A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1987.
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MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
The manor of ALBOURNE was held of Stretham in Henfield in the Middle Ages. (fn. 1) It seems always to have descended with Lancing from c. 1200 until 1499, (fn. 2) and thereafter with Broadwater until 1510, (fn. 3) being held by members of the Malmeyns, Brock, and Radmyld families. (fn. 4) In 1512, however, it apparently belonged to George Nevill, Lord Bergavenny, who then had the advowson; (fn. 5) he had been dealing with the manor in 1503. (fn. 6) He was lord in 1521, (fn. 7) and after his death in 1535 the manor evidently descended with the advowson to his son Henry Nevill, Lord Bergavenny, who was lord at his death in 1587. (fn. 8) William Everard, taxed in the parish at £200 in 1524, (fn. 9) was apparently lessee of Albourne park, (fn. 10) and presumably also of the manor demesnes. Mary, daughter and heir of Henry Nevill, married Sir Thomas Fane (d. 1589), and in 1604 was confirmed in the barony of Despenser, previously in abeyance. (fn. 11) At her death in 1626 the manor passed to her grandson Mildmay Fane, who succeeded his father as earl of Westmorland in 1629, (fn. 12) and sold Albourne in 1639 to John Juxon of London, (fn. 13) brother of Bishop William Juxon. John was succeeded in 1655 by his son William (created Bt. 1660), (fn. 14) who conveyed the manor in 1665 to Sir John Fagg of Wiston. (fn. 15) Thereafter it descended with Wiston; in 1671 it was settled on John's son and future heir Robert, (fn. 16) who was living there between the 1670s and 1690s, (fn. 17) and at least one other member of the family lived there in the 18th century. (fn. 18) During the 19th century the house was let. (fn. 19) The Revd. John Goring was one of the two chief landowners of the parish in 1866, and Mr. John Goring one of the three chief landowners in 1934. (fn. 20) The Goring family were benefactors to the parish in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly to the church and the school. (fn. 21) The demesne farm, Albourne Place farm, was sold from the Wiston estate c. 1958, and Northpark farm of c. 107 a. was sold in 1967. (fn. 22) Between the early 1920s and his death in 1937 Sir Eric Geddes, M.P., rented the manor house, Albourne Place, (fn. 23) which was sold by Mr. John Goring c. 1948. (fn. 24)
Albourne Place (fn. 25) incorporates a late medieval range of high quality running east-west, with a crown-post roof of seven bays; it was jettied to south and east. In the mid 17th century east and west ranges were built running northwards from either end of it and forming a courtyard which was closed on the north side by a wall with a gateway. (fn. 26) At the same date the south range was cased in brick. The tall west range, which survived in 1984, has a double-pile plan and a seven-bayed west front. The rooms on its east side include the hall, the elaborately carved screens, service rooms and service staircase, and a large kitchen. On the west side are two large rooms, one smaller room richly panelled, and a grand staircase. The west front has tall windows interspersed with giant brick pilasters with moulded caps. In the courtyard front of the range the window frames are of oak, and there are a heavily rusticated brick door surround and decorative strips of rusticated brickwork. The casing of the courtyard side of the south range, and the surviving fragment of the east range, which was one-storeyed, (fn. 27) are in similar style.
The London connexions of the building owner John Juxon explain the advanced architectural style of the work, which is comparable to contemporary City buildings and to Lees Court (Kent), whose owner also had City links. (fn. 28) The work presumably dates from the 1640s, and may have been complete by 1647 when John Juxon's 'house called Albourne Place' was mentioned. (fn. 29) Juxon continued to live there in the 1650s. (fn. 30) The character of some of the interior decoration, however, is early rather than mid 17th-century, and it is possible that some fittings, for instance the screens, the grand staircase (which seems to have been reset), and the wall panelling mentioned were brought from Wiston House when it was reduced in size by the Gorings in the mid 18th century. (fn. 31)
The main range appears to have been extensively remodelled in the late 18th century, when many rooms were redecorated and given new fireplace surrounds, and when the exterior was stuccoed; traces of the stucco could still be seen in 1984, and c. 1801 the building had been described as a large white house. (fn. 32) Between 1787 and c. 1840 most of the east range was demolished, (fn. 33) and between the latter date and 1875 one bay of the south range close to the centre was removed, thus dividing the medieval hall in two. (fn. 34) In 1924, and presumably earlier, the east part of that range was used as stables. The house was restored for Sir Eric Geddes before 1924, alterations made including the insertion of stone window frames on the west front of the west range. (fn. 35) At the same time a small formal garden was created on the east. In the 1970s the former stables were converted into a separate house. (fn. 36)
The manor of BISHOPSHURST formed a north-south strip running the whole length of the eastern side of the parish. (fn. 37) The name suggests that it may once have been part of an estate called Hurst which came to be divided between the bishops of Chichester and the Pierpoint family of Hurstpierpoint. The manor formed part of Bishopshurst prebend in Chichester cathedral, together with Shotford manor in Sidlesham; (fn. 38) as the Albourne portion of the prebend it was sometimes alternatively called ALBOURNE manor. (fn. 39)
From 1641 or earlier it was leased for three lives. (fn. 40) Joseph Henshaw, prebendary 1628-63, (fn. 41) leased it in 1641 for the lives of, among others, his brother Benjamin, (fn. 42) who was described as lord in 1650. (fn. 43) Thomas Henshaw was described as lord in 1664 and 1667, (fn. 44) and was lessee in 1674 (fn. 45) and 1679. (fn. 46) In 1685 the lease was settled on his son Philip (d. 1753), (fn. 47) whose son, another Philip, (fn. 48) in 1796 or 1797 sold the lease to William Borrer of Albourne, (fn. 49) undertenant of the demesne lands since 1769. (fn. 50) At Borrer's death in 1797 the lease passed to his son and namesake (fn. 51) (d. 1832), whose son, another namesake (fn. 52) (d. 1862), (fn. 53) had Bishops Place farm, of 307 a., c. 1840. (fn. 54) At the death in 1863 of the last named William's brother Nathaniel (fn. 55) the lease reverted to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who c. 1872 sold the freehold to the Revd. John Goring; (fn. 56) thereafter the manor descended with Albourne. It remained part of the Goring estate in 1985. (fn. 57)
In 1681 the manor house of Bishopshurst occupied a site near Albourne Street south-east of the modern Yew Tree House; (fn. 58) the building had gone by c. 1840. (fn. 59) Bishops Place, the later manor house, alternatively known in the 19th century as Albourne House, (fn. 60) lies ½ mile to the south, beyond Cutlers brook. It is a tall, three-storeyed, timber-framed building of the late 17th century, which retains an original stair in its rear outshut. Over the hall fireplace is a stone plaque dated 1597 and naming Philip Henshaw; since it predates the building, and since there is nothing to associate the Henshaws with the manor at such an early date, it was evidently brought from elsewhere. One bedroom was formerly decorated with panel portraits of bishops of Chichester, apparently of the 17th century. (fn. 61) Before 1872 the building was converted into three labourers' cottages, (fn. 62) but by 1976 it was again a single house. (fn. 63)
William Borrer (d. 1797) and his son and grandson of the same name from 1796 built up additionally, in the north-east quarter of the parish, an estate composed of copyholds of Bishopshurst manor, including the future Inholmes farm. By c. 1840 it comprised 204 a., and by 1854, when the copyholds were enfranchised by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, c. 250 a. (fn. 64) In 1910 William Borrer owned Inholmes farm, of 249 a.; (fn. 65) from him it descended with Pakyns in Hurstpierpoint to his daughter, Mrs. Orlebar, (fn. 66) who had it in 1946. (fn. 67) It was afterwards bought by the tenant Sidney Hole, and sold again after his death in 1956. (fn. 68)
Between 1253 and 1262 Simon Wood (de bosco) and Philip Cordewan each conveyed land in Albourne to Wyndham hospital in Shermanbury; Cordewan's estate included 'Holonde', i.e. Holland south of Albourne church, and 'the land of the garden', evidently Gardenland farm north-west of the church. (fn. 69) Later the lands formed part of Windham prebend in Chichester cathedral, founded by Bishop Sherburne in 1521 or 1524; in 1599 they totalled 120 a. and in 1830 c. 106 a. (fn. 70) In the 16th and 17th centuries they were leased to members of the Beard family: John (fl. 1538), Thomas, of Hurstpierpoint (fl. 1664), and his son Thomas (d. 1699 or 1700). William Harris, lessee from 1717, was succeeded by his daughter Sarah (fl. 1753), wife of William Hayter, from whose daughter Sarah the lease passed by 1822 to Henry Wilson. In 1827 Wilson conveyed it to Charles Goring, (fn. 71) after which it descended with Bishopshurst until c. 1950 when it reverted to the Church Commissioners. (fn. 72)