A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
The manor of STEYNING presumably belonged to the kings of Wessex by the mid 9th century, for Ethelwulf (d. 858) is reliably said to have been buried there. (fn. 1) His son Alfred (d. 899) devised it to his nephew Ethelwold, (fn. 2) on whose rebellion it presumably reverted to the Crown. (fn. 3) Edward the Confessor granted the reversion after the death of Bishop Aelfwine to Fécamp abbey (Seine-Maritime). (fn. 4) It is not certain whether the abbey received the land, which in 1066 was in the hands of King Harold, (fn. 5) but duke William's promise to uphold the abbey's claim if his invasion should be successful supports the contention that Harold had prevented it from taking possession. (fn. 6) In 1085 William confirmed the manor to Fécamp abbey 'whether they had held it before 1066 or not'. (fn. 7) The abbey continued to hold the manor during the next two centuries. It had free warren in its demesne lands there by 1103. (fn. 8) In 1275 the manor was said to be held of the king in free alms. (fn. 9) In 1246 Steyning was ordered to be tallaged as ancient demesne, (fn. 10) but in 1279–80 it was proved by reference to Domesday Book not to be true ancient demesne. (fn. 11)
For various periods from the 13th century on, and continuously from 1369, Steyning manor was in the hands of the Crown because of war with France, (fn. 12) usually being farmed to the abbey's bailiff or proctor. (fn. 13) In 1403 it was leased for life to Sir John Cornwall and his wife Elizabeth, Henry IV's sister. (fn. 14) Under a reversionary grant of 1414, (fn. 15) it passed on Cornwall's death in 1443 to Syon abbey (Mdx.), (fn. 16) to which it was confirmed in 1461. (fn. 17) By then it had lost its former unity, being divided between the borough (later often called borough and manor), and the manor of Charlton; in the late 15th century courts were held for each unit and not as in the previous century for the manor of Steyning. (fn. 18) The abbey still owned the manor and borough in 1535. (fn. 19) At the Dissolution it passed to the Crown, and became part of the honor of Petworth. In 1562 the manor and borough was granted (fn. 20) to Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk (d. 1572); thereafter it descended with Bramber rape until 1869, when it was sold by the duke of Norfolk to the Revd. John Goring, (fn. 21) afterwards descending with Wiston.
The manor of CHARLTON, sometimes called CHARLTON-ASHURST, representing the nonurban part of the original manor of Steyning together with land in Ashurst, had acquired a separate identity by 1440, when Sir John Cornwall held it. (fn. 22) Whether it was separate much earlier is uncertain; the manor of Steyning was still so called in 1405. (fn. 23) Charlton followed the descent of Steyning manor and borough until the Dissolution, (fn. 24) when it came to the Crown, being attached like Steyning to the honor of Petworth. (fn. 25) William Pellatt, to whose grandfather (fn. 26) and namesake Syon abbey leased Charlton manor in 1484 (fn. 27) and who himself held a lease first from the abbey (fn. 28) and later from the Crown, was granted the manor in fee in 1557. (fn. 29) He was succeeded c. 1558 (fn. 30) by his son Richard (d. 1587), whose son Benjamin (fn. 31) sold the manor to Sir Thomas Shirley of Wiston in 1593. (fn. 32) The descent then followed that of Wiston until 1649, when the manor was retained by John Tufton, earl of Thanet, who sold it in 1653 to John Eversfield. (fn. 33) Eversfield died in 1678, (fn. 34) and was succeeded in turn by his son Nicholas (d. by 1684), Nicholas's son Charles (d. 1749), and Charles's son Sir Charles (d. c. 1784). On the death of the last without issue the manor passed jointly to his sister Olive and his nephew William Markwick. (fn. 35) The manor-house was occupied by a tenant in 1777. (fn. 36) On Olive's death in 1803 Markwick inherited her share and took the name Eversfield. At his death in 1812 he was succeeded by his son Charles, who sold the manor in 1818 to Charles Goring. (fn. 37) Since then it has once again descended with Wiston.
A manor-house at Charlton was mentioned in 1464, when there was a gatehouse there. (fn. 38) The present house probably comprises a single range of the 17th century with 18th- and 19th-century additions. There are traces of a formal garden layout of the early 18th century. South of the house is a large late medieval aisled barn of seven bays.
Several other manors or reputed manors originally formed part of Steyning manor, some later being held of Charlton manor. The reputed manor of GATEWICK was one. The personal name de Gatewick was often recorded in Steyning in the Middle Ages. (fn. 39) Richard Farnfold (d. 1569) (fn. 40) was described as of Gatewick in 1541, when he held many tenements of Charlton manor. (fn. 41) Earlier members of the family had held one of them, the mill next to Gatewick House, from the mid 15th century. (fn. 42) Richard's son Richard (fn. 43) died seised of Gatewick House and extensive lands in Steyning in 1609 and was succeeded by his sons Walter (d. 1611) (fn. 44) and Sir Thomas (d. 1643) in turn. The lands were described as a manor in 1620. Sir Thomas's son Henry was described as of Gatewick in 1649, (fn. 45) but by 1675 the lands belonged to Robert Mawer, apparently a relative, who sold them in that year to Thomas and Richard Barnard. (fn. 46) In 1799 the estate was in the hands of Richard Comber of Lewes; (fn. 47) by 1817 it had passed to his son Richard Barnard Comber (d. 1819), (fn. 48) under whose will it was sold in 1855 to the Revd. John Goring. (fn. 49) Part was sold by the Goring family in the 1920s, (fn. 50) and the rest in 1932. (fn. 51)
Gatewick House, (fn. 52) of 5 bays and 2 storeys, occupies an island formed by the mill race of the former Gatewick mill and the overflow channel from the now filled-in mill pond. The house is basically of the late 16th or early 17th century, and originally had tall end chimneys. It was given a red brick façade and internally refitted in the mid 18th century, when additions were also made at the back. At the same time an archway was erected in front using 17th-century materials, possibly from another building. The battlemented tower of ashlar and flint rubble at the west end is probably of the same period. In the early 19th century the house had the appearance of a cottage ornée. (fn. 53) Two gables with ornate barge-boards were added to the main façade c. 1870, (fn. 54) and later the brickwork was painted to represent timber-framing. Since 1953 the house has been restored in 18th-century style, fittings from other houses being incorporated inside, (fn. 55) and the grounds being landscaped.
The reputed manor of NASH, which was also held of Steyning manor, may be identical with the 140 a. in Steyning which Niel de la Falaise granted to Richard at Nash in 1310. (fn. 56) The same or another Richard at Nash paid tax in Steyning in 1296 and 1327. (fn. 57) John de Herlaston granted 220 a. in Steyning in 1376 to William Atwater and his wife Gillian, (fn. 58) and in 1390 they granted the reversion to Hugh Quecche. (fn. 59) Hugh died in 1402 seised of what were evidently the same lands, then called Nash. (fn. 60) From the late 15th century the lands were held of Charlton manor. (fn. 61) In 1541 Henry Roberts conveyed them to his son John (fn. 62) (d. 1556), who was succeeded by his son, another Henry. (fn. 63) Richard Farnfold of Wyckham died seised of Nash in 1600, (fn. 64) and his son William sold the property with Wyckham manor in 1610 to Sir Edward Bellingham, (fn. 65) who by 1622 had conveyed it to Sir John Leeds of Wappingthorn. (fn. 66) As Nash manor it descended with Wappingthorn (fn. 67) until 1664, when Englebert Leeds sold it to Henry (later Sir Henry) Goring of Highden in Washington. (fn. 68) In 1681 it was settled on Sir Henry's daughter Elizabeth and her husband Timothy Burrell, (fn. 69) who was still said to hold it in 1707. (fn. 70) It later passed to Burrell's daughter Elizabeth who married Thomas Trevor, Lord Trevor (d. 1753), and then to the Revd. Timothy Burrell, a cousin, who held it in 1765. (fn. 71) In the early 19th century it belonged to John Bannister, (fn. 72) and c. 1841 to the Misses Bannister. (fn. 73) At Elizabeth Bannister's death (after 1860) it passed first to her brother Thomas and then to Thomas's widow Lucy, under whose will it was sold to Thomas Brown, miller, in 1882. (fn. 74)
Nash Farmhouse, the former manor-house, comprises a late-16th-or 17th-century north wing with 19th-century additions.
The manor of EWELME, of unknown location, was held of Charlton manor in the 15th century and later, (fn. 75) but apparently had at least one tenant of its own. It belonged in 1387 to John Banfield, (fn. 76) and was conveyed by him or a namesake in 1434–5 to Richard Jay. (fn. 77) By 1475 it had passed to William Penbridge and William Fagger, to whom Margery Austin, a relative of John Banfield, quitclaimed her rights in it in that year. (fn. 78) William Fagger is said to have become sole possessor, and to have left the manor to his son Thomas. (fn. 79) Between at least 1554 and 1667 (fn. 80) it descended with Annington in Botolphs. No later record has been found, unless Newham farm lying south of the town was its successor. (fn. 81)
The reputed manor of TESTERS, of which the manor-house lay within the town, (fn. 82) was held of Steyning borough in 1542, (fn. 83) and may originate in a tenement of the Testard family, which was prominent in Steyning in the Middle Ages. (fn. 84) Richard Farnfold held it in 1542, (fn. 85) and William Farnfold in 1548 and c. 1568. (fn. 86) In 1611 William Farnfold of Nash conveyed it to Sir Edward Bellingham and his son Thomas; they sold it in 1614 to William Holland, (fn. 87) who died seised of it in the same year, (fn. 88) after he had granted the demesnes as part of the original endowment of Steyning school. (fn. 89)
The manor of WAPPINGTHORN was held of Edward the Confessor in 1066 by one Carle. In 1086 it was held by William son of Manna of the honor of Bramber, (fn. 90) and it remained part of that honor thereafter. (fn. 91) Later it was held by the Bonet family, perhaps descendants of the Hubert Bonet who occurs locally c. 1080. (fn. 92) Robert Bonet occurs c. 1190, (fn. 93) and he or another Robert was admitted to lands in Sussex in 1209. (fn. 94) The name Robert Bonet is often recorded in the 13th century, (fn. 95) one of its bearers holding 1½ fee in Wappingthorn in 1242. (fn. 96) Hamon Bonet held 1½ fee in Wappingthorn and Wowood (in Beeding) in 1267 (fn. 97) and presumably continued to do so in 1296. (fn. 98) William Bonet was taxed in Steyning in 1332, (fn. 99) and what was presumably Wappingthorn manor, comprising a house and 2 plough-lands, was settled on him in 1341. (fn. 100) He had died by 1349; his son Niel and Niel's wife Margaret both died shortly afterwards, presumably of plague. Niel's brother and heir William (fn. 101) held 1½ fee in Wappingthorn, Wowood, and Tottington (in Beeding) in 1361. (fn. 102)
Nicholas de Wilcombe, apparently the husband of William's sister Alice, (fn. 103) perhaps held the manor in 1367 (fn. 104) and certainly held it in 1374. (fn. 105) He was still lord in 1390, (fn. 106) and at his death it descended not to his eldest son Nicholas, who had renounced his right in it, (fn. 107) but to another son, Peter, (fn. 108) who held land at Wappingthorn in 1412 (fn. 109) and was still alive in 1417. (fn. 110) In 1399, however, the manor was in the hands of Ralph and Laurence Codington, (fn. 111) who had apparently acquired it by force. John Leeds, who had married Peter Wilcombe's daughter Alice by 1427, (fn. 112) was named as lord in 1433, (fn. 113) but by 1443 (fn. 114) he had been succeeded by his son John (d. c. 1457). John's son John owned it in 1470–1. The next recorded owner, William Leeds, had died by 1525, (fn. 115) and his son John died c. 1558. (fn. 116) John's son John, a recusant, forfeited his estates in 1572 on leaving England, (fn. 117) but they were later restored, and he died seised of Wappingthorn in 1606. (fn. 118) His son Thomas, who at first conformed, was knighted in 1603 and became Lord Lieutenant of Sussex. By 1610, however, he had embraced Roman Catholicism and had gone to live abroad; his estates passed to his son John (knighted 1611), M.P. for Shoreham, during whose time others occasionally lived at Wappingthorn. (fn. 119) At Sir John's death in 1656, the manor passed jointly to his cousins Robert and Englebert Leeds of Beverley (Yorks. E.R.). In 1671 Englebert Leeds sold it to Henry Goring the younger (fn. 120) (d. 1687); (fn. 121) after that it passed with Highden in Washington until 1914, when the executors of Genl. R. T. Godman apparently sold it to C. F. W. Russell. (fn. 122) By 1930 it had been bought by the Hon. Arthur (later Sir Arthur) Howard. (fn. 123)
Wappingthorn House (fn. 124) was built in 1609, (fn. 125) of red brick with stone dressings, the north range including a two-storeyed hall with bay window and a projecting two-storeyed porch. By 1798 the house had become a farm-house, (fn. 126) as it remained until the 20th century, (fn. 127) the east part of the building being demolished before 1911. (fn. 128) In 1928 the house was entirely rebuilt, in the same style and materials and on a much larger scale, to the designs of Maxwell Ayrton, little more than part of the north wall being left from the original house. At the same date Ayrton also built a range of service buildings and a water tower north of the house on the site of the old farm buildings and new concrete farm buildings of unusual appearance, including a model dairy, further east. (fn. 129)
In 1073 William de Braose had a grange at Wyckham, (fn. 130) which was presumably identical with the future manor of WYCKHAM. It was probably included in Domesday Book as part of his estate in Steyning, (fn. 131) for it is not mentioned separately. In 1225 Adam Talcurtis held it of William de Braose, and claimed that his ancestors had long owned it. (fn. 132) It continued to be held of Bramber honor thereafter. (fn. 133) Philip Talcurtis had lands at Wyckham, presumably Wyckham manor, c. 1255. (fn. 134) Afterwards the manor was divided. In 1297 a life-interest in two-thirds of it was settled on David Cubbel, chaplain, (fn. 135) who afterwards sold it to Hugh le Despenser the younger. (fn. 136) Despenser was confirmed in it in 1326, (fn. 137) but forfeited it soon afterwards. Sir John Ifield then received the estate, (fn. 138) under a reversionary grant of 1312, (fn. 139) and in 1331 John of Aythorpe Roding (Essex) quitclaimed to him his right in the remaining third of the manor, which had come to his mother Maud from her grandfather Philip Talcurtis. (fn. 140) In 1361 Sir Andrew Peverel the younger and John at Hyde held ¼ fee in Erringham (in Old Shoreham) and Wyckham (fn. 141) under a settlement of 1333. (fn. 142) Reynold Cobham had a moiety of Wyckham in 1384. (fn. 143) The same moiety was settled in 1406 on John Norton, (fn. 144) from whom Reynold's widow Sarah claimed dower in 1423. (fn. 145) One or other moiety was settled in 1446 on Richard Jay, (fn. 146) who by 1467 possessed the whole manor. (fn. 147)
Richard Farnfold held Wyckham c. 1538; (fn. 148) at his death c. 1546 (fn. 149) it presumably passed to William Farnfold who was said to hold it in 1566. (fn. 150) From him it passed in turn to Richard Farnfold (d. 1600) and to Richard's son William, (fn. 151) who sold it in 1610 to Sir Edward Bellingham, (fn. 152) who apparently still held it in 1638. (fn. 153) His son Thomas (fn. 154) was dealing with the manor in 1641, (fn. 155) but thereafter no more is heard of it.
The demesnes of the manor, which in the early 17th century comprised 260 a., (fn. 156) were later known as Upper Wyckham farm. The farm belonged to the earls of Thanet from the late 17th century until 1737, when Sackville Tufton, earl of Thanet, sold it to Sir Robert Fagg (d. 1740), whose heirs or executors sold it in 1750 to John Wenham. (fn. 157) Another estate, perhaps the same as the later Lower Wyckham farm, was conveyed by Thomas Bishop to Richard Farnfold of Gatewick in 1602. (fn. 158) Sir Thomas Farnfold died seised of it in 1643, when it comprised 120 a. (fn. 159) By 1650 it had passed to Robert Mawer, who sold it in that year to George Raynsford. He sold it to Richard Hayler in 1695, when it comprised 85 a. In 1749 it passed from members of the Hayler family to John Bridger, who sold it in 1751 to John Wenham. In 1762 John Wenham sold the two estates to Richard Trevor, bishop of Durham (fn. 160) (d. 1771), who was succeeded by his brother Robert, Lord Trevor, (fn. 161) (cr. Viscount Hampden in 1776; d. 1783), who was succeeded by his son, Thomas, Viscount Hampden (d. 1824). Thomas's brother and heir John, Viscount Hampden (d. 1824) (fn. 162) devised his estates to a distant cousin H. O. Brand (d. 1853), who took the name Trevor. The Wyckham estate passed in 1851 to his younger son H. B. W. Brand (cr. Viscount Hampden, 1884; d. 1892), and in 1890 to the latter's youngest son Thomas (d. 1916), whose son H. R. Brand (fn. 163) sold it in 1924. (fn. 164)
John Culpeper died seised of a third of the manor of LITTLE WYCKHAM in Steyning in 1565, when it was held of Bramber honor as ⅓fee. By 1571 his son Thomas had disposed of it in return for an annuity of £4. (fn. 165) The history of the estate is otherwise obscure, but it was presumably identical with Little Wyckham farm recorded in 1875. (fn. 166)
Upper Wyckham Cottage, formerly Upper Wyckham Farmhouse, is a small late medieval house which still has some exposed timber-framing, a smoke-blackened crown-post roof, and the evidence for opposed doorways at one end of the two-bay hall. The east range of Wyckham, formerly Lower Wyckham, Farmhouse incorporates a small late medieval house lengthened probably in the 17th century and extended westwards in two stages c. 1800.
The interests of the Braose family and their successors in Steyning borough, and the detached burgages of Bramber borough which lay in Steyning, are discussed under Bramber.
Steyning RECTORY, comprising most of the great tithes of the parish (fn. 167) together with portions of tithes at Wappingthorn and Wyckham and in Portslade and Beeding parishes, (fn. 168) followed the descent of Steyning manor from the appropriation of the church in the mid 13th century until the mid 16th century and was then retained by the Crown until the early 17th. (fn. 169) During the next 50 years its history is confused. (fn. 170) In 1649 Anthony Stapley and Isaac Jones leased it to William Devereux and Anne James, the second of whom as survivor had assigned the lease by 1657 to Henry Peck the elder and his son Henry. (fn. 171) In 1661 John St. Amand, an associate of Devereux, (fn. 172) petitioned the Crown for a grant of the estate. (fn. 173) John's son James (d. 1728) (fn. 174) was described as the impropriator in 1724, (fn. 175) and was succeeded by his grandson Robert Hesketh. (fn. 176) In 1774 Robert and Roger Hesketh sold the rectory to Sir John Honeywood (fn. 177) (d. 1781), whose grandson and heir, another Sir John, (fn. 178) sold it in 1796 to Charles Howard, duke of Norfolk. (fn. 179) Bernard Edward Howard, duke of Norfolk, sold it to Charles Marshall in 1839, having previously sold the great tithes arising from roughly half the parish to the owners of the lands concerned. (fn. 180) From Charles Marshall the commuted tithe-rent-charge of Steyning passed to C. M. Griffith (d. 1894), whose executors sold it in 1896 to Charles Goring. (fn. 181)