proctor for the abbey as regards their lands here in 1337, (fn. 31) this may represent the ¼ knight's fee in Mundham held by Godfrey de Hunston of Hugh St. John in 1336. (fn. 32) On the outbreak of the war with France in 1340 the lands of the Abbey of La Luzerne in Brimfast and Fisher were seized into the king's hands and the custody of them was granted to Henry Whissh. (fn. 33) He died in 1347, after which a succession of similar grants of custody were made until 1439. (fn. 34) After the seizure of the lands of the alien religious houses in 1441 these estates were given to Henry VI's new College of Eton. Edward IV resumed them and made a grant of them for twenty years to William Beaufitz in 1462, (fn. 35) but in 1467 restored them to Eton. (fn. 36) In 1474 they were temporarily diverted to St. George's, Windsor, (fn. 37) but subsequently returned to Eton College who still hold the manor of BRIMFAST AND FISHER. (fn. 38)
In 1348, (fn. 39) and again in 1428, (fn. 40) 1 knight's fee in North Mundham was said to be held by the Abbot of La Luzerne and the Prior of Boxgrove. Probably at about the same time that the grant of ⅓ of the manor of Mundham was made to La Luzerne a similar grant of another ⅓ with 2/3 of the tithes of the manor, was made to the Priory of Boxgrove. This was made for the clothing of the monks, (fn. 41) and the gift was confirmed in 1187 by William de St. John, his second wife Godeheuda, and his brother Robert. (fn. 42) Part of this land, ½ virgate, was subsequently held of the priory by Laurence, son of William the clerk, by the service of going when necessary on the priory's business throughout England and into Normandy or Scotland, with or without a horse, but this service was commuted for a rent of 2s. 6d. (fn. 43) The Boxgrove property in North Mundham was granted in 1537 to Sir William Fitz-William, (fn. 44) but it neither then nor later constituted a manor.
William de St. John also gave to Boxgrove Priory, for the soul of his wife Olive, the mill of Vinitroe (Feningatrowe) for the perpetual support of lights burning in the church on Saturday nights. (fn. 45) This mill was leased by Prior Nicholas in about 1200 to Ralph, son of Alan of Woodhorne, for 10s. (fn. 46)
The manor of RUNCTON had been held as 8 hides under Edward the Confessor by two free men; in 1086 it was held by the Abbey of Troarn of Earl Roger, who had given it to that abbey. It was then assessed at only 3 hides, but its value had risen from £5 to £6. There were 2 mills worth 12s. 6d., a fishery worth 6d. and 2 haws in Chichester. (fn. 47) As the confirmation charter granted by Henry II to Troarn in 1155 mentions 2 messuages and the church of St. Cyriac in Chichester, (fn. 48) it is probable that the haws were in the neighbourhood of that church, at the north end of Tower Street. (fn. 49) Earl Roger's gift was confirmed by Henry I c. 1105 in a charter which also included tithes in Mundham given by Torstin de Fontanis. (fn. 50) In 1180 an agreement was made between the monasteries of Boxgrove and Troarn, by which Troarn gave up all their rights in the church of North Mundham in exchange for certain tithes in Runcton and elsewhere. (fn. 51) In 1260 the Abbey of Troarn gave its English lands, including Runcton, where they had established a small priory, to the Somerset priory of Bruton in exchange for the lands held by Bruton in Normandy. (fn. 52) The king's assent to this exchange was given on condition that the Crown should have custody of the manor during each vacancy of the priory, (fn. 53) and accordingly many orders are found for its restoration to newly elected priors. (fn. 54) The Prior of Bruton held ½ fee in Runcton in 1428. (fn. 55) In 1495 the manor of Runcton included a water-mill and a pigeon-house, and there was a court baron 'of no value'. (fn. 56) The priory of Bruton was raised to the rank of an abbey in 1511, (fn. 57) and in August 1534 the abbey sought local protection for their Sussex estates by appointing Lord de la Warre, of Halnaker, steward of the manor of Runcton. (fn. 58) After the Dissolution Thomas Bowyer bought the manor (fn. 59) and it descended with North Mundham (see above) until 1658, when Sir Thomas Bowyer sold it to William Peckham. (fn. 60) He sold it in about 1681 to Nicholas Covert, who died in 1722, when it passed to his grandson Benjamin. On the death of Benjamin the manor was sold in 1753 for the benefit of the children of his only sister Ruth, who had married first William Wharry, surgeon, of London, and secondly Samuel Beaston, of the Inner Temple. (fn. 61) By the end of the 18th century the manor seems to have become extinct, there being no estate belonging to it. (fn. 62)
As already mentioned, South Mundham was given by Caedwalla to Wilfrid and by him to the see of Canterbury with Pagham, of which manor and parish it continued to form part, the Archbishops being overlords. (fn. 63) This estate, however, came into the hands of John the Marshal of King Henry II as part of the manor to Bosham; and a dispute concerning it between the Marshal and Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1164 was one of the incidents leading to Becket's breach with the king. (fn. 64) This mesne lordship continued with the lords of Bosham (q.v.), passing from the Marshals to the Bigods, Mowbrays, and Berkeleys.
A carucate of land in South Mundham and Bowley was held by William Gardin at the beginning of the 13th century, and in 1225 his widow Cecily, then married to Gilbert Marshal, claimed dower therein. William's heir, William Gardin, called on William, Earl Marshal, to warrant the land, and Cecily gave up her claim in return for an annuity of 20s. (fn. 65) The younger William was dead by 1230, leaving a widow Maud, (fn. 66) and in 1254 another William Gardin was tenant of ½ knight's fee in SOUTH MUNDHAM and BOWLEY, held by Hugh le Bigod in succession to Maud, Countess Warenne, one coheir of Walter Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. (fn. 67) In the 1296 subsidy the family was represented by Mabel Jardyn, (fn. 68) and in those of 1327 and 1332 by Sara Jardyn, (fn. 69) probably widow of Thomas. (fn. 70) A later Thomas died shortly before March 1411, when the manor of Bowley and South Mundham was taken into the king's hands, being held of the heir of Thomas, late Earl Marshal, the king's ward; it was granted to Henry, Prince of Wales, during the nonage of Thomas's son John Jardyn. (fn. 71) A settlement of the manor on John and his wife Anne was made in 1417, (fn. 72) and John died seised of it in 1426, his heirs being his sisters Beatrice, wife of James Knottesford, aged 40, and Margaret, wife of John Sopere, aged 21. (fn. 73) Accordingly the ½ fee is found in 1428 to be held by Beatrice and Margaret Jardyn. (fn. 74)
The manor seems now to have been split into its two components, BOWLEY being found in 1546 in the hands of Marmaduke Darrell, (fn. 75) son of William Darrell and Joan, daughter of William Knottesford. (fn. 76) Marmaduke's daughter Margaret married her distant relative Edward Darrell, who died at Bowley in 1573, (fn. 77) leaving a son Thomas, who with his wife Bridget sold the manor to William Smyth of Binderton in 1603. (fn. 78) William Smyth died in 1623, holding the manor of Bowley of Elizabeth, Lady Berkeley, wife of Thomas Chamberlayn; his heir was his infant granddaughter Mary, (fn. 79) whose father William had died in 1621. (fn. 80) She and her husband Sir John Morley were dealing with the manor in 1641; (fn. 81) their daughter Mary married Sir John May (fn. 82) and they owned the manor in 1672, (fn. 83) but after her death without issue in 1681 (fn. 84) it reverted to the Morleys. In 1689 Bowley was among the manors dealt with by Sir William Morley, (fn. 85) and was bought in 1690 by Laurence Alcock, (fn. 86) whose son's daughters, Jane, wife of John Radcliffe and Anne, wife of George Bramston, inherited it. (fn. 87) Nathaniel Newnham of Newtimber Place bought the manor in 1774, (fn. 88) and Emma Newnham owned it in 1819. (fn. 89) It was subsequently acquired by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
The manor of SOUTH MUNDHAM was conveyed by Peter Banaster and Constance his wife to Thomas Uvedale in 1547. (fn. 90) It is next found, in 1600 and 1610, in the hands of Richard Brunyng and Helen, or Ellen, his wife; (fn. 91) and their son Anthony sold it to Thomas Aylwin in 1617. (fn. 92) He was holding it in 1626, but by 1634 it had come to his son John Aylwin, (fn. 93) who, with Richard Jeffrey and Elizabeth his wife, sold the manor in 1649 to William Stamper, senior and junior. (fn. 94) In this family it descended, being held in 1706 by Anne and Gertrude Stamper. (fn. 95) From them it was bought by John Elson, in whose will, dated 1716, instructions were given for its sale. (fn. 96) It appears subsequently to have been divided between eight coheiresses, as in 1756 Thomas Smith and Jane, James Atkins and Mary, and James Colebrook and Barbara sold three eighth parts of the manor to Thomas Heather. (fn. 97) He may have acquired the other portions, as in 1778 Mary Heather conveyed 'the manor' of South Mundham to Joseph Upperton, (fn. 98) perhaps for a settlement, as John Quantock, who married Mary, daughter and heir of Richard Heather, was holding the manor in 1815. (fn. 99) From the Quantock family it is said to have been acquired by the Duke of Norfolk. (fn. 100)
The estate or reputed manor of LEYTHORNE, possibly representing the earlier Argenteyn manor (see above), was acquired by Bishop Sherborne, who in 1524 conveyed it to the Dean and Chapter of Chichester, charging it with an annual payment of £10 towards the maintenance of the grammar school which he had founded at his birthplace, Rolleston in Staffs., and an annual distribution of bread to the poor. (fn. 101) A formal conveyance of the manor was made in 1528 by Richard Whetham, (fn. 102) presumably the bishop's attorney, and in 1536 William Shelley, perhaps the representative of the previous owner, remitted to the Dean and Chapter any claims to Leythorne. (fn. 103) In 1531 the Dean and Chapter leased the manor to Philip Carpynder and Thomas his son for sixty-one years; (fn. 104) but this lease must have been surrendered, as in 1540 a fresh lease for forty years was granted to William Bowyer. (fn. 105) Leythorne continued to be the seat of this branch of the Bowyers until 1675 when it was included in the sale of the main manor of North Mundham to Charles Ballett. (fn. 106) In 1700 the Dean and Chapter leased the manor to the Rev. Shadrack Taylor, (fn. 107) and Benjamin Taylor held the property in 1774. (fn. 108) John Newland, then mayor of Chichester, had a lease of Leythorne in 1785 (fn. 109) and bought the fee simple from the Dean and Chapter in 1807. (fn. 110)
The church of ST. STEPHEN (fn. 111) stands in the middle of the village and consists of chancel, flanked by vestry to north and organ chamber to south, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and west tower; it is built of rubble with ashlar dressings and roofed with tile. Of the church mentioned in Domesday Book (fn. 112) nothing remains; the nave and aisles are of the 13th century, the tower of c. 1550. (fn. 113) The medieval chancel was demolished at an unknown date, and the church appears without it in Grimm's drawing of 1782; (fn. 114) it was rebuilt, with the vestry and organ chamber, in 1883; the porch also is almost entirely modern.
The chancel is in the style of the 13th century with a lancet triplet to the east, a single lancet to the south and a double one to the north; there are a piscina and sedilia on the south side and an aumbry on the north. Arches of two orders, the inner moulded, springing from square jambs, open into the organ chamber and vestry. The chancel arch, of two orders, the inner moulded, is modern in 13th-century style; the roof is ceiled with boards in mansard form. The vestry has a lancet triplet to the north, an arch opening to the aisle to the west, and a door to the east; the organ chamber matches it, but has a single lancet in place of the door.
The south arcade of the nave (13th-century) is of four bays, with pointed arches of two chamfered orders resting on circular piers with moulded capitals and bases; the responds have the form of half-piers. The north arcade is similar, but the east respond is a half-octagon, and the capital of the middle pier (partly a modern renewal, but partly ancient) is of cruder design than the others; the bay spacing is irregular. The roof of the nave is modern.
The south aisle has a two-light window with ogee trefoil heads, perhaps 16th-century, and two modern lancets, in the south wall; between the latter is the south doorway, originally 13th-century but now largely modern renewal; this has a hood-mould and two orders, the outer moulded, the inner plain, the outer rests on nook-shafts the abacus of which is continued to form the impost of the inner order; the reararch is segmental pointed. In the west wall is a lancet window of the 13th century, blocked by the tower staircase. In the modern roof are two dormer windows of three lights each.
The south porch has a plain outer doorway, which incorporates parts of an ancient four-centred arch; next to the east jamb on the outside is a relief, apparently monumental, which originally represented a man, with one son behind him, and his wife with one daughter, all kneeling, above them was probably a representation of the Trinity; this is of about the early 16th century, an inscription below, on a separate stone, is now wholly illegible.
The north aisle resembles the south, but the north doorway (almost wholly a modern reproduction) is blocked; it had a plain pointed arch of one order resting on plain jambs without imposts, and a segmental reararch; the lancet window at the west end is open, and there is only one dormer window in the roof.
The tower arch (16th-century) is pointed, of two chamfered orders dying away into semi-octagonal responds. The newel staircase of the tower is at the south-east corner and is reached by a doorway with a plain four-centred arch; at each west angle is a deep diagonal buttress of three stages with sloping offsets. The west doorway (13th-century, re-used here in the 16th) is of like design to the south, but wholly ancient and of larger size; above this is a window of three cinquefoil-headed lights with perpendicular tracery under a segmental arched head, of the 16th century. The second stage of the tower has on the west side a single lancet window with exterior rebate, perhaps 13th-century work re-used; the second stage has on each of the south, west, and north sides, a single-light window with ogee trefoil head set in a square frame. The tower is finished by a battlement over a cornice of slight projection.
The font is cylindrical, perhaps 12th-century, on a modern base. The other fittings are modern.
There are three bells: (fn. 115) the oldest is medieval, inscribed AVE MARIA; the second is by Thomas Wakefield, 1617; the other bears only the date 1754.
The communion plate (fn. 116) includes a silver cup with paten cover of 1568; a plain 18th-century paten; a plain silver flagon of 1806; and a silver alms-plate, probably domestic in origin, inscribed 'Elizth. Streetin 1751'; and also an ornate silver-gilt chalice of 1896, set with diamonds and rubies.
The registers begin in 1558.
The church of North Mundham was given to Boxgrove Priory by William de St. John, (fn. 117) and in 1180 the Abbey of Troarn remitted any claim to the church to Boxgrove in return for a grant of tithes in Runcton and Broomer. (fn. 118) A vicarage had been ordained before 1291, when the rectory was worth £10 and the vicarage £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 119) Before 1535 the vicarage must have been augmented, as it was then worth £9 10s. while the rectory was farmed by the priory for only £5. (fn. 120) After the Dissolution the rectory and advowson were sold in 1540 to Thomas Bowyer with the manor, (fn. 121) with which the advowson has since descended.
There was a chantry at the altar of St. Mary Magdalen at the end of the north aisle in North Mundham church (fn. 122) founded by some member of the family of St. John of Halnaker. It was poorly endowed and in 1519 Bishop Sherborne united it to the chantry of Halnaker, stipulating that the cantarist should celebrate at its altar at least four times in the year. (fn. 123) The advowson of it was conveyed with the Halnaker estate to Henry VIII by Lord de la Warre in 1540, (fn. 124) and the combined chantries were suppressed in 1548, (fn. 125) at which time the chief endowment of Mundham chantry was a rentcharge of 44s. on Jury Farm in Donnington, payable by the Hospital of St. Mary of Chichester. (fn. 126)
There was also land called St. Mary's Croft, given for an obit, of which the vicar had the use. (fn. 127)
There was no doubt a chapel in the monastic manor of Runcton, and the tithes there, held first by the Abbey of Troarn and then by the Priory of Bruton, constituted a rectory. This was named as an appurtenance to the manor when it was bought in 1540 by Thomas Bowyer, and the advowson of 'the church of Runcton' was also included in the sale. (fn. 128) The advowson is again associated with the manor in 1658, (fn. 129) but in neither instance has the phrase any real significance.
Similarly the tithes of South Mundham constituted a rectory belonging to the Priory of Christ Church, Canterbury, and at the reconstitution of the cathedral corporation this was among the rectories confirmed to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. (fn. 130) In 1671 there was no house attached to the rectory, and the tithebarn was in decay, as the lessee allowed the farmers to compound for their tithes. (fn. 131) The rectory continued to be leased by the Dean and Chapter (fn. 132) until it was taken over by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
The Rev. John Charles Ballett Fletcher by his will dated 28 April 1884 bequeathed to the incumbent and churchwardens of this parish a sum sufficient to produce £10 per annum, which he directed should be expended at their discretion for the benefit of the poor of the parish.