Ashurst: Manors and other estates

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1986.

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A P Baggs. C R J Currie. C R Elrington. S M Keeling. A M Rowland, 'Ashurst: Manors and other estates', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham, (London, 1986) pp. 76-78. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

A P Baggs. C R J Currie. C R Elrington. S M Keeling. A M Rowland. "Ashurst: Manors and other estates", in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham, (London, 1986) 76-78. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

Baggs, A P. Currie, C R J. Elrington, C R. Keeling, S M. Rowland, A M. "Ashurst: Manors and other estates", A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham, (London, 1986). 76-78. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,


The descent of CHARLTON-ASHURST manor, originally part of Steyning manor and sometimes called the manor of CHARLTON AND ASHURST, is given elsewhere. (fn. 1)

The manor of ASHURST was apparently an alternative name for the demesne lands of Wiston manor in the parish, on which there was a house in the 1350s. (fn. 2) The so-called manor descended with Wiston between the later 13th century and 1528, (fn. 3) and possibly until the early 19th century. (fn. 4) The location of the lands in the parish is unknown, but seems likely to have been in the south-west, adjoining Wiston parish.

In 1818 Charles Goring, lord of Wiston manor, bought Charlton-Ashurst. (fn. 5) During the earlier 19th century the Goring family acquired other property in the parish: Felbridge and other lands between 1815 and 1820, Hawking Sopers in 1820, Sweethill farm in 1830, and Little Felbridge and Doves in 1833. (fn. 6) By 1843 the Gorings had over 500 a. in the south part of the parish. (fn. 7) Their estate was further enlarged by the purchases of Jessups farm in 1861 from W. W. Richardson and of the lands in the parish belonging to Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1907. (fn. 8) In the 1920s and 1930s Mr. John Goring (fl. 1984) was still one of two chief landowners in the parish. (fn. 9) About 285 a. were sold from the Wiston estate in 1944, (fn. 10) and further land in 1983-4. (fn. 11)

The manor of EATONS, in Ashurst and Henfield, was held by one Turgod in 1066, when it was an outlying part of Warningcamp. In 1086 it was held of William de Braose by William son of Bonard, (fn. 12) and it continued later to be held of Bramber rape. (fn. 13) William son of Bonard seems also to have held what was later Burwell's farm in Lancing, (fn. 14) and Eatons seems to have shared the descent of that estate in the Burdeville family, recorded locally from the 13th century. (fn. 15) John Burdeville was assessed to the subsidy in Ashurst in 1327 and 1332. (fn. 16) Robert Burdeville died seised of Eatons in 1377, leaving a daughter and heir Agnes. (fn. 17) John Burdeville, described as of Henfield in 1393, may have held Eatons. (fn. 18)

Thomas Burdeville was described as of Eatons in 1534, (fn. 19) and had evidently held it ten years before when he had the highest tax assessment in Ashurst. (fn. 20) In 1543 Henry Burdeville conveyed it to Sir William Shelley of Michelgrove in Clapham, (fn. 21) though his widow Joan was still living at Eatons in 1546. (fn. 22) It descended with Michelgrove until the early 17th century, (fn. 23) being leased during a later William Shelley's forfeiture in 1597 to William Shaw. (fn. 24) In 1619 Sir John Shelley conveyed it to John Gratwicke (fn. 25) (d. 1621), whose son and heir John served as a major in the trained bands. His son and heir John, who succeeded in 1687, (fn. 26) settled the property in 1725, when it included over 330 a., on his son, also John. (fn. 27) The elder John was living at Blakes Farm in Ashurst at his death in 1735 or 1736; (fn. 28) the younger John when he died in 1744 was succeeded by his daugher Mary, who seems generally to have lived at Danny in Hurstpierpoint with the family of her guardian Henry Campion. (fn. 29) At her death as a spinster in 1809 Eatons passed to Henry C. Campion, (fn. 30) thereafter descending with Danny until the earlier 20th century. (fn. 31)

Members of the Stanford family leased Eatons farm continuously between the later 18th century and apparently 1905. (fn. 32) Between 1910 (fn. 33) and the early 1920s it passed from the Campions to Sidney Pile, and between 1923 and 1946 it belonged to members of the Copithorne family. A Mr. Andrews bought it in 1946, and it was sold to P. Duncanson in 1948. A. G. Douglas had it in 1966, (fn. 34) and Mr. T. Ireland was owner in 1983.

The house of John Burdeville described as at Henfield in 1393 (fn. 35) may have been the manor house of Eatons manor, since the modern Eatons Farm straddles the Ashurst-Henfield boundary. The present house incorporates two medieval cross wings, the western one of high quality with deeply moulded beams in the ground floor room, and the eastern one of much humbler character. The western end of the main range is largely 17th-century, but until c. 1980 retained a screens passage; it evidently replaced a medieval hall. The idea that the eastern cross wing was originally a separate building (fn. 36) seems unlikely; the intervening space may have been occupied by a service range whose roof line continued that of the hall. In 1664 the house was taxed on seven hearths, (fn. 37) and in 1687 there were at least 13 rooms besides service rooms. (fn. 38) Several rooms have panelling of the 17th century or early 18th, and the roof of most of the west end of the house was reconstructed in the 18th century. Part of the west wing was refaced in stone, perhaps in the 17th century; (fn. 39) the facing of the north and south sides in brick and hung tiles apparently dates from the 19th century.

PEPPER'S FARM (fn. 40) was mentioned in 1551, (fn. 41) and from the later 16th century to the later 18th belonged to the Bridger family. Henry Bridger (d. 1657) was succeeded by his son Richard, who had been fined during the 1640s for being in arms against parliament. (fn. 42) In 1652, at the time of Richard's marriage, the Bridgers owned Pepper's and four other farms in Ashurst. (fn. 43) Richard (d. 1698) was succeeded by his son and namesake (d. 1728). By 1732 the Bridgers' estate comprised 250 a. (fn. 44) In 1760 it was sold to pay creditors by John Bridger, (fn. 45) the last named Richard's son or grandson.

By 1830 Pepper's had become the property of a Mr. Whitter of Midhurst, (fn. 46) evidently the William Whitter who died in possession of it in or before 1839. (fn. 47) Another William Whitter owned it in 1843-4, (fn. 48) and W. Whitter owned land in the parish in 1870. (fn. 49) Before 1914 the estate passed to Arthur Lloyd, but in that year the house was let. (fn. 50) Between 1928 and 1937 L. O. Johnson was living there. (fn. 51) At Mrs. Johnson's death in 1943 A. R. BroughtonAdderley succeeded to a reversionary interest, and at his death in 1962 he was succeeded by his daughter Edomé, who resumed her maiden surname in 1963 and who was living at Pepper's Farm in 1984, having recently sold the attached farm. (fn. 52)

Pepper's Farm (fn. 53) includes north, south, and west ranges of the late 16th century or early 17th, placed originally round an open court; the date 1611 on the north porch may be ex situ. Before 1914 the house was extensively altered and renovated for Arthur Lloyd: (fn. 54) a new range was built on the east side to close the court, which was roofed over, and minor additions were made on the west side. The gables on the east front which form the ends of the north and south ranges seem to be contemporary.

Arthur Lloyd, who later lived at Warren Hill in Washington, was already a large landowner in Ashurst in 1903. In 1914 the estate in Ashurst and West Grinstead offered for sale by his executors totalled over 1,000 a., including much of the northwest part of Ashurst. (fn. 55) By 1927 much of it had passed to E. E. L. Ezra, who was then one of the two chief landowners in the parish. He was succeeded by H. C. Hextall (fl. 1934-8). (fn. 56) The estate was afterwards known as the Lock estate, from the recently built Lock House in the northern tip of the parish. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Harvey bought it in 1937, but had both died by 1971, when the Lock estate comprised 903 a. (fn. 57) In the 1970s it changed hands more than once, (fn. 58) and in 1983 it belonged to Mr. R. Tompkins. (fn. 59) In 1984 only the northern tip of Ashurst, including Lock farm, was within the estate. (fn. 60)

Lock House, of red brick in revived vernacular style, was built c. 1900 on a secluded site north-west of Old Lock; (fn. 61) it was enlarged after 1937, (fn. 62) the matching gatehouse being dated 1940. About 1971 the house became a convent for the Roman Catholic Order of the Visitation, which still had it in 1983. (fn. 63)

Sele priory in Upper Beeding owned Feldland in Ashurst in 1421 and later, (fn. 64) and in 1447 had a house and estate called Bloweys, presumably represented by North Blows and South Blows at Bines Green, and another messuage 'formerly Lokkys', possibly the same as the later Lock farm in the northern tip of the parish. (fn. 65) Magdalen College, Oxford, the priory's successor, had rents and farms valued at 51s. 2d. in 1535, much of the land lying in the area around Bines Green. (fn. 66) College or College Wood farm in the south-west also belonged to the college in 1784 and perhaps earlier. (fn. 67) The college still retained 76 a. in the parish in 1873, (fn. 68) but they were sold to C. Goring, whose family had previously leased them, in 1907. (fn. 69) College Wood farm still belonged to the Gorings in 1983. (fn. 70)


  • 1. V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 227; Feud. Aids, v. 134; Cal. Pat. 1555-7, 285; S.R.S. xix. 94. For the location of the lands of the manor in the par., below, econ. hist.
  • 2. Cal. Inq. p.m. x, p. 314; S.A.C. liv. 132.
  • 3. V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 261; Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, pp. 56-7; Cal. Close, 1422-9, 298; S.R.S. xix. 13.
  • 4. Dallaway & Cartwright, Hist. W. Suss. ii (2), 264.
  • 5. V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 227.
  • 6. Wiston Archives, i, pp. 19-21, 23, 275, 434.
  • 7. Below, econ. hist.
  • 8. Wiston Archives, i, pp. 13, 19; cf. below.
  • 9. Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1927, 1938).
  • 10. Sale cat. 1944, at Wiston estate office.
  • 11. W. Suss. Gaz. 20 Oct. 1983; 17 May 1984.
  • 12. V.C.H. Suss. i. 450.
  • 13. e.g. Cal. Inq. p.m. xv, p. 7.
  • 14. V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 43.
  • 15. Ibid. 43-4; S.A.C. xl. 113; Sele Chartulary, p. 77; cf. Cal. Inq. p.m. iv, p. 36.
  • 16. S.R.S. x. 159, 274; cf. Cal. Close, 1343-6, 161.
  • 17. Cal. Inq. p.m. xv, pp. 6-7.
  • 18. Cal. Pat. 1391-6, 218; cf. below.
  • 19. V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 44.
  • 20. S.R.S. lvi. 61.
  • 21. Ibid. xix. 148.
  • 22. Ibid. xlii. 307.
  • 23. V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 13; S.R.S. xix. 148-9; xx. 301-2; xxxiii, p. 2.
  • 24. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1595-7, 495.
  • 25. S.R.S. xix. 148-9.
  • 26. S.N.Q. xvi. 227-8; Comber, Suss. Geneal. Horsham, 150-1.
  • 27. Danny Archives, ed. J. Wooldridge, p. 51.
  • 28. Ibid. p. 52; Comber, Suss. Geneal. Horsham, 151.
  • 29. B.L. Add. MS. 5698, f. 176v.; S.N.Q. xvi. 289; Danny Archives, pp. xxi n., 54. The initials M G and date 1756 on a fireplace beam at Eatons Fm., however, may suggest that she lived for a time in Ashurst: S.N.Q. xvi. 228.
  • 30. Dallaway & Cartwright, Hist. W. Suss. ii (2), 264; V.C.H. Suss. vii. 176.
  • 31. V.C.H. Suss. vii. 176; W.S.R.O., IR 7, f. 12; ibid. TD/W 7; Elwes & Robinson, W.Suss. 23.
  • 32. S.N.Q. xvi. 228, 289; W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 1933; Danny Archives, p. 54.
  • 33. W.S.R.O., IR 7, f. 12.
  • 34. S.N.Q. xvi. 228-9.
  • 35. Cal. Pat. 1391-6, 218.
  • 36. S.N.Q. xvi. 229.
  • 37. P.R.O., E 179/258/14, f. 25v.
  • 38. S.N.Q. xvi. 289-93, transcribing W.S.R.O., Ep. I/29/100/3.
  • 39. S.N.Q. xvi. 229-30.
  • 40. Para. based mainly on S.C.M. ii. 345-6; Berry, Suss. Genealogies, annot. Comber, 109.
  • 41. W.S.R.O., Par. 11/1/1/1, p. 122.
  • 42. Cal. Cttee. for Compounding, ii. 1069; L.F. x. 181.
  • 43. Horsham Mus. MS. 1858.
  • 44. E.S.R.O., SAS/SH 998.
  • 45. Ibid. SHR 2743.
  • 46. Dallaway & Cartwright, Hist. W. Suss. ii (2), 264.
  • 47. Cowdray Archives, ed. A. Dibben, i, p. 100.
  • 48. W.S.R.O., TD/W 7.
  • 49. Lower, Hist. Suss. i. 23.
  • 50. W.S.R.O., SP 364; for Lloyd, below.
  • 51. S.C.M. ii. 342; W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 21474 (TS. cat.).
  • 52. Burke, Land. Gent. (1937), 10-11; (1965-72), iii. 7; inf. from Mrs. Broughton-Adderley.
  • 53. Illus. at S.C.M. ii. 342-4. Traces of a moat nearby may indicate the site of an earlier ho. A medieval floor-tile found at the granary SW. of the present ho. was at the ho. in 1984.
  • 54. S.C.M. ii. 344; W.S.R.O., SP 364.
  • 55. Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1903); W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 1933; ibid. Par. 11/54/1; ibid. SP 364.
  • 56. Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1927 and later edns.).
  • 57. W. Suss. Gaz. 27 May 1971.
  • 58. Inf. from Mr. D. Cox, Partridge Green.
  • 59. Inf. from Sir Wal. Burrell, Knepp Cast.
  • 60. W.S.R.O., SP 1481; cf. below, W. Grinstead, manors and other estates.
  • 61. O.S. Map 6", Suss. XXXVII. NE. (1898, 1914 edns.); W. Suss. Co. Times, 24 Sept. 1971.
  • 62. W. Suss. Gaz. 27 May 1971.
  • 63. Ibid. 20 Nov. 1975; Arundel and Brighton Dioc. Dir. (1983), s.v. W. Grinstead.
  • 64. Magd. Coll. Oxf. Mun., Ashurst and Lancing 4, 6-7 (TS. cat.).
  • 65. Ibid. II (TS. cat.); cf. ibid. Sele 117, f. 2.
  • 66. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 283; Magd. Coll. Oxf. Mun., Sele 117, ff. 2-3, 10; cf. Wiston Archives, i, pp. 25-6; below, econ. hist.
  • 67. Wiston Archives, i, p. 18; Magd. Coll. Oxf. Mun., Sele 117, f. 10; cf. W.S.R.O., Wiston MS. 5617.
  • 68. Rep. Com. Univ. Income [C. 856-1], p. 533, H.C. (1873), xxxvii (2).
  • 69. Wiston Archives, i, p. 19.
  • 70. W. Suss. Gaz. 20 Oct. 1983.