Herdingele (xi cent.); Erdinglegh (xiii cent.).
The parish of Ardingly has an area of 3,811 acres.
In 1934 a detached portion of the parish was transferred
to Balcombe. The church stands on the brow of a hill
in the centre of the parish, at a height of 398 ft. South
of it the ground slopes down to the Ouse Valley, with
Ardingly College, a Church of England Public School
belonging to the Woodard Foundation, about half-way
down. At the bottom, at a level of 125 ft., in the
extreme south of the parish, is the station, on the branch
line of the Southern Railway from Haywards Heath
to East Grinstead. Beside the station a road comes
north from Haywards Heath and joins the road from
Lindfield to Godstone, which runs up the east side
of the parish, at the hamlet of Hapstead, now the main
village, whence another road branches west to the
church. A Roman road ran through the centre of the
parish from north to south.
The ground rises all the time to the north of the
parish, reaching a height of 500 ft. A little stream runs
from the north down the western side of the parish,
through a narrow valley, to meet the Ouse; and a
similar stream marks the eastern boundary.
There is a Congregational Church in the village,
built in 1885.
Wakehurst Place was erected in 1590 by Sir Edward
Culpeper on or near the site of the earlier manor-house
of the Wakehurst family. The house was originally of
courtyard plan, the court being about 63 ft. square,
the north range being about 26 ft. broad, and the east
and west ranges 24 ft. externally. The south side
appears to have been closed by another 24-ft. range with
a middle gate-house: this was destroyed before 1697, but
its foundations were discovered in excavations made in
1905. In 1845 two-thirds of each of the side wings
were pulled down and the remainder refaced in their
present positions with the stone-work of the original
gabled south ends. The old north range—or present
south range—was occupied by the great hall, entered
by the middle porch, and the state rooms were in the
west range—the south room, with the chamber above
it, being 41 ft. long and lighted by bay-windows towards the courtyard as are those in the existing range.
It was probably the position of the north wall of this
chamber that decided the length of the parts that were
saved. The corresponding east wing formed the servants' quarters.
At some period the hall was divided into smaller
chambers, and also probably both wings. Before 1869,
when the house was sold to the Marchioness of Downshire, there was a middle hall 21 ft. wide with a small
drawing-room west of it and a dining-room east of it
occupying the site of the original great hall, and in the
west wing was a south drawing-room and a north stairhall and gallery. The bedrooms above were approximately on similar lines. The marchioness rearranged
the interior, converted the east range into a library,
added a parallel wing east of it with a study, and north
of that a chapel, and also built the long range of domestic
offices to the north of the western half. The heraldic
chimney-piece which was in the small drawing-room
was removed to the library, and the main staircase rebuilt in a new entrance-hall on the north side, west of
the chapel; the whole west wing was then utilized as
the dining-room. The next owner, Sir William Boord,
made minor alterations to the interior. The late Lord
Wakehurst—formerly G. W. E. Loder, M.P.—who
bought the property in 1903, added a small porch to
the north entrance. The house has recently been
put into thorough repair by the present occupier, Sir
Henry Price, but no structural alterations of any importance were made in the ancient parts.
The walls are of ashlar in the local sandstone: the
roofs are covered with Horsham slabs. The house is
of two stories and attics: the first-floor level is marked
by a moulded string-course. The south elevation is
symmetrical. The main block has a middle porch and
two bay-windows, all three of full height of the elevation and having gabled heads. There are also
intermediate windows between the porch and the baywindows, surmounted by detached gabled dormers.
All five gables have panelled pilaster-corbels below the
kneelers, and pinnacles with ball-heads above them as
well as on the apices. The slopes of the porch-gable
are decorated with double scrolls or consoles standing
up above the coping. The canted sides of the baywindows are corbelled out above the first-floor windows
to carry the square gables above. The ground-floor
windows are tall and divided by two transoms, the
top lights having four-centred heads: the first-floor
windows have only one transom. All the windows have
enriched entablatures above them, those to the groundfloor windows being continued as the string-course.
The entrance to the porch has a round head with
lozenge-shaped panels to face and soffit and with spandrels carved with foliage and the initials E.C. It is
flanked by Tuscan shafts on panelled pedestals carrying
an entablature with enriched mouldings and frieze.
The window on the first floor is included in the same
architectural treatment and is flanked by Ionic shafts
above a fluted frieze and panelled pedestals. Below
the window is a deep rectangular panel with carved
mouldings, which probably once contained an achievement of arms. Over the Ionic shafts are panelled superpilasters with cornices and above these small human
figures on pedestals. Between them is an entablature,
with an enriched convex frieze, and a moulded pediment. A string-course level with the entablature is
carried round the walls of the porch. In the gablehead is a three-light window: the windows in the other
gable heads are of two lights. As noticed by Mr. J. A.
Gotch, (fn. 1) the bay-windows are placed unusually close to
the inner walls of the side-wings. This suggests that
the house was intended to be wider from east to west
originally and that this front was begun before the
other sides of the courtyard. The inner faces of the
wings retain, each, only one of the original four windows (including one bay-window) that existed on each
floor. Above them are gablets as in the main wall. The
ends of the wings have double steps at the bases of the
gables with pinnacles. The lower windows have fluted
friezes on their entablatures, and the upper carved
convex friezes. On the west side is a gabled bay-window
like the others, and a chimney-stack with two diagonal
square shafts. The east side has, above the modern
one-storied study, windows to the first floor, and two
gabled dormers. In the modern porch on this front is
a twelve-panelled door with a shield dated 1590 in
the tympanum. Presumably the whole of the buildings
on the north side are modern, but the entrance to the
stair-hall has an original door from the south front,
enriched with carving and nail-studded.
The staircase retains the screen figured by Nash, (fn. 2)
with fluted square posts and Ionic capitals, lintel as
entablature with a lozengy carved frieze and elaborately
carved pendants, and an upper balustrade with roundheaded openings, enriched pilasters, and brackets below
the carved top rail. The staircase has panelled newels
with carved heads, twisted balusters, and moulded handrail. The panelling, from a bedroom, placed by Lady
Downshire in the chapel, has now been refixed in the
entrance hall. The drawing-room, also illustrated by
Nash, has a frieze of mermaids and a ribbed patterned
ceiling with central pendants. The dining-room,
occupying the west wing, has a similar ceiling, presumably not all ancient, and is lined with oak panelling
apparently made up from several sources and of different periods: one frieze panel bears the initials and
date TH 1705. There is also a frieze of mermaids,
of uncertain age. The library—the east wing—contains the stone chimney-piece formerly in the drawingroom. The fire-place is square headed, surrounded by
carved moulding and having a lintel with a foliage and
fruit pattern, all flanked by intricately carved pilasters.
The overmantel has a middle panel with a heavy frame
carved with vine ornament and enclosing an achievement of the Culpeper arms, with twelve quarterings. (fn. 3)
On either side of the panel are round-headed niches
containing allegorical figures of Charity and Peace, the
whole being flanked by pilasters carved with terminal
figures of satyrs: the frieze between has a range of
fourteen shields, representing the alliances of the Culpeper family. Above the cornice are pierced crestings
of scrolls and grotesques. Some of the other fire-places
are probably ancient and some have overmantels partly
made up of 16th- or 17th-century material.
Newhouse, now called Culpeper, about a mile
north-west of Wakehurst Place, was built in the late
17th century and rebuilt with the stone taken from the
destroyed wings of the great house in 1845–6. It has
a gabled bay in the middle of the south front with
pilasters and pinnacles as at Wakehurst and a one-story
porch with a gable head and similar detail. The
windows, of two or three lights, are mullioned and
Great Strudgate Farm, now two tenements, about
1¼ miles north of Wakehurst, is of a modified T shape,
with brick and tile-hung walls. The back wing retains
a fine 16th-century projecting chimney-stack of stone
with tabled sides: the shaft above is modern. The
central fire-place in the front block is also of stone.
South of the church is Upper Lodge, an early-16thcentury house of two stories, the lower cemented,
the upper tile-hung. Later in the century a central
chimney-stack, having an 8-ft. fire-place with an oak
bressummer, was built in one of the bays of the original
hall, and the ground-floor and first-floor rooms have
original posts and cross-beams about a yard in front
(south-east) of it; this space in the roof shows signs of
smoke-blackening from the former hall fire. The roof
retains two bays of the original construction with windbraced side-purlins. The staircase is modern but the
upper floor-boards show where the original balk-stair
rose between the hall and south-east wing.
Hill House Farm, about 1½ miles south-east of the
church, is a mid-16th-century house. The lower walls
are partly of stone, partly of 18th-century brick, replacing early timber-framing; the upper story is tilehung. The end walls have moulded bressummers to
the projecting gable-heads, and moulded barge-boards.
The plan has two end rooms with an entrance-hall
between them, containing an original staircase. The
south-east room has a great fire-place in a projecting
chimney-stack that is built of red bricks with black
diaper ornament, and has two square detached shafts
under one capping. The north-west room also has a
10-ft. fire-place, but its chimney-shaft has been rebuilt.
Both rooms have original moulded ceiling beams and
exposed chamfered joists.
Lywood Farm is a tall building of three stories built
probably late in the 16th century. The walls are
mostly of timber-framing with plastered infilling.
The main block is rectangular, facing east, and has a
huge central chimney-stack with wide fire-places. The
entrance to the hall, north of the chimney-stack, has a
door of vertical and diagonal battens, nail-studded in
six tiers of three round-headed arches, and an original
iron knocker. The hall retains some of its ancient floortiles, and its north wall has a partition of moulded
battens between it and the room beyond. Next east
of the chimney-stack is an old winding staircase; above
the first floor it has steps of solid oak balks.
Most of the rooms have original moulded ceilingbeams and exposed rafters.
West Hill, a spur of the Forest Ridge 340 ft. high,
about a mile north-west of the church, has a group of
houses partly in Ardingly and partly in Balcombe.
Lullings, the modern name for West Hill Farm,
long the home of the Newnhams, is a mid-15th-century
house facing south. It had a great hall of two 9-ft. bays
open to the roof. The middle truss remains in place
with a highly cambered tie-beam, on posts with
moulded corbel-heads, and a plain king-post with
four-way struts below a central purlin. The original
curved braces below the tie-beam have been removed.
In the closed framing of the east wall is also a kingpost. In the west partition, at first-floor level, is a
mutilated moulded and embattled wall-beam, with
mortices for former studding. The west wing (the
solar ?) remains, although somewhat altered inside. In
the east wing a great chimney-stack was inserted late
in the 16th century, with the upper floor in the hall
and the addition of a further east wing, which has
moulded beams and exposed joists. The south entrance,
by the chimney-stack, has the shaped brackets for a
former 18th-century hood, which was probably gabled.
Perrymans, now Pearmints, is a house of two stories
and attics built probably early in the 17th century. The
walls are of timber-framing with brick infilling. The
plan is rectangular, with a central chimney, and the
original staircase next south of the chimney-stack. On
the bressummer of the east fire-place have been carved
the initials and date ID 1705.
Bolney Farm, on the west side of the road to Turner's
Hill, about ¼ mile north of Hickpots, is a timber-framed
house, probably of 15th-century origin, lengthened at
both ends and provided with fire-places and chimneystacks in the 17th century. The two original wings
have curved struts in the upper story of the east front.
In the west wall of what was probably the original hall
is a wide fire-place and projecting chimney-stack
gathered in at the sides to two square shafts of 17thcentury bricks. A similar chimney-stack projects at
the north end. An upper window in the front, of five
lights, has moulded oak mullions. The lower rooms
have open-timbered ceilings.
Hickpots, Burstye Farm, The Gardeners' Arms Inn,
Tillinghurst Farm, and a timber-framed cottage near
Lullings, all show features of 17th-century date.
There is no manor of Ardingly. A large
part of the parish belonged to the great
manors of Ditchling and South Malling,
and portions to Plumpton (fn. 4) and Streat. (fn. 5)
The manor of WAKEHURST was held in the 16th
century of the manor of Walstead in Lindfield, by
fealty and rent of 12d. (fn. 6) As early as 1205 one William
de Wakehurst held land in Ardingly, (fn. 7) and he seems to
have been still living about 1235. (fn. 8) Another William
is mentioned in 1278, and had three sons, Richard,
William, and John. (fn. 9) Richard seems to have been in
possession from 1287 to 1309, (fn. 10) and his namesake,
Richard Wakehurst, was knight of the shire in Parliament in the reign of Henry V. (fn. 11) He died in 1454 and
his widow Elizabeth ten years later, and as his sons had
predeceased him his heirs were his two granddaughters
Elizabeth and Margaret Wakehurst. The sisters were
abducted and married by the brothers of their neighbour John Culpeper, Nicholas Culpeper marrying
Elizabeth, and Richard marrying Margaret. (fn. 12) Nicholas
and Elizabeth had eighteen children, of whom the eldest,
Richard, inherited Wakehurst at his mother's death
soon after 1517. He was succeeded by his son John
in 1539, (fn. 13) and the latter died in 1565, leaving a son
Thomas, (fn. 14) whose son Edward was only 9 at his father's
death in 1571. (fn. 15) Thomas's widow Anne, who married
as her third husband Henry Barkeley, LL.D., held
Wakehurst during her lifetime. (fn. 16) Edward Culpeper
was the builder of Wakehurst Place, in 1590, and was
knighted at the accession of James I. (fn. 17) His son William,
who succeeded him in 1630, (fn. 18) had been made a baronet
in 1628, was M.P. for East Grinstead in 1640, and
died in 1678, when, his son Benjamin having predeceased him, the manor passed to his grandson William. (fn. 19)
This Sir William, who came of age in 1689, gambled
away his property, and in 1694 sold Wakehurst for
£9,000 to Dennis Liddell, (fn. 20) a Commissioner of the
Navy and a friend of Pepys. Liddell was succeeded in
1717 by his son Richard, who evidently conveyed the
manor to his brother, the Rev. Charles Liddell, rector
of Ardingly and Worth, since he held courts there
from 1731 onwards. (fn. 21) Charles Liddell at his death in
1757 left Wakehurst to his cousins Richard and Dennis
Clarke, with remainder to Joseph Peyton, a distant
relative. Richard died in 1760 and Dennis in 1776,
both without issue, and the manor then came to Joseph
Peyton, later an admiral in the navy. (fn. 22) He died in
1804, and his son, Rear-Admiral
Joseph Peyton, in 1816. Captain
John Ritson Peyton, son of the
latter, held it until 1825, and his
son Joseph John, a lieutenant in
the Life Guards, until 1844, but
in 1869 his son John East Hunter
Peyton sold it to Caroline Frances,
Dowager Marchioness of Downshire. (fn. 23) In 1893 Lady Downshire
sold Wakehurst Place to Thomas
William Boord, who was created
a baronet in 1896, and he sold
it in 1903 to Gerald W. E.
Loder, (fn. 24) who in 1934 was created
Baron Wakehurst of Ardingly, and died in 1936. His
widow is the present owner.
Wakehurst. Gules a cheveron argent between three hawks or.
Culpeper. Argent a bend engrailed gules.
Loder, Lord Wakehurst Azure a fesse between two scallops or with three bucks' heads caboshed proper on the fesse.
The church of ST. PETER (fn. 25) occupies
the site of a 12th-century church of which
the only evidence now left is a small
capital found buried in the north wall of the nave in
1887 and now preserved in the north aisle. Two or
three stones reset in the south aisle wall are probably
of the same period. The chancel, nave, and south aisle
date chiefly from c. 1330, but the lower parts of the
chancel walls may be earlier and the responds of the
south arcade appear to contain 13th-century material.
The west tower and south porch were added in the
15th century. The church was restored in 1853, and
in 1887 the north aisle and vestry were added: the roofs
were restored in 1926.
The chancel (25¼ ft. by 18½ ft.) has an early-14thcentury east window of three trefoiled lights and leaf
tracery in a two-centred head with an external hoodmould. The window is partly restored. The chamfered
rear-arch has a moulded label with head-stops. In the
north wall is a window of two trefoiled ogee-headed
lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head with an
external hood-mould. Next west is a modern archway
to the vestry. On the south side is a similar window.
The two windows have inside remarkable rollmoulded wooden hood-moulds. Farther west is a singlelight trefoiled low-side window which has a transom
and rebates for a shutter. It has an external hoodmould and is widely splayed inside. Between the windows is a priest's doorway with moulded jambs and
pointed head, and segmental-pointed rear-arch: above,
there are marks in the walling of a former gabled erection (a porch or hood?). There is no chancel-arch,
but the south wall breaks forward about 13 inches.
The chancel walls are of rubble with much mortar.
They have a plinth of two orders which appears to be
of the 13th century, and the lower stones of the walling
are more or less coursed and larger and squarer than
those in the upper parts of the walls. Flush with the
east wall are north and south buttresses. The gablehead of the east wall has old moulded kneelers and plain
coping, and a modern gable-cross. The roof is of
collar-beam type and may be 14th-century; the wallplates are moulded and there are two plain tie-beams.
It is covered with Horsham slabs. In the south wall
is a 14th-century moulded piscina with a shallow
multi-foiled basin and in the north wall an aumbry
with rebated jambs and pointed head: both have hoodmoulds.
PARISH CHURCH of ST. PETER ARDINGLY
The nave (34½ ft. by 19½ ft.) has arcades of two bays.
The northern, of 1887, has an octagonal pillar and
chamfered responds and pointed arches. The eastern
bay is a narrow one, the western wide. Eastwards is a
15th-century rood-stair with a square-headed doorway
at the foot and a blocked upper doorway. The south
arcade has an octagonal middle pillar retooled, with a
modern base and a re-worked 14th-century moulded
capital. The responds are peculiar and are probably of
the 13th century adapted by the 14th-century builders:
they are of part-octagonal plan with a two-thirds-round
shaft, 5 in. in diameter, worked on each angle. The east
respond has a 14th-century moulded semi-octagonal
capital which ignores the outline of the respond. The
west respond has a capital similarly treated but apparently modern, as is the base. The arches, original, are twocentred and of two chamfered orders. The roof is of
the 15th century and is divided into three bays by
trusses which have plain tie-beams, strutted king-posts,
and longitudinal curved braces under a central purlin
below the collar-beams. One truss comes above the
chancel-screen. The roof is slightly higher than that
of the chancel and is covered with Horsham slabs.
The modern north aisle (13 ft. wide) has two north
windows of 14th-century character with pointed heads.
The west window appears to be a 14th-century window reset and reworked, probably from the former
north wall of the nave: it has two trefoiled ogee-headed
lights under a square main head. An archway opens
into the vestry.
The south aisle (11¾ ft. wide) has an east window of
two trefoiled ogee-headed lights and a cinquefoiled
circle in a two-centred head with an external hoodmould having human-head stops. South of the window
are traces of a doorway to the Wakehurst pew. In
the south wall are two windows, also of the 14th century, the western similar, but with a quatrefoil, and
the eastern of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights under a
square head with a label. The south doorway, between
the windows, has hollow-chamfered jambs and pointed
head with a hood-mould. In the west wall is a modern
light of vesica-piscis shape. The walling of the aisle
is of rubble, mostly in ironstone, and has a chamfered
plinth. The west wall appears to have been rebuilt
with old material. At the south-east angle are two
square buttresses, perhaps later additions. A straight
joint with angle dressings in the upper part of the west
wall indicates the original south-west angle of the nave.
The soffit of the roof, although it is gabled, is only
slightly cambered. It has a middle truss with a moulded
principal, a tie-beam on wall posts, and with curved
braces below it, carried on plain stone corbels. At the
feet of the braces are carved small human heads. There
are also moulded wall-plates and central purlins, probably of the 14th century. In the south wall is a plain
round-headed piscina with a half-round basin, and west
of it a recess 7 ft. 1 in. long with moulded jambs and
The west tower (12 ft. square) is 50 ft. high, of
three stages, and is built of rubble of roughly squared
stones: it has no string-courses except to the plain parapet: the plinth is chamfered. At the two west angles
are heavy diagonal buttresses of three stages: they are
bonded into the walls, but are of different material and
workmanship to the masonry in the lower half of the
tower. The archway towards the nave has semioctagonal responds with plain bases and moulded
capitals of the 15th century, the head being twocentred and of two chamfered orders. The west doorway has moulded jambs and two-centred head with an
external hood-mould, and the window above it is of
three cinque-foiled lights and vertical tracery in a fourcentred head with an external hood-mould. The second
stage has a single round-headed light in three walls and
the top-stage a window of two round-headed lights in
each of the four walls.
The roof is pyramidal and has a lead-covered central
post with a capping: local legend asserts that a cresset or
beacon formerly existed on the post. There are heavy
beamed floors to the stories.
The south porch is of old timber framing of c. 1500
and is covered with weather-boarding except within
18 in. of the side eaves, which is left open and fitted
with posts. The south front is gabled and has a modern
entrance. The two trusses of the roof are of king-post
type and the roof is covered with Horsham slabs. The
framing of the walls is carried on dwarf stone walls.
There is an inscription that the porch was restored in
memory of the Rector 1875 to 1911.
The font, pulpit, and lectern are modern; the communion rails are of the 17th century and have turned
and twisted balusters and made-up box handrails. The
chancel-screen is of early-15th-century date, partly
restored. It is divided by main moulded posts, which
have capitals, into five main bays, of which the middle
has a pair of doors. Each bay is sub-divided and each
half-bay contains three open lights with cinquefoiled
round heads and crocketed finials above the middle
rail, which is carved with running foliage; below it is
closed panelling, the outer two bays plain, the others
traceried, all original except one. A part of the moulded
top-rail remains, but the cornice is missing. The screen
had been removed in 1853 and stored in the tower:
it was refixed across the tower archway in 1887 and
in 1924 was reset in its present position.
The only ancient glass is two 14th-century shields
in the chancel: one on the north with the arms of
Warenne, and the other, opposite, bears or a lion gules.
The tower has an ancient stair of oak balks rising
from the level of the west window-ledge, against the
north wall, to the first floor.
Lying in a recess in the north wall of the chancel is
the effigy of a priest of c. 1330 in mass vestments: the
head rests on a cushion, on either side of which is an
angel, and he has a lion at his feet. The base is a rough
piece of masonry. The recess is moulded and has a segmental-pointed arch and hood-mould with rather crude
crockets and a finial with a square block and foliage.
It is flanked by heavy square pilasters, which are carved
in stages with window-tracery panels and have foiled
gable-heads and crocketed tall pinnacles. The panel
in the east pilaster is a copy of the east window of the
chancel; the lower part of this pilaster was destroyed
for the Wakehurst tomb. This is an altar-tomb with
panelled stone sides and a moulded top slab of Purbeck
marble containing a canopied brass with effigies of
Richard Wakehurst, died 4th January 1454–5, and
Elizabeth (Echingham) his wife. (fn. 26) Richard is represented wearing a doublet and a long fur-trimmed gown
with loose wide sleeves and a girdle from which hang
a pouch and short rosary; Elizabeth wears a close bodice
and a loose skirt, gathered up to reveal her underskirt.
She has tight sleeves with fur cuffs and wears a butterfly head-dress with a pedimental front. The canopy
has panelled side-posts and gabled and crocketed heads.
Above are three shields of arms; the dexter with those of
Wakehurst, the sinister with Echingham, [azure] fretty
[argent], and the middle with the one impaling the other.
The long side of this altar tomb is of two bays, each
with a quatrefoil panel enclosing a blank shield and
flanked by wide panelled pilasters: the west end has a
similar bay: the east end is plain.
In the chancel floor is a slab with the brass effigies
of Richard Culpeper and his wife Margaret, daughter
of Richard Wakehurst. She died 25 July 1504: the
date of Richard's death is left unfilled. It is a similar
type of brass with two figures standing beneath a
canopy. Richard is represented in plate armour with
mail collar, gussets, and skirt, taces and tuilles, and
broad-toed sabbatons with rowel spurs. The sword
crosses diagonally behind and there is no dagger.
Margaret wears a pedimental head-dress with embroidered lappets, gown with close bodice and tight
sleeves with fur cuffs, and a girdle with a long pendant
end. The double canopy is similar to the other except
that the posts or pilasters are shorter at the head and the
two shields in the spandrels are inscribed 'J[hu]' and
'M[er]cy'. The lower halves of the pilasters are missing and
the upper part of the lady has been restored. Above are
three shields of arms: dexter Culpeper, sinister Wakehurst, and the middle Culpeper impaling Wakehurst.
Another slab contains the brasses of Nicholas Culpeper, died 24 May 1510, and Elizabeth his wife
(date of death not recorded). They were respectively
brother and sister of Richard and Margaret. He is
dressed in armour of the same kind as Richard wears,
but with a longer mail skirt and tuilles, higher pauldrons, &c. He has a sword and dagger. The lady is
very similar to Margaret. Beneath them are groups of
ten sons and eight daughters, and there are three shields
with the Culpeper and Wakehurst arms.
A fourth brass in the chancel is to Elizabeth (Farnefold) widow of Sir Edward Culpeper of Wakehurst,
died 10 September 1633. She is represented wearing
a veil head-dress, lace collar, full mantle, and gown which
is open in front to reveal a richly embroidered underskirt; the sleeves are striped and have frilled cuffs. Above
is a shield of arms.
A fifth brass is of Elizabeth, the seven-year-old
daughter of Sir William Culpeper, who died 6 December 1634. The child is shown in a jacket with
a deep lace-edged collar and puffed and slashed sleeves,
and a full skirt open in front to show the embroidered
underskirt, a cord girdle with a tassel, and a veiled headdress. Above is a rectangular plate with a wreath enclosing a lozenge of arms.
In the tower is a fragment of a cast iron slab, formerly
used as a fire-back in a local cottage. It is a copy of the
grave-slab of Anne Forster (1591–2) of Crowhurst,
Surrey. (fn. 27)
The memorial for those who died in the Great War
1914–18 is an oak screen at the east end of the north
In the churchyard are nineteen table tombs, mostly
of the 18th century, and a fine old yew tree.
On the stone west of the south-east window of the
south aisle is scratched a sundial with arabic numerals
and the date 1572 or 1592.
There are five old bells; one by Lester and Pack
1766, the second by Thomas Mears and Son 1805; the
third has no inscription; the fourth is by Brian Eldridge
1629; and the other by John Waylett 1719. (fn. 28) The
treble is by John Warner and Sons, 1911.
The communion plate includes a cup, paten, and
flagon of 1672 engraved with the Culpeper arms, and
an alms-dish of 1702. (fn. 29)
The registers date from 1557; the first volume with
the early parchment transcript is carried up to 1651,
the second is from 1652 to 1689, and the third from
1690 to 1723. (fn. 30) The original paper copy of 1557 is
also preserved. There are also churchwardens' accounts
from the late 17th century.
The church of Ardingly was granted
to the Priory of St. Pancras at Lewes
by William de Warenne II, (fn. 31) and
remained with that house until surrendered to the
King at the Dissolution in 1537. (fn. 32) In 1538 it was
granted to Thomas Cromwell (fn. 33) but returned in 1540
to the Crown, who presented until 1550. (fn. 34) The advowson was then granted to Sir Thomas Smith, (fn. 35) but
in 1553 was purchased by John Culpeper and Edward
his elder son, and was held in socage of the Queen
as of the honor of Grafton, Northants. (fn. 36) Subsequently
it descended with the manor of Wakehurst, although
alienated for a while to John Thetcher from 1566 to
1589, and in 1590 to Ninian Warde. (fn. 37) The advowson
and rectory remained with Wakehurst (fn. 38) until the sale
of the manor in 1869, (fn. 39) when the advowson was
retained by Mr. J. E. H. Peyton. After 1877 it was
in the hands of his trustees until 1892, when it was
acquired by the Rev. T. Bowden. (fn. 40) He died in 1925
and his widow, within a year, disposed of the advowson
to Sir Charles A. King-Harman, K.C.M.G., who is the
present patron. (fn. 41)