Barpham - Some Questions

(by RW Standing)

Barpham (earlier called Bargham)

Barpham is that deserted village and former parish, on the downs at the northern extremity of Angmering, within Angmering Park Estates. That original ancient area called Angmering Park is to the south of Barpham. What is now Lower Barpham is a farm below Harrow Hill, with a meadow adjoining the house, in which are the distinct humps and ridges of the medieval village. At the top of a bluff to the west is Upper Barpham, and what would logically have been the manor house, with ruins of the Saxon parish church immediately west of the farmyard, its surrounding fields comprising the demesne farm.

Domesday 1
Domesday of 1086 has the earliest comprehensive coverage of places in this area, unfortunately it is concerned only with manors and does not break these down into their constituent village settlements. This at a time when manors, inherited from Saxon estates, covered widely dispersed tracts of land. In this locality there is unlikely to be a medieval settlement that did not originate before Domesday.

Poling (or Risberg) Hundred was indeed once largely a royal estate based on Lyminster, only gradually being broken down. Domesday itself is quite clear that Clapham had recently been part of Lyminster, which still left that estate with 20 hides and well over 100 families. it can be deduced as probable that Wick and Kingston later broke away from Lyminster. Nunminster was another large manor and it has been shown that this covered West Preston, Rustington, and Poling. The third large set of four manors came under the general name of Goring, clearly more than the settlement of that name.2

Coming to what is now Angmering, the central village was already separated into two small manors called Angemare, supposedly a folk name from the people who settled there. Even here, under Steyning, we have a mesne lord, Robert, owning a pasture with two occupiers.

But the modern parish also includes Barpham and Ham. A name suggesting the appropriate meaning, hill village, but an alternative 'hamm' derivation is possible meaning a paddock or meadow. This last is particularly attractive for Ham itself. Lower Barpham was also known as Barpham Wick, and a derivation for a dairy farm is possible.3

The various manors that comprised Poling Hundred [Risberg] can all be placed with some confidence, and it has been assumed that 'Bercheham' was Burpham, a neighbour of Barpham its village next to the river Arun. That village is named from the Saxon burh or fort adjoining. However, at least two authorities, have brought attention to the claims of Barpham.4 As yet this claim has not be taken up by later authorities.

The argument originated by Adrian Allcroft and developed by Barr-Hamilton can be summarised. Wepham is named in Domesday, a village directly attached to Burpham, and this manor may have included Burpham. It is particularly significant that most riverine manors had fisheries, seven between Bury and Arundel, but Bercheham did not, or even a water mill. Naturally hilltop Barpham would have had neither. That Bercheham had a church as did Barpham is perhaps less significant, not all early churches were noted in Domesday, and it is unlikely that Burpham church will be excavated to find its Saxon remains. The alternative is that Barpham was within one of the other large manors in Domesday. If not Lyminster, then possibly it was one of the four manors listed under Goring, with which place it was later associated.

As with so many coastal villages it had wealden pastures, in particular Deddisham near Horsham, its droveway descending Chantry Hill. An intimate relationship with Ham in Angmering raises the probability that the Domesday manor comprised both places.

After Domesday
Barpham church has been excavated and its various stages of building reach back into the Saxon era. It may even be possible that the site had Roman origins. As related in another article the living became sinecure and the parish was amalgamated with East Angmering in the late 16th century.

There is no reason to doubt that Barpham was a unified manor, taken over the by the Earl of Arundel after the conquest. In 1243 the earl's estate was divided between four sisters and a division of Barpham took place, between two of them. The subsequent descent is obscure in records at hand, although we trust Victoria County History will resolve the problem.5 It is not obvious that Upper and Lower Barpham were separated at this time, they may have divided the tenancies in a way that was resolved on the ground only at a later date.

The significant point for this history is that Tregoz probably had occupation of both parts of Barpham by 1303, in whatever way the land was divided at that time.6 His survey of 1321 certainly suggests an extent of land that would have included Upper and Lower Barpham. What became Lower Barpham was partly in monastic hands.7

A matter of great interest is the date when the village became depopulated, and it has been speculated this was already taking place before the 1348 Black Death, due partly to poor harvests. Evidence for this has been tentatively deduced from the subsidies or taxes of 1296, and 1327.8 The 1296 tax combines Tottington with Barpham, but there is the distinct possibility that the Barpham names follow on from William de Montfort, lord of the manor. A total of 14 names and therefore at least a similar number of families, however this group would seem to have included Ham villagers, not otherwise accounted for.

Just at that critical time came the first extant survey or extent of Barpham, spelt Bargham, dating from 1321, owned by Thomas Tregoz of Goring, under the principal lordship of the heir of Robert Tateshale. Complications arise from there being so many outlying areas attached to Barpham, with Greatham, Slindfold, Billingshurst, Wephurst named besides Dedesham. Some of the tenants would have lived in those places. Nevertheless a number of custumary tenants have surnames that match those in the 1327 tax, with William atte Tye the reeve, supervising their many duties. These nine villagers would mostly have lived at Lower Barpham, there being no present evidence for a village at Upper Barpham. As many as 28 householders were named for Ham.9

At the 1327 taxation only three names were listed for Barpham, with Ham separately accounted having ten names. What this mainly shows is that taxation lists are unlikely to represent the full number of householders. However, even before 1348 the village at Barpham may have been largely deserted for what was perhaps a more recent settlement at Ham.

The taxes or subsidies under Ecclesden, refer to William of Bargham Wick, and William at Wick, at various dates. This was later the alternative name for Lower Barpham, and perhaps some part in monastic hands was already associated with Ecclesden.

The most interesting feature of the 1321 survey, is that the jury of villagers making it were the same for both Barpham and Ham. Three or four of these appear to have been living at Ham and only one at Barpham. But at least another eight tenants had houses in Barpham. What is more the tenants in each place had onerous duties in both places, such as threshing and making hay, and these duties would have had a long customary history. The church being at Barpham suggests this had been the main centre of population, and perhaps the survivors of dearth and plague had moved to Ham to swell its village.

There is some internal evidence that the Tregoz manors were newly surveyed, in statute acres, with only 80 acres to the hide. Although Barpham was reckoned as four knights fees of four hides, this may have little relevance to the total area of land involved. Indeed only arable fields were given acreages.

With a total of 151 acres in common fields and furlongs, and most of the surrounding area being downland pasture for 650 sheep, and also some undefined woodland, it certainly suggests the whole of Barpham was included in the Tregoz estate. In later inventories that number of sheep was enough for both Barphams. 18th C. surveys estimate Upper Barpham at around 450 acres, and another 300 acres for Lower Barpham, with woodland more extensive. It is unfortunate that the 1321 fields cannot be located relative to later surveys and maps. Old Field Coppice of 68 acres has the dimensions and name that surely derived from a medieval open field.

In 1364 Tregoz still occupied what was called Bargham, under the shared chief lordship of the earl of Arundel and Féscamp Abbey. In 1444 Syon took over the monastic lands, and what may then have become Lower Barpham, with other parts of Angmering.10 Lower Barpham eventually being owned by Pechell in the 19th century as in the tithe maps.

Upper Barpham passed from the Tregoz to Lewkenor family, with their other manors. By the early 16th century this manor had been acquired by the Palmer family, later of Parham and Fairfield in Somerset. It remained in their hands until 1722 when their Sussex estate was sold to James Colebrooke. That family only kept the manor until 1771 when, as part of a marriage settlement, it was sold to John Shelley of Michelgrove. The Shelley lands, after being held briefly by John Walker, were sold to the Duke of Norfolk in 1828 and remained in his hands thereafter.

The Surveys
Much has already been said of the 1321 survey, with Adam Tye the reeve living at Ham, managing the day to day work of some nine inhabitants at Barpham, ignoring others who had lands associated with it. One of these, Nicholas Bruse, in return for his house and half virgate - an undefined area but no more than 15 acres - had heavy duties on the manor farm. These included carting wood to Barpham from nearby woodland.

Mowing a meadow and making hay at Ham. Ploughing in various places and reaping corn. Making malt, and shearing sheep. For some of this work he had food and wages, but in this way he and his fellow villagers were bound to working the demesne farm owned by Tregoz. It was not until after the Black Death that a money economy was hastened, with manor farms leased out to tenant farmers who employed day wage labourers.

There is then a large gap in time until substantial records begin in the 18th century, with the purchase of Upper Barpham by James Colebrooke in 1722. In the fashion of the time he had his estates surveyed and maps drawn for the various manors. This included a map of Upper Barpham made in 1724.11 This has become badly worn over time, but the surveyors were probably Brown and Smyth as for the Wick map. This is at a large scale of 4 chains [88 yards] to the inch, and delineates all the fields, with each of them numbered and named. There also survives a Field Book dating from 1743 and this provides more detailed information on field names, cultivation, and tenants.12

In a total area of over 450 acres, some 200 acres or 44% had been planted up as woodland, much of it undoubtedly on old common fields. Only the other lands, both arable and sheep down, were tenanted by John French, presumably living at the farmhouse. The arable fields amounted to only 91 acres, with 156 acres of down for his large sheep flock. There is no indication of labourers cottages, but one or two may be supposed, although several of his men may well have lived in at the farmhouse, as usual at that time.

The next survey is the tithe maps of 1847 for Ham and Upper Barpham. By this time Barpham had been absorbed into the great estate of the Duke of Norfolk, and the old manorial area owned by Colebrooke is largely lost and perhaps confused. Old Field [T49] is now not included with Barpham although it was surely once one of its open fields. Parts of Angmering Park are included in the prebend area, that were not in Barpham manor. A marked change had taken place in land usage, not so much the woodland, as a decrease in pasture to 50 acres, and increase in cornland arable to over 180 acres. There were now several labourers cottages, serving the farm occupied by Charles Hersee.

There are no known old maps and surveys for Lower Barpham. Not until 1839, with the tithe survey, when owned by Pechell and occupied by William Wyatt. Much as today, the arable immediately surrounded the house, nearly 100 acres, beyond which there were 200 acres of downland. Next to the house, a meadow with its remains of the village.

Tenant Farmers
Very little is known of tenant farmers for either Barpham estate until the 17th century. In 1602 Upper Barpham was leased to Sir Thomas Caryll, but who farmed it for him does not appear.13

There are naturally a number of probate inventories, of goods owned by deceased people, for Barpham farmers. Unfortunately it is not often made clear which of the two places they occupied, if not both. In his will of 1644 Richard Adams mentioned his brother Edward of Barpham Wick, that is to say Lower Barpham. Then in 1684 William Adams died, certainly of Barpham Wick, owning 100 sheep and substantial crops. It may be supposed therefore that Thomas Gardner who died in 1673 was of Upper Barpham, owning a more substantial flock of 340 sheep.

Firm ground is reached for Lower Barpham in the various surviving rentals made for Bishopp of Parham. Between 1688 and 1690 Jospeh Henshaw leased Barpham Wick for £76. When he died in that year his house was of the usual layout for the period with its central great hall, a parlour one side and kitchen the other with a bakehouse and kitchen attached and bed chambers above for family and servants. 260 sheep and 34 cattle betray the pastoral nature of his farm. From later sources it seems likley that one Thomas Laurence and also John Moore may have had tenancy of Upper Barpham, but whether in direct occupation or with under-tenants is not clear.14

At the beginning of the 18th century Robert Kemp had Lower Barpham, as stated by his inventory of 1726. His goods valued at over £600 being those of a substantial farmer. There is also a 1741 lease of the farm from Bishopp to a younger Robert Kemp, for 21 years at £65, but at 200 acres the area was perhaps an underestimate. The farm afterwards went to the Hersee family, when it was leased to William in 1767.

At this time John French evidently occupied the Colebrooke owned Upper Barpham, and a 1744 lease for 21 years at £60, was brought to a premature end with his decease in 1756. He left a son Robert to take over, who continued there until nearly the end of the century.15 At some time before 1780 Robert and later George and William French are recorded as having occupied both parts of Barpham, before it was split up again in the 19th century.

RW Standing
Sept. 2005

Information Sources
1. In this article, Domesday Book, Sussex, ed John Morris, 1976, is used exclusively.
2. Nunminster analysis in, Waters of the Arun, Allcroft, 1930.
3. The South Saxons, ed. Brandon, 1978
4. Allcroft cited. SAC 99, Bargham Church Site, Barr-Hamilton.
5. SAC 93, Saltzman, Tregoz.
6. SAC 93. SRS 7 Fines, No 1150
7. SAC 93, Féscamp Abbey in 1364
8. SRS 10
9. SRS 60, Goring extent
10. SRS 23, No 3070
11. Arundel Castle PM1
12 Anon, Colebrooke Field Book c1743
13. Somerset Record Office DD/AH/37
14. WSRO Add 48765
15. WSRO Add 48765