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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The Parish of Sompting lies on the slope of the South Downs, c. 3 miles north-east of the modern town of Worthing. (fn. 1) In the north-east and northwest the parish boundary follows field boundaries. On the east Sompting is separated from Lancing by Boundstone Lane, and in the south the ancient boundary with Broadwater partly followed the Broadwater or Sompting brook. The southern tip of the parish is ⅓ mile from the sea. In the west the boundary used to follow Charmandean Lane, and in the late 18th century the boundary south of that point ran through Lyons farm-house. (fn. 2) In 1902 c. 9 a., including the farm-house, were transferred from Broadwater to Sompting, and by 1920 the parish comprised 2,926 a. (fn. 3) In 1933 419 a. in the west part, including Lyons and Upton farms, were transferred to Worthing borough, and in 1971 the parish comprised 2,507 a. (1,015 ha.). (fn. 4)
The south part of the parish is low-lying alluvial land which was once part of the tidal estuary of the Broadwater or Sompting brook. Until recently it was liable to flooding. (fn. 5) The name Sompting apparently denotes marshy land. (fn. 6) The land rises gently northwards to a plateau at c. 25 ft. on Coombe deposits, and further north rises more steeply, on chalk dip slopes, to c. 400 ft. at Park Brow in the extreme north of the parish, while Steep Down in the north-east and Lychpole Hill in the north-west reach nearly 500 ft.
Land in the south of the parish long provided meadow and pasture; Loose Farm or Barn was the only farmstead there, and the land remained entirely agricultural until the mid 20th century when it began to be used for industry. The plateau on which the settlements of Sompting and Cokeham lie and the lower slopes of the downs have remained predominantly arable where not used for residential development. The higher downland for long provided sheep pasture, and the highest slopes have remained grassland, but in the 20th century much of the grass was ploughed up, and some of the hills were planted with trees. (fn. 7) Halewick, Titch Hill, and Lychpole Farms on the higher land were the only buildings north of the church and Sompting Abbotts manor-house before the 1930s.
There is evidence of early and probably continuous settlement in the parish, particularly in the north on Park Brow where there are remains of late Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Romano–British settlements, and associated field systems. (fn. 8) A sunken trackway crossing the southern slopes of Steep Down probably also dates from the Iron Age. (fn. 9)
Two centres of settlement, Sompting and Cokeham, were recorded in the 11th century; (fn. 10) they formed two vills in the 13th century (fn. 11) and were still regarded as separate villages in 1814. (fn. 12) From the mid 19th century at latest distinction was made between Upper Cokeham, at the eastern end of West Street, and Lower Cokeham, south of Cokeham Road around Cokeham manor-house. Sompting and Upper Cokeham lay along West Street, the old Chichester–Brighton road. The church and two of the manor–houses of the parish, however, were further north on rising ground. The bounds of the village changed little until the late 19th century, and c. 1900 the three settlements were still distinct. There were only c. 10 more houses in the parish in 1811 than in the 17th century, but numbers rose thereafter from 60 to 166 by 1871, (fn. 13) although building was still largely within the old limits. The number of houses then changed little until the 1920s when rapid growth began; the parish had nearly 2,000 houses by 1951 and over 3,000 by 1971. (fn. 14)
Of the older streets Church, Dankton, and Busticle lanes run northwards from West Street, and Loose Lane, recorded from the 16th century, (fn. 15) runs southwards. Those streets, together with Cokeham Road, running east from West Street, Cokeham Lane and the Lotts, south of that, and Boundstone Lane, were the only streets in Sompting and Cokeham before the 20th century. Three 18thcentury houses, Upton and Yew Tree Farms and the Rectory, remained in 1978 in West Street.
Sompting was well known in the 19th century for its orchards, and particularly its fig trees, (fn. 16) sheltered by high flint walls. The walls remained prominent in the village in 1978 when many orchards survived. In the 19th century the fertile soil around the village (fn. 17) encouraged the development of market-gardens and the glass-house industry. At the west end of Sompting village there survive a number of short 19th-century terraces, presumably built for workers in that industry. Although several of the nurseries were built over in the 1960s and 1970s, glass-houses were still prominent in the village in 1978.
The western end of West Street and Church Lane have been relatively little affected by the 20thcentury expansion of Upper and Lower Cokeham, partly because of the barrier formed by the grounds of Sompting Abbotts house and the bypass road. Upton Farm long marked the westward extent of the village, and land west of it was not built over until after its transfer to Worthing in 1933. Despite infilling after 1945 much open land remained in that part of Sompting in 1978. In 1919 it was reported that most of the labourers' cottages in Sompting and Cokeham were disgracefully inadequate, (fn. 18) and re-building and expansion began in the 1920s. In that decade 40 council houses were built west of Busticle Lane on the site of a former prisoner-of-war camp, and some private development began to the east off Cokeham Road and at the southern end of Cokeham Lane. (fn. 19)
After the Second World War expansion was more rapid. By 1950 over half the dwellings in Sompting were bungalows, (fn. 20) most of them in the estate at the foot of the downs off Halewick Lane. Houses had also been built south of the bypass and between Cokeham and Boundstone lanes. Western Road and Tower Road had been cut, linking Cokeham with industrial development in Lancing, and c. 80 council houses had been built on Tower Road and c. 40 west of Loose Lane. (fn. 21) In the 1960s a cemetery was opened north of the bypass on Boundstone Lane. By c. 1970 further extensive building had taken place. A large area west of Cokeham Lane had been covered with houses and Western Road had been extended northwards to Cokeham Road. The area between Cokeham and Boundstone lanes had been further developed and building had spread south of the railway line where the industrial estates of Worthing and Lancing were extending into Sompting. By 1971 the parish had 527 council and 1,475 private dwellings built since 1945. (fn. 22) Since 1971 there has been infilling within existing residential areas and building in Loose Lane and off Dankton Lane on the site of old nurseries. By 1978 there was no visible break between Upper and Lower Cokeham. On the eastern edge of the parish building in Cokeham and Lancing had made the boundary between them imperceptible.
The line of the Roman road from Chichester to Brighton passes through Sompting, running south of the church through Sompting Abbotts park and then along the line of the modern road to North Lancing. (fn. 23) In the 18th century, and presumably earlier, the road from Chichester ran south of that line, following the course of the modern West Street before turning north along Busticle Lane and east along Bull Pit Lane, where it joined the course of the Roman road. (fn. 24) A bypass north of Sompting village between Church Lane and Busticle Lane was built in 1939. (fn. 25) By 1978 the course of the road throughout the parish was a dual carriage-way.
A road from Sompting to South Lancing, presumably via Cokeham Road and Boundstone Lane, was recorded in the 15th century. (fn. 26) A number of trackways ran northwards from the village to cross the downs. One of them, running from Church Lane by way of Titch Hill and over the lower slopes of Steep Down towards Steyning, was the main coach road from London to Worthing until 1804. (fn. 27) It was the only one of those trackways open as a public road in the 1970s. In the 19th century, and probably earlier, a track also passed across the northern tip of the parish, from Findon and Cissbury Ring towards Coombes. Many of the downland routes mentioned were preserved as footpaths or farm tracks in 1978.
The New Shoreham to Worthing railway line, opened in 1845, (fn. 28) crosses the southern tip of the parish on an embankment. The station at Lancing and the halt at East Worthing are both c. 1 mile from the village.
In 1086 c. 60 inhabitants were recorded in Sompting, (fn. 29) and in 1296 38 people were assessed to the subsidy, 12 in the hamlet of Cokeham and 26 in Sompting. (fn. 30) In 1378 c. 125 adults were recorded there, (fn. 31) and in 1524 50 men contributed to the levy. (fn. 32) There were c. 50 households in the parish in the mid 17th century, (fn. 33) but by 1724 there were only c. 40 families. (fn. 34) By 1801 there were c. 70 families, a population of c. 405. Numbers then rose steadily to 726 in 1871, falling thereafter to 660 in 1911, and then rising again, sharply after 1921, to over 1,200 in 1931, 3,604 in 1951, and 7,645 in 1971. (fn. 35)
One innkeeper was recorded in Sompting in 1798, (fn. 36) and the Marquis of Granby inn, at the junction of Church Lane and West Street, is recorded from 1814. (fn. 37) The present building dates from the 1930s. A little west of it from c. 1873 to 1905 stood the Brewers' Arms; since 1974 at least the building has been used as a restaurant. (fn. 38) Further west, on the south side of West Street, the Gardeners' Arms was recorded from 1873, and survived in 1978. (fn. 39) From 1935 or earlier the Ball Tree inn has stood in Cokeham, at the junction of West Street and Busticle Lane. (fn. 40)
A reading-room was built by H. P. Crofts of Sompting Abbotts in West Street opposite Loose Lane in 1889. (fn. 41) During the 20th century it was used as a parish room. (fn. 42) In 1893 Mrs. Crofts built a small recreation room for boys. (fn. 43) A community centre was opened in 1978 in the former National school in Loose Lane. (fn. 44) A recreation ground at Loose Lane which existed in the 1930s had been replaced 30 years later by another near by, which was still in use in 1978. A recreation ground at Cokeham was in use in the 1930s and survived in 1978. There was only one shop in Sompting in 1905, but after the 1930s the number of tradesmen began to increase. (fn. 45) By 1978 there were small parades of shops at Cokeham and in Halewick Lane, but most inhabitants looked to Worthing or South Lancing as shopping centres. There was a library at Cokeham by 1935, and a branch of the county library there by the 1950s. (fn. 46)
In 1936 Sompting was the site of the combined Sussex County and Royal Counties Agricultural Shows. (fn. 47)
In the mid 17th century George Sowton, a Sompting butcher, was in much local demand as a magician and healer. (fn. 48) In 1814 Queen Caroline, consort of George IV, stayed at Sompting Abbotts before embarking for the continent. (fn. 49) E. J. Trelawny, the author and traveller, moved to Sompting c. 1870 and died there in 1881. (fn. 50) His house in West Street was still known as Trelawny's cottage in 1978.
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
In 1066 Sompting was held by Lewin of King Edward. By 1086 11½ hides there were held of William de Braose by Ralph, from whom an unnamed knight held 1½ hide. Another Ralph held a further 2 hides there of William de Braose. (fn. 51)
William, or one of his sub-tenants, presumably granted land in Sompting to the abbey of Fécamp (Seine Maritime) which held lands there by 1186. (fn. 52) The abbot was granted free warren there in 1252. (fn. 53) In 1403 Fécamp's English lands were leased for life to the king's brother-in-law, Sir John Cornwall, (fn. 54) and in 1414 the reversion was granted to the newly founded Syon abbey. (fn. 55) Cornwall died in 1443 and Syon held the manor, later known as SOMPTING ABBOTTS, in the following year. (fn. 56) After the Dissolution the manor was granted in 1540 to Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk. (fn. 57) He was attainted in 1547, and in 1552 Sompting was granted to Edward Fiennes, Lord Clinton, but it was presumably restored to the duke of Norfolk in 1553, and was held by his grandson, also Thomas (d. 1572). (fn. 58) It descended with Bramber rape until 1640 when it was sold by Thomas, earl of Arundel (d. 1646), to Edmund Pye (fn. 59) (cr. Bt. 1641). (fn. 60)
In 1647 Pye sold Sompting Abbotts to Henry Alderton. (fn. 61) Henry died in 1660 leaving the manor and c. 800 a. in Sompting to his son William, (fn. 62) who was succeeded by his son, also William. The latter died in 1721, leaving the manor to his sister Martha who c. 1730 married Young Willes. (fn. 63) Willes sold the estate in 1748 to John Crofts (d. 1776), a London attorney. (fn. 64) In 1766 John settled it on his son John at his marriage to Frances Pinnock. (fn. 65) The younger John held the estate in 1791, (fn. 66) and by 1830 had been succeeded by his cousin, the Revd. P. G. Crofts. (fn. 67) The latter died in 1859 when Sompting Abbotts had already been settled on his eldest surviving son H. P. Crofts. (fn. 68) H. P. Crofts (d. 1890) was succeeded by his eldest daughter Blanche (d. 1927) who in 1879 had married S. B. Tristram (d. 1919). (fn. 69) In 1923 Mrs. Tristram released her interest in Sompting to her son Major Guy Tristram, who retained it until his death in 1963. (fn. 70) In 1978 it was held by a family trust. The estate then covered c. 1,850 a. (fn. 71)
The manor-house of Sompting Abbotts, sometimes called the Abbotts, or Sompting House, stands north-east of the church on the edge of the downs. (fn. 72) In the 1660s it had only four hearths. (fn. 73) From the earlier 18th century there was a large house with a symmetrical south front of 5 bays with a central pediment. The two principal storeys were raised on a basement and were approached by a curved flight of steps. (fn. 74) By will proved 1849 J. S. Crofts, P. G. Crofts's brother, left £8,000 towards the rebuilding of Sompting House. (fn. 75) In 1856 a new flint Gothic-style house was built, west of the site of the older house, to the design of P. C. Hardwick. (fn. 76) From c. 1920 the house has been used as a preparatory school. In 1978 the school had grounds of c. 30 a. (fn. 77)
The 4 knight's fees in Sompting and Ewhurst (in Shermanbury) which Andrew Peverel held in 1242 of the honor of Bramber probably included the 2½ knight's fees there in dispute in 1201 between Agnes wife of William of Wiston and Aline wife of Ellis son of Bernard, daughters of William de Harcourt. (fn. 78) The manor in Sompting, later known as SOMPTING PEVEREL, continued to be held of Bramber rape. (fn. 79)
After 1242 it descended in the Peverel family from Andrew (d. 1274) to his son Thomas (fn. 80) (d. 1306) and then to Thomas's son Andrew. (fn. 81) After the latter's death in 1329 the manor was held for life by his wife Alice (d. 1336), and then by their son Andrew, (fn. 82) after whose death in 1375 it descended with Offington in Broadwater until Thomas, Lord de la Warr's death without issue in 1554. (fn. 83) Herbert Pelham may have purchased at least a share in the manor in 1529: (fn. 84) Sir Nicholas Pelham held the manor in 1559, (fn. 85) and in 1602 he or a namesake sold it to John Langworth of Buxted (d. 1614), who in 1611 settled it on his fourth son Anthony. (fn. 86) In 1618 Anthony conveyed it to his elder brother Thomas who in 1626 sold it to Catherine, widow of Sir Edward Morley. (fn. 87) Her son John Morley was lord in 1631, and died in 1663 leaving Sompting Peverel to his daughter Mary, wife of Sir John May. (fn. 88) In 1672 they sold the manor to William Peachey, a London merchant, (fn. 89) who on his death in 1687 was succeeded by his son Henry (cr. Bt. 1736). It then descended in the same family from Henry (d. 1737) to his brother Sir John (d. 1744) and John's son, also Sir John (d. 1765). In 1794 the latter's brother and heir Sir James was created Lord Selsey. On his death in 1808 James was succeeded first by his son John (d. 1816), and then by John's son Henry John (d. 1838), both of whom were Lords Selsey. (fn. 90) In 1836 Sompting Peverel was sold to the Revd. P. G. Crofts, (fn. 91) and thereafter it descended with Sompting Abbotts.
Sompting Peverel manor-house, known from the 1830s as Church Farm, stands north of the church. (fn. 92) A house was recorded in 1274 and 1306. In 1524 it was occupied by the lessee of the demesne lands. (fn. 93) In the 17th and 18th centuries the house had a hall, parlour, kitchen, and buttery with chambers over, and other rooms and offices. (fn. 94) The timber-framed building which survived in 1979 probably dates from the 17th century. In the early 18th century it was cased with flint rubble with brick dressings and extended, and it was altered again in the early 19th century.
After 1154 SOMPTING RECTORY belonged to the Knights Templar. (fn. 95) On the seizure of their lands in 1308 it was worth 40 marks and included c. 60 a. It may have passed briefly to Sir Andrew Peverel before being granted to the Knights Hospitaller (fn. 96) to whom it was confirmed in 1438. (fn. 97) After the Dissolution the rectory was granted in 1544 to John Caryll (fn. 98) (d. 1566) who was succeeded by his son Thomas's son, also John Caryll. (fn. 99) Sir John (d. 1613) was followed by his son, also Sir John. (fn. 100) The latter's son, also John, held the rectory in 1679. (fn. 101) The last-named John died in 1681 and his son John's lands were forfeited in 1696 and granted to John Cutts, Lord Cutts. (fn. 102) A Catherine Caryll however received the income of the estate between 1704 and 1713. (fn. 103) In the 1720s it seems to have belonged to Terry Sturgeon, whose son Richard may have been among those from whom Edward Barker purchased the rectory, including c. 140 a. of land, between 1726 and 1729. (fn. 104) Barker died in 1747 and in 1750 the rectory was settled on his son Edward at his marriage with Anne Compton. (fn. 105) They were succeeded by their son, also Edward (d. 1835), who devised the rectory to Henry John Peachey, Lord Selsey. It was sold with Sompting Peverel in 1836 and afterwards descended with Sompting Abbotts. (fn. 106)
A house was recorded on the rectory estate in the early 14th century, and in the 17th. (fn. 107) In 1707 it had five bedrooms, a parlour, a kitchen, and other offices. (fn. 108) A new three-storeyed house was built on the same site in Upper Cokeham c. 1791. (fn. 109) From the 1850s it was the centre of the Pullen, later Pullen-Burry, family's market-garden, (fn. 110) and extensive glass-houses were built north of the house. In 1951 the house was occupied by a Roman Catholic convent school, (fn. 111) and by 1978 most of the surrounding land had been built over.
Land in Cokeham formerly held of Earl Harold by one Grene was held in 1086 by Ralph of William de Braose. (fn. 112) In 1262 COKEHAM manor was settled by Thomas de Brom on Walter de la Hyde and his wife Joan. (fn. 113) Their daughter may have been Hawise, wife of Robert le Veel, who in 1304 sold the manor's reversion to Sir William Paynel and his wife Margaret. It was then held for life by Henry of Guildford. (fn. 114) In 1316, when it was held of Sompting Peverel, Sir William Paynel gave it to Hardham priory to provide four secular chaplains. (fn. 115) At the dissolution of the priory in 1534 the prior attempted to sell Cokeham to Richard Scrase and others, (fn. 116) but the sale presumably never took effect. Although the manor may have been given to Queen Anne Boleyn in 1534 (fn. 117) it was later granted to Sir William Goring, patron of Hardham, who held it at his death in 1553/4. (fn. 118) It then descended with Lancing in the Goring family until 1658, when it appears to have passed to Percy, the youngest son of the Sir William who died in that year. He held it in 1668, and died in 1697. (fn. 119)
In the early 18th century the manor seems to have been held by trustees, (fn. 120) but by 1755 it belonged to Francis Winton. (fn. 121) By 1795 he had been succeeded by his son Harry, and in 1836 Cokeham belonged to Caroline Winton, presumably Harry's widow. (fn. 122) In 1838 the manor and c. 330 a. of land passed to George Wyndham of Petworth, (fn. 123) thereafter descending with Coombes (fn. 124) until 1920. In 1922 Charles Wyndham, Lord Leconfield, sold it, with c. 700 a. in Sompting, to F. E. Sparkes, (fn. 125) whose son E. M. Sparkes held it by 1949. (fn. 126)
Cokeham manor-house stood east of Cokeham Lane in 1840. (fn. 127) In 1922 it was described as a square building of stuccoed brick. (fn. 128) It survived in 1938, but by the 1960s the site had been built over. (fn. 129)
Cokeham hospital (fn. 130) received 1½ yardland and pasture for 200 sheep at Cokeham at its endowment c. 1278 by William de Bernehus. (fn. 131) That estate may be identical with the 1½ hide held there in 1086 by Ralph son of Tedric. (fn. 132) The lands may have had some connexion with Cokeham manor, for the advowson of the hospital was settled in 1324 on Ralph de Camoys, (fn. 133) son and heir of Margaret Paynel, (fn. 134) whose rights in Cokeham were challenged by Hardham priory at the same period. (fn. 135) After the priory was licensed to appropriate it in 1351 (fn. 136) the hospital is not mentioned again, (fn. 137) and its lands were presumably absorbed into Cokeham manor.
The reputed manor of LYCHPOLE, in the north of the parish, presumably derived from land in Sompting held by the Lychpole family in the 13th century. In 1279 William grandson of Alan de Lychpole held land there, and in 1281 Sir Thomas Peverel granted lands in Sompting to Andrew son of Andrew de Lychpole on his marriage to Sir Thomas's illegitimate daughter Joan. The land descended in the Lychpole family, and in 1350 Stephen de Lychpole, son of John and grandson of Andrew, quitclaimed all his lands at Lychpole to Sir Andrew Peverel, who in 1360 granted them for life to Ralph de Lychpole and his son Thomas. In 1359 however Ralph had apparently given all the lands he leased of Sir Andrew to Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel. (fn. 138) Richard's son Richard, who held c. 60 a. there in 1386, (fn. 139) was executed in 1397. His son Thomas was restored to his father's title and estates in 1400, (fn. 140) and in 1405 gave Lychpole to Holy Trinity hospital, Arundel. (fn. 141)
After the Dissolution Lychpole was granted in 1546 to Sir Richard Lee, who in the same year sold it to Edward Cowper, a member of a Sompting yeoman family. (fn. 142) In 1551 it passed to John Cowper, presumably Edward's son, (fn. 143) who was succeeded at his death in 1592 by his son, also John (fn. 144) (d. 1594). The younger John's heirs were his three daughters, Anne wife of Richard Duke, Joan wife of Ockendon Cooper, and Jane wife of Laurence Stanynoghe. (fn. 145) The estate was divided and Lychpole fell to Jane and Laurence, whose son Daniel sold it to Thomas, earl of Arundel in 1636. (fn. 146) The reputed manor thereafter descended with Sompting Abbotts.
It seems likely that a house has long stood on the site of Lychpole Farm. A messuage there was mentioned in the 15th century (fn. 147) and in 1592. (fn. 148) A house stood on the present site in the mid 18th century; (fn. 149) in 1978 that site was occupied by a 19thcentury farm-house.
In the 18th and 19th centuries the vicars choral of Chichester held c. 12 a. in Sompting near Dankton Barn. (fn. 150)
The reputed manor of Lyons, which lay partly in Sompting, is treated under Broadwater.
In 1066 Sompting, including a detached part in Itchingfield, was assessed at 17 hides. By 1086 Ralph had 11½ hides there, enough for 5 plough-teams. There were 2 demesne plough-teams and 5 servi, and the 19 villani and 16 bordars had 9 teams. There was 30 a. of demesne meadow. One and a half hide of Ralph's land was held by a knight and worked by 2 villani and 4 bordars with one team, and there were 2 a. of meadow there. A further 2 hides, held by another Ralph, were worked by 4 villani and one bordar with ½ plough-team, although there was land enough for a whole team. That estate had 2 a. of meadow. Of the two estates at Cokeham in 1086, one had one demesne plough-team, 8 a. of meadow, and 5 bordars, the second half a demesne ploughteam and half a villein team, 1 villanus, 3 bordars, and 2 a. of meadow. Woodland for one pig was also recorded. The Cokeham lands had maintained their 1066 value but that of the others had fallen slightly. (fn. 151)
In the late 13th and early 14th centuries the demesne of Sompting Peverel included 88 a. of arable, as well as 61 a. at 'le Wyke' and 46 a. in Coombes and at Lychpole. There were also 9 a. of meadow and several pasture, and the lord kept 200 sheep in the common pasture. In 1274 rents in money and in kind from free and customary tenants were recorded. In 1306, although the 20 free tenants paid only money rents, the 21 customary tenants owed services such as harrowing, hoeing, mowing, and reaping. Eight cottars also owed labour services, but those tasks may have been commuted. (fn. 152) By the early 16th century Sompting Peverel's demesne was leased, and with it Loose and Halewick farms, the latter comprising 70 a. (fn. 153) In 1379 Sompting Abbotts's demesne included 80 a. of arable, 4 a. of meadow, and several pasture, as well as common for 300 sheep. Some land was leased; both free tenants and neifs paid money rents and services were commuted. (fn. 154) In the 15th century the demesne was usually farmed by the lord's bailiff. (fn. 155) In the early 14th century the rectory estate included 60 a. of arable, and pasture for 8 oxen and 100 sheep in Sompting and for 100 sheep at Cokeham. (fn. 156) The rectory farm, known as the Temple, was leased in the 16th century. (fn. 157) The Lychpole estate in the 14th century included c. 60 a. of arable and pasture. (fn. 158)
In the 14th century wheat, barley, peas, and vetch were grown. (fn. 159) Sheep formed an important part of the economy, pasture for them being attached to each estate, (fn. 160) but in 1341 the tithe of sheaves was worth three times those of wool and lambs. Dairy cattle were also kept. (fn. 161) The arable land, in the centre of the parish, probably originally lay in two, and later three, large fields which were divided into named furlongs. The East and West fields occur in 1241, and Middle field in the 16th century. By then some land was described as being in Cokeham in the east, Lychpole in the north, and Upton in the west of the parish. (fn. 162) By the early 16th century some land was probably being exchanged to facilitate the inclosure of arable, (fn. 163) but estates were still much intermingled.
In 1296 the lords of Cokeham and Sompting Peverel manors were by far the wealthiest inhabitants of the parish. In 1332, after Cokeham had passed to Hardham priory, Alice Peverel was the wealthiest inhabitant, followed by Andrew de Lychpole. (fn. 164) In 1524 50 parishioners were assessed to the subsidy. Twenty-three paid on wages alone, and another 14 on £5 or less. The three wealthiest parishioners were Richard Burre, lessee of the rectory, William Hyde, lessee of Sompting Peverel, and Edward Cowper, member of a prominent yeoman family. (fn. 165)
Members of the Cowper family leased Cokeham manor demesne in the early 16th century and afterwards acquired Lychpole and other lands in Cokeham and Sompting. (fn. 166) In the mid 17th century the combined Sompting Abbotts and Lychpole estate comprised c. 800 a. (fn. 167) By the mid 18th century it had been divided into two large farms. Sompting Abbotts or Lychpole farm had c. 330 a. of arable and 100 a. of pasture and meadow, all inclosed, and common of pasture for 1,000 sheep. Upton farm, with a farmstead west of the village, had 200 a. of inclosed land and pasture for 500 sheep. (fn. 168) In 1747 the latter was leased. (fn. 169) Sompting Peverel demesne was leased during the 17th century, and by 1689 it was let to Edward Burry. (fn. 170) By the late 18th century Cokeham manor demesne was farmed by Henry Burry. (fn. 171) The rectory estate was leased in the late 17th century and early 18th to members of the Penfold family. (fn. 172) In 1702 that estate included c. 160 a. of arable, 5 a. of meadow, and 100 a. of pasture. (fn. 173)
Estates seem to have been consolidated in the later 17th century. In 1627 lands belonging to Sompting Abbotts and Sompting Peverel were still intermingled, but by the mid 18th century Sompting Abbotts's land formed two compact estates. (fn. 174) In the late 17th and early 18th centuries former grazing land such as Cradle Hill in the north-west of the parish was being taken into cultivation. (fn. 175) In the 16th century (fn. 176) barley seems to have been the commonest crop, followed by wheat, but wheat was predominant by the 18th century. Peas and oats were also grown in a three-course rotation which by the 18th century sometimes included clover. Flax was also grown on small plots from c. 1720. (fn. 177) Sheep remained of great importance, even farms of under 20 a. having pasture rights for 200 sheep. (fn. 178) The regulation of common sheep-pasture formed an important part of the manor court's business. (fn. 179) In the late 16th and 17th centuries many yeomen farmers had flocks of over 200 sheep, and most kept some dairy cattle as well. Sompting Peverel demesne farm in 1630 had c. 700 sheep, and in the early 18th century c. 470. The dairy herds produced large amounts of butter and cheese, and the flocks much wool. In 1636 one farmer had both wool and linen wheels in his home.
In the 1830s, (fn. 180) despite some ploughing up of old grassland, the land-use pattern of the parish had changed little. In the south-west were the Brooks and the Leys, and in the south-east Cokeham Ham, meadows watered by tributaries of the Teville stream. The rest of the southern part of the parish was arable, as was the land north and north-east of the village. The northernmost parts of the parish were still mostly sheep pasture. In 1840 there were c. 1,620 a. of arable, 330 a. of pasture, and 857 a. of downland.
Much of the land was then divided between 7 major farms, most of which stretched the length of the parish, to include downland, arable, and lowlying pasture. At the western edge of the parish was Lyons farm which had c. 212 a. in Sompting besides land in Broadwater. Next to Lyons was Upton farm of 364 a., part of the Crofts estate. From 1859 to 1938 it was leased, and in 1978 it was farmed as part of Titch Hill farm. (fn. 181) East of Upton lay Church farm, comprising the former Sompting Peverel demesne and Loose farm, (fn. 182) also part of the Crofts estate. Comprising c. 540 a., Church farm was farmed between the 1890s and 1978 by members of the Phillips family. (fn. 183) Lychpole farm, east of Church farm, also comprised c. 540 a. in 1840, stretching from the northern to the southern parish boundary, broken only by the grounds of Sompting Abbotts. It was perhaps usually kept in hand by the Crofts family in the 19th and 20th centuries, since farmers occur only sporadically. By 1978 it had been broken up, part being farmed with Upton as Titch Hill farm and the rest from Lychpole. (fn. 184) Yew Tree farm, farmed in 1840 from the house on West Street, comprised c. 375 a. mostly north of the village. By the 20th century it was part of the Tristram estate, (fn. 185) and in 1978 the house had ceased to be a farm-house. Cokeham Manor and Halewick farms together comprised c. 455 a. in 1840 when they were farmed by John and James Penfold from the 17th-century Halewick Farm, north of Upper Cokeham, and from the Manor Farm in Lower Cokeham. Intermingled with that land was Cokeham Ham farm of c. 105 a., which was later incorporated in the Cokeham estate. John Penfold was followed after 1859 by his sisters Clara and Jane who farmed at Cokeham until the 1890s. In 1922 the Manor farm comprised c. 436 a. and Halewick c. 200 a. (fn. 186) They were divided in the 1930s between F. E. Sparkes's two sons. Halewick continued as a dairy and sheep farm and the Manor farm became a nursery. (fn. 187) By 1972 Cokeham Ham house had been demolished: (fn. 188) in 1978 a late-17thcentury cottage known as Manor Cottage stood near its site. Most of the farm had been built over. Halewick farm, of over 240 a., then belonged to A. G. Linfield (Sompting) Ltd. (fn. 189)
The pattern of farming changed little during the later 19th century: in 1876 the proportions of arable, pasture, and downland were similar to those of 1840, and there were approximately the same numbers of cattle, sheep, and pigs in 1875 as in 1801. (fn. 190) In the 1930s an unidentified Sompting farm still grew wheat and oats on a four-course rotation, and kept some dairy cattle on the brookland and sheep on the downs. Much poultry and a few pigs were also kept. (fn. 191) During the Second World War, however, the area of arable on the downs was greatly extended, and after 1945 hardly any sheep were kept in Sompting. An increasing number of beef cattle were kept on the meadows in the southern half of the parish. (fn. 192) In the 1960s barley and wheat were the main crops. (fn. 193) In the 1970s the acreages of arable and grazing land were roughly equal. Most farms produced corn and beef cattle, and Upton farm included a large dairy unit. (fn. 194)
In the 1830s nearly three-quarters of the adult male population was employed in agriculture and work was available for them all. Women and children found occasional summer employment on the farms or on the market-gardens which were becoming increasingly important in the parish's economy. (fn. 195) By 1814 there had been many orchards and gardens supplying local markets, especially Worthing, and by 1838 47 a. were occupied by market-gardens, for which special tithing arrangements were made. (fn. 196) By 1859 there were 8 marketgardeners in Sompting, including John Pullen at Rectory House. He built up a large nursery business, growing grapes, peaches, melons, strawberries, and vegetables, as well as tobacco to make his own insecticide. The nurseries remained in his family, eventually becoming H. and A. Pullen-Burry Ltd., in 1951 the largest employers in Sompting. In 1913 the firm had 400 a. under cultivation and in that year Mr. Pullen-Burry perfected a system of movable greenhouses with heating, ventilating, and watering systems combined. (fn. 197) By 1875 the parish had 73 a. of market-gardens and 27 a. of orchards. (fn. 198) The industry continued to expand until the early 20th century, and although in 1906 it was said to be declining through foreign competition there were 10 market-gardeners and nurserymen in Sompting in 1911, and 13 in 1930. (fn. 199) By 1913 currants and gooseberries were the largest fruit crops, followed by raspberries and strawberries, and the orchards produced apples, plums, and pears. (fn. 200) In 1922 31 a. east of Halewick Farm were market-gardens, and there were nurseries there and at Cokeham Manor, then called Abbey Nurseries. (fn. 201) In 1940 A. G. Linfield Ltd. bought Hill Barn Nursery in Halewick Lane. From 1973 they also had c. 6 a. of glass-houses in West Street. Their main greenhouse crops were then mushrooms and peppers. (fn. 202)
Employment other than in agriculture was rare in Sompting before the mid 20th century. In 1378 there were two fishermen. (fn. 203) In 1640 three seamen were recorded, and in the early 19th century there was some smuggling. In 1831 some women found employment such as washing at Worthing. (fn. 204) Despite the growth of population agriculture and associated rural crafts were still the principal local employers in the early 1950s. (fn. 205) By the 1970s, however, the industrial estates in Worthing and Lancing had begun to spread into Sompting, providing alternative employment. (fn. 206)
There were 8 salterns in Sompting in 1086, evidently on the estuary of the Broadwater or Sompting brook. (fn. 207) A mill was also recorded at that date, and there were three mills in the late 12th century. (fn. 208) There was a windmill on the Peverel estate in 1274, 1306, and 1538. (fn. 209) Millfield occurs north-east of Upper Cokeham in the 19th century (fn. 210) and there was a windmill south of the west end of the village in 1896. (fn. 211)
A fair was held in Sompting from at least the early 19th century, on 5 July. It was still held c. 1950. (fn. 212)
Half the tithing of Sompting belonged in the 13th century to the abbot of Fácamp, and in 1248 the abbot had a prison there. (fn. 213) Court rolls survive for the Fécamp manor, later Sompting Abbotts, for 1437, 1474–5, 1495–8, 1502–7, and 1572. (fn. 214) The court then dealt with pleas of debt and trespass, and with breaches of the assize of bread and of ale, as well as with tenurial business, the repair of tenements, and the regulation of agriculture. An ale-taster was recorded in 1503, a beadle in 1505, and a headborough in 1572. In the early 18th century heriots were charged on land held of Sompting Abbotts, but courts had not been held within living memory. (fn. 215)
Court rolls and books of Sompting Peverel manor survive for 1553, 1566–81, 1599–1604, sporadically for 1626–77, and for 1707–1856. (fn. 216) That court also heard pleas of trespass, dealt with tenurial matters and the regulation of agriculture, and supervised the maintenance of highways. The copyhold land of the manor was heriotable. A constable was recorded in 1538, (fn. 217) and in 1570 two tellers of livestock were elected for the part of the manor in Cokeham. By the 17th century the court was concerned almost solely with tenurial matters. The custom of borough English pertained. (fn. 218)
Court records for the manor of Cokeham survive for 1645, 1678–1726, sporadically for 1737–70, and for 1795–1816, and 1839–73. (fn. 219) From the late 17th century courts were concerned entirely with tenurial matters. They were then held once a year, but more irregularly from the early 18th century, and in the 19th century only once every 3 or 4 years, with additional special courts. In the mid 19th century they were held at Petworth House. A reeve occurs in 1743. (fn. 220) The custom of borough English pertained (fn. 221) and heriots were payable.
Two churchwardens were recorded for Sompting from 1560. (fn. 222) No other record of parochial officers has been found.
Between 1776 and 1803 poor-law expenditure increased by more than five times, and in the next decade it nearly doubled. During the next two decades it fluctuated greatly. The number of adults receiving permanent relief doubled between 1803 and 1815. (fn. 223) In 1831 money was given to working men for the support of their families, and some work was provided on the roads. (fn. 224) In 1834 34 people were receiving outside relief. (fn. 225)
From 1835 Sompting formed part of Steyning union, (fn. 226) afterwards Steyning rural district. After 1894 it was in Steyning West rural district. (fn. 227) In 1933 it was transferred to Worthing rural district, (fn. 228) and in 1974 to Adur district.
Architectural evidence shows that there was a church at Sompting in the early 11th century, and one was recorded there in 1086. (fn. 229) In 1154 William de Braose granted Sompting church to the Knights Templar, reserving the life interests of two priests there. (fn. 230) A vicarage was ordained at the end of the 12th century, the Templars agreeing to build two rooms for the vicar and pay him 2 marks a year. He was also to have all offerings, all small tithes, mill tithes, and a garden and 2 a. of land. (fn. 231)
The advowson of the vicarage passed with the rectory from the Templars to the Knights Hospitaller who held it in the 15th century. (fn. 232) In 1544 it was granted with the rectory to John Caryll and descended in his family with that estate, (fn. 233) although the patron in 1585 was Henry Shelley of Patcham and in 1707 Sir John Shelley, Bt. (fn. 234) Edward Barker acquired the advowson with the rectory in the 1720s and it descended in his family until the 19th century. (fn. 235) In 1837 Henry Botting of Lancing presented for one turn, and in 1855 C. M. Griffith presented, probably as trustee. The advowson thereafter descended in the Crofts family, passing with the rectory to the Tristram family. (fn. 236) In 1963 Maj. Guy Tristram gave the advowson to the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. (fn. 237)
In the late 12th century the Templars gave up to the canons of Steyning half the tithes from Fécamp abbey's lands, later Sompting Abbotts, and the canons renounced their right to burials in Sompting. (fn. 238) In the 18th century part of the Sompting Abbotts demesne still paid no tithe to the rector of Sompting. (fn. 239) In 1635 the vicar had, besides small tithes, the great tithes of garden plots and of small parcels of land called holibreads. (fn. 240) In 1840 the vicarial tithes were commuted for a rent-charge of c. £190 and the rector of Broadwater was awarded a rent-charge of £33 for the small tithes of that part of Lyons farm which lay within Sompting. (fn. 241)
In 1291 the vicarage of Sompting was worth £10; (fn. 242) in the mid 15th century it was valued at less than 12 marks, and it was classed as an impoverished benefice in 1513. (fn. 243) In 1535 it was worth £8 7s. (fn. 244) In the early 19th century, when it was worth £98, the living was still called poor. (fn. 245) By c. 1830 its value had risen to c. £150, and by 1851 to c. £230. (fn. 246) In 1878 it was valued at £209. (fn. 247) On her death c. 1882 Mrs. E. Williams left £3,000 stock to augment the living, and in 1884 the vicarage's gross income was £325. (fn. 248) It fell thereafter, to c. £200 in 1903 when the vicar complained that he had to augment his income by bee- and poultrykeeping and the sale of garden produce. (fn. 249)
In the early 17th century and in 1724 the vicarial glebe comprised c. 8 a. of land, and the vicar still received corn and money payments from the rectory estate and had a horse leaze on the common of Sompting Abbotts manor. (fn. 250) By 1838 3 a. of glebe had been sold, 2 a. had been lost, and the remaining 3 a. were still occupied by the vicar. (fn. 251) By 1887 only 2 a. were recorded; (fn. 252) that land seems to have been sold in 1937. (fn. 253)
A vicarage house south of the church, perhaps on the same site where the Templars were to build two houses in the 12th century, was in decay in 1573. In 1615 it had a garden and an orchard. (fn. 254) In 1665 it had four hearths, (fn. 255) and in 1706 at least nine rooms. (fn. 256) By 1724 it had been almost entirely rebuilt by the incumbent, and in 1791 it was temporarily occupied by the rector while a new rectory house was built. (fn. 257) In 1814 it was uninhabited, and it had been largely rebuilt by 1828. (fn. 258) It remained the vicar's residence until 1937. A new brick vicarage house was built east of the church in 1938, the old vicarage, renamed Sompting Peverel, becoming a private house. (fn. 259)
Shortly after the Templars acquired Sompting church they were also granted the chapel of St. Peter at Cokeham, with one yardland there, by Nicholas de Bernehus. (fn. 260) After disputes in the early 13th century between William de Bernehus and the Templars, it was agreed in 1228 that the Templars would provide a chaplain to perform daily services at Cokeham, and William agreed to endow the chapel with 6 marks, 4 a. of land, and pasture for 100 sheep. (fn. 261) In 1241 the Templars gave the 4 a., with 5s. 4d. and 2 qr. each of wheat and barley a year, to the vicar of Sompting to perform services at Cokeham. (fn. 262) The two pensions were still being received by the vicar in the early 14th century. (fn. 263) About 1240 the vicar had refused to hear confessions in the chapel at Cokeham, but it was established that all services and sacraments could be held at Cokeham except burials and most processions. (fn. 264) The chapel does not occur after the 14th century. (fn. 265) It had presumably stood in Chapel croft, between Cokeham Road and Cokeham Lane, where the remains of a wall stood in 1830. (fn. 266)
Two priests were recorded at Sompting in 1154, and another c. 1180. (fn. 267) In the late 12th century Ellis FitzBernard acknowledged that the chapel in his house, probably Sompting Peverel, was subordinate to the church of Sompting, and the Templars agreed to provide full divine service for him and his family in Sompting. (fn. 268)
An assistant curate was recorded in 1516. (fn. 269) In 1555 the vicar of Sompting was licensed to hold Wiston as well. (fn. 270) Thomas Sowton, vicar in 1563, was resident, but apparently unpopular: in 1571 he was accused of not preaching quarterly sermons and in 1573 of frequenting alehouses. (fn. 271) By 1584, however, he diligently kept the injunctions, preached, and catechised. (fn. 272) John Simson, vicar in 1605, was able to preach but was not licensed. (fn. 273) In 1640 the vicar was described as honest and sober. He preached each Sunday and administered communion five times a year. (fn. 274) His successor, also sequestrator of Lancing, in 1662 preached every Sunday. (fn. 275) Charles Smith was deprived of Sompting and Coombes in 1689. (fn. 276) William Brownsword also held Coombes, but served Sompting himself in 1724, when there were weekly sermons and quarterly sacraments with c. 35 communicants. (fn. 277) Between 1771 and 1815 the cure was held by three successive William Groomes who employed curates at Sompting. (fn. 278)
In the early 19th century Sompting was often held with Lancing as both were poor livings and in 1814 alternate Sunday morning and afternoon services were held at each. (fn. 279) The Groomes' successor also held Kingston by Sea, but served Sompting himself. (fn. 280) In 1838 there were 2 Sunday services and 6 communions a year, and by 1844 communion was celebrated every 6 weeks and on feast days. The children were regularly catechised at school. (fn. 281) In 1851 c. 100 adults attended the morning and 150 the afternoon services. There were also c. 50 Sunday school children. (fn. 282) By 1865 the average congregation was c. 350 and monthly communions were attended by c. 35 communicants. By 1884 there were communion services 2 or 3 times a month, and by 1903, when services were well attended, once a week. (fn. 283)
In 1966 a brick-built hall in Bowness Avenue was dedicated as St. Peter's Cokeham. In 1978 it was used as a church hall on weekdays and for worship on Sundays. It was served from the parish church. (fn. 284)
The church of ST. MARY, so called in 1442, (fn. 285) consists of a continuous chancel and nave, a north transept with an east aisle, a south transept with a projecting east chapel and south porch, and a west tower with a short helm spire. It is faced with flint, with Caen stone dressings, and the facing of the tower includes some Roman bricks. The tower is built in two distinct structural phases both of which have pilaster decoration and are earlier than the mid 11th century, as is the tower arch, set to the south of the tower wall, perhaps to allow for an altar against the east wall of the tower. Some fragments of 11th-century carving have been retained elsewhere in the church. The nave and chancel were rebuilt after the church was acquired by the Templars in 1154, probably on the same lines as the earlier nave and perhaps incorporating parts of its walls. (fn. 286) The transepts were also built in the 12th century. That on the north with its vaulted aisle housed two altars. The present south transept is below the level of the rest of the church and was probably built as the nave of a private chapel for the Templars. It was originally connected to the main church by only a door between the chancel of the church and the small vestry which lies between it and the barrel-vaulted sanctuary. In the 14th century, after the church had passed to the Hospitallers, a south porch was added to the south transept, an arch was cut between it and the nave, the west end of the nave was rebuilt, and a chapel for the Hospitallers was built north of the tower with openings into the tower and nave. That chapel had fallen into disuse by the 15th century when new windows were put into the nave and chancel, and the west doorway was rebuilt; in 1405 money was left towards building work at Sompting church. (fn. 287)
The chancel was repaired in the 1720s (fn. 288) and the tower roof in 1762, (fn. 289) but by 1791 the whole church needed extensive repairs and two cracked bells were sold to pay for them. (fn. 290) In 1828 the church was repewed; (fn. 291) by 1853 further work was necessary, particularly on the roof and the tower. (fn. 292) The stone shingles on the tower were replaced with oak ones, all the roofs were renewed and the vault of the south transept chapel was rebuilt, as was the north transept aisle, whose southern end was opened to the chancel. Most of the internal stonework was scraped, and other repairs were carried out, all under the direction of R. C. Carpenter. (fn. 293) In 1969 12th-century windows were re-opened in the west walls of both transepts. (fn. 294) In 1971 the ruined north chapel, known as St. John's chapel, was rebuilt as the Hospitallers room, used for services and meetings. (fn. 295)
The plain, circular, 12th-century font stands in the south transept. Some fragments of a 15thcentury rood-screen survived in the mid 19th century. (fn. 296) At the north side of the chancel is a canopied tomb, probably that of Richard Burre (d. c. 1528). (fn. 297) There are monuments to Terry Sturgeon (d. 1716) and to John Crofts (d. 1776) and other members of the Crofts family.
In 1640 it was noted that the church bells had been taken down and sold, (fn. 298) but four bells had been acquired by 1724. (fn. 299) In 1791 two were sold (fn. 300) and two remained in the early 19th century. (fn. 301) By 1864 there was one bell dated 1795. (fn. 302) In the mid 17th century the church had a silver cup and cover, and a pewter flagon. (fn. 303) By c. 1895 there was a silver chalice dated 1612, a flagon given by Terry Sturgeon in 1713, a silver paten of c. 1700 given by H. P. Crofts in 1884, and a chalice and paten given by Edward Barker in 1825. (fn. 304) The register of baptisms begins in 1547, the others in 1558; they are virtually complete.
The church of St. Paulinus was opened in Cokeham Road in 1935. In 1973 the congregation moved to Lancing; the church was sold and the site built over. (fn. 305)
In 1811 and 1822 rooms in Sompting were licensed for protestant worship, (fn. 306) and in 1878 Primitive Methodist meetings were held in a cottage. (fn. 307) A Wesleyan Methodist mission chapel was registered in 1887. It was in use in 1901 and 1940, but the registration was cancelled in 1954. (fn. 308) The small chapel, near the west end of the village, was disused in 1978.
A Congregational church was founded in Sompting in 1936 with 15 members. The brickbuilt church in Cokeham Road, registered from 1938, was still used as the United Reformed church in 1978. (fn. 309)
In 1938 a Salvation Army hall was recorded in West Street. It was still open in 1973, (fn. 310) but had disappeared by 1978.
In 1818 there was a Sunday school in Sompting supported by the lay rector, with c. 90 children. (fn. 311) By 1833 there were separate Sunday schools for girls and boys, supported by the rector and the vicar respectively, besides two day-schools started in 1829 and 1831 which taught 28 children at their parents' expense. (fn. 312) In 1838 a new school was being built; it received a building grant in the following year. (fn. 313) In 1844 it was a National infant school supervised by the vicar. By 1847 it taught c. 60 children, with c. 15 more on Sundays, in two schoolrooms. It was supported by subscriptions and school pence as well as by the National Society grant. (fn. 314) In 1855 and 1871 c. 60 children attended. (fn. 315) In 1872 a new junior and infants' school was built at the north end of Loose Lane, together with a teacher's house. Attendance at that date was c. 100 and the building was also used for night and Sunday schools. (fn. 316)
In 1883 the school was enlarged by public subscription to accommodate 125 children including 50 infants. (fn. 317) Average attendance rose from 113 in 1893 to 135 in 1899. (fn. 318) It then fell to c. 90 in 1922 before rising again to 120 in 1932. (fn. 319) In 1911 the headmistress Miss Harriet Finlay-Johnston published an influential book, The Dramatic Method of Teaching, based on pioneering work she had done at the school. Under her direction the pupils often performed at the Theatre Royal, Worthing. (fn. 320)
Post-war housing development in the parish necessitated a reorganisation of the school. In 1966 a new county primary school was opened, initially in the same buildings, for c. 240 children. (fn. 321) In 1968 three new classrooms were opened in White Styles Road south-west of the old school. (fn. 322) The new school was gradually extended and by 1973 all the children had been transferred there. In that year it was reorganised into first and middle schools. (fn. 323)
In 1960 Boundstone secondary school was opened just within Sompting to serve Sompting and Lancing. By 1973 increasing numbers had led to major extensions there. From that year it became a comprehensive school taking children aged between 12 and 18. (fn. 324)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR. (fn. 325)
An unknown benefactor granted or devised £10 to the poor of Sompting at some date before 1724. The income was apparently being received then, but the charity does not occur later. (fn. 326)
By will proved 1849 John S. Crofts left £1,000 stock, the interest to be distributed to the poor. It was usually given in coal, and in 1859 c. 400 people benefitted. In 1882 the income was c. £35, and in 1964 between £25 and £50 was still usually given in coal. (fn. 327) By will proved 1882 Mrs. Emily Williams left £1,000 stock, the income to be distributed in fuel, blankets, and clothing. It was usually distributed with Crofts Bounty. (fn. 328)
Honnywill's Blanket Fund was founded in 1886 with a stock of c. £100. In 1894 c. £3 3s. was distributed in blankets. By will proved 1889 Edward T. Upperton left £50 stock, the income to be distributed in bread. In 1894 the income was c. £1 10s., and in 1963 under £5. (fn. 329) In 1905 all four charities seem to have been distributed together. Their joint income was then c. £75. (fn. 330)
In 1876 two alms-houses for the aged and infirm were built on the corner of West Street and Busticle Lane by Clara and Jane Penfold, in memory of their brother John. (fn. 331) By will proved 1895 Clara Penfold left funds for the inmates and for repairs. The alms-houses survived in 1978, and under a scheme of 1954 any surplus income was used for poor people over 60 living in the ancient parish. (fn. 332)
By will proved 1913 Miss Mary Bone founded a charity for the poor of Sompting. The income was under £5 in 1964.
In 1978 the Crofts, Williams, and Penfold charities were usually distributed together, c. £7 being given to each of 50 persons at Christmas. (fn. 333)