Upper Beeding
Manors and other estates


Victoria County History



T P Hudson (Editor), A P Baggs, C R J Currie, C R Elrington, S M Keeling, A M Rowland

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'Upper Beeding: Manors and other estates', A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3: Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) including Crawley New Town (1987), pp. 34-37. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18389 Date accessed: 24 November 2014.


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King Alfred (d. 899) devised BEEDING manor to his nephew Aethelm, (fn. 37) but it was later evidently resumed, for in 1066 King Edward the Confessor had it as part of his feorm. William de Braose held it in demesne in 1086, when some outlying parts had been separated from it. (fn. 38) Thereafter it descended with Bramber rape in the Braose, Mowbray, and Howard families until 1547, (fn. 39) except between 1290 and 1326 when Mary, widow of William, Lord Braose, held it in dower, (fn. 40) and between 1524 and 1542 when Agnes, widow of Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, so held it. (fn. 41) William, Lord Braose (d. 1290), was granted free warren there in 1281. (fn. 42)

In 1553 the Crown granted the manor to John West and Roger Gratwicke, (fn. 43) but Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk (d. 1572), evidently regained it, since he granted it in 1558 to Thomas Bishop of Henfield (fn. 44) (d. 1560). (fn. 45) By 1569 it was again descending with the rape, (fn. 46) as it continued to do until 1641, (fn. 47) except that at least between 1597 and 1618 the manorial courts were held in the name of Anne, widow of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel (d. 1595). (fn. 48) In 1641 Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel, sold the manor to Piers Edgcumbe (fn. 49) (d. 1666 or 1667), and afterwards it descended from father to son through Sir Richard (d. between 1686 and 1697), Richard (created in 1742 Lord Edgcumbe; d. 1758), and Richard, Lord Edgcumbe (d. 1761). The last-named Richard's brother and heir George (fn. 50) sold it in 1764 to Harry Bridger of New Shoreham, lessee of the demesnes since 1749. (fn. 51) Thereafter the manor descended in the Bridger family with Erringham Walkstead manor in Old Shoreham until 1944 or later. (fn. 52) The lands had been sold by 1981. (fn. 53)

A manor house at Beeding manor is recorded from 1326, (fn. 54) and there was a dovecot in 1398. (fn. 55) The present building, called Beeding Court, from which there is a steep drop to the river Adur almost immediately below, is L-shaped. The main range running east-west is probably late 16th-century, and has re-used medieval timbers in its roof; there is a possibly contemporary lean-to at the east end of its south side. A new range was added at the north-west end in the early 17th century. In the later 18th or earlier 19th the house was cased in flint with brick dressings and hung tiles.

The manor of KING'S BARNS formed part, with Bidlington in Bramber, of the estate of William de Braose described in 1086 as lying in Steyning. In 1066 it had belonged, like Beeding, to King Edward as part of his feorm, (fn. 56) and it seems likely from the name that like Beeding and Steyning it was owned previously by the kings of Wessex. (fn. 57) The name, however, is not recorded before 1210. (fn. 58) The manor descended with Beeding until 1547, (fn. 59) being described, apparently together with Bidlington manor, in 1219 as Steyning Braose. (fn. 60) William, Lord Braose (d. 1290), was granted free warren there in 1281. (fn. 61) In 1547 it was granted by the Crown, with the rape, to Thomas Seymour, Lord Seymour, (fn. 62) and in the following year Margaret Lewknor was demesne lessee, presumably of him. (fn. 63) The manor evidently reverted to the Crown on Seymour's attainder in 1549, (fn. 64) for in 1553 it was granted by Edward VI to Edward Lewknor as part of 1/40 fee. (fn. 65) Thereafter the descent is lost until 1610, when Sir Edward Caryll died seised of the manor, his son Sir Thomas (d. 1617) succeeding him. (fn. 66) In 1620 Thomas's daughter Mary and her husband Sir Richard Molyneux had it. (fn. 67)

From 1627 (fn. 68) the manor again descended with the rape, the duke of Norfolk still being described as lord in 1846. (fn. 69) The demesne lands, however, comprising c. 470 a., (fn. 70) were sold in 1640 by Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel, to Sir Peter Rycaut (d. 1653). (fn. 71) Most of them had passed by the mid 18th century to Leonard Gale, after whose death in 1750 they were divided, with his other estates, between his three daughters and coheirs. One son-in-law, James Clitherow, (fn. 72) owned the manor house, and was succeeded before 1775 (fn. 73) by his son James, whose son Col. James Clitherow still had it c. 1840, when the attached lands comprised 132 a. (fn. 74) Another part of the inheritance passed to the Blunt family, descending with Newbuildings in Shipley (fn. 75) to F. S. Blunt, who owned an estate at King's Barn described as 99 a. in 1811 and 101 a. c. 1840. (fn. 76) The Clitherows remained large landowners in the parish in 1882, (fn. 77) and in 1910 King's Barn farm still belonged to a Mr. Clitherow. (fn. 78)

A manor house at King's Barns manor was mentioned in 1326, 1398, and 1640. (fn. 79) The present building is probably of two periods in the 17th century with later additions, including one of the 18th century on the west towards the road.

The manor of HORTON, called in the 16th century HORTON MAYBANK or HORTON HORSEY, (fn. 80) was held in demesne by William de Braose in 1073. (fn. 81) It was not mentioned by name in Domesday Book, being presumably included in Beeding manor. William of Horton otherwise Maybank held land at Horton in 1225 which his ancestors had been given in marriage. (fn. 82) The same or another William Maybank occurs locally between c. 1230 and c. 1260, (fn. 83) and another William Maybank was lord of Horton in 1316. (fn. 84) About 1323 Philip Maybank died seised of a third of the manor, being succeeded by his grandson, also Philip Maybank. (fn. 85) The second Philip's son Richard was dealing with Horton in 1359 or 1360, (fn. 86) and he or a namesake was taxed at 3s. 4d. in the parish in 1378. (fn. 87)

Another Philip Maybank was dealing with the manor in 1389-90 (fn. 88) and was apparently lord in 1399. (fn. 89) His daughter Eleanor married John Horsey, whose grandson Thomas (fn. 90) held Horton in 1459, when it was leased to Sele priory. (fn. 91) Thomas died in 1468 or 1469, being succeeded by his son John (d. 1531), whose son (fn. 92) Sir John sold Horton c. 1539 to Thomas Cromwell, Lord Cromwell, who sold it to Richard Bellingham. Bellingham in turn had sold it before 1540 to Joan Everard of Albourne, (fn. 93) widow of Edward Bannister. (fn. 94) At her death in 1550 she was succeeded by her grandson Edward Bannister (fn. 95) (d. 1606), who was succeeded by his son Sir Edward. (fn. 96) In the late 16th century the Crown retained in the manor an interest whose nature is not clear, (fn. 97) and in 1593-4 Richard Bellingham, a relative of the Bannisters and presumably a descendant of the Richard Bellingham mentioned above, was leasing two thirds of it. (fn. 98)

After Sir Edward Bannister's death c. 1661 Horton was sold, apparently by his executors, to Thomas Arnold of Ifield, (fn. 99) who was dealing with it in 1666, (fn. 1) and who was still lord in 1717. (fn. 2) Courts were held in the names of Richard Arnold in 1718, of Anne Arnold, widow, in 1722, and of another Richard Arnold from 1724. (fn. 3) Richard (d. in or after 1746) devised Horton to his nephew and namesake, (fn. 4) who sold it in 1769 to William James, a London banker. On James's bankruptcy it was sold in 1773 to Colville Bridger, (fn. 5) afterwards descending with Beeding. Meanwhile the demesne lands, comprising 255 a., were sold, also in 1773, to Sir Merrik Burrell (d. 1787), from whom they descended with West Grinstead until 1882 or later. (fn. 6) They were bought c. 1965 by Mr. F. S. C. Bridger, who still had them in 1981. (fn. 7)

A manor house at Horton was apparently mentioned c. 1323. (fn. 8) The present three-bayed building, called Horton Hall, is early 19th-century and is rendered externally; there are later additions on the north side. In 1981 it was used as a guest house.

The manor of TOTTINGTON, often called TOTTINGTON WOWOOD, in reference apparently to the wood later known as Hoe wood or Old wood (fn. 9) in the north-east part of the parish, belonged in 1066 to King Harold. William de Braose held it in demesne in 1073 and 1086. (fn. 10) Thereafter the overlordship continued to descend with the rape. (fn. 11) Between 1267 (fn. 12) and 1384 (fn. 13) at least Tottington was held with Wappingthorn in Steyning by the Bonet and Wilcombe families. (fn. 14) Hamon Bonet was the most highly taxed landowner at Tottington in 1296, (fn. 15) and the William on whom Tottington was settled in 1341-2 was his son. (fn. 16) In 1349 Tottington was called a parcel of Wappingthorn. (fn. 17) After the late 14th century it presumably continued to descend with Wappingthorn (fn. 18) until 1626, when Sir Thomas Leeds settled it on Sir Garret Kempe. (fn. 19) Courts were held in Kempe's name from 1626 to 1636, and in the names of Thomas Kempe in 1656 and of Mary Kempe, widow, in 1662. In 1664 and 1665 Sir Henry Hearne was recorded as lord and in 1668 Henry Arundel.

By 1692 the manor had passed to George Heneage, who was succeeded in 1731 or 1732 (fn. 20) by his son or brother Thomas, still alive in 1736. Catherine Heneage, Thomas's widow, held the manor between 1744 and 1759, and their son George Fieschi Heneage was lord between 1767 and his death in 1782. George's son Thomas Fieschi Heneage (fn. 21) sold the estate in 1827 (fn. 22) to George Wyndham, earl of Egremont, after which it descended in the Wyndham family until it was sold c. 1923. (fn. 23) Between 1928 and 1932 Lilian A. Bravington was lady of the manor, (fn. 24) and in 1934 Harry Ricardo lived at the manor house. (fn. 25)

The north range of Tottington Manor is timberframed and has a 17th-century three-roomed plan. It seems to have been extended to the south in the 19th century and to the north-east early in the 20th. The building was a hotel and restaurant in 1981 and for many years before. (fn. 26)

Beeding RECTORY evidently derived from a hide of land which belonged to Beeding church c. 1100, (fn. 27) and was alternatively called the manor of SELE or SELA. (fn. 28) From Sele priory it passed, like the advowson of the vicarage, to Magdalen College, Oxford. (fn. 29) In 1255 it was valued at 20 marks, (fn. 30) and in 1340 the demesne lands were worth 20s. a year. (fn. 31) There were 27 tenements in Upper Beeding in 1452, comprising c. 8 yardlands and c. 12 a.; (fn. 32) in 1535 the manor apparently had over 120 a. in the parish, of which about half was in hand. (fn. 33) In 1842 the rectory farm totalled 84 a. lying south and east of the church and adjacent rectory house. (fn. 34) The manor also had lands elsewhere; in the early 19th century the parishes in which they lay were Botolphs, Bramber, Ashurst, Washington, Horsham, Shipley, Findon, Slaugham, and Rottingdean. (fn. 35) In 1873 the copyholds alone totalled 202 a. (fn. 36) The college was still lord in 1920. (fn. 37)

The buildings of the former priory (fn. 38) on the north side of the church survived in part until the 1780s, being leased with the rectory estate to the vicars of Beeding. (fn. 39) Since the vicar in 1724-5 repaired them at his own expense, (fn. 40) it is likely that they were the glebe house described as in good condition at the same period. (fn. 41) The building depicted in 1733 (fn. 42) may be partly represented by the timber-framed north range of the house called in 1983 Sele Priory, from which the land falls steeply to the river valley below. It is said to have included the monks' refectory, and to have been connected to the church by part of the medieval cloister. Fragments of old walls and arches survived between the building and the church c. 1785, (fn. 43) where the cloister has been revealed by excavation. (fn. 44) In 1787 Magdalen College gave the vicar permission to add three rooms to the rectory house, but later allowed him to replace the old buildings chiefly at his expense; as a result the westfacing double-bow-fronted central block of the present house, of two storeys and three bays, was built between 1788 and 1790. (fn. 45) Materials from the old buildings were used in its construction, for instance ashlar stone blocks in the plinth of the west front. The cellars, created either at that date or earlier, also incorporate medieval stonework. The house was extended southwards in the 19th century.

Godstow abbey (Oxon.) had lands in Beeding in 1340. (fn. 46) In 1540 they passed with Buddington in Wiston to Thomas Shirley of West Grinstead, (fn. 47) afterwards descending with that manor until 1634 or later. (fn. 48)

Land in Upper Beeding held by the Hazelholt family descended with an estate in Southwick. (fn. 49)


37 S.A.C. lxxxvii. 135.
38 V.C.H. Suss. i. 443-4; E.H.R. xxxv. 78-89; S. Saxons, ed. P. Brandon, 214.
39 V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 3-5; Cal. Pat. 1547-8, 33.
40 Cal. Close, 1288-96, 196; 1323-7, 487; Feud. Aids, v. 135.
41 S.R.S. xiv, p. 170.
42 Cal. Chart. R. 1257-1300, 255.
43 Cal. Pat. 1553, 125.
44 B.L. Add. MS. 39390, f. 6; W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 26605.
45 S.R.S. iii, pp. 10-14.
46 B.L. Add. MS. 5686, f. 70.
47 e.g. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1628-9, 163.
48 W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 26605; Arundel Cast. MS. M 299; Complete Peerage, i. 255.
49 B.L. Add. MS. 5686, f. 70.
50 Elwes & Robinson, W. Suss. 25; Complete Peerage, s.v. Mount Edgcumbe; W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 26606.
51 E.S.R.O., SAS/ND 258 (TS. cat.).
52 V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 152; W.S.R.O., SP 36.
53 Inf. from Mr. D. Ellman-Brown, of J. Ellman-Brown, Shoreham.
54 P.R.O., C 134/97, no. 7.
55 Cal. Inq. Misc. vi, p. 235.
56 V.C.H. Suss. i. 445; vi (1), 206.
57 Ibid. vi (1), 226-7.
58 Pipe R. 1210 (P.R.S. N.S. xxvi), 61.
59 e.g. Cal. Close, 1288-96, 196; Feud. Aids, vi. 524; S.R.S. xiv, p. 170.
60 Cur. Reg. R. viii. 12.
61 Cal. Chart. R. 1257-1300, 255.
62 Cal. Pat. 1547-8, 25, 27.
63 W.S.R.O., MP 1227.
64 Cf. V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 5.
65 Cal. Pat. 1553, 102.
66 B.L. Add. MS. 5685, f. 173.
67 W.S.R.O., Wiston MS. 5172, f. [2].
68 Arundel Cast. MS. H 1/8.
69 S.R.S. li. 3, 139.
70 Dallaway & Cartwright, Hist. W. Suss. ii (2), 217.
71 B.L. Add. MS. 5685, f. 173; Proc. Huguenot Soc. of Lond. xxi. 468.
72 B.L. Add. MS. 5685, f. 173; V.C.H. Suss. vii. 195.
73 B.L. Add. MS. 5685, f. 173.
74 W.S.R.O., TD/W 166; Burke, Land. Gent. (1952), 470.
75 V.C.H. Suss. vi (2), 117; E.S.R.O., SAS/HA 616.
76 W.S.R.O., Lytton MS. 11, f. 5; ibid. TD/W 166.
77 Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1882). For the hist. after c. 1650 of other former parts of the King's Barns demesne lands, Wiston Archives, i, pp. 155-7; Danny Archives, ed. J. Wooldridge, pp. 51, 55; Lytton MSS. pp. 40-1, 45-6; Glynde Pla. Archives, ed. R. Dell, p. 224; Horsham Mus. MS. 1858 (MS. cat.); W.S.R.O., TD/W 166.
78 W.S.R.O., IR 14, f. 3.
79 P.R.O., C 134/97, no. 7; Cal. Inq. Misc. vi, p. 235; B.L. Add. MS. 5685, f. 173.
80 L. & P. Hen. VIII, xv, p. 508.
81 Cal. Doc. France, ed. Round, p. 405.
82 Cur. Reg. R. xii, p. 89.
83 Sele Chartulary, pp. 5, 76, 82.
84 Feud. Aids, v. 135.
85 Cal. Inq. p. m. vi, p. 301.
86 S.R.S. xxiii, p. 148.
87 P.R.O., E 179/189/42, rot. 6.
88 S.R.S. xxiii, p. 197.
89 P.R.O., C 137/17, no. 27.
90 Hutchins, Hist. Dorset, iv (1870), 427.
91 N.R.A. Rep. 20579 (Magd. Coll., Oxf.), vol. iv, p. 2507.
92 Hutchins, Dorset, iv. 427.
93 L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiv (2), p. 340; xv, p. 508.
94 W. Berry, Hants Geneal. 81.
95 S.R.S. xiv, p. 83.
96 Ibid. p. 16; ibid. xix. 228.
97 P.R.O., C 3/335/2; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1598-1601, 358; S.A.C. xiii. 46-7.
98 Recusant Roll, ii (Cath. Rec. Soc. lvii), 170; S.R.S. xiv, p. 16.
99 Dallaway & Cartwright, Hist. W. Suss. ii (2), 219; S.R.S. xix. 228.
1 Wiston Archives, i, p. 158.
2 S.R.S. xix. 228; cf. W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 375, ff. 2v., 7v.
3 W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 375, ff. 8v.-10.
4 Ibid. f. 29; B.L. Add. MS. 5685, f. 221v.
5 B.L. Add. MS. 5685, ff. 221v.-222v.
6 Ibid. f. 222v.; W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 2002; V.C.H. Suss. vi (2), 90; Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1882).
7 Inf. from Mr. D. Ellman-Brown.
8 P.R.O., C 134/82, no. 4.
9 O.S. Map 6", Suss. LII (1879 edn.).
10 V.C.H. Suss. i. 444; Cal. Doc. France, ed. Round, p. 405.
11 e.g. Cal. Inq. p. m. xi, p. 143.
12 S.R.S. vii, p. 60.
13 S.A.C. liv. 40.
14 V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 229.
15 S.R.S. x. 59.
16 Ibid. xxiii, pp. 68, 100.
17 Cal. Inq. p. m. ix, p. 211.
18 e.g. Cal. Pat. 1569-72, p. 362.
19 S.R.S. xx. 443.
20 W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 27053; ibid. PHA 897.
21 Ibid. Add. MS. 27053; Burke, Peerage (1905), 806.
22 W.S.R.O., PHA/OG 12/10/2.
23 Burke, Peerage (1935), 1449-50; W.S.R.O., MP 1728.
24 W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 27054.
25 Kelly's Dir. Suss. (1934).
26 W. Suss. Gaz. 28 June 1979.
27 Cal. Doc. France, ed. Round, p. 405.
28 e.g. Wiston Archives, i, pp. 25, 40; S.R.S. li. 28.
29 Below, church.
30 Sele Chartulary, pp. 98-9.
31 Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 386.
32 Magd. Coll. Oxf. Mun., Sele 115; cf. Sele Chartulary, passim.
33 Magd. Coll. Oxf. Mun., Sele 117, ff. 20-6.
34 W.S.R.O., TD/W 165; cf. O.S. Map 6", Suss. LII (1879 edn.); below, church.
35 W.S.R.O., Par. 183/7/7, f. 10; cf. Sele Chartulary, passim.
36 Rep. Com. Univ. Income [C. 856-1], p. 544, H.C. (1873), xxxvii (2).
37 N.R.A., Man. Doc. Reg.
38 Cf. Dugdale, Mon. iv. 669-70; Dallaway & Cartwright, Hist. W. Suss. ii (2), 227-9.
39 W.S.R.O., Add. MS. 27483; ibid. Par. 16/1/1/1, f. 2.
40 Ibid. Par. 16/7/2, f. 23.
41 Ibid. Ep. I/26/3, p. 54.
42 Ibid. Add. MS. 27483.
43 S.A.C. x. 103.
44 S.A.S. libr., prelim. rep. on 1966 excavs. by D. Kaye.
45 B.L. Add. MS. 39345, f. 97.
46 Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 386.
47 L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvi, p. 142.
48 Cal. Pat. 1553, 112; S.R.S. xix. 76; xx. 496.
49 V.C.H. Suss. vi (1), 178.