Historic Buildings of East Sussex
The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in East Sussex, with links to sub-projects for specific buildings as appropriate. GENi profiles of people associated with those establishments can be linked to this project and/or to individual projects where they have been set up.
Image right - 14th Century Bodiam Castle
If you have information about any of the Buildings mentioned below please share it here. If you have ancestors linked to any of the places please add them to the project.
Historic houses in alphabetical order
Including Abbeys, Priories, Castles, Manor Houses, Mansions, Stately Homes, Country houses, Estate houses, Courts, Halls, Parks and other listed buildings of historic interest
Full sizes of the thumbnail images can be seen in the Gallery attached to the project or by clicking the thumbnail image ‘’’TIP’’’ - Use ctrl+the link to open the image in a separate tab, or use "back" to return to this project page) Sources for the images can be found in the image details as seen in the gallery.
Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Other links take you to external biographical web pages. Please copy and paste the bullet used - ● - instead of * when adding items to the list.
● Alfriston Clergy House
● Anne of Cleves House Lewes Ann of Cleves was given the house in 1541 as part of her divorce settlement from the King
● Ashburnham Placenear Battle. The building was reduced in height when it was partially demolished in 1959. As well as the house, the terrace, with its central steps, is grade II listed. The present building dates back to around the 1750s, following abandonment of the previous house in the 17th century. The grounds were landscaped by Capability Brown in 1777. The house saw a number of additions in the 18th and 19th centuries, including refacing in brick. For most of its history, it was in the hands of the Ashburnham family. However, the last of the lineage died in 1953, when it was passed to a distant cousin, the Revd John Bickersteth. A combination of war damage (from a fully laden WWII bomber which had crashed nearby) and dry rot meant that major repairs were needed, in addition to which there were substantial death duties to pay. To meet the latter the major art collection was sold along with half the estate. Because of the repair costs, much of the house was demolished in 1959, including the upper storeys, leaving only two storeys of the central block and one storey of the side wings. The much reduced house was then given to a trust, the Ashburnham Christian Trust, which now operates it as a Christian conference centre.
● Ashcombe House
● Batemans - home of Rudyard Kipling
● Bayham Old Abbey
● Beauport Park
● Beeches Farm
● Bentley Farm House
● Bentley House
● Bodiam Castle a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge, built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years' War. Of quadrangular plan, Bodiam Castle has no keep, having its various chambers built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. Its corners and entrance are marked by towers, and topped by crenellations. Its structure, details and situation in an artificial watery landscape indicate that display was an important aspect of the castle's design as well as defence. It was the home of the Dalyngrigge family and the centre of the manor of Bodiam.
● Bodiam Manor
● Brickwall House
● Brightling Park
● Buckwell Place
● Buckhurst Park Withyham
● Bull House
● Camber Castle - one of Henry VIII's Device Forts, also known as Henrician Castles, built to protect the huge Rye anchorage
Between 1512 and 1514 Sir Edward Guldeford built a circular tower to defend the harbour. This tower was incorporated into a new fort which was built between 1539 and 1544. It was expanded to become a symmetrical artillery fort. The original tower was augmented with four outer towers linked by an octagonal wall concealing a covered passage. Part of this construction was directed by Stefan von Haschenperg. Finally, four large D-shaped bastions serving as gun platforms were placed in front of the earlier towers. As the shoreline receded south the height of the central tower was raised in order to maintain the range of the castle's cannon. By the end of the 16th century the silting of the Camber made the castle largely obsolete and in 1637 it was abandoned. It is now owned by English Heritage after being taken over by the state in 1967.
● Charleston Firle, - Home to artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf’s sister, Charleston was a mecca for artists and writers in the early 20th century and became a regular meeting place for the celebrated Bloomsbury set.
● Compton Place
● Durhamford Manor
● Fife House
● Firle Place Lewes
● Folkington Manor
● Glynde Place Lewes
● Great Dixter House Rye
● Great Ote Hall Burgess Hill
● Hammerwood Park
● Haremere Hall
● Hastings Castle Immediately after landing in England in 1066 William of Normandy ordered three fortifications to be built, Pevensey Castle in September 1066, Hastings (before the Battle of Hastings) and Dover, a few days after the battle. Hastings Castle was originally built as a motte-and-bailey castle near the sea. In 1070 William had issued orders for the Castle to be rebuilt in stone, along with the St Mary's Chapel. The Count of Eu held the castle for most of the Norman period, but King John ordered that the castle be destroyed to prevent it falling into the hands of the Dauphin Louis. In 1220, Henry III re-fortified the castle.
Judged from its depiction on the Bayeux Tapestry, the castle at hastings would be the only campaign castle known to be constructed with a motte
● Herstmonceux The first written evidence of the existence of the Herst settlement appears in William the Conqueror's Domesday Book which reports that one of William's closest supporters granted tenancy of the manor at Herst to a man named ‘Wilbert'. By the end of the twelfth century, the family at the manor house at Herst had considerable status. Written accounts mention a lady called Idonea de Herst, who married a Norman nobleman named Ingelram de Monceux. Around this time, the manor began to be called the “Herst of the Monceux”, a name that eventually became Herstmonceux.
A descendant of the Monceux family, Roger Fiennes, was ultimately responsible for the construction of Herstmonceux Castle in the County of Sussex. Sir Roger was appointed Treasurer of the Household of Henry VI of England and needed a house fitting a man of his position, so construction of the castle on the site of the old manor house began in 1441. It was this position as treasurer which enabled him to afford the £3,800 construction of the original castle. The result is not a defensive structure, but a palatial residence in a self-consciously archaising castle style.
In 1541, Sir Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre, was tried for murder and robbery of the King's deer after his poaching exploits on a neighbouring estate resulted in the death of a gamekeeper. He was convicted and hanged as a commoner, and the Herstmonceux estate was temporarily confiscated by Henry VIII of England, but was restored to the Fiennes family during the reign of one of Henry's children.
The profligacy of the 15th Baron Dacre, heir to the Fiennes family, forced him to sell in 1708 to George Naylor, a lawyer of Lincoln’s Inn in London. Naylor’s grandson followed the architect Samuel Wyatt’s advice to reduce the Castle to a picturesque ruin by demolishing the interior. Thomas Lennard, 16th Baron Dacre, was sufficiently exercised as to commission James Lamberts of Lewes to record the building. The castle was dismantled in 1777 leaving the exterior walls standing and remained a ruin until the early 20th century, when radical restoration work was undertaken by Colonel Lowther in 1913 to transform the ruined building into a residence and completed for Sir Paul Latham in 1933 by the architect, Walter Godfrey. The existing interiors largely date to this period, incorporating architectural antiques from England and France.
● Holmbush House Hellingly
● Horsted Place
● Iridge Place
● Lewes Castle stands at the highest point of Lewes, East Sussex, England on an artificial mound constructed with chalk blocks. It was originally called Bray Castle. It was built in about 1069 by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, the son-in-law of William the Conqueror.
● Luxford House
● Milwards Farm Laughton
● Michelham Priory Hailsham - founded by Augustinian canons
● Monk's House, near Lewes - is the country retreat of novelist Virginia Woolf, featuring the room where she created her best-known works
● Moulsecoomb Place
● Normanhurst Court
● Pashley Manor Ticehurst
● Patcham Place
● Pevensey Castle - built around 290 AD and known to the Romans as Anderitum, the fort appears to have been the base for a fleet called the Classis Anderidaensis. The castle was occupied more or less continuously until the 16th century, apart from a possible break in the early 13th century when it was slighted. It had been abandoned again by the late 16th century and remained a crumbling, partly overgrown ruin until it was acquired by the state in 1925. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pevensey_Castle
● Plumpton Place
● Preston Manner - Preston Drove, Brighton
● Ratton Manor
● Rose Hill
● Royal Pavillion, Brighton - King George IV instructed John Nash to construct this seaside palace of fun so he could escape the formality of court back in London and party hard with his friends
● Salcote Place Rye
● Sheffield Park Garden
● Standen - Designed by Philip Webb, with William Morris interiors, Standen is a gem of the Arts and Crafts Movement. It’s also a Victorian family home with breathtaking views over the High Weald.
● Stanmer House
● Streat Place is a manor house built in the early 17th century by Walter Dobell who died in 1625. The building has an E shaped plan with central porch and projecting wings. Its national listing gives it as Grade II* and reveals its architectural merit as including its entire facing of knapped flints with long and short ashlar quoins to each window bay.
● Talbot House Cuckfield. Birthplace of John Owden (1799-1867) - no further details yet found.
● Wadhurst Castle - built on the site of a much older house which was mentioned in records of the 14th Century. It originated as a farmhouse of very simple structure. The main part of the Castle was built in the Regency period between 1818 and 1820. It was considerably enlarged in the 1840’s with designs by Edward Buckton-Lamb. In 1933 the Castle was badly damaged by fire and the following year the estate was purchased by Alfred Matthews. Matthews was an architect and set about repairing the fire-damaged interior. During the Second World War, the Castle was commandeered for use by the Canadian Army. In 1955 the Fitzgerald family took possession of the property. The estate is now in the joint ownership of the Fitzgerald and Clough families who have done a great deal to return the gardens and grounds to their former glory. John Clough, a forebear of the present family, is noted as having travelled to America in 1630 on board the 'Elizabeth', just 10 years after the Founding Fathers on the 'Mayflower'.
● Wargrave House
● Wings Place
● Wootton Manor
References and Sources
- A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 2
- A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 3
- A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4, the Rape of Chichester
- A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 5 Part 1, Arundel Rape: South-Western Part, Including Arundel
- A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part)
- A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham
- A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3, Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) Including Crawley New Town
- The Victoria History - Volume 7 - Rape of Lewes
- Victoria County History: Sussex - Volumes 1 through to 7 and 9
- Secret Scotland
- Historic Scotland
- National Trust
- English Heritage
- WIKI List of country houses in the UK
- Britain's Finest
- Britain Express
- Lankdmark Trust
- Historic Houses Association - represents 1,500 houses in the UK
- Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens - UK - guidebook of over 2,000 houses open to the public
- The DiCamillo Companion to British & Irish Country Houses - database of over 7,000 houses
- Lost Heritage - A Memorial to the Lost Country Houses of England - list of over 1,700 houses
- National Trust for Historic Preservation - online database of historic houses in the United States
- WIKI Historic Houses Association
- Historic Houses Association
- WIKI Treasure Houses of England
- List of country houses in the United Kingdom
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Other Pages for Historic Buildings of English Counties
Historic Buildings of Cumberland - Today's Cumbria includes parts of the historic counties of Westmorland and Lancashire
Middlesex inc. London
Rutland now East Midlands
Westmorland Now Cumbria/Cumberland
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