HOUSES OF KNIGHTS TEMPLARS
19. THE PRECEPTORY OF SADDLESCOMBE
About the year 1228 Geoffrey de Say granted
the manor of Saddlescombe, some four miles
north-west of Brighton, to the Templars with
the assent of William de Warenne, earl of
Surrey, who added a grant of 40s. rent from
Lewes. At the same time, or shortly afterwards,
Simon le Counte gave them the churches of
Southwick and Woodmancote and certain tithes.
Alan Trenchmere gave land in Shoreham, where
the Templars erected a chapel which subsequently came into the hands of the Carmelite
Friars of that town, and Theobald de Englescheville granted the manor of Compton in Berwick, in return for which they had to provide
a chaplain to celebrate for the souls of the donor,
King Henry III, and Queen Eleanor.
Upon the seizure of the property of the order
in 1308, the lands at Saddlescombe were returned
as worth £20, and the goods there, almost entirely farming utensils, at £75 10s.; the Compton
lands being put at £8 15s. and the goods at
£57 14s. Although the lands belonging to this
preceptory were bestowed upon the Hospitallers,
the earl of Surrey managed to retain them for
the use of himself and his heirs until 1397.
A remarkable document entered amongst the
Saddlescombe deeds and therefore possibly relating
to this preceptory, is a letter from a certain Archbishop Azo requesting the master of the Temple
in England to receive Joan, the aged wife of
Sir Richard Chaldese, who had taken the oath of
chastity and wished to submit herself to the rule
of the Temple.