Parishes: Twineham

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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, 'Parishes: Twineham', in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes, (London, 1940) pp. 186-191. British History Online [accessed 23 May 2024].

. "Parishes: Twineham", in A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes, (London, 1940) 186-191. British History Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

. "Parishes: Twineham", A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 7, the Rape of Lewes, (London, 1940). 186-191. British History Online. Web. 23 May 2024,

In this section


Tuynhe, Twyne (xiii cent.); Twynym (xv cent.).

Twineham is a small parish of 1,937 acres, level and low-lying in the valley of the Adur, south of Bolney. The whole parish is below the 100-ft. level, except for a small piece by Twineham Court on the western side, and the soil is clay. The village and church are in the centre of the parish, at an elevation of about 50 ft., on the road running north from High Cross to Bolney. Farther up this road is Twineham Green, and between the two a road branches east leading to the hamlet of Hickstead and the house of that name, where it is crossed by the main road from Brighton to London, which passes through the eastern side of the parish. From the south end of the village of Twineham a lane leads west to Twineham Place, and from Twineham Green a road branches west, leading to Twineham Grange and Twineham Court, and joins the road going north to Warninglid, which forms the western boundary of the rape.

Hickstead Place, connected with the Order of St. John of Jerusalem as part of their manor of Saddlescombe, dates from the end of the 15th century and was originally of L-shaped plan. The main range had an upper hall approached by a small projecting staircase on its north side. Early in the 17th century an east range was added, parallel with the west wing, making the plan of half-H shape, and the filling-in between the two south wings late in the 17th century brought the plan to its present rectangular form. The insertion of the second floor in the hall may have been done in the 17th or 18th century. Most of the windows are modern.

The external elevations are generally of brick and tile-hanging. The west side has its upper story jettied about 2 ft. beyond the lower wall and retains four moulded and curved brackets, two marking the width of the original north range, which has a gabled end, and two are in the side of the south wing. The great chimney-stack at the south end of the west wing seems to have work of two periods. The lower part, of brick with stone angle-dressings and plinth, is of the early 16th century. The upper part is of more even brickwork with a regular diaper of blue headers: the sides are crow-stepped and the two square brick shafts set diagonally: this part is about mid-16th-century date and has a stone fire-place inside. The actual end of the wing behind the stack also has a crow-stepped gable. The remainder of the south elevation is of the 17th century. The entrance has a moulded oak frame and square head: the posts are carved at the bases with a shallow marigold flower above a fluted stop. In it is an ancient door of twenty panels with moulded and nail-studded rails and muntins, formerly in the south wall of the old north range. The north side has several later outbuildings against it but retains the small staircase projection already mentioned: it has a gabled head with a late-15th-century moulded barge-board. The main wall west of the projection has a 17th-century projecting chimney-stack of brick with a crossshaped shaft. The ground-floor wall farther east is of brick, but contains a 16th-century narrow window of three lights with moulded oak mullions, below which a deeper window was inserted in the 17th century.

The chief interest of the interior lies in the construction of the original north and west ranges. The north range had an upper hall of about 26 ft., open to the roof, and retains the original roof-trusses in the attic, their positions being defined by the story-posts in the ground and first floors. They are spaced apart 7 ft., 9 ft., and 9 ft. from west to east, then there is a narrow 4-ft. bay, evidently a screens passage, and east of this a further 7-ft. bay, for a buttery or pantry. The trusses are unusual in construction: they have tie-beams on each of which are four posts carrying a pair of highly cambered lintels below the normal cambered collarbeam. The lintels meet in the middle, and between the middle posts their soffits are cut to form a fourcentred arch like a wide doorway; they are tenoned into the collar-beams. The tie-beams are concealed in the later second floor, but under their ends against the story-posts are moulded curved brackets: the mouldings probably ran along the whole soffit originally between the brackets. The bays have side-purlins, supported, except in the narrow bay, by curved windbraces. The trusses above both sides of the narrow bay were closed partitions of closely set studs, but when the attic chamber was created their collar-beams were cut through and fitted with door-posts for access to the chamber. On the ground floor the bay retains its west partition (the east wall of the dining-room) and has in its south end an original moulded doorway: there is also a three-light window in its south wall, now looking into the late-17th-century entrance hall. On the first floor most of the west partition has been removed for a bath-room, but in its east partition there is a similar doorway at the north end, and at the south end, now blocked and concealed in a cupboard, was another moulded doorway. In the north wall of the 9-ft. bay of the hall next west, now in the bath-room, is the doorway from the former stair; this has moulded posts and four-centred arch with foliage spandrels in a square head. The dining-room, below the hall, has an opentimbered ceiling with stop-chamfered main beams running both ways.

In the south wing the ground-floor room reveals no ancient features. The upper room of the wing has a coved ceiling of plaster springing from the east and west walls. The ceiling is divided into two bays (of 11 ft. south and 8 ft. north, corresponding with the positions of the moulded brackets under the overhang outside) by a moulded wood rib which started from the floor and formed an arch; but only the curves at the springing remain. The roof above has wind-braced purlins, as in the other range, but the two bays are divided by a 'scissors' truss above the vault. The truss has a piece packed in below it, tenoned and dovetailed into it, to carry the longitudinal beam which takes the backing-joists of the vault. The south fire-place in this chamber is of the 16th century and has moulded stone jambs and a four-centred arch in a square head with foiled spandrels. The roof above the 17th-century east range has been reconstructed but includes a re-used beam which was the head of a very long early window with diamond-shaped sockets for the mullions. A similar beam is also re-used above the attic stair. There is a great deal of modern wood-carving in the house. Some of the fittings include woodwork of the 16th and 17th centuries to the fire-places, &c., and, in the southeast room, linen-fold panelling. The middle entrance hall has wall panelling of bolection-moulded type, c. 1700. The main staircase on its south side is still later and on its north side a partition to a former passage has been replaced by an open-arched screen of three bays: in the head of this are set five early-16th-century carved frieze panels, of Tudor and De La Warr badges. The panels are said to be indigenous, and two others, one with the De La Warr crampet badge, are worked into a bedstead upstairs. Among the articles of furniture may be mentioned an Elizabethan hall table with carved bulbous legs, and a cradle of Henry VIII's time; also a mid-17th-century hall- or kitchen-table now in the 'Castle', with other pieces of ancient woodwork. The walls of the staircase, now open, in the lower part, to the entrance hall, are covered with monochromes on canvas of hunting scenes, done about 1800: the decorated plastered ceiling is of the same date.

The 'Castle' is a detached building standing to the south of the west side of the house. Its purpose is not apparent. Its plan is square and it has a porch-wing on the east side containing a staircase of solid oak balks rising straight through it to the upper floor. It is now of two stories, the ground floor having been lowered in modern times, but two arches in the west wall just above the plinth may have been windows to a basement. The walls are of brick with crow-stepped gables to the north and south sides. The north doorway is modern, but traces of its former higher position remain, and above this is a segmental-pointed arch in the brickwork, indicating perhaps a former small window. A similar arch exists in the front of the porch-wing. The present windows are all modern, but there are tiny ancient loops in the side of the porch-wing. The most curious feature is the large number of huge bricks which are incorporated with the normal brick-work of the walls. They are arranged in various patterns, mostly as double crosses, but also as single crosses, stepped crosses, lozenge-shaped rings, straight courses, or as checkers with the ordinary bricks. Most of them are glazed; some appear to be 20 in. by 9 in. by 7in. bricks, set facewise or endwise according to the requirements of the pattern, others are 14 in. by 7 in. by 5 in., and others about 12 in. square on the exposed faces. (fn. 1) The main roof is of two bays and has three trusses with chamfered tie-beams, sloping struts or queen-posts and collar-beams, and side-purlins with wind-braces, as in the house. There are similar wind-braced purlins above the staircase. The roofs are covered with Horsham slabs.

The ground between the house and 'castle' had a boundary wall, at least on the west side, some fragments of which still exist, and on the same side is a tall yew hedge with openings cut through it. East of this space there was formerly a bowling-green.

Westovers, close to Hickstead Place, was also a part of the Hospitallers' estate. The house dates from about 1460 and had a great hall of two 10-ft. bays and solar and buttery wings of about 12 ft., all facing approximately east and west. Late in the 16th century the central chimney-stack was built in, filling the whole of the northern bay of the hall, with a lobby to the east of it, and the upper floor was inserted in the hall; the house was also lengthened to the north by two further bays. In the 19th century a wing was added at the south end, with a porch in the angle. Built in the front of the porch is a 15th-century moulded beam, said to have come from Bolney Church. The old walls are of timber-framing, with story-posts dividing the length into six bays. Three of them in the east front retain the upper curved braces. The two later northernmost bays are of plain rectangular framing. In the back wall of the north (buttery) wing is an upper window of three lights with moulded mullions of the 16th century, now blocked, and in the same wall of the northernmost bay is a former four-light window with diamond-shaped mullions: another, similar, of six lights, all blocked but one, exists in the half-gable head of the north wall. The roof is covered with Horsham slabs and the central chimney-stack is long and narrow, extending along the ridge; its southern fire-place is 9 ft. 9 in. wide, with stone jambs and oak bressummer. The roof of the original part extends over hall and wings in four bays with five strutted king-posts carrying a central purlin below the collar-beams; the mortices for longitudinal braces from king-posts to purlin remain. An interesting relic is a fine moulded beam of early-14th-century section which has been re-used upside-down as a sillpiece for the northern wall of the 15th-century part of the building.

Twineham Place is a fairly large house of c. 1620. The plan is rectangular, with a lean-to addition along the back: both are of timber-framing, but the main block has mostly brick and tile-hung walls. The middle room on the ground floor has a very heavy middle ceiling-beam, 17 in. by 12 in., stop-chamfered, and exposed joists.

Park Farm, 3/8 mile south-east of the church, is a house of c. 1600 of L-shaped plan, the lower walls of 18th-century brick, the upper tile-hung on framing. The north half of the main block is narrower, and lower than the south half, and where they meet is a great chimney-stack 10 ft. thick, with a wide fire-place. An unusual feature is a door at the foot of the attic stair with a shuttered peep-hole.

Slipe, ¼ mile east of the church, is a timber-framed building of about mid-15th-century date, facing north and south. (fn. 2) It had a great hall of two bays, and west solar and east buttery wings, of two stories, under one continuous roof. Later in the 15th century a wing, of two bays (half since removed) extending northwards from the solar wing, made the plan L-shaped; and the buttery wing was extended by one short bay and by the addition of a lean-to against the eastern half of the south side. In the late 16th century the central chimney-stack was inserted and the upper floor in the hall was added. The external timber-framing shows the curved braces of the period in the upper story; parts of the walls of the lower story have been replaced with brick. The north-west wing shows on the west face a story-post built close against the earlier anglepost of the solar, and this wing, as well as the eastern extension and the lean-to addition, retains some closeset studding that is not found in the original walls of the hall and its wings. The roofs are covered with Horsham slabs. The chimney-stack fills the width of the eastern bay of the former hall and has an east fireplace 10 ft. wide with a 15-in. bressummer, and a west fire-place 8 ft. wide. Behind the eastern is a small round oven. The lobby north of the chimney is entered by an original pointed doorway. The original middle truss of the hall crosses the east front of the chimneystack and has a cambered tie-beam supported by two heavy braces forming a pointed arch. Above the ceiling is a strutted king-post with the usual braces below a central purlin. The hall-truss has never been pierced for a doorway, so that in the upper story there is no direct communication between the east and west halves of the house. The closed ends of the hall also show the 15th-century framing. The lower part of the west wall has a lining of moulded posts and boards which may be a part of the later fitting. The roof is continued over the solar and buttery wings. The ceiling of the lower story of the west solar wing shows the original heavy wide flat rafters, but that over the buttery wing, as well as that of the room west of the chimney-stack, has late-16th-century stop-chamfered main beams and joists. In the solar wing and in the east extension are ancient winding staircases with central newels. The north extension was always of two stories: the lower story has huge ceiling-joists. The upper storey shows the original strutted king-posts and central purlins with longitudinal braces: they are carried on framing at the south end close to, but separate from, that of the earlier solar wing, and at the north end on a cambered tie-beam of which the braces form a four-centred arch. This was originally the middle truss of the wing: the outside wall to the upper story is now of square timber-framing against the truss and has a tile-hung gable. Against the west side of the wing is a modern projecting chimney-stack.

Hookers Farm is mainly of modern brick, but the west end of the building shows original early-17thcentury framing in the upper story and in the north gable-head, which projects on a chamfered bressummer, supported by moulded brackets; the barge-board is moulded and has a pendant at the apex. A cottage ½ mile farther north also shows 17th-century timberframing in its east front and has a rebated chimneystack near the south end. The roof is tiled.

Great Wapses Farm, about ¾ mile south-west of the church, is an early-17th-century building to which a parallel addition was built c. 1720. The older part, facing south, has some of the timber-framing exposed, and the eastern half-gable head has herring-bone brick nogging. There is also a 16th-century timber-framed barn of three bays, with a south aisle open to it by arched bays.

Mercers, farther west, is probably of 15th-century origin. The oldest part was of rectangular plan, facing east and west. It has a central chimney-stack built in in the 16th century with a cross-shaped shaft of thin bricks and a wide fire-place with stone jambs and oak lintel. The framing of the walls and ceilings is exposed, but the roof-construction is more or less concealed. To this building was added late in the 16th century a taller wing projecting west, making the plan L-shaped: it has on its south side a projecting chimney-stack with a tall shaft of thin bricks with a moulded base. In the west wall of the earlier part are Elizabethan windows with moulded mullions, but a more interesting feature is a large dormer window inserted at the same period in the east front, flush with the wall below, of timberframing and having a gable with a moulded bargeboard and a pendant at the apex. A farmhouse, next north, now several tenements, has some 17th-century timber-framing exposed in the middle part of the south front. The roof is tiled and above it is a plain square chimney-shaft. Inside is a wide fire-place and opentimbered ceilings. Farther north, on the east side of the road, are two cottages with mid- to late-17th-century chimney-stacks.


The manor of TWINEHAM was held in the 14th century of the barony of Lewes in free socage, by the service of a pair of gilt spurs at Christmas, or 6d. (fn. 3) In 1260 Earl John de Warenne gave the manor to John de Ferles and Maud his wife. (fn. 4) Luke de Poynings was holding land in Twineham, and probably the manor, in 1280. (fn. 5) He died in 1294 and was succeeded by his son Michael. (fn. 6) Thomas son of Michael, created Lord Poynings in 1337, was slain in the battle of Sluys in 1339, leaving a son Michael. (fn. 7) There was then a park worth 3s. 9d. attached to the manor. Twineham then descended with the manor of Poynings (q.v.), until the death of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, at Towton in 1461. His son Henry was restored to his father's honours about 1470 and inherited Twineham at his mother Eleanor's death in 1484. (fn. 8) His son Henry Algernon held it from 1489 to 1527, but Henry, the next Earl of Northumberland, (fn. 9) sold the manor in 1531 to Sir Thomas Nevill. (fn. 10) The latter settled it in 1536 on his daughter Margaret and her husband Sir Robert Southwell, (fn. 11) who in 1542 sold it to Richard Stapley. (fn. 12) In the Stapley family Twineham Manor descended from father to son for more than two hundred years. Richard's son John succeeded in 1546, (fn. 13) and Williamson of the latter in 1568. (fn. 14) Two Johns followed, in 1602 and 1606 respectively, (fn. 15) and Anthony son of the second John in 1639. (fn. 16) He died in 1667 (fn. 17) and his son Anthony in 1733, from whom the manor passed to his son John, and in 1737 to his grandson Richard, the last of the Stapleys, (fn. 18) who died in 1762, leaving the manor to his elder daughter Martha, who four years later married James Wood. (fn. 19) The latter died in 1806, and the property passed to their son James, at whose death without issue in 1831 Twineham passed to his nephew John son of John Wood, of Ockley in Keymer. His daughter Charlotte, who died before her father, married William Davidson of Muir House, Midlothian, and to him the manor came in 1877. At his death in 1916 Twineham passed to his daughter Miss Blanche Davidson, the present owner. (fn. 20)

Stapley. Argent a fesse engrailed erminees between three roundels sable with two dragons' head razed or on the fesse.

The manor of TWINEHAM BENFIELD [Benefelle (xi cent.); Benetfeld (xiii cent.)] was held before the Conquest by Cola, of King Edward the Confessor, and Turgod held it of him, for two hides. In 1086 Scolland held it of William de Warenne, and it apparently did not pay geld, but its value had doubled. Another hide in Benfield, which had been held by Lewin before the Conquest, was held in 1086 by Alfred foster-father of Earl Warenne. (fn. 21)

Benfield formed two of the 7½ knight's fees attached to the manor of Shere in Surrey, held of de Warenne as of Reigate Castle. This manor was held in 1242 by Roger de Clere, who next year conveyed it to John fitz Geoffrey, (fn. 22) including the service of Walter Weps for his tenement in Benfield, and that of William son of William de Benefeld, for his tenement in the same place. (fn. 23) When John's son John died in 1274 one knight's fee was held by Walter le Weps, and another by Richard de Benetfeld; (fn. 24) and on the death of this John's brother and heir Richard fitz John in 1296 Roger le Weps and John de Benefeld each held a carucate in Benfield as one fee. (fn. 25) Shere was then divided between the sisters of Richard fitz John, and the Benfield fees (held by 'Henry' de Benefeld and 'John' Weps) fell to Joan Butler, (fn. 26) and John Benfield died in 1325, holding a capital messuage, about 150 acres of land, and rents in Benfield as one fee of Edmund le Botiller's manor of Shere Vachery. (fn. 27) There is, however, no later reference to this mesne lordship.

Nothing is known of the Weps fee before 1242 or after 1296. A John de Beningefeld or Benetfeld occurs in 1187, (fn. 28) and about the same time is called a knight of Hawise wife of Roger de Clere. (fn. 29) William de Benefeld, who held land in Twineham of the Prior of Lewes in 1226, (fn. 30) may be the father of the William mentioned in 1242. The latter's widow Agnes is mentioned in 1247 (fn. 31) and their son Richard in 1275. (fn. 32) He was probably the father of the John who died in 1325, when his heir was his grandson James son of Walter. Besides the knight's fee already mentioned, his possessions in Benfield included 20 acres of land and a windmill held of the Prior of Lewes by service of 10s. yearly at the feast of St. Pancras, 'on which day he ought to come to Lewes with twelve others on horseback and spend the day at the cost of the prior, who shall give him on leaving a cheese price 15d.; which land and mill are not sufficient to pay that rent.' (fn. 33) A John Benfeld is mentioned in 1378, (fn. 34) and (probably another) John in 1412 (fn. 35) and 1434–5. (fn. 36) He was the last of the male line and the manor passed to his daughter Joan the wife of John Chauncy, and subsequently to their daughter Margaret, who married Thomas Austyn and in 1471 released her estates in Twineham to Sir Walter Pawnefold. (fn. 37) Sir Walter must have immediately transferred the manor to William Covert, as the latter held his first court there in the same year. (fn. 38) Twineham Benfield then remained in the Covert family for more than two hundred years. John Covert son of William succeeded his father in 1494 but died without male issue in 1503, when the manor was placed in the hands of feoffees to the use of his first cousin and heir Richard Covert. (fn. 39) From Richard the manor passed in 1547 to his son John, who died in 1558 or 1559 and was succeeded by his son Richard. (fn. 40) Richard's son Sir Walter Covert, who held the manor from 1579 to Jan. 1632, died childless, and after the death of his widow Jane in 1666 (fn. 41) Benfield passed to the sons of their niece Anne (fn. 42) and her husband Sir Walter Covert of Maidstone. (fn. 43) Anne's son Thomas died in 1643, leaving an only daughter, and Benfield passed to his brother Sir John Covert, who lived until 1679. (fn. 44) Sir John's son Walter died seven years before his father, so that the property devolved upon his three surviving daughters, Walter's sisters, of whom the second, Mary, received Twineham Benfield as a marriage portion in 1676, in which year she and her husband Henry Goring held their first court there. (fn. 45) In 1689 Mary Goring, then a widow, was presented at her own court for not keeping up the pound or providing a dinner for her tenants. (fn. 46) She subsequently married Nicholas Best, and survived him, living until 1729. (fn. 47) Her son Sir Harry Goring only survived her for two years, when the manor passed to his son Sir Charles Matthew Goring. (fn. 48) Twineham Benfield remained in the Goring family until after 1870, (fn. 49) after which it was acquired by Mr. Huth. Colonel Stephenson R. Clarke, C.B., J.P., subsequently acquired Twineham Place, which he gave to his son Mr. Edmund S. Clarke, who still holds it. All manorial rights have lapsed.

The reputed manor of GROVELAND appears in the latter half of the 16th century, (fn. 50) in the possession of John Brodbridge, who held it of the manor of Camoys Court in Barcombe (q.v.) by rent of 1lb. of pepper. (fn. 51) John Brodbridge died in 1574 and the estate passed to his brother Henry. (fn. 52) Groveland appears in the following century in the hands of George Luxford, of Ockley in Keymer (q.v.), (fn. 53) who died seised of it in 1631, leaving it to his younger son Richard. (fn. 54) It passed to Richard's son George, who was holding it in 1671 (fn. 55) and died in 1679 or 1680, leaving a son William, aged 12; (fn. 56) but in 1700 the estate was conveyed by Richard Knowles and Frances, and Edward Benson and Mary, to Henry Lintott. (fn. 57) Subsequently it was divided up, for in 1759 a quarter of the manor was held by John Smith and Frances, James West and Anne, and Richard Turner and Mary; (fn. 58) in 1762 the whole property was in the possession of Richard Turner and Mary, Jane Steele, widow, Mary Ewitt, widow, Thomas Ewitt and Sarah, and Richard Dungate and Mary. (fn. 59) Ten years later it had evidently devolved upon the Dungates, for it was then conveyed by Richard Dungate and Thomas Huett Dungate to John Ellis, (fn. 60) after which it is lost sight of.

HICKSTEAD [Hecstede, Hecgstede (xiv cent.); Hokstede (xvi cent.)] was a freehold of the manor of Saddlescombe (q.v.). (fn. 61) Matthew de la Cumbe, who held Hickstead in the 13th century, gave it to his brother Richard. (fn. 62) Richard was succeeded by his son Matthew de la Cumbe, (fn. 63) who was living about 1260 and had a son Richard. (fn. 64) The family was still holding land in the district in 1327 and 1332. (fn. 65) Eventually, probably towards the end of the 16th century, Hickstead was acquired by the Stapleys of Twineham Manor, for William Stapley died seised of it in 1602, (fn. 66) and his son John in 1608, when it is described as a capital messuage with 93 acres of land. (fn. 67) Thereafter it descended with Twineham Manor (q.v.), to which it became the mansion house.


The church of ST. PETER is a small structure consisting of a chancel with a modern north organ-chamber, nave, south porch, and west tower, with a shingled oak spire. The walls are of brick, with remains of original plastering outside; the roofs are covered with Horsham stone slabs. The church was built in the first or second decade of the 16th century, probably on the site of an earlier building. (fn. 68)

The chancel (c. 17½ ft. by 13 ft. inside) has an east window of two elliptical-headed lights; the jambs, heads, and mullion are of stone; it has wide splays inside and a segmental-pointed rear-arch. In the north wall is a modern archway to the organ-chamber. In the south wall are two single-light windows with brick jambs and four-centred heads, the western set lower than the eastern.

The roof, of trussed rafter and collar-beam type, has a cambered tie-beam that originally had arched braces below it. Another against the west wall also has mortices for former brackets. The chancel-arch has plain plastered chamfered jambs and head. In the south wall below the eastern window is a recess for a piscina: it has a triangular head: there is no basin. By it is a small framed oak chest of the early 17th century, with three locks. The Communion-rails are of mid17th-century date and have a moulded rail and 2-in. turned balusters.

The nave (35 ft. by 18 ft.) has a north window of two four-centred lights in brick: it is set low in the wall. East of it is a modern 'pulpit-window' at a higher level. There appears to have been a gallery-window close under the eaves in the western half, now walled up with modern brick. In the south wall is a similar original two-light window placed rather higher in the wall than the north window. Both have wide splays inside and four-centred chamfered rear-arches. Near the west end is an old single light. The south doorway has original brick jambs and four-centred arch of two chamfered orders. The walls of the nave differ from those of the chancel in having chamfered plinths. The gabled roof, of original trussed-rafter and collar-beam type, has two plain chamfered tie-beams which may be later additions. Another tie-beam is buried in the east wall inside, and the framing of the other timbers is seen on the outer face above the chancel.

The west tower is low, with diagonal buttresses of two stages to the west angles. The walls have chamfered plinths like those of the nave. A plain four-centred archway of the full width of the tower opens from the nave. The west doorway has chamfered jambs and a depressed three-centred arch in a square head. The reveals have sockets for a drawbar. The window above is of two four-centred lights, restored, excepting the north jambs, with new bricks. The bell-chamber has north, south, and west windows of one four-centred light. The east face has stepped drop-courses above the nave-roof. The short spire is octagonal with splayed base-stops. Above it is a vane and weather-cock.

The south porch is of 16th-century timber-framing with brick infilling: the front gable has a moulded barge-board. The posts to the entrance are modern, but the door is of ancient oak battens. The roof, of two bays, has two trusses with collar-beams, and the northern with a tie-beam. The side-purlins are strengthened by straight wind-braces: the rafters are laid flatwise

The font is octagonal with hollow chamfers to the underside of the bowl and to the base: it is probably of the 14th century. The pulpit, of hexagonal plan, has four sides of early-17th-century panels: each side has a round-arched bay with jewelled imposts between fluted angle-posts, and, above them, frieze-panels carved with foliage-scroll work; the cornice, to the book-rest, is enriched with foliage and gadroon ornament. A square pew in the south-east corner is made up of panelling of c. 1600 with carved ornament on two sides. The other pews are modern, except the 18thcentury front to the north block, which is painted with the lettering: east hookers iohn spence west hookers painsland: above John Spence is added the word park.

The glazing is modern except one quarry in the south-east window of the nave: this incorporates a rectangular piece 3 in. by 2½ in. painted with the arms of De La Warr, gules crusily fitchy a lion argent, about which are scraps of black-letter: late-15th-century.

The modern reredos incorporates four carved panels, perhaps from a 14th-century chest of foreign workmanship. They are of window-tracery designs, three with crocketed arches; the middle panel is carved with a Paschal Lamb, two others have crowned shields with the sacred monograms [IHS] and [the Chi Rho symbol]. Above the chancel arch is an oil painting of the Holy Family which is thought to be the original of an engraving (also hanging in the church) of 1797 made from a painting by Camillo Procaccini, then in the Imperial Gallery, Dusseldorf.


There are five bells: the treble, second, and tenor (re-cast) date from 1912: the third and fourth are preReformation by John Tonne; the third is inscribed + In + multis + Annis + nomen + baptiste + Iohannis; the fourth, + hoc + michi + iam + retro + nomen + de + Simone + Petro.

The communion plate comprises a cup of 1667, of which the stem and foot are possibly Elizabethan; a paten-cover, probably of 1667; a silver-gilt paten; a flagon and two alms-plates, silver, of 1722. There is also a gilt copper chalice, with modern bowl but early stem, presented in 1894. (fn. 69)


The advowson of the church and rectory of Twineham has always belonged to the lords of the manor of Twineham Benfield. In 1336 and 1339, when it is referred to as the chapel of Twineham, presentation was made by the Crown, owing to the minority of the heir of John de Benfeld. (fn. 70) The advowson descended with the manor in the Covert family (fn. 71) and passed with it to the Gorings. (fn. 72) Sir Charles Goring presented until 1887, (fn. 73) when it was acquired by Mr. Edward Huth from the four daughters of Sir H. D. Goring, (fn. 74) and it was subsequently given by him to Exeter College, Oxford, who are the present holders.


  • 1. Possibly they came from an older building and are early medieval experiments in brick-making.
  • 2. Slipe was apparently owned in the 16th century by the family of Pycombe and during the whole of the 17th century by the Agates, though actually occupied from at least 1665 by James Cripps. In 1714 it passed to James Wood of Hickstead, with which estate it has descended: Suss. County Mag. x, 232–3.
  • 3. Chan. Inq. p.m. 13 Edw. III (1st nos.), 37; ibid. 49 Edw. III, pt. 2 (1st nos.), 27; Suss. Rec. Soc. xxxiv, 195.
  • 4. Suss. Rec. Soc. vii, 641; Ct. R. Lewes, Norfolk Muniments.
  • 5. Suss. Rec. Soc. vii, 910.
  • 6. Suss. Arch. Coll. xv, 14; Farrer, Honors and Knights' Fees, iii, 329. Hawise de Ponyng' appears in the Subs. R. of 1296 (Suss. Rec. Soc. x, 47).
  • 7. Chan. Inq. p.m. 13 Edw. III (1st nos.), 37; G.E.C. Complete Peerage (1st ed.), vi, 299.
  • 8. Ibid. 300; Chan. Inq. p.m. 2 Rich. III, no. 26.
  • 9. G.E.C. op. cit., 230.
  • 10. Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 23 Hen. VIII; he was apparently a brother of George, Lord Bergavenny: G.E.C. Complete Peerage (2nd ed.), i, 32.
  • 11. Cal. Deeds, Lewes, Coll. W. H. 371.
  • 12. Feet of F. Suss. Mich. 34 Hen. VIII; Recov. R. Mich. 34 Hen. VIII, ro. 145.
  • 13. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), lxxxv, 68.
  • 14. Comber, Suss. Gen. (Horsham), 326.
  • 15. Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv, 982, 984.
  • 16. Ibid. 986.
  • 17. Comber, op. cit. 329.
  • 18. Ibid. 330–1.
  • 19. Ibid. 330–1, 381.
  • 20. Ibid. 381; Wood MSS. Hove Public Library.
  • 21. V.C.H. Suss, i, 443. Benfield was then in Windham Hundred.
  • 22. V.C.H. Surrey, iii, 113.
  • 23. Suss. Rec. Soc. ii, 422.
  • 24. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, 153.
  • 25. Ibid. iii, 422 (p. 285).
  • 26. Ibid. p. 287.
  • 27. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, 570.
  • 28. Pipe R. 33 Hen. II (Pipe R. Soc.), 109.
  • 29. Suss. Rec. Soc. xl, 53.
  • 30. Ibid. ii, 198.
  • 31. Farrer, Honors and Knights' Fees, iii, 346.
  • 32. Suss. Rec. Soc. xl, 33; Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 210.
  • 33. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, 570; Cf. Suss. Rec. Soc. ii, 198, 199.
  • 34. Lay Subs. (Wood MSS. in Hove Pub. Lib.).
  • 35. Feud. Aids, vi, 525. He probably succeeded as an infant, as in 1387 a court was held by Simon Yngolf and Simon Benfield: Manor Rolls, Lewes.
  • 36. Suss. Rec. Soc. xxiii, 2987.
  • 37. Close R. 11 Edw. IV, m. 17.
  • 38. Manor Rolls, Lewes. Margaret Austin still claimed a portion of the manor a year or two later: E. Chan. Proc. 47 (25). She later married John Williams, but her male heirs finally renounced their claim to the manor in 1485: Add. MS. 39378, fols. 42, 116.
  • 39. Ibid.; Suss. Arch. Coll. xlvii, 120; Comber, Suss. Gen. (Ardingly), 180–1.
  • 40. Ibid. 181–3; Recov. R. Trin. 1 Eliz. ro. 124; ibid. Trin. 14 Eliz. ro. 945; Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv, 292.
  • 41. Comber, op. cit. 183; Manor Rolls, Lewes; Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv, 293.
  • 42. Anne died in September 1632: Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccclxxxiii, 55; cf. Suss. Arch. Coll. xlvii, 145.
  • 43. Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv, 294; cf. Comber, op. cit. 184–5.
  • 44. Ibid. 186; Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 1655.
  • 45. Comber, op. cit.; Suss. Rec. Soc. xx, 450; Manor Rolls, Lewes.
  • 46. Ibid.
  • 47. Ibid.; Comber, op. cit. 186.
  • 48. G.E.C. Baronetage, iv, 102; Manor Rolls, Lewes; Recov. R. Trin. 6 Geo. III, ro. 418.
  • 49. Add. MSS. 5684, fol. 144; Horsfield, Sussex, i, 248; Recov. R. Trin. 39 Geo. III, m. 78; Lower, Sussex, ii, 211.
  • 50. Early tenants may have been William atte Grove in 1296, and Ralph in 1327 and 1332; Suss. Rec. Soc. x, 47, 178, 292.
  • 51. Ibid. xxxiv, 218; iii, 66.
  • 52. Ibid.
  • 53. Cf. Comber, Suss. Gen. (Lewes), 165.
  • 54. Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv, 680.
  • 55. Ibid. xix, 189.
  • 56. Comber, Suss. Gen. (Lewes), 166.
  • 57. Feet of F. Suss. Mich. 12 Will. III.
  • 58. Suss. Rec. Soc. xix, 189.
  • 59. Ibid.
  • 60. Ibid.
  • 61. In the parish of Newtimber in Poynings Hundred. See also Cott. MS. Nero E. vi, fol. 269. Cf. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvi, g. 947 (43).
  • 62. Cott. MS. Nero E. vi, fol. 267 b.; Lewes Chart. (Suss. Rec. Soc.), ii, 63, 126.
  • 63. Cott. MS. Nero E. vi, fol. 268.
  • 64. Lewes Chart. ii, 34.
  • 65. Suss. Rec. Soc. x, 180, 294. Helewise, Maud, and William de Heghested are mentioned in 1296; ibid. 47.
  • 66. Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv, 982.
  • 67. Ibid. 984.
  • 68. References to repairs to the church occur in the diary of Richard Stapley of Hickstead in 1692 and later: Suss. Arch. Coll. ii, 118. Several of the rear-arches are reinforced with iron straps.
  • 69. Suss. Arch. Coll. liv, 257–8.
  • 70. Cal. Pat. 1334–8, p. 225; ibid. 1338–40, p. 264.
  • 71. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 72. Ibid.; Lower, Hist. of Suss, ii, 211.
  • 73. Chich. Dioc. Cal.
  • 74. Add. MS. 39469, fol. 821.