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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'Funtington', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester, (London, 1953) pp. 190-192. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

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The parish, containing 3,762 acres, is divided from Bosham on the south by the Portsmouth—Chichester road as far as Bosham Station, and then by Ratham Lane and Clay Lane, from which the bounds run north by Sennicots and Densworth, where considerable Roman remains have been found. (fn. 1) They then turn west and again north, rising abruptly to nearly 600 ft. on Stoke Down. The church and village lie near the western boundary where a number of small roads and lanes meet; of these the most important is one running eastwards past the Congregational chapel to East Ashling and Sennicots. Another road south from the village passes a disused water-mill (fn. 2) combined with a windmill at West Ashling to Ratham Mill. (fn. 3)

In the south-east of the parish Oakwood Park is an extensive block of woodlands, containing part of a system of intrenchments or earthworks of uncertain date. (fn. 4)

Funtington House was for some years the residence of Admiral Sir Provo Wallis, who died there in 1892 in his 101st year. He served in the Shannon at the time of her famous duel with the Chesapeake on 1 June 1813. (fn. 5)

The village has little of architectural interest. It lies mainly along one street running east and west, the church standing to the south approached by a lane. One cottage on the south side has some 17th-century timber-framing: others are of flint and brick with thatched roofs. A larger house, on the west side of a turning to the north at the west end of the village, is built of flint with 17th-century brick dressings and has a porch in the east front with a curved gable carved with the date 1655. The central chimney-shaft is square with a pilaster on each face.

West Ashling, a hamlet about ¾ mile to the south-east, has four or five old buildings of timber-framing: one at the north-east end facing north-west is of square framing, much renovated, with brick infilling, the roof being tiled in front and thatched at the back. Another in the middle retains some framing and is thatched: it faces nearly due east. A third north-west of it, facing south-east, has most of its original framing with some of the original daub infilling and some herring-bone brickwork. The central chimney-stack above the thatched roof is of the usual rebated type. These three are all of about mid-17th-century date. A fourth farther west and facing north is somewhat earlier and has a jettied upper story and a massive central chimneyshaft. The roof is tiled. One or two others retain scraps of old framing.

East Ashling, another hamlet about ½ mile to the east, is mostly modern, but in a blind lane branching westwards are two thatched cottages retaining much of their original early-17th-century framing. Both have been more or less reconditioned: the eastern has a heavy central chimney-stack.


FUNTINGTON was a member of the manor of Bosham and was usually termed a hamlet until the 15th century, (fn. 6) but in 1478 (fn. 7) and in later records it figures as a manor. It descended with Bosham (q.v.) and was acquired from Sophie, Lady Gifford, by Albert Eadie c. 1915. (fn. 8)

The manor of DENSWORTH was conveyed to William de Whitsond (fn. 9) and Margery his wife in 1289 by Alan de Bremelhangere to hold 'in as full manner as he or his brother Walter de Deneswyrth had held it', paying yearly to Sir Roger Bigod, Earl Marshal, 4 marks. (fn. 10) Later it came to the family of Syteler, and in 1532 Richard (son and heir of Richard son of Henry) Syteler conveyed the manor to John Westdene of Kirdford, who agreed that if Richard had male issue by his wife Joan he would settle the estate on them. Richard and Joan had had two daughters, Margaret and Joan, who married respectively Robert Stratford and John Slater, and between 1533 and 1537 their grandchildren remitted their claims in the manor to John Westdene. (fn. 11) Richard Syteler was dead by the end of 1541 and in 1542 John Westdene and Anne his wife sold the manor to Ellis Bradshawe, (fn. 12) who died seised of it in 1545, (fn. 13) and it descended with Broadbridge in Bosham (q.v.) to Sir Gregory Norton (d. 1652). In 1657 Alexander Wilson of Hayling left it in trust for his son Richard; (fn. 14) in 1666 it was conveyed by Thomas Wilson and Martha his wife to Richard Smyth. (fn. 15) This sale was challenged five years later by Weston Browne and Mary his wife, claiming the manor in her right, (fn. 16) but presumably without success, as in 1677 Thomas Smyth and Mary his wife and Thomas Hurst and Mary conveyed the manor to William Cozens the elder. In 1686 William Cozens and Rose quitclaimed it to Edward Greene, (fn. 17) and in the following year sold it to Richard Farington of Chichester. (fn. 18) On the division of the estates of Sir Richard Farington between his coheirs in 1744 the manor of Densworth with the house and 188 acres was assigned to James Creed. (fn. 19) It then came to John Croucher, whose daughters held it at the beginning of the 19th century, (fn. 20) after which time it is probable that the manorial rights lapsed.


The church of ST. MARY (fn. 21) stands south of the village and consists of chancel flanked by north and south chapels, nave with north and south aisles, north vestry and heating chamber, south porch, and west tower; it is built of flint, part plastered, with ashlar dressings, and roofed with tile. The north arcade and north chapel are of the 13th century, the south chapel perhaps of the 14th, the tower is of the 15th, the rest is 19th-century reconstruction.

The chancel has to the east two buttresses of two stages, each with sloping offsets; the east window is a lancet triplet under a single enclosing arch; on the north and south sides are arcades of two bays each with moulded arches resting on piers and responds with clustered marble shafts; the chancel arch is of two moulded orders, the outer resting on square responds, the inner on carved corbels; the whole of this is modern in 13th-century style.

The north chapel has a buttress with sloping offsets at the north-east; the east window is of three cinquefoiled lights under a pointed arch; this appears to be entirely modern, the chapel having been lengthened eastwards in the 19th century; in the north wall are two plain lancet windows of the 13th century; the west arch is of two chamfered orders dying away into square responds, modern or much restored; the roof is modern and ceiled with boards. The south chapel resembles the north, but the east window is possibly ancient, and in the south wall is one two-light window with simple tracery, modern or much restored; the west arch is 13th or 14th century.

The north arcade of the nave, of four bays, has pointed arches with two chamfered orders; the piers are cylindrical with moulded caps and bases, the former have typical 13th-century mouldings and the bed-joint between capital and abacus, the bases, however, approach more nearly to 14th-century forms; the responds are in the form of half-piers. The south arcade is a modern copy of the north, with exceptionally rough tooling; the roof is wholly modern. The north aisle was widened and heightened in the 19th century; at the east end the thicker wall with sloping top shows the position of the former north wall and the form of the lean-to roof; the present wall, windows in late-13th-century style, and roof are modern. The south aisle resembles the north, but there are no traces of earlier arrangements on the east wall, and there is a doorway and porch in the third bay; like the north aisle it is entirely modern.

The tower arch is of two chamfered orders resting on semi-octagonal responds with moulded imposts and plain bases. The west doorway is now a segmental pointed arch of two orders with hollow chamfers, on jambs of like section; the present arch stones are modern; (fn. 22) from Grimm's drawing (fn. 23) it would seem that those they replaced were of anse de panier form; the rear-arch (ancient) is segmental pointed. At each west corner of the tower is a diagonal buttress of three stages with sloping offsets. The west window is of three lights with cinquefoil heads under a slightly depressed pointed arch, the mullions and light heads being modern reproduction of 15th-century work; the rear-arch is segmental pointed. Access to the upper stages of the tower is by a stone newel staircase in the north-east corner reached by a doorway with plain segmental pointed arch. The second stage of the tower has a square-headed window of one light on each of the south and north faces; the third a square-headed window of two trefoil-headed lights on each of the south, west, and north faces; the tower is finished by plain battlements; all ancient work in it is of the 15th century.

Remains of panelling, probably part of a 15th-century altar tomb, are built into the side walls of the porch. In the tower is a board recording parish benefactions from 1598. North of the vestry is an ancient yew tree.

There are two bells, of 1632 and 1712 respectively. (fn. 24)

The communion plate includes a silver cup and paten cover of 1637, and a silver alms-dish of 1785. (fn. 25)

The registers begin in 1564 but show several gaps between that date and 1653.


The rectory of Funtington formed a prebend attached to the office of sexton, or sacrist, in the college of Bosham, valued in 1291 at £26 13s. 4d. (fn. 26) In 1408 William Scardevyle of Funtington with other inhabitants of that place and of East and West Ashling showed to the Bishop of Exeter that their chapel was 2 miles from Bosham, which was often difficult of access in the winter; they therefore asked, and obtained, leave to bury their dead at Funtington. (fn. 27) After the suppression of Bosham College in 1548 Funtington became a perpetual curacy in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Chichester, endowed with a stipend of £40 paid by the farmer of the great tithes. (fn. 28) It is now a vicarage in the gift of the bishop.

In 1829 Charles Baker built and endowed the church of St. Mary at Sennicots, reserving the right of presentation to himself and his heirs. (fn. 29) He died in 1839 and the patronage passed to his nephew Christopher Teesdale (d. 1855), his son Christopher Baker Teesdale (d. 1892), and the latter's son Christopher. (fn. 30) When the estate was bought by W. P. Wilson the patronage passed to the bishop and this chapel-of-ease is now united to Funtington church.


Richard Beale, John Combes, George Green, and Poors Land. By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 15 April 1910 it was provided that these charities shall be consolidated and administered under the title of the Consolidated Charities. By the scheme a body of trustees consisting of 4 representative trustees to be appointed by the parish council of Funtington and 4 cooptative trustees, being persons residing or carrying on business in or near Funtington, were appointed to administer the charities. The endowment consists of land in Funtington and Bosham, and the income therefrom, amounting to £27 16s., is applicable for the benefit of the poor of the parish.

Helen Egerton, by her will dated 25 June 1936 bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens of Funtington £500, the income to be applied at their discretion for the benefit of the sick and needy poor of the parish. She also bequeathed £100, the income to be applied in keeping the churchyard of Funtington in good order. The income of the charities amounts to £17 16s. 10d. and £3 11s. 4d. respectively.

Dame Gertrude Louisa Grace Perrott by her will dated 27 September 1923 bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens £50, to apply the income thereof in keeping the churchyard in good order. The annual income of the charity amounts to £2 5s. 8d.

Sennicots Chapel Endowment. This charity, which was founded by a trust deed dated 12 November 1829, is now regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 21 June 1932. The scheme provides that the parochial church council of Funtington with Sennicots shall be the managing trustees and that the yearly income of the Charity shall, so long as the Chapel shall be used as a place for the celebration of Divine Service according to the rites of the Church of England, be applied for the purposes as set out in the scheme.


  • 1. Suss. Arch. Coll. x, 168–80.
  • 2. Probably the mill sold by Richard Hayward to John Baker in 1663: Feet of F. Suss. Hil. 14–15 Chas. II. The mill is said to have been used for paper-making about 1830: Suss. N. & Q. xiii, 173.
  • 3. Peter de Roteham bought a mill and land in West Ashling from John de Boys in 1318: Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 1552.
  • 4. Suss. Arch. Coll. lxxv, 66–105.
  • 5. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 6. e.g. Chan. Inq. p.m. 35 Edw. I, no. 46; ibid. 7 Ric. II, no. 15.
  • 7. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 3213.
  • 8. Kelly, Directory of Suss. (1918).
  • 9. He was the biggest tax-payer in East Ashling in 1296: Suss. Rec. Soc. x, 92.
  • 10. Add. MS. 39491, fol. 48v.
  • 11. Ibid. fol. 47.
  • 12. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 126.
  • 13. Ibid. xiv, 164. His daughter Dorothy, widow of Roger and mother of Bradshawe Drewe, leased the manor house to her daughter Dorothy and her husband Harpocrates de Otten, M.D.: Proc. Ct. of Req. 183, no. 53.
  • 14. a Add. MS. 39503, fol. 73.
  • 15. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 126.
  • 16. Ibid.
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. Add. MS. 39491, fol. 48.
  • 19. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxix, 694.
  • 20. Ibid. xix, 126; Dallaway, Rape of Chichester. 107.
  • 21. Suss. Rec. Soc. xlii, 205.
  • 22. The faculty of 1858 for building new and larger aisles also included the opening of the west door: Add. MS. 39424, fol. 129.
  • 23. Add. MS. 5675, fol. 36.
  • 24. Suss. Arch. Coll. xvi, 225.
  • 25. Ibid. liii, 255–6.
  • 26. Suss. Rec. Soc. xlvi, 313.
  • 27. Exeter Epis. Reg. Stafford, 31.
  • 28. Bacon, Liber Regis, 139.
  • 29. Add. MS. 39424, fol. 80.
  • 30. Add. MS. 39469, fol. 259.