The seventh volume to be published of the Victoria History of the County of Sussex
deals with the southern part of the rape of Bramber. The circumstances of its compilation and the method of numbering require some explanation. Volumes One and
Two, covering various aspects of the history of the county in general, were published
in 1905 and 1907 respectively, and Volume Three, on Romano-British Sussex and the
City of Chichester, in 1935. The rest of the topography was to be covered in six
volumes, one for each rape, the rapes stretching from the sea to the northern boundary
and neatly dividing the county into roughly equal bands. Between 1937 and 1953
Volumes Four, Seven, and Nine were published, leaving Arundel, Bramber, and
Pevensey rapes to be treated in Volumes Five, Six, and Eight respectively. Since then
the expansion of the available source material and of the content of local history has
made it impossible to do justice to each rape in a single book of the size which it is now
most practical to produce. It was therefore decided, while retaining the scheme of
numbering, to publish two or more separate parts for each of the remaining rapes.
Thus the northern parishes of Bramber rape will be treated in Volume Six, Part Two.
In 1953 work on the Sussex V.C.H. was allowed to lapse. It was resumed in 1971
when members of the general Editor's staff at the Institute of Historical Research of
the University of London began again to collect materials. In response to that
initiative the West Sussex County Council offered to provide funds for an additional
member of that staff to work on the history of West Sussex. Dr. T. P. Hudson, who
had accordingly begun work in October 1973 as an assistant to the general Editor,
became County Editor in 1979. The present volume is the first fruit of the partnership
between the County Council and the University. That partnership differs little in form
from those between other Local Authorities and the Institute, which, together with the
structure and aims of the Victoria History as a whole, are described in the General
Introduction, published in 1970. The University here records its gratitude to the West
Sussex County Council for its generosity.
Many people have given help with the compilation of the histories printed below,
and they are all offered sincere thanks. For access to the many libraries, record offices,
and collections, both public and private, whose resources have been exploited special
acknowledgement is made to His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, E.M., C.B., C.B.E., M.C.,
his predecessor, and their successive archivists (the late Dr. F. W. Steer and Miss
A. P. Taylor), to the Hon. Mrs. R. J. P. Wyatt, to the Librarian of Magdalen College,
Oxford, to the West Sussex County Archivist (Mrs. P. Gill) and her staff, to the East
Sussex County Records Officer (Mr. A. A. Dibben) and his staff, and to the West
Sussex County Librarian (Mr. R. Huse) and his staff; Mrs. Gill has also given much
help and encouragement in other ways. Those who provided material for the illustrations or gave permission for their use are named on page x, and those whose assistance
related to individual parishes are named in the appropriate footnotes; a special debt for
advice on the history of Worthing and the associated parishes is owed to Mr. D. R.
Elleray, of Worthing Reference Library. Mr. E. Holden, Mr. T. J. McCann, Dr. P.
Thane, the staff of the Education Department of the West Sussex County Council, and
the county archaeologist (Mr. F. G. Aldsworth) gave invaluable help on topics which
recur throughout the volume. Thanks are also offered to those who allowed access to
buildings in their ownership or occupation.