12 January 2016

Hangleton Manor, Hove

Judy Middleton (2002 revised 2015)

 copyright © J.Middleton
This photograph shows the north façade of Hangleton Manor with the entrance on the right.

The First House

It seems probable the original manor house occupied a site nearer St Helen's Church. This grouping of a manor house in the vicinity of the church occurred at Portslade, Preston and West Blatchington. That this practice was also followed at Hangleton is strengthened by the discovery during building work in the 20th century of foundations belonging to an oval-shaped pigeon house. This was situated on a site east of the church where folk memory recorded its original use because it was called Pigeon House Field. Only the gentry were allowed the privilege of building a dovecote or pigeon house and it was likely to be sited near a manor house for ease of access during the winter months when doves or pigeons were a source of fresh meat.

  copyright © J.Middleton
The ivy-clad church of St Helen’s was originally in an isolated position.

Bellingham Chooses a New Site

In the 1540s Richard Bellingham decided he must have a new manor house in a different location and the present day Hangleton Manor was erected at the foot of the gentle slope on which the church stands. Perhaps Bellingham felt the cold because it must be admitted the church is placed in a very exposed position whereas his new manor was built in the lee of Foredown Hill, which sheltered it from the prevailing south-westerly gales.

copyright © J.Middleton
This map was drawn from the 1870 Ordnance Survey 6 inch map 
and shows the position of church and manor.
Recycling is nothing new and Bellingham was pleased to make use of two 12th century carved stones, which were set at the front of the house, on the east side of the hall door. This material became available because of the Dissolution of the Monasteries; the great Priory of St Pancras, Lewes, was demolished in 1537 and a cartload of stones found its way to Hangleton and Portslade.

Original Lay-out of Hangleton Manor

The original manor house was simple enough in design because it consisted of a hall with a great parlour at one end while there was a service hall at the other end leading to a kitchen. Above the ground floor there were other rooms but you could only reach them from a small external staircase. If you were wealthy enough, such a plan could be viewed as a starting point and Hangleton Manor was extensively altered twice in the same century in which it was built.

First Improvements

The first improvements were undertaken only about ten or fifteen years after it was built. From this period date the heavy oak screen at the west end of the hall, the porch doorway and the stair lobby – that is the part at the head of the present flight of stairs – surrounded by heavy half-timbered partition containing the remains of doorways. One of these doorways leads to the attic stairs with steps carved out of solid oak.

Second Improvements

It is thought that Richard Bellingham’s grandson, also called Richard Bellingham, was responsible for instigating the second round of improvements towards the close of the 16th century. Survivals from this time include two-inch thick Tudor tiles. This second phase was even more ambitious and included the insertion of new windows, blocking up some of the old ones, re-roofing of the east part to go with the construction of a new long gallery and the construction of a staircase.


This grand staircase was of an unusual design. It was constructed around a large square newel post, solid at the base and rising to a square of slender balusters. There was thoughtful provision for lighting the staircase by making appropriate holes at various points in which to insert candles. When candles were not required, wooden plugs stopped up the holes.


  copyright © J.Middleton
This original ceiling has miraculously survived from the late 16th century.

The magnificent plaster ceiling in the hall also dated back to the late 16th century. It is composed of geometrical designs with bosses containing 60 heraldic emblems of families associated with Hangleton Manor and the local area. The Bellinghams are represented by their three black bugle horns decorated with gold ribbons. A dolphin acknowledged the Scrase family who lived at neighbouring West Blatchington for generations. It is interesting to note the dolphin was particularly associated with the Dauphin (the title of the heir to the French throne) while a fleur-de-lys (the device of the French king) also appears on the ceiling. Another connection with the Scrase family shown on the ceiling was a blackamoor’s head, the coat-of-arms of the Blakers of Portslade. This device has aroused interest in recent times but it was chosen because it was pun on the surname. Edward Blaker married as his second wife Susanna, daughter of Tuppen Scrase.

Then there is a Tudor rose that may be a compliment to the Tudor dynasty or it could represent the Abergavenny family who owned much of West Blatchington for centuries. Their coat-of-arms was a red rose of the field mounted on a silver saltire. The saltire, or St Andrew’s Cross, became part of the Borough of Hove’s coat-of-arms while dolphins formed Brighton’s coat-of-arms.

Oak Screen and the Ten Commandments

A fine oak screen was erected in the hall that was carved out of oak and had fluted Corinthian pilasters. A version of the Ten Commandments was inscribed in the three panels above the cornice. As the inscriptions were worked before the appearance of the King James Bible, some of the spelling could be described as quaint. For example, the instruction to keep the Sabbath holy reads Sixe daies maist thov laboure an do all that thov hast to doe while another precept reminds people The Lord thi God am a Gelovse God. The panels are proof that the manor once had its own private chapel; another piece of evidence lies in the remains of a piscina that has been discovered. A piscina was frequently found in the chancel of old churches and it was where the sacred vessels were washed before Mass.

Underneath the Ten Commandments was the motto Persevere, ye perfect men, ever keep these precepts ten. The only vowel used in this couplet is an ‘e’ and that has led some authorities to deduce it represents a compliment to Queen Elizabeth I. This motto was frequently commented upon in books devoted to Sussex but it seems to have disappeared during the Great War.

The Sussex Daily News (26 August 1938) printed a letter from R.J. Dowman of 65 Cross Street, Southwick, concerning the motto. He wrote ‘Having held the office of Assistant Overseer of the Parish in Hangleton from many years before the Great War until this parish was absorbed into the borough of Hove in 1927, I can perhaps claim to speak from official knowledge. Prior to 1914 the annual meeting of parishioners of Hangleton was invariably held in what was at that time a fine old type kitchen at the Manor House and to the best of my recollection the Ten Commandments were then fixed on either side of the enormous chimney breast to the old-fashioned kitchen fireplace, the admonition to ‘perfect men’ being painted or written on the chimney-breast immediately under and between such tablets.’ Mr Dowman said that after the refurbishment the tablets were hung in the lounge.

Major P.D. Phillips was a tenant of the manor from 1918 to 1921 and he grew tired of the many people who asked him the whereabouts of the ‘perfect men’ motto because he had never set eyes on it.

In the 1960s W.F. Scales wrote a pamphlet about Hangleton Manor and he decided to take action about the ‘perfect men’. He therefore made a copy of the text and installed it at the manor in 1969.


There are some fine and interesting fireplaces dating from the 16th or 17th centuries. The fireplace in the room south of the room with the decorated ceiling has one made of freestone with an arch. Above the arch there is a carved panel depicting a burlesque Renaissance design of heraldic animals. There are two female heads with loops over their ears and wings on either side. From each set of wings, an elongated neck stretches out into an eagle’s head, their hooked beaks turned towards the direction of the female heads.

The fireplace in the room above also boasts some carving but it is nothing like the exotic one on the ground floor. In fact it is quite restrained with geometrical patterns.

But the fireplace that causes the most interest is the one with the initials. It is located upstairs in what was probably the master bedroom. The quality of the work is entirely different from the two just mentioned; in fact it is so delicate it suggests the hand of a master craftsman. There is a moulded Berkeley arch, long, carved spandrels, acanthus leaves, laurel leaves and ears of corn lightly tied with ribbon. A torch is depicted in the spandrels and above it appears the initials‘R’ and a ‘B’. It is usually stated that the initials stand for the Robert Bellingham who constructed the house in the 1540s but Colin Laker holds the opinion it is more likely to denote his grandson, also Robert Bellingham who instituted the second wave of improvements. It is fascinating to record that this special fireplace was only re-discovered in 1927 during restoration work.

A similar fireplace but with plain spandrels is to be found in a room over the hall. The decoration involves a fluted frieze with roses.

Owners and Tenants of Hangleton Manor

In 1597 Edward and Richard Bellingham sold the manor to Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, who was at that time Lord High Treasurer of England. The Sackville family owned Hangleton Manor for an amazing 370 years and the association only ended in 1967. But the Sackvilles never lived there on a permanent basis although they may have visited on occasion and used it as a hunting lodge. They preferred to let out the property to tenants.

Mrs Elizabeth Middleton was one tenant and she moved in some 40 or 50 years after the last major refurbishment. It was of course a very large house and in 1662, by which time she was a widow, she had to fork out to pay the special tax charged for having thirteen hearths. But no doubt she was content that King Charles II was safely on the throne after his restoration in 1660. In 1648 her husband John had been fined the considerable sum of £800 for being a ‘malignant’ – in other words he was a Royalist sympathiser. In the terms of Mrs Middleton’s lease she had to be prepared to accommodate the Sackvilles should they decide to descend on Hangleton for some hunting or hawking. If and when such an occasion arose, the party would require stabling for twenty horses.

During the 18th century the Nortons lived in the manor and it cost Thomas Norton £265 a year in rent. A letter he wrote to his landlord in 1747 still survives in which he talks about the price of sheep; in other words he was a down-to-earth farmer.

But was Norton also interested in ships? During renovation work in 1968 a mural of a ship was discovered in a small room on the first floor. It was known locally that there was something of interest hidden in the room and as a result the stripping was done very carefully. The mural depicts a three-mast merchant sailing ship and it was painted in red ochre. Experts concluded that the vessel sailed the seas sometime between 1700 and 1750. The ship’s waterline is around 30 inches above the level of the floor and the painting measures 3 feet by 4 feet. Perhaps Norton’s family lived close to the sea or were ship-owners.

There was a John Norton who owned some land at Kingston close to the sea. In 1760 Shoreham Harbour Commissioners decided to make a new cut to link the canal to the sea at Kingston. But the decision led to some of Norton’s land being flooded and he was furious. By 1778 he reckoned he had lost nearly six acres.

There was also a J.B. Norton who was a tax collector at Shoreham. In 1795 he suffered a violent death when two soldiers killed him.

Daniel Defoe toured Britain in 1724 and he noted that Shoreham’s chief trade was ship-building and in particular West Indiamen, that is those vessels that made regular voyages to the West Indies. These ships most probably resembled the ship depicted at Hangleton Manor.        

Later in the 18th century the Hardwick family became tenants at Hangleton. Family legend states they moved south in the reign of William and Mary (1689-1702) but the first documentary evidence dates from 1771 when William Hardwick became churchwarden. Tradition also maintains they were related to the celebrated Bess of Hardwick and that they were invited to move south from Derbyshire to help control the smuggling that was rife along the Sussex coast and ended up becoming involved in the trade too. Hangleton Manor would have been a gift being full of nooks and crannies in which to secret contraband.

The 1841 census recorded John and Mary Hardwick living at Hangleton Manor with their daughter Mary and their sons Charles, Arthur and Alfred, two lodgers, two agricultural workers and two servant girls, Elizabeth Woolgar aged 20 and thirteen-year old Emily Waller.

In 1851 it was noted that John Hardwick farmed 1,300 acres and employed 56 men. His sons Charles and Arthur assisted him on the farm while Alfred was away in London working as a chemist. But after years of struggle the two brothers asked Alfred to return home and help them.

In later years the enterprise was regarded as something of a model farm and President Kruger of South Africa once visited it.

The Great War brought the Hardwick’s involvement with farming the land at Hangleton to a sad end. Military authorities requisitioned all their farm horses and they felt unable to go on and so they gave up farming and their tenancy, which they believed had lasted for 200 years.

Major Overhaul

In 1927 a great deal of work was undertaken at Hangleton Manor. It involved removing paint that covered up old wood and stone, and taking down wainscoting. It was while dismantling the latter that the old fireplace with the initials R.B. was discovered although it too was smothered in whitewash.

Another discovery was the remains of a piscina in the room where the Ten Commandments were located. It may be that it was hidden on purpose at a time when the celebration of Roman Catholic Mass was forbidden. It is interesting to note that in 1624 Anne Puckle of Hangleton was recorded as being a Catholic recusant.

Also hidden from view was an ingenious writing desk built into the thickness of the wall behind panelling. When a particular panel was pulled down, it formed a desk, complete with drawers and shelves inside.

Recent History

Although the manor continued to be part of a working farm after the Hardwicks left, it became separated from its agricultural past in 1930. The farmland was still worked by tenants but the manor became variously a private residence, a hotel, a country club and a restaurant.

Then during the Second World War, the military occupied Hangleton Manor, which obviously was not an advantage for such an ancient property. Indeed it was the start of a catastrophic decline.

Nationally, its importance was recognised because on 8thNovember 1956 it was made a Grade II listed building. During the 1950s it was in use as a public house. But the neglect continued and by the 1960s the old manor was in such a sorry state that many people thought demolition was inevitable. By 1964 there was nobody living in the house and for three long years, it was empty and derelict.

 copyright © J.Middleton
Hangleton Manor became a Grade II listed building in 1956.

It was only to be expected that vandals had a field day, smashing every single one of its 1,077 panes of glass, lighting fires in the grates fuelled by ripped-up floorboards and stamping through ceilings. By some miracle the fine plaster ceiling with its heraldic devices was left unscathed.

By 1967 the situation was desperate. Hove Council could not possibly afford to purchase it and renovate it, East Sussex County Council refused to give a grant and all that the Government was prepared to stump up was £2,000.

A private developer appeared on the scene with a solution of sorts. He wanted to convert the manor into flats while at the same time building seventeen houses and 23 garages on the 2¾ acre site. In February 1967 Hove Planning Committee recommended that the council accept the proposal. Outline planning permission was granted but only on condition the barn, dovecote and Rookery Cottage would be repaired.

The developer turned out to be Hove councillor Cecil Sheppard of the contractors SCB. Sheppard then offered Hove Council the manor, dovecote and barn as a free gift. But the council would not accept such a liability because restoration costs were put at around £25,000.

However, at least the density of houses had been lowered to thirteen. Sheppard even had hopes of living in the manor himself but by December 1967 that plan had fallen through.

The Regency Society tried desperately to come up with some scheme to save the house. Meanwhile Sheppard had given the house to his wife. By March 1968 Mrs Freda Sheppard was prepared to sell the manor house for £2,000.

In June 1968 it was announced that Henry Cooper, owner of Morelands Hotel, Worthing, had purchased Hangleton Manor for an undisclosed sum. By an ironic twist, it seems that just five years previously he had attempted to buy the manor from the Sackville family but failed.

Hangleton Manor Ltd then became official owners with directors Henry Cooper, his sister Ethel Cooper and W.F. Scales as secretary. The manor was duly renovated and in May 1969 it opened as a licensed club. Members of the Hardwick family were invited to the opening ceremony including Lynton Hardwick who was born at the manor.

Public House and Restaurant

In 1976 North Country businessman Kenneth Crosby purchased Hangleton Manor; he spent £100,000 on restoring the house. But even he baulked at the idea of restoring the dovecote, which he estimated would cost a further £10,000.

In 1982 Frank Saunders and his wife Jennifer purchased the pub. He was very interested in its long history and soon became immersed in the restoration of the dovecote. In July 1988 he brought the wheel full circle, so to speak, by buying the title Lord of the Manor of Hangleton from the Sackville family for £11,500.

In 1990 English Heritage made a grant of £80,000 towards the restoration of the manor; it was the largest grant it had ever made in Hove. By May 1990 it was stated that the total expended on the work was in the region of £250,000. It was indeed sad that just when everything was going so well, Frank Saunders died suddenly at the pub on 24 August 1991.

His widow Jennifer Saunders took over the reins and it was she who oversaw the construction of a new extension in 1992. This enabled the kitchen to be enlarged and some modern toilets to be built. The extension was so skilfully done that people viewing if from the gardens thought it was part of the original fabric.

copyright © J.Middleton
The new inn sign displays the three bugle horns of the Bellingham family.
On 7th October 1992 there was a reception at the manor after Kenneth Clark, minister for roads, had dug his silver spade into the earth to inaugurate work on the extension of the Brighton bypass.

In April 1993 Hove Council and Hove Civic Society made their third award to the manor; the first was for the re-roofing; the second was for restoring the dovecote and the third was for the new extension.

In September 2005 it was reported that Mrs Jennifer Saunders was heading for retirement after selling Hangleton Manor for over £1 million to Dorset-based Hall and Woodhouse. In 2015 Hall and Woodhouse are still in occupation.

Hangleton Barn

copyright © J.Middleton
Hangleton Barn now known as the Old Manor House was sketched in 1979. It is in private ownership.

Meanwhile, the oldest part of the house had also been restored. This was the long, low wing extending west on the south side, which for years was known as Hangleton Barn. The walls were massive, being around 22 inches thick at the base, tapering to 18 inches at the top. The barn also had a 15th century doorway and a 16th century two-light trefoil-headed window.

For many years the barn served as a pigsty, a stable and a blacksmith’s workshop. The original roofing materials had been stripped off and corrugated iron sheets acted as a replacement. It is interesting to note the barn had its own well too reaching a depth of 60 feet.

In 1972 George and Jane Hollis-Dennis purchased the barn; the couple had extensive business interests in the local area and their firm was called Dennis & Robinson.

By that time the barn was in a terrible state and not counting the accumulated debris inside the building there was also wet rot, dry rot and death-watch beetle to contend with. When it came to restoring the roof it was a surprise to find that despite years of neglect, the rafters of good old seasoned English oak were still in good heart and only four timbers needed replacing. The roof was then covered with 200-year old tiles that came from a recently demolished house in Portsmouth.

The restored building was dignified with the name of Old Manor House.

Porter’s Lodge

copyright © J.Middleton 
These old cottages north of Hangleton Manor were once known as Porter’s Lodge.

North of Hangleton Manor there is a separate building of the same vintage. Its position has led to the supposition the manor complex was intended to contain a large courtyard with the north block serving as stables and gatehouse. In the 18th century the building was known as Porter’s Lodge but later became ordinary cottages. The westernmost cottage contains a huge oak chimney beam dating from the 16th century, which perhaps came from the kitchen or hall of the manor.

The Garden

copyright © J.Middleton  
The gardens of Hangleton Manor provide a pleasant green retreat in the summer.

The grounds, although much reduced in extent, are also of interest. In the old days, the manor was shielded by a group of tall elm trees. On the north side there was a lawn with grass terraces rising upwards. It is thought there could have been a bowling green here with the grass terraces acting as a rebound for the balls.

The gardens were sheltered enough to allow a vine to flourish near the garden door. In a good year it was festooned with bunches of small grapes.

copyright © J.Middleton 
This photograph shows the south gable end of Hangleton Manor.

Today the garden contains many trees including yew, laburnum and walnut. In the north-east corner there are three stones commemorating animal graves. The stones have an interesting history. Local resident Mary Bangs became concerned about their survival with all the demolition and felling of trees carried out by SCH contractors prior to the construction of thirteen houses. Councillor C.W. Sheppard told her loftily ‘What we have done is to clear a junkyard.’ Mrs Bangs feared the stones would soon be lost for good and so with the help of her family, they were removed to her own premises for safe-keeping.

There they remained until the dust had settled and Mrs Bangs was sure that the new owner of the manor was sympathetic to the historical value of the stones. Then the stones were returned and set up once more in the grounds of the manor.

The stones are in memory of two horses and a dog and the inscriptions are as follows:

To the Memory of a good horse, gentle and brave, January 1890.

In Memory of ‘Dolly’  24 April 1906 aged 13.

Jane Blaster, Boxer, April 1926-1936. Beloved,  faithful friend.

copyright © J.Middleton  
A poignant memorial was erected in memory of a ‘good horse, gentle and brave’.

The Dovecote

copyright © J.Middleton   
The beautifully restored dovecote is today a handsome building.

At one time the gentry considered a dovecote to be an essential item because the birds provided a source of fresh meat during the long winter months. More humble folk had to manage on a diet of salted beef because most of the cattle were slaughtered before     winter set in since there was nothing for them to eat.

But pigeons were voracious eaters and feudal law limited their ownership to the Lord of the Manor. There appears to have been an earlier dovecote east of St Helen’s Church as shown in a 1782 drawing by Lambert and this would tie-in with the possible site of an earlier manor.

The new dovecote to go with the new manor house was probably constructed in the 1860s when Charles Geere was the tenant; it is specifically mentioned in a lease dating from 1693.

It is not as capacious as some dovecotes, which could hold between 1,000 and 2,000 nesting boxes. The Hangleton Manor Dovecote had 526 nesting chambers hewn out of chalk and arranged in twelve tiers. The exterior was constructed of flint and it was solidly built and survived remarkably intact until the 20th century.

copyright © J.Middleton    
This sketch of the dovecote was based 
on an old drawing of around 1911.
In 1972 a storm caused a mulberry tree to crash through the roof. The potence survived until the 1960s when W.F. Scales replaced it. The potence is the name given to a revolving ladder inside the dovecote whereby a servant could more easily remove eggs or pigeons as required.

It was not until 1983 that the Hangleton Manor Dovecote Restoration Committee was formed under the chairmanship of well-known local historian and author Antony Dale. Volunteers undertook much of the work and they busily toiled away on Wednesdays and Sundays for over four years.

The first task was to demolish the upper courses of the flint walls and nesting boxes. Then the foundations had to be restored, followed by making good the existing wall and re-building the courses. Chalk for the nesting boxes came from Newtimber Quarry; it was a strange twist of fate because the Bellinghams, who had once owned Hangleton Manor, had also owned Newtimber. The chalk arrived in October 1985 and was dumped outside in the open. Unfortunately, it was not properly protected from the adverse weather and the severe frosts of that winter reduced the huge blocks of chalk to white paste. The next consignment of chalk was treated with the greatest of care.
In another curious link, timber needed for the roof came from Lillywhite’s, a large timber mill at Goodwood. Cricket enthusiasts will recall that the famous cricketing family, the Lillywhites, came from that area and some of them settled at Hove where James, John and Frederick Lillywhite were born in the 1820s.

The roof proved to be something of a work of art. It was discovered that the roof of the dovecote was not a true circle and this meant each rafter had to be individually measured. It was hoped larch battens would bend around the conical roof but instead they had to be fixed in short sections.

Then came the tiles – all 4,500 of them. They were old tiles and when they were delivered to the site they were still covered with lime mortar. Patient volunteers had to spend weeks soaking them and gently chipping off the mortar. Each tile contained two square peg-holes through which two-inch long, tapered oak pegs were driven. Mr F. Gregory handmade all these oak pegs.

Finally, a new door was installed; it was made in the traditional way from two-inch thick seasoned oak and secured by wooden pegs.

After five years of hard work, the dovecote was at last fully restored. In May 1988 Councillor John Broadley, Mayor of Hove, officiated at the opening ceremony.

Hangleton Manor Farm

copyright © G. Osborne

The Hardwick family were farming tenants for around 200 years but they left in 1914 after the military authorities requisitioned all their working horses. In 1840 it was noted that John Hardwick farmed the whole of Hangleton Parish consisting of 1,159 acres; out of this, there were 564 acres of arable land, 46 acres of pasture and 441 acres of Downland. By 1851 John Hardwick was farming 1,300 acres.

Farm workers lived at Rookery Cottages north of the manor. The 1841 census recorded the names of the following agricultural labourers living there; Charles Trigwell 25, James Saunders, John Richardson, William Richardson 14, John Richardson 9, Henry Moppett 19, and John Moppett 17. By 1871 there were 23 people crammed into the cottages, including nine females.

George Bussel farmed the land in the 1920s and in 1924 his brother-in-law Alfred Clement Cross decided to join him there, moving from Dorset. His son Howard John Cross was born in Dorset but his daughter Hilda was born at Hangleton Manor in 1924; she died in 1968. The Cross family continued to live in the manor for around four years before moving to Benfield House, which was close to the Golf Course and Benfield Farm but continued to farm the land at Hangleton

In September 1936 a gymkhana was held at the farm and the event included a comic polo match. Hermione Baddeley, the well-known stage star, presented the awards. Part of the proceeds was donated to Hove Hospital.

Hangleton Manor Farm was a mixed enterprise with a dairy herd and some sheep. In the evenings, when the horses had finished ploughing or drilling, they walked through the pond adjacent to the manor to wash off the surplus mud before being stabled.

During the 1920s and 1930s there was a flock of sheep numbering between 400 and 500 and Mark Lulham, a full-time shepherd, looked after them. He earned 36/- a week, rising to £2. Unusually, the sheep dip was located inside a building, which was used for other purposes too. The flint building was west of the pond and south of the little lane that ran across the Golf Course.

During the Second World War there were 21 working horses on the farm. German prisoners of war also worked on the land; they arrived daily by lorry from the Storrington area. But there were also two Italian prisoners of war who lived at Hangleton all the time without the presence of any guards. They lived in Rookery Cottage on the north side of Hangleton Manor. Before the war Benjamin and Lily Bunby lived in Rookery Cottage and they were married at St Helen’s Church. Mr Bunby worked on the farm as a carter and he was once photographed standing outside the barn with a water wagon containing a large, heavy barrel pulled by three horses.

After living at Benfield House (owned by Clark’s the bakers) the Cross family moved to Greenleas and it was from this house that Howard John Cross left in 1945 to get married at Holland Road Baptist Church. The young couple moved to Mile Oak Farm. 

Alfred Clement Cross continued to farm the land until around 1960.

Hangleton Manor Chronology

Pre- Conquest – Azor

1086 – William de Wateville held the manor from William de Warenne. Ralph de Chesny married William de Wateville’s daughter.

c. 1096 – Manor returned to William de Warenne II.

c. 1180 – Adam de Cukufeld.

1199 – Lucy de Cukufeld, widow and son Adam.

c. 1213 – Adam de Cukufeld died.

1214 – Robert de Cukufeld, Adam’s son.

1284 – Robert de Cukufeld held Hangleton and half of Aldrington.

1291 – Robert de Cukufeld granted the land to Luke Poynings.

1294 – Michael de Poynings, son of Luke. Hangleton then passed down with the title and Manor of Poynings until 1446.

1446 – Robert, Lord Poynings, died. Eleanor, wife of Sir Henry Percy, Robert’s grand-daughter, inherited.

1484 – Lady Eleanor died. Lady Eleanor’s grandson Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, inherited the property.

1531 – Henry, Earl of Northumberland, sold the manors of Hangleton and East Aldrington and tenements in East Aldrington, Portslade, (West) Blatchington, Hove and Patcham to Humphrey Radclyffe and others.

1538 – The manors of Hangleton and Aldrington were sold to Richard Bellingham of Newtimber. Richard Bellingham married twice.
1. Parnel, daughter of John Cheyney.
2. Mary, daughter of William Everard.
Richard Bellingham conveyed Hangleton Manor to his eldest son Edward while he was still alive.

1553 – Richard Bellingham died. Edward Bellingham married twice and had ten children. He conveyed Hangleton Manor to his son Richard and daughter-in-law Mary, daughter of Richard Whalley.

1565 – Richard Bellingham contributed £25 towards national defence.

1592 – Richard Bellingham died. He had fourteen children. His family monument is inside St Helen’s Church commemorated this family.

1597 – Richard Bellingham’s heir Edward and his brother Richard conveyed the reversion of the manor (after the death of Mary Bellingham) to Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst.

1599 – After her husband Richard’s death, Mary remarried. In 1599 she and her husband Richard Whitestone conveyed their interest in the manor to Thomas, Lord Buckhurst, who at the time was High Treasurer of England.

1600 – The Manor of Hangleton descends with the Sackville portion of the Barony of Lewes until 1870.

1602 – Official Enquiry decided that Barnard Whitestone, farmer of Hangleton, was liable to pay the whole fine payable on the parish and the farmer of Benfield never had to contribute anything.

1621 – Mr Puckle, tenant.

1623 – Ann Puckle, wife of John Puckle, noted as being a Popish recusant.

1648 – John Middleton fined £800 for being a ‘malignant’ – that is a Royalist sympathiser.

1662 – Mrs Elizabeth Middleton, widow, paid tax on thirteen hearths.

1680 – Lease allows the Sackvilles (by then Dukes of Dorset) to stay at Hangleton Manor for three or four months of the year in order to hunt or to hawk.

1681 – Mrs Elizabeth Middleton died. Charles Geere was the new tenant.

1693 – Charles Geere paid £200 per annum for his lease.

1725 – Thomas Norton rented the farmland for £265 a year.

1747 – Thomas Norton purchased 100 wethers (sheep between two and three years old) for £41 and sent them to the Duke of Dorset.

1749 – Ann Norton died aged 21 and her tomb slab is in the aisle of St Helen’s Church. Revd Robert Norton was vicar of Hangleton and Southwick from 1755 to 1757.

1771 – William Hardwick, churchwarden

1786 – William Hardwick licensed as the Duke of Dorset’s gamekeeper.

1840 – John Hardwick farmed the whole of the parish of Hangleton (1,159 acres) 564 acres of arable, 46 acres of pasture and 441 acres of Downland.   

1841 – Census records John Hardwick 65, wife Mary 60, daughter Mary 27, and sons Charles 24, Arthur 20 (both farmers) and Alfred 22, a chemist.

1851 – John Hardwick farmed 1,300 acres.

1858 – Charles, Arthur and Alfred Hardwick, all farmers.

1870 – Death of Baroness Buckhurst (née Lady Elizabeth Sackville). She married the 5th Earl de la Warr in 1813. Her property passed to Charles Richard Sackville-West, Earl de la Warr, her second son.

1873 – Charles Richard Sackville-West died. His brother became Earl de la Warr and the Sackville estates passed to his younger brother Mortimer Sackville-West.

1876 – Mortimer Sackville-West created Lord Sackville of Knole.

1888 – Lord Sackville died and his next brother Lionel Sackville-West succeeded to the estates.

1908 – Lionel Sackville-West died and was succeeded by his nephew Lionel Edward 3rd Lord Sackville.

1914 – The Hardwick family leave Hangleton Manor after some 200 years as tenants.

1918-1921 – Major Herbert P.D. Phillips, tenant of Hangleton Manor.

1940s – Army occupied Hangleton Manor.

1960s – Hangleton Manor in a derelict state with every pane of glass smashed.

1968 – Henry Cooper purchased Hangleton Manor.

1972 – George and Jane Hollis-Dennis purchase the derelict west wing known as Hangleton Barn and renovate it. It became known as the Old Manor House.

1976 – Kenneth Crosby was the new owner of Hangleton Manor.

1982 – Frank and Jennifer Saunders purchase Hangleton Manor.

1988 – Hangleton Dovecote fully restored after five years of work.

2005 – Mrs Jennifer Saunders sells Hangleton Manor for over £1 million to Dorset-based Hamm and Woodhouse.


Census returns
Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
Hangleton Manor Dovecote. Its history and restoration (1988)
Laker, Colin Hangleton in the Past. A Parish History (1991)
Middleton, Judy A History of Hove (1979)
Scales, W.F. Hangleton Manor (1960s) 
Sussex Archaelogical Collections Volume 34 pages 167-184.

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