Abbreviated History of Ham
by Leslie Baker
|Historical references to the
'Manor of Hame' in the 11th century indicate that it was one of the five Manors
comprising the present Parish of Angmering; the others being
Barpham, East and West Angmering.
In the 16th century the names of the Gratwicke family appear as local landowners and their descendants are closely linked with the subsequent history of Ham Manor. The old Georgian Mansion house (see picture right - as it was in 1868) was built by William Gratwicke Kinleside, son of the Reverend William Kinleside, Rector of Angmering, who succeeded to his maternal grandfather's estate in 1822 when he adopted the name and coat of arms of Gratwicke.
This William Gratwicke was the benefactor who financed the rebuilding of Older's School and St Margaret's Church in 1853. Squire Gratwicke was a well-known owner of race-horses and his horse Frederick which won the Derby in 1829 was buried in the grounds of Ham Manor. A headstone engraved 'Frederic 1837' still stands under the trees on the golf course to mark his resting place.
After the death of William Gratwicke in 1862 the estate eventually passed to Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Bart., P.C., C.B., M.P., J.P., sometime Deputy Lieutenant of Sussex and Member of Parliament for Sussex constituencies from 1880 until his death in 1910. There is a memorial tablet to Lady Fletcher on the wall of the Gratwicke Chapel in St. Margaret's Church which records that .."During the 50 years they lived at Ham Manor she never failed in the interest and work for the Church and the Village she loved so well".
Following the death of Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher the estate was purchased by Mr. F.J. Savill of the Shaw Savill Steamship Line. He was the last owner of Ham Manor before the estate was converted into a golf course in 1936 and the house became the Headquarters of the Ham Manor Golf Club.
The official opening of the golf course was celebrated with an exhibition match played by Henry Cotton, James Adams and the Whitcombe brothers. Unfortunately on this particular day it rained incessantly but in true golfing tradition the game continued and a large crowd of spectators stayed to watch the match.
During the construction of the golf course it is recorded that some Roman building foundations were discovered (part of the course lies adjacent to the site of the Angmering Roman Villa) and instructions were immediately given to cover these as quickly as possible. It was obviously undesirable that the new fairway should be excavated by some zealous archaeologist who had no respect for the ancient game of golf!
(The above text is reproduced with the kind permission of Mr Leslie Baker from his 1988 booklet "Old Angmering", now out of print)
Early Ham Manor
by R W Standing
Ham Manor is today the estate and golf course of that name in the parish of Angmering. It was throughout recorded history a manor in its own right, in the 13th century held by Tregoz of Goring by knights service from his overlords.1 In 1428 it passed from Tregoz to Sir Thomas Lewknor, and not until the 16th century did the Gratwicke family began its accumulation of lands in Ham culminating in entire ownership by the end of the 17th century. The village with its freeholders and copyholders declined as a consequence, although in 1724 there were still common fields, and presumably tenants.2
Lacking an early map there is little that can be placed on the ground of the village, and its lands, or the manor house and its demesne. It is only supposed that the village adjoined its manor house, on the site of the present clubhouse.
In its Saxon origin the name Ham may well have come from 'Hamm', signifying something in the nature of a river meadow, or promontory of dry land. Appropriate enough being surrounded on two sides by streams, and what was formerly the estuary of the Arun.3
That Ham was not mentioned in Domesday has been remarked in the article on Barpham. The inevitable conclusion is that it was either under another name or part of another large estate, and Barpham, or Bargham, is the best candidate.
The most substantial record of Ham is the 1321 estate survey made for Tregoz.4 In this some 29 houses are listed for a similar number of tenants, besides the manor house itself. This represented a fair sized village for the period.
There are several possible reasons for thinking Ham had been an outlier of Barpham that had by 1321 only partially broken away. Ham was worth only one quarter knight's fee, whereas Barpham was reckoned at four, largely in the hands of sub-tenants. Attached to Barpham there were lands in Greatham, Wephurst, Slindfold, Billingshurst, and Dedisham, no doubt inherited from its Saxon estate, whereas Ham had no outliers.
The homage or jury making the survey was the same for both places, although only one of its customary tenants lived at Bargham. That downland village with its parish church, was already largely depopulated, and possibly Ham village had taken its place.
Finally, of particular note are the duties demanded of the tenants, with work required from all of them in both places. The most interesting of the Ham duties were all about Barpham. "He must cart 1 cartload of wood from the wood of le Denne to Bargham." and "he must carry 2 cartloads of hay to Bargham." A distance that may have taken two hours or so to journey.The customs must already have had some antiquity, and it may be assumed related to a time when most of the population lived at the downland village and merely made use of Ham.
It is relevant that Tregoz also owned East Preston, adjoining Ham, and had done so since 1271. Yet its tenants had no interest in Ham or Barpham, or anywhere else outside their village. They had their own customs which manorial ownership did not change.
1. SAC 93
2. HC 1112
3. The South Saxons, Brandon, 1978
4. SRS 60
Ownership & development of Ham Manor between 16th & 21st Centuries
by Neil Rogers-Davis
By the Middle Ages, five manors existed in today's parish of
Angmering, one of which was Ham; a hamlet also existed there. By the 15th
Century, the land was held for the monarch by the Earls of Arundel as
tenants-in-chief. By the 16th Century, possibly as an action to solve Henry
VIII's financial problems, land was sold off to the more wealthy farmers who in
turn sub-let much of the land to copyhold tenants. Ham was no exception. The
Lewkenor family of Kingston Buci had held Ham until the 1540s but possibly as a
result of Sir Edward Lewkenor's part in the conspiracy and failed attempt to
put Lady Jane Grey on the throne and, his death in jail, Ham was sold off. Sir
Edward was at one stage Groom Porter to Edward VI.
In the meantime, the one-third of Ham owned by Ambrose Strong was
purchased by another Roger Gratwicke (possibly via Francis Kellaway) in 1566.
This Roger Gratwicke from Sullington (d.1570), a wealthy Ironmaster (and son of
James Gratwicke of Cowfold), by his Will left part of Ham to his son John, with
remnants to sons Thomas and Philip. The other portion he left to Philip direct.
John and Thomas dying without children, the whole portion came to Philip
Gratwicke. Philip died in 1598 and left the one-third portion to his three
daughters and co-heirs Anne, Mary and Elizabeth of whom Mary died as a minor.
The Gratwicke ownership line from Humphrey Gratwicke for the whole estate was therefore as follows:
Humphrey Gratwicke (1620-1686) - estate inherited by his son:
Thomas Gratwicke (1650-1711) - estate inherited his son:
William Gratwicke (1678-1740) (no issue) - estate inherited by his brother:
Thomas Gratwicke (1687-1744) - estate inherited by his son:
Humphfrey Gratwicke (c1735-1757 unmarried) - estate inherited by his brother:
William Gratwicke (1740-1821) - estate inherited by his grandson:
William Gratwicke Kinleside Gratwicke (1794-1862) - estate inherited by his sister:
Jemima Archdall-Gratwicke (nee Kinleside) (1793-1867)
After the Gratwickes
Folowing the death of Mrs Archdall Gratwicke in 1867 and a legal wrangle by distant relatives, the estate was put on the market. In 1869 the estate (or the major part of it) was purchased by Sir Henry Fletcher, Bart who, with his wife, Lady Agnes, were great supporters of the village and St Margaret's Church. Sir Henry died in 1910 and Lady Agnes in 1915. Following her death, the estate was sold to Frederick James Savill (from the steamship owning family). He resided there until 1935 when it was sold to Goring Golf Club and, for a short period thereafter retained that name. However, within a couple of years it was re-named the Ham Manor Golf Club, a situation that exists to this day.
The Golf Course was designed by the renowned international golf course designer Harry Colt (1869-1951). An inaugeration match was played on 10 April 1937 by Henry Cotton, Alf Padgham, Jimmy Adams and Reg Whitcombe, all major golf stars of the time.
A housing development known as the Ham Manor Estate (which also incorporated The Thatchway) started at this time, but WW2 interupted the building. Notwithstanding this, many "superior" houses (4 - 6 bedrooms) were build pre-war at prices ranging from £1950 to £4500, but the average price was probably less than £2500. Hesketh Estates Ltd of London were responsible for developing the housing on Ham Manor and used Duncan B. Gray & Partners of Goring Road, Worthing, as the sole selling agents. Great plans were drawn up for developing the estate all the way down to New Road (A259), but most of these never came to fruition.
The Manor House
The current manor house was built in the mid 1830s for William Gratwicke Kinleside Gratwicke (see right) although it was substatially enlarged on the west side in 1929 for Frederick Savill. The 1830s work was to designs by Henry Harrison which included a neoclassical stuccoed east front of five bays and two storeys.
The earlier manor house was believed to have been built around the 1570 by Roger Gratwicke, the wealthy Ironmaster. Some re-modelling of the upper storey was carried out by William Gratwicke (1740-1821) but the building appears to have been demolished (or partly demolished) by WGK Gratwicke after he inherited the estate in 1821, the work probably being carried out in the 1830s as previously suggested. A 1791 drawing by Samuel Grimm of the earlier house generally fits the description given the 1890 family genealogy booklet by Mrs Eliza Cunningham who describes it as follows:
In 2010, an estate map of Ham dated 1724 (the earliest known map of Angmeirng land) was discovered and was jointly purchased by NA Rogers-Davis and RW Standing. From this, we know considerably more about the structure of the estate and some of its properties (see article on Ham Village in 1724). The map also contains a drawing of the manor house as it was in 1724 - the only known drawing from this period. This broadly fits Mrs Cunningham's description although some changes appear to have been made later in the 18th century. This 1724 drawing of the house is shown below:
Mrs Cunningham describes the house as having twenty windows on its north aspect but it will be noted that the drawing on the map had only eighteen. Grimm's drawing of 1791 showed only sixteen windows, the dormers having been reduced from five to three.
Sources of Information
Page Last updated: 27 July 2010