The hundred of Buttinghill

A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1940.

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'The hundred of Buttinghill', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes, (London, 1940) pp. 125-126. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]


containing the parishes of Ardingly; Balcombe; Bolney; Clayton; Crawley; Cuckfield with Haywards Heath; West Hoathly; Hurstpierpoint; Keymer with Burgess Hill; Slaugham; Twineham; Worth

In 1086 Buttinghill Hundred [Botingelle (xi cent.); Buttyngehulle (xiv cent.)] (fn. 1) consisted only of Hurst, Clayton, Wickham (in Clayton), and Keymer. (fn. 2) Worth was included in Reigate Hundred, Surrey, and Twineham was in the half-hundred of Wyndham. In 1296 there were three 'vills' in the hundred, Keymer and Clayton, Hurst and Cuckfield, and Crawley. (fn. 3) In 1316 the 'vills' were Hurstpierpoint, Wyndham, Clayton, Cuckfield, and Worth and Crawley. (fn. 4) By 1327 the grouping was Crawley, Worth, and Burleigh as one; Hurst; Clayton; Cuckfield; and Slaugham. (fn. 5) In 1332 these were in four groups, Clayton going with Keymer and Hurst, Cuckfield with Slaugham, and Worth and Burleigh separately. (fn. 6)

By the beginning of the 17th century there were nine 'boroughs', viz. Worth, Crawley, Keymer, Hurst, Clayton, Cuckfield, Wyndham, Slaugham, and Burleigh Arches. (fn. 7) For the purpose of electing the four constables of the hundred these were divided into four groups. One constable was chosen by Keymer, Hurst, and Clayton, another by Cuckfield and Slaugham, a third by Worth and Crawley, while the fourth was chosen 'for the halfe hundred of Windham contayninge' Bolney and Twineham. Burleigh Arches seems to have had no part in these elections, and for certain purposes was included in Lindfield, in Streat Hundred. (fn. 8) For the collection of the subsidy of 1621 the half-hundred of Wyndham, containing Bolney and Twineham, was separately assessed, and the grouping of the Buttinghill vills was: north part, Slaugham, Cuckfield, Worth, and Crawley, with the addition of Balcombe; south part, Hurstpierpoint, Keymer, and Clayton. (fn. 9) In 1665 the composition of the hundred was still the same. (fn. 10) By 1724, however, the parishes in Buttinghill Hundred were Ardingly, Balcombe, Bolney, Clayton, Crawley, Cuckfield, Hurstpierpoint, Keymer, Slaugham, Twineham, West Hoathly, and Worth. (fn. 11)

The hundred courts were held sometimes at Buttinghill, the mound beside Ham Farm in the parish of Clayton, and sometimes at Cuckfield. (fn. 12)

The hundred belonged to the Earls Warenne and descended with the rape and barony of Lewes. (fn. 13) It came into the possession of the lords of Hurstpier point, apparently as subtenants, for in 1468 the king granted return of writs and other privileges in the hundred to Richard Fiennes, Lord Dacre. (fn. 14) It followed the descent of the manor of Hurstpierpoint and passed to the Gorings, (fn. 15) but instead of passing with the manor of Hurstpierpoint to the Shaws, Buttinghill Hundred was apparently acquired by another branch of the family, the Gorings of Highden. It descended in that family in the 18th century (fn. 16) and was still held by Sir Charles Foster Goring and his son in 1828. (fn. 17)


  • 1. See Suss. Arch. Coll. lviii, 6 et seq.
  • 2. V.C.H. Suss. i, 440.
  • 3. Subsidies (Suss. Rec. Soc. x), 46.
  • 4. Feud. Aids, v, 136 (Nomina Villarum).
  • 5. Subs. (Suss. Rec. Soc. x), 176.
  • 6. Ibid. 290.
  • 7. Bk. of J. Rowe (Suss. Rec. Soc. xxxiv), 125.
  • 8. Ibid. 126.
  • 9. 'Subsidy Roll', Suss. Arch. Coll. ix, 80–4.
  • 10. Lay Subs. 258, no. 18.
  • 11. Budgen's map of that date. Cf. Streat Hundred.
  • 12. Suss. Arch. Coll. lviii, 11; xxiii, 229.
  • 13. Feud. Aids, v, 137; Chan. Inq. p.m. 18 Hen. VI, 28; ibid. 17 Edw. IV, 58; ibid. 1 Rich. III, 43; Pat. R. 19 Eliz., pt. 3; Recov. R. East. 7 Geo. IV, ro. 27.
  • 14. Cal. Chart. vi, 225.
  • 15. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 214, 235, 83; Suss. Arch. Coll. xxiii, 229.
  • 16. Recov. R. Trin. 6 Geo. III, ro. 418; ibid. Trin. 39 Geo. III, ro. 78.
  • 17. Ibid. Hil. 8 and 9 Geo. IV, ro. 21.