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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'Pagham', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester, (London, 1953), pp. 227-233. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Pagham", in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester, (London, 1953) 227-233. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Pagham", A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester, (London, 1953). 227-233. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

In this section

PAGHAM (fn. 1)

The medieval parish of Pagham contained some 7,000 acres and extended 5 miles, from the Bremere Rife on the west to the Aldingbourne Rife where it reaches the sea and divides the Rapes of Chichester and Arundel on the east, with a depth of about 2 miles from north to south. About the middle of the 14th century the chapelry of South Bersted (q.v.) became parochial, and in 1465 that of Bognor (q.v.) was united to it. In 1873 Bognor became a distinct parish; in 1891 some 460 acres in South Mundham were detached from Pagham and joined to North Mundham parish; and in 1935 Aldwick was constituted a new parish. (fn. 2) As a result of these changes and other minor adjustments of the boundaries the present parish contains 2,641 acres of land and inland water. (fn. 3) On the south is the tidal lagoon of Pagham Harbour, the boundary between this parish and that of Selsey following the main channel of the ancient port of Wythering. (fn. 4)

The return made by the jurors of Pagham in 1341 (fn. 5) that in this parish there were 2,700 acres of land, from which the rector used to receive £40 10s., which had been devastated by the sea since 1291 has led various writers to assert that Wythering Harbour was only formed between those dates. This was not so, but it is probable that a large acreage of land which had been reclaimed from the sea by 1291 had been submerged by the breaching of the banks at some later date; allowing for a customary acre of ¾ statutory, say 2,000 acres, an amount which, by coincidence or otherwise, corresponds to the 2,100 acres said in 1697 to have been left 'derelict by the sea', being waste partly overflowed by the sea at spring tides. (fn. 6) Ministers' Accounts show that land was constantly being eaten away by the sea, mostly in small quantities but resulting in the ultimate disappearance of considerable areas, as for instance the whole tithing of Charlton. (fn. 7) At various times schemes for reclamation were contemplated, and carried out with varying success, culminating in the reclamation of 700 acres of Pagham Harbour in 1876, the whole of which was recovered by the sea in December 1910. (fn. 8)

The road from Chichester runs approximately south from the northern edge of the parish to Crimsham, from which point a branch runs south-east by Lagness to Aldwick (and, in modern times, to Bognor), and through the hamlet of Nytimber to Pagham church and the few houses that constitute the village.

A little to the south-east of the church is the building locally known as 'Becket's Barn'. Although this has long been used as a barn, (fn. 9) it clearly incorporates the great hall of the medieval Rectory. This probably dates from the 14th century, to which period belong a blocked doorway and a small two-light window visible in the north wall, which is built of stone rubble. Inside, towards the east end of the same wall, can be traced the outline of a large blocked fire-place; and at the west end of the south wall, at first-floor level, is a segmental-headed doorway, presumably leading into a solar, of which there are slight traces outside. The gabled east end has been shortened and rebuilt. The roof has plain queen-post trusses and wind-braced purlins. To the south are remains of an extensive double-moated inclosure, the inner moat probably once surrounding the building.

West of the church, adjoining the vicarage, is 'Little Welbourne', a house built of stone and flints in 1709. (fn. 10) In its grounds are the scanty remains of St. Andrew's Chapel. These consist of what was evidently the wall between the chancel and nave, built of rubble, with the ashlar courses of the imposts and a number of voussoirs of the chancel arch. (fn. 11) The arch had been built up in or before the 16th century, to which date an ashlar-framed doorway through the blocking wall belongs. There is no visible evidence of the original extent of the chapel.

At Nytimber, about ¾ mile to the north-east of the church, are several ancient buildings. The most important is Barton Manor House. Pre-Conquest antiquity has been assigned to the south-eastern portion, (fn. 12) but it is probable that it dates from the very early 12th century. The house, which faces south, is now roughly of a half-H plan, the wings projecting to the north being about 16 ft. apart; the courtyard between them was at one time a chamber, which has been removed to display the east end of the chapel, a new two-storied addition being erected south of it to compensate for the loss of accommodation. The south-east chamber has thick walls of Mixon rock rubble. In the gabled south wall, which is now rough-casted externally, is the semicircular head, 3 ft. 2 in. wide, of a former doorway or archway: it is exposed on both faces. Internally the wall-masonry can be seen (behind removable panelling); much of it west of the blocked opening is laid in herring-bone fashion. The blocking is of coursed rubble, the arch of ashlar. In the east wall is a modern fire-place; north of this is a doorway, above which some more herring-bone masonry of water-worn stones is exposed inside. The west wall is a thin one, probably of the 17th century, now reinforced with pilasters.

Plan of Nytimber Barton Manor House

The other most ancient part is the north-west wing, which was the eastern part of a 13th-century chapel. (fn. 13) This has been cleared of the floors, &c., that had been inserted subsequently and is now open from floor to roof. The windows have been partly restored. In the gabled east wall are three lancet windows, the middle light taller than the others: they have internal splays of flint rubble with angle-dressings. In the north wall is a similar lancet and farther west another on which the 18th-century thin west wall encroaches. Those in the south wall are similar, but the second is nearly all destroyed by the abutment of the west wall, only the east splay being exposed. Below the south-east window is a trefoiled piscina with a circular bowl; the head and jambs are chamfered and have base-stops. The walls are of stone rubble with some flints; at the angles are ashlar dressings. Herring-bone masonry appears outside the east wall below the windows, also on several courses about a foot above the middle lancet and in the top of the gable. These are not visible inside. Under the lancets is a shallow wide buttress and against the north wall are two heavy buttresses of fairly old rubble work. Another modern buttress has been built against the west end of the south wall: this wall has also been pierced by a doorway opening into the south-west chamber. The thin west wall is of 18th-century bricks and contains a doorway and blocked windows. The roof is modern. Foundations of the west half of the chapel, and of a range extending northwards behind the eastern part of the house, shown on the plan published in 1903, are not now visible. The wing adjoining the south of the chapel is built of flint and stone rubble and has four courses of 17th-century brickwork to the plinth.

Mill Farm near the north end of the Nytimber street on the west side is probably of the 17th century. It has walls of irregular brown stone rubble with brick dressings and a thatched roof. A barn has similar walls and roof. A little north of it is an old windmill with round walls diminishing upwards covered with plaster; it has the wood capping but the sails are missing. A thatched cottage farther south has 17th-century timber-framed walls and a central chimney-stack of thin bricks. Another thatched cottage is built of brown stone rubble and has a panel inscribed R/WM 1708. A third, farther south, has a north front of 17th-century timber-framing and a central chimney-stack of thin bricks. The Lamb Inn opposite is also a 17th-century house but all restored externally.

About ½ mile east of Nytimber on the south side of the Aldwick road is a small house now known as 'Willowhale Cottage' (a modern name). This was an early-to mid-15th-century building, of timber framing originally, with a small one-storied hall between two two-storied wings in the normal manner. The hall was of a wide bay (c. 12 ft.) and a narrow south-west bay into which the later chimney-stack was inserted. The remains of two main roof trusses exist, against both faces of the chimney-stack: both have cambered tiebeams but the braces below them have been removed. The original timber-framed back wall also remains, covered in by the later widening. The north-west front and the two end-walls were rebuilt about the middle of the 16th century in brown stone rubble with brick-work to the plinths, the angles, and the windows and doorway. The windows have (or had) mullions and drip-courses of brick and were plastered to imitate stonework. Some of the plaster survives. The entrance in front has rounded jambs and four-centred head with a square label. The roof is thatched. The central chimney-stack has wide fire-places back to back in the lower story; that to the middle room has a three-centred arch, the other has a chamfered oak lintel. Over the former is a smaller Tudor fire-place (of brick) to the upper story. Above the roof the shaft is of rebated type, of thin bricks. There are some original ceilingjoists exposed on the north-east part and the inserted ceiling of the middle room has a stop-chamfered beam.

Willowhale Farm, ¼ mile farther east, is a house partly of flint rubble with brick dressings and partly of red brick. It has a 17th-century central chimney-shaft above the tiled roof.

There are a number of other houses which retain features of the 17th century: Sefter Farm, north of Nytimber; Rookery, farther south, dated 1792, but containing earlier work; Copyhold Farm, north-east of Sefter; Neals Farm, farther east; and Morrells Farm, which has a stone dated 1616 on the west front. At Aldwick a long house called 'Old Place', 'Old Manor Cottage', and 'Thatched Cottage' in Fish Lane are also probably of 17th-century origin.

At the time of the Domesday Survey there was a mill worth 10s. (fn. 14) This was presumably the tide-mill, of which the site and mill-pond were due south of the church. In the custumal of c. 1280 it is stated that Master Richard de Pageham holds two mills; for the older mill the lord (the archbishop) had to provide the timber, stakes, and brushwood to keep up the weir against the sea. (fn. 15) The second mill may have been that about which Master Richard was litigating in 1279 and which he later assigned to James del Fenne before 1288, when it was described as 'in Blakemyle (or Braclemylde) and Nytymbre'. (fn. 16) The chief mill was held at a rent of 30s. by John Bourere in 1382 when he with his wife Alice made it part of the endowment of their chantry. (fn. 17) It seems to have been rebuilt about 1450, (fn. 18) was in total decay in 1535, but was noted in 1547 as necessary to be rebuilt, as its 'walls', or earthen banks, protected the adjacent lands. It was sold with the chantry estates to Henry Polsted in 1548, was described in 1594 as a 'Tyde Myll containing a corn mill and a malt mill', and is last referred to in 1637, when the tithe of the tide mill was among the vicar's sources of income. (fn. 19)

There were at various times several windmills, the most important being that of Pygnore (fn. 20) (with variant spellings), near the eastern border of the parish, in Bognor. Another seems to have existed at Crimsham, as millers are mentioned there in 1472 and 1485, and at Nytimber, (fn. 21) where the tower of a mill still stands.

Another source of income lay in the fishing rights. Thus in 1451 Godfrey Watlynton and William Croke paid 2d. rent for a place on the sea-shore near the mill of Pagham, to have a 'cove' there in which to put oysters. (fn. 22) And in 1498 Nicholas Gundewyn leased a stretch of 'le Chefe Chanell' between Totteresmere and Howrith for thirty years at 2d. rent, so that no one else should fish, cast nets, or collect 'crabbes' there. (fn. 23) In 1332 the fishpond of Crimsham, the fishery of Felpham, and the port of Wythering were leased together for 16s. 8d. (fn. 24)

King John in 1204 granted the archbishop a weekly market on Thursday at the port of St. Thomas of Pagham, and a yearly fair for eight days, from the Sunday before to the Sunday after Ascension Day. (fn. 25) In 1314 a new charter licensed a market on Monday and a fair on the Monday and Tuesday in Whitsuntide. (fn. 26) There seems, however, to be no trace of either market or fair being held. (fn. 27)

The archbishops do not seem to have visited Pagham very often, but it was here that in 1108 Anselm confirmed Richard de 'Beaumeis as Bishop of London. (fn. 28)


Caedwalla, King of Wessex, gave to Bishop Wilfrid an estate of 70 tenancies (tributariorum), or hides, in Pagham with the neighbouring hamlets of Shripney, Charlton, Bognor, Bersted, Crimsham, and the Mundhams. (fn. 29) This gift Wilfrid almost immediately made over to Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 30) The manor of PAGHAM was therefore among the lands of the archbishop in 1086, at which date its previous assessment of 53 hides had been reduced to 34. It was estimated as worth £60, but £80 was being exacted, which was said to be excessive. (fn. 31) The manor remained in the hands of the archbishops and in 1535 the assized rents in Pagham produced £66 10s. 10¾d. and the perquisites of the court £11 11s. 8d. (fn. 32) In addition its members Aldwick, Nytimber, Bersted, and Shripney were farmed for £88 13s. 2½d., no courts being then held in any of these manors. (fn. 33)

See of Canterbury. Azure an archbishop's cross or surmounted with a pall argent charged with four crosses formy fitchy or.


ALDWICK first appears as a manor in 1291, when Nicholas Malemayns died seised of it, held of the archbishop by rent and suit of court. (fn. 34) His son and heir Nicholas, who was then 17, died in May 1349, when his estate is called not a manor but tenements in Aldwick. (fn. 35) His heirs were his daughter Beatrice wife of Sir Otto de Grauntson; Margaret daughter of William de Hardeshulle, aged 4; Elizabeth (aged 8) and Alice (aged 7) daughters of Thomas de Seyntomer and Pernel his wife—the three children being evidently his granddaughters. Of these, Alice married Sir William de Hoo (fn. 36) before 1360, when he leased to Robert de Elnested tenements in Pagham formerly the property of Richard (? Nicholas) de Malmayns. (fn. 37) Sir William in 1377 exchanged the Malmayn's estate to John Bourere, who with his wife Alice in 1382 endowed therewith a chantry in Pagham church. (fn. 38) Much of the land is now under the sea.

By the end of the 14th century Aldwick appears to have replaced Pagham as the administrative centre of the Canterbury estates. The manor remained in the hands of the archbishops until June 1542, when Cranmer exchanged it to Henry VIII. (fn. 39) Queen Mary restored Aldwick to Cardinal Archbishop Reynold Pole, (fn. 40) but on his death it reverted to the Crown. The overlordship continued attached to the Hundred of Aldwick (q.v.), but in 1559 the manor was granted to Sir Richard Sackville (fn. 41) and shortly afterwards sold to John Dingley, who in 1588 settled it on his son Richard at his marriage with Anne Harleston. (fn. 42) Richard Dingley died in 1593, leaving a son John (afterwards Sir John), then aged 3; (fn. 43) his widow Anne afterwards married Edmund Mervyn, who was seised of the manor in her right in 1606. (fn. 44) John Dingley had livery of the manor in 1615, (fn. 45) and his eldest son John with the latter's son, also John, conveyed it, probably for a settlement, to Charles Dingley in 1675. (fn. 46) Two years later John Dingley sold the manor to John Comber for £2,700. (fn. 47) Comber on his death in 1684 bequeathed it to his niece Katherine Madgewick and her son John, (fn. 48) but it seems to have come to Comber's nephew, and main legatee, Sir Thomas Miller, as his son Sir John in 1772 left the manor to his wife for life and then to his son the Rev. Combe Miller and to Elizabeth Catherine, daughter of his other son Charles Miller, (fn. 49) who married William Hiberden. Sir Richard Hotham bought Combe Miller's moiety in 1789 (fn. 50) and he subsequently bought the Hiberden moiety in 1798. (fn. 51) After this, when the Manor Farm had been sold and the estates were developed for building, any existing manorial rights in the reputed manor, then known as Little Aldwick, were acquired by J. B. Fletcher, who already held the hundredal manor of Aldwick and North Bersted, in 1835. (fn. 52)

Dingley. Argent a fesse sable and in chief a molet between two roundels sable.


CRIMSHAM was one of the members of Pagham in the 7th century when that estate was granted to Bishop Wilfrid and transferred to Canterbury (see above). Archbishop Hubert Walter gave to Roger de Cramesham three messuages in Chichester in exchange for a hide of land in Pagham, (fn. 53) which he granted in 1205 to William del Acra. (fn. 54) Roger's daughter Muriel tried unsuccessfully to recover this hide in Crimsham from William, (fn. 55) who in 1226 granted it to William Gredle, or Greyly. (fn. 56) In 1272 the manor was in the hands of Amice, Countess of Devon, daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, and of Isabel, daughter of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, and widow of Baldwin de Redvers, and she then conveyed it to William de Greyly and Margaret his wife. (fn. 57) William had died before 1288, when Margaret had become the wife of John Peche, (fn. 58) and his son Henry died about 1305, leaving a widow Amice, who held ⅓ of the manor of Crimsham as dower. (fn. 59) Thomas de Greyly, probably son of Henry, (fn. 60) in 1307 sold an estate in Pagham, evidently this manor, to Sir Edmund de Passele, (fn. 61) who did homage to the archbishop for Crimsham in 1309. (fn. 62) Sir Edmund, who had a grant of free warren in his lands in Pagham in 1317, (fn. 63) was murdered in 1327 and left, rather surprisingly, two widows, (fn. 64) of whom one, Joan, who was probably a member of the Greyly family, recovered dower in Crimsham against Sir Edmund's eldest son John de Passele. (fn. 65) In 1340 John sold the manor to Robert de Elnestede and Agatha his wife and Hugh their son. (fn. 66) In 1360 a Robert de Elnestede sold the reversion after his own death of 2 messuages and 148 acres of land in Pagham to William Tauk. (fn. 67) His descendant Thomas son of Robert Tawke died in 1493 seised of lands in Pagham called Crimsham and leaving a son William, aged 60 and more. (fn. 68) William Tawke died in 1505, seised of the manor of Crimsham, settled on himself and his wife Joan, and left as coheirs two infant daughters, Anne and Joan. (fn. 69) In 1529 Joan and her husband Richard Ryman made over their moiety of the manor to Anne and Thomas Devenish and their heirs. (fn. 70) The descent then becomes obscure; in 1533 Crimsham seems to have been in the hands of John Pasch. (fn. 71) It is said to have been held in 1665 by Thomas Woodyer in right of his wife and to have been inherited, through an heiress, by Richard Merricks, who was mayor of Chichester in 1813. (fn. 72) It came eventually into the hands of the late W. H. B. Fletcher, lord of Aldwick Manor. (fn. 73)

In 1242 Thomas de Lageners held of the archbishop ¼ knight's fee in LAGNESS. (fn. 74) This evidently remained in the hands of his descendants; in 1296 William de Lageners was one of the larger contributors to the subsidy in Pagham, (fn. 75) and John de Lagenersh occurs, under Crimsham, in the subsidy of 1332. (fn. 76) In 1340 William son of Thomas de Lagenersh sold 2 messuages and 150 acres of land in Pagham to Henry de Loxlye, (fn. 77) who three years later settled the estate on himself and his wife Alice, with remainder to his brother Roger. (fn. 78) Roger Gunter was holding ¼ fee in Lagness in 1428, (fn. 79) and in 1434 William Gunter recovered against John Gunter the manor of Lagness with 800 acres (probably an exaggeration) in Pagham, (fn. 80) but not very long after this it must have been acquired by Boxgrove Priory, who held it in 1534; (fn. 81) it was farmed by the monks at £5 13s. 4d. (fn. 82) and after the Dissolution seems to have been granted first to Thomas Cromwell and, on his fall, to one Thomas Horseman, from whom it passed by exchange to the Crown. (fn. 83) The estate, of which the name had now become corrupted to Langmershe or Lagmarsh, was granted in July 1544 to Richard and John Sackville, (fn. 84) and in April 1550 William Sackville had a renewed grant, subject to a fee farm rent of £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 85) He leased the property in 1580 for eighty years to Richard Olwin, whose widow Mrs. Secunda Hooke (previously widow of Francis Hooke) held it in 1650, (fn. 86) together with the manor, (fn. 87) which had been granted by Charles I in 1637 to Francis Braddock and Christopher Kingscott and sold by them a few months later to Francis Hooke. (fn. 88) He had two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, who under his will succeeded on the death of their mother, (fn. 89) and in 1657 Mary Hooke and Elizabeth with her husband Robert Ottringham sold the manor of Lagmarsh to William Speed, clerk. (fn. 90) In February 1666 a quarter of the manor was settled on William Speed, gent., on his marriage with Bridget Saunderson; (fn. 91) in 1670 Andrew Collett and Jane his wife conveyed a quarter of the manor to George Speed, (fn. 92) and in 1674 they with Joseph Speed conveyed to George a moiety of the manor. (fn. 93) By 1754 the manor was in the hands of David Graham, (fn. 94) from whom it was bought by Richard Ewen before February 1758, when he made his will bequeathing it to his only daughter Elizabeth. His will was not proved until August 1766, by which date Elizabeth had married John Staker. (fn. 95) Henry Budd was in possession of Lagmarsh in 1798. (fn. 96)


NYTIMBER was one of the chief members of the Canterbury estate of Pagham. In 1316 it was valued at £62 13s. 7d., (fn. 97) but in 1535 the manor and warren were farmed at £15 6s. 8d. (fn. 98) It was among the manors given by Archbishop Cranmer to Henry VIII in 1542 (fn. 99) and restored in 1556 to Cardinal Archbishop Pole, (fn. 100) on whose death it reverted to the Crown. In 1560 the manor was granted to Edward Darrell, including the boon-works of the villeinage of Nytimber and Pagham and of five free tenants, and the profits of the port of Wythering. (fn. 101) He died in June 1573, leaving a son Thomas, then just under 20. (fn. 102) Thomas Darrell sold the manor, with view of frankpledge, to George Goring in 1598, (fn. 103) and his son Sir George Goring sold it in 1614 to Thomas Bowyer. (fn. 104) It then descended with the manor of North Mundham (q.v.) and with it came into the hands of W. H. Ballett Fletcher, who was lord of the manor at his death in 1941, but had sold the lands.

The demesnes of the manor, containing 503 acres of arable, 227 acres of pasture, and 26 acres of coppice, had been leased to Robert Sandham for twenty-four years from 27 April 1542, and he had a new lease of them on 24 June 1548 for twenty-one years. (fn. 105)

Land in WILLOWHALE was held in the 13th century by a family who derived their name from the place. Robert and Walter de Wylehale were holding there in 1248; (fn. 106) Robert and William were jurors for the subsidy of 1296 in Pagham Hundred; (fn. 107) and Nicholas and James de Willehale occur, under Crimsham, in the subsidy of 1327. (fn. 108) In 1474 Robert Okerlee and Julian his wife held ⅓ of the manor of Wylehale as her dower from her former husband Robert Blundell. (fn. 109) The latter's heirs were his nieces, daughters of his two sisters: one sister, Iden, had two daughters, Julia who married John Yenser, and Elizabeth wife of John Smith; the other, Alice, also had two, Agnes wife of Thomas atte More, and Joan wife of John Wylman; Agatha Ramsyn, daughter of Robert's brother John, had presumably died without issue. (fn. 110) John and Joan Wylman conveyed ¼ of the manor to John Farnfold in 1480. (fn. 111) Beyond a conveyance of the manor from Thomas Nyanser to John Nubery in 1500 (fn. 112) nothing more is known of this manor, but the land came to William Stapleton, who fled the country as a Roman Catholic in 1570. (fn. 113)

At Wythering, on the northern edge of the harbour to which it gave its name, near the mill, there was a settlement which in the 15th century was referred to as a borough. Courts, apparently quasi-hundredal, were held there; but any burghal organization was clearly very rudimentary and short-lived. Burgage tenure, usually by a rent of 8d., continued, however, and burgages at Wythering are mentioned in a survey of 1608. (fn. 114)


The church of ST. THOMAS THE MARTYR (fn. 115) stands solitary north-east of Pagham Harbour; it is built of flint rubble with ashlar dressings and is roofed with tile, (fn. 116) except the spire, which is shingled. It consists of chancel, nave flanked on each side by transept and aisle, tower west of the north aisle, and north porch; the existing building dates from the 13th century, possibly incorporating a fragment of 11th-century work, and was drastically restored and in part rebuilt in the 19th century.

At each east corner of the chancel is a pair of shallow buttresses of one stage with sloping offsets; in the east wall is a lancet triplet, the middle light being higher than the others, with moulded arches, rear-arches with nailhead ornament, and nook-shafts with moulded capitals and bases both outside and in. Three single similar windows, but with chamfered rear-arches and no nook-shafts, occupy each side wall. A moulded string-course runs round three sides of the chancel; below the easternmost window on the south side is a double piscina, the lintel of which is formed by the string-course and is carried by a short shaft the capital of which is carved with crude foliage; this work is all of the 13th century. On the outer face of the east wall is a small gargoyle that has been supposed to be for the drainage of the piscina, but is actually too high for the purpose. (fn. 117)

Parish Church of St Thomas the Martyr Pagham

West of the middle window on the south side a line of ashlar quoins from ground level to about 6 ft. up is visible on the outside, and west of it slight remains of herring-bone rubble: this may represent the chancel wall of an earlier church.

The chancel arch, pointed, of one order resting on square responds with angle-shafts whose capitals are carved with foliage, is entirely modern. The roof is ceiled in plaster. (fn. 118)

On each side of the nave a similar arch, but with plainer angle-shafts, opens into a transept; these arches are modern. West of the southern, and of a long respond, the south aisle arcade is of three pointed arches of one order, slightly moulded, resting on cylindrical piers with moulded capitals and bases; the responds are square and have angle-shafts with plain capitals and water-holding bases. The north arcade resembles the south, but the angle-shafts are carved with foliage. West of this arcade, which is of two bays only, and of the tower pier against which it abuts, is a single pointed arch of one order resting on square responds with angle-shafts; it is now blocked, but formerly opened into the tower. This work is of the 13th century. The whole of the western bay of the nave is screened off to form a choir vestry, surmounted by a gallery. The west wall, now wholly modern, has on the outside a wall arcade of three semicircular arches of one order resting on attached shafts, in a Romanesque style; the roundheaded west doorway occupies the middle arch, roundheaded lancet windows the others. Above this, and above a rather large corbel table, the gallery is lit by a large wheel window in 14th-century style, copied from a church in Palermo. This work is wholly modern.

The clearstory (15th-century) consists of two windows on each side of the nave west of the transept arches; each has two trefoil-headed lights under a square head.

The roof has four tie-beams, each carrying a king-post braced in all four directions, and is otherwise ceiled in plaster; the date 1682 may be that of reconstruction or of repair.

The south transept has at its outer corners pairs of shallow buttresses like those of the chancel; in the east wall are three, in the south three, lancet windows, and in the west one, all plain; the inner jambs of those in the east and west walls are of the 13th century, the rest, including the whole of the south wall, is of the 19th. (fn. 119) In the west wall a pointed arch of one order resting on square responds and imposts opens into the south aisle; this is 13th-century work.

The north transept resembles the south, but the rebuilding has been even more extensive; the roofs of both are ceiled with plaster.

The outer wall of the south aisle, wholly rebuilt, (fn. 120) has three small windows in 13th-century style and, at the west end, a pair of buttresses like those of the chancel, also modern; its west bay is partitioned off as clergy vestry. The north aisle has a single like window east of the north doorway, which has a plain pointed arch of one order resting on like jambs; this work is entirely modern. The aisle roofs are ceiled in plaster.

At its three exterior corners the tower has shallow buttresses of three stages with sloping offsets; at the ground stage a pointed arch of two orders resting on plain responds and imposts opens into the north aisle; round-headed lancet windows, originally 13th-century but with their exterior stone-work renewed, occupy the north and west faces of the lower stage. There is a similar window on the south side of the upper stage; on the other three sides are similar, but larger, windows of one light, but of two orders, the arches of the outer moulded and resting on nook-shafts.

The north porch is entirely modern.

The glass of the east window of the chancel is partly of the 16th century, brought from a church in Normandy. In the northern light is represented the Nativity, in the central, under a representation of the Trinity, is the Adoration of the Kings, in the southern is the Circumcision; in both this light and the last are pictures of ladies, presumably the donors, wearing Paris caps and coloured gowns: behind the one two children, behind the other five, kneel; a single figure with golden hair and white dress in the upper part of the northern light may also represent a donor. Incorporated in this glass are the arms of Archbishop William Howley and Bishop William Otter and the date 1837; inscriptions in the glazing record that it was releaded in 1919 and rearranged in 1939.

In a window of the north aisle are two shields, one charged with the instruments of the Passion and one with the arms of Edward the Confessor; between them is a roundel with a representation of a pelican; these are of doubtful date, but probably ancient; in the window of the south aisle next to the font the baptism of Christ is represented in stained glass of perhaps the 17th century. The font itself has a square basin with shallow round-headed arcading resting on one thick and four slender shafts; the basin is of the 12th century, the shafts are renewals.

There is a pair of tall brass altar candlesticks of perhaps the 18th century.

There are five bells; (fn. 121) the largest is by Clement Tosear, 1688; two others are dated 1666; the remaining two are by T. Mears, 1832.

The communion plate includes a silver cup of 1568 with a deep bowl and an engraved band of arabesque, and its paten cover. (fn. 122)

The registers begin in 1707, the earlier volumes having been lost in that year in a fire at the vicarage. (fn. 123)


In the charter by which Caedwalla gave Pagham to Bishop Wilfrid there is mention of 'his brethren serving God at the church of St. Andrew on the eastern shore of the harbour' of Wythering. This was presumably the predecessor of the church mentioned in the Domesday Survey. (fn. 124) No mention is made there of its endowment, but in the return of 1291 the rectory was valued at £110 and the vicarage at £16 13s. 4d. (fn. 125) In view of the exceptional value of the rectory it is not surprising that it was treated as a prize for royal and papal favourites. During the vacancy of the see of Canterbury in 1294 King Edward gave the rectory to Theobald de Barre (brother of his son-in-law the Count of Barre), and the Pope upheld Theobald against Archbishop Winchelsey's protests, although he was only in minor orders and a pluralist who never set foot in the parish. (fn. 126) Pagham was also part of the thousand pounds of revenues bestowed by the Pope on Cardinal Gaucelin, who held it from 1317 to 1345 or later. (fn. 127) A later rector, Simon Islip, on being promoted to the Archbishopric of Canterbury, obtained the royal licence in 1361 to found a hall or college at Oxford, in order to remedy the deficiency of educated clergy caused by the Black Death, and to endow it with the rectory of Pagham. The appropriation of the church to Canterbury College, with reservation of the vicarages of the parish church and of the chapels of Bersted and Bognor, was made in 1363. (fn. 128) The rectory was the chief source of revenue of the college, who retained it until 1455, after which date it was taken over by the Prior and Chapter of Christchurch, Canterbury, who paid a fixed sum to the college. (fn. 129) At the Dissolution of the Monasteries the rectory of Pagham was conferred upon the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, who continued to lease it; one such lease was conveyed by Dr. Dee, Bishop of Peterborough, in about 1638 to St. John's College, Cambridge, (fn. 130) who held it until about 1794. It seems then to have been sold outright to William Brereton, from whom it descended to the late W. H. B. Fletcher. Under his will such tithes as had not been commuted were united to the endowment of the vicarage. (fn. 131)

The advowson of the benefice has remained continuously in the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A chantry of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in the north aisle of Pagham church before 1295, when a priest was presented by the parishioners—on a later occasion called 'the whole commonalty of the church of Pagham'. (fn. 132) By 1386 the endowments of the chantry had been so reduced by inroads of the sea that they did not suffice to support a chaplain, and Archbishop Courtenay annexed it to the vicarage. (fn. 133) Shortly before this, in 1382, John Bourere and Alice his wife founded another chantry, also of St. Mary, the advowson of which was to belong, after their deaths, to the vicar. (fn. 134) When the chantries were suppressed in 1548 the gross value of this chantry was £13 18s. 10d. (fn. 135) Its lands, including the Chantry House and the water-mill, were sold to Henry Polsted. (fn. 136)

There were several gilds or brotherhoods in the parish, those of Corpus Christi, St. Andrew, St. Martin, and the Holy Rood being named in 1523 in the will of Thomas Morell. (fn. 137) The 'Brothered Stocke of Pagham', valued at 21s. in 1548, (fn. 138) presumably covered all of them.

Of the chapel of St. Andrew (fn. 139) nothing is known. It was probably already secularized before the beginning of the 16th century.

An anchorite, Brother Humfrey, at Pagham was the object of a bequest in the will of St. Richard, 1253. (fn. 140)


  • 1. The history of this parish has been dealt with in great detail by Mr. Lindsay Fleming in his History of Pagham (3 vols. 1949).
  • 2. Fleming, op. cit. 4.
  • 3. Kelly, Direct. of Suss. (1938).
  • 4. For the history of the harbour see above, p. 205.
  • 5. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 360.
  • 6. Fleming, op. cit. 196–7.
  • 7. Ibid. 63, 133–5.
  • 8. Ibid. 195–9.
  • 9. It was so used in 1671: Suss. Arch. Coll. liii, 196.
  • 10. Ex inf. Major A. J. Davis, late owner.
  • 11. The existing remains of the arch suggest that it was semi-circular, but a view of 1795 (penes Mr. W. H. Godfrey), when it was complete, shows it as pointed and apparently of the early 13th century.
  • 12. Suss. Arch. Coll. xlvi, 145–54.
  • 13. This was the chapel of St. Thomas for the repair of which 10,000 shingles were used in 1451: Mins. Accts. (Lambeth), 1260.
  • 14. V.C.H. Suss. i, 389.
  • 15. Fleming, op. cit. i, p. xlvi.
  • 16. Ibid. ii, 616.
  • 17. Ibid. 617–18.
  • 18. Mins. Accts. (Lambeth), 1260.
  • 19. Fleming, op. cit. ii, 618.
  • 20. It is probably the mill of 'Nygmer' mentioned in 1348: Ct. R. (P.R.O.), 1128, no. 11. Fleming, op. cit. ii, 374–8.
  • 21. Ct. R. (Lambeth), 144.
  • 22. Mins. Accts. (Lambeth), 1260.
  • 23. Ct. R. (Lambeth), 160.
  • 24. Mins. Accts. (P.R.O.), 1128, no. 4.
  • 25. Cal. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 124.
  • 26. Cal. Chart. R. iii, 274.
  • 27. The many existing account rolls contain no entries of tolls or other profits of markets.
  • 28. Mat. Paris, Chron. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 135.
  • 29. Suss. Arch. Coll. lxxxvi, 50–58.
  • 30. Ibid. xxxiii, 124.
  • 31. V.C.H. Suss. i, 388–9.
  • 32. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 1.
  • 33. Ibid.
  • 34. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, 13.
  • 35. Ibid. ix, 418.
  • 36. Cal. Fine R. vii, 313; Suss. Arch. Coll. viii, 108.
  • 37. Cal. Anct. Deeds, i, C. 60.
  • 38. Fleming, op. cit. 174.
  • 39. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvii, 443 (15).
  • 40. Cal. Pat. 1555–7, p. 71.
  • 41. Ibid. 1558–60, 306, 366.
  • 42. Visit. of Hants (Harl. Soc.), 166; Pat. 30 Eliz. pt. 13; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxxxviii, 81.
  • 43. Ibid.
  • 44. Close, 4 Jas. I, pt. 27.
  • 45. Pat. 13 Jas. I, pt. 1, no. 57.
  • 46. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 3.
  • 47. Close, 29 Chas. II, pt. 1, no. 10.
  • 48. Suss. Arch. Coll. xlvii, 140.
  • 49. Add. MS. 39487, fol. 21.
  • 50. Ibid.
  • 51. Fleming, op. cit. 216.
  • 52. Ex inf. the late W. H. B. Fletcher.
  • 53. Tanner MS. (Bodl.), 223, fol. 53 v.
  • 54. Rot. Cart. (Rec. Com.), 156.
  • 55. Curia Regis R. viii, 339.
  • 56. Acta Steph. Langton (Cant. & York Soc.), 106.
  • 57. Suss. Rec. Soc. vii, 804.
  • 58. Add. MS. 39490, fol. 292.
  • 59. Ibid.
  • 60. Ibid.
  • 61. Suss. Rec. Soc. vii, 1228.
  • 62. Reg. Epist. Johis. Pecham (Rolls Ser.), iii, 999.
  • 63. Cal. Chart. R. iii, 333.
  • 64. Suss. N. & Q. vi, 140–2.
  • 65. Ibid. 142.
  • 66. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 1886.
  • 67. Ibid. 2231.
  • 68. Ibid. xiv, 1009.
  • 69. Ibid. 1010.
  • 70. Ibid. xx, 477.
  • 71. Lambeth Ct. R. 184.
  • 72. Dallaway, Rape of Chichester, 40.
  • 73. Fleming, op. cit. 146.
  • 74. Bk. of Fees, 692.
  • 75. Suss. Rec. Soc. x, 86.
  • 76. Ibid. 245.
  • 77. Ibid. xxiii, 1909.
  • 78. Ibid. 1954.
  • 79. Feud. Aids, v, 157.
  • 80. Add. MS. 39376, fol. 166, citing De Banco R. East. 12 Hen. VI, m. 210d.
  • 81. Lambeth Ct. R. 184.
  • 82. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 306.
  • 83. Close R. 13 Chas. II, pt. 25, no. 2.
  • 84. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (1), 1035 (137).
  • 85. Suss. Arch. Coll. xxiv, 237.
  • 86. Ibid.
  • 87. The manor had been granted in 1550 to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, but apparently restored to the Crown almost immediately: Cal. Pat. Edw. VI, iii, 277; Close R. 4 Edw. VI, pt. 5, no. 32.
  • 88. Suss. Arch. Coll. xxiv, 237; Add. MS. 39497, fol. 196.
  • 89. Suss. Arch. Coll. xxiv, 237.
  • 90. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 259.
  • 91. Add. MS. 39497, fol. 198.
  • 92. Ibid.
  • 93. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 259.
  • 94. Ibid.
  • 95. Add. MS. 39497, fol. 199.
  • 96. Suss. Rec. Soc. li, 56.
  • 97. Dallaway, Rape of Chichester, 36.
  • 98. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 1.
  • 99. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvii, 443 (15).
  • 100. Cal. Pat. 1555–7, p. 71.
  • 101. Suss. Rec. Soc. iii, no. 69.
  • 102. Ibid.
  • 103. Ibid. xx, 327.
  • 104. Ibid.
  • 105. Dallaway, op. cit. 37.
  • 106. Suss. Rec. Soc. ii, 473, 495.
  • 107. Ibid. x, 86.
  • 108. Ibid. 123.
  • 109. Add. MS. 39376, fol. 184.
  • 110. Ibid.; Early Chan. Proc., bdle. 38, no. 243.
  • 111. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 3224.
  • 112. Ibid. 3338.
  • 113. Fleming, op. cit. 179.
  • 114. Ibid. 184–9.
  • 115. Ibid. ii, 592–602, from which much of this account has been taken.
  • 116. In 1671 the heling was stone slates: ibid. 594.
  • 117. It is probably a casual insertion in recent times.
  • 118. The chancel was said to be 'all new tymbered' in 1671: Suss. Arch. Coll. liii, 197.
  • 119. Formerly there was a pair of lancets in the south wall (Fleming, op. cit. iii, p. ccxviii); the rebuilding may have been the result of the damage done in 1836.
  • 120. Formerly there was a south porch and doorway; ibid.
  • 121. Suss. Arch. Coll. xvi, 219.
  • 122. Ibid. liii, 245.
  • 123. Fleming, op. cit. 597.
  • 124. V.C.H. Suss. i, 389.
  • 125. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 138.
  • 126. Fleming, op. cit. 71–76.
  • 127. Ibid. 77–78.
  • 128. Ibid. 80–85.
  • 129. Pantin, Canterbury College, Oxford (O.H.S.), iii, p. viii.
  • 130. Cf. Suss. Arch. Coll. liii, 197.
  • 131. Fleming, op. cit. 258–61.
  • 132. Ibid. 86.
  • 133. Ibid. 87.
  • 134. Ibid. 87–92.
  • 135. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxxvi, 77–79.
  • 136. Fleming, op. cit. 92.
  • 137. Suss. Rec. Soc. xliii, 280.
  • 138. Ibid. xxxvi, 112.
  • 139. See above, p. 227.
  • 140. Suss. Rec. Soc. xliii, 279.