(Part 2, Chapter 9, Section 1) ( Bk. Index )

Angmering Tithe Maps & Schedules

Tithe Act 1836

Tithes became compulsory in the tenth century, before a money economy had greatly developed, when rural parishes could best support their parson by allowing him a tithe, or tenth, of their crops. He also had possession of a small area of glebe land, as his farm.

The wide range in total incomes enjoyed by incumbents, may be illustrated by the value of livings in 1724, for the Vicars of Ferring and Rustington, and Rector of Angmering. In Rustington the vicar had under £31, whilst the vicar of Ferring, who was favoured with three parishes, had just under £70, but for Angmering the income was as much as £130.

In most parishes there is a distinction between Great Tithes from the main crops of wheat, barley and oats, paid to the Rector, and Small Tithes of other crops and animal produce paid to the Vicar. This would have been of significance when Angmering was in two parishes, but long before the 19th century these had been amalgamated and most of the tithe, commuted to a rent charge or money payment  in 1839 went to the Rector.  £305 as commuted, and according to the prevailing price or corn.  However, for the tithing of Ham and Bargham [Upper Barpham] the tithe was owned by the prebendary of Chichester Cathedral, but WGK Gratwicke had a lease on the tithes, and so the £253 rent charge went to him during the term of the lease.

With a rent-charge to be paid, something near to a cadastral survey of the country had to be undertaken, parish by parish, and tithing by tithing - the greatest such survey since Domesday. Large scale maps were accompanied by apportionments, which listed the owners and tenants of land, acreages of fields, their usage, and the amount of tithe apportioned. Not only relating to farm and woodland, but also the villages themselves, with the names of house owners, and also of tenants in many instances although not so in Angmering.

It is quite evident that the surveys are not totally reliable, field areas disagreeing with later Ordnance Survey estimates by a small margin. But greater errors include the omission of small plots from the Apportionment, as in a couple of instances at Rustington. The most striking error locally, is at Angmering which was eventually dealt with as two tithings, with Ham and Bargham separate, and not finalised until 1849. As a result a large area in Angmering Park is included in both tithings. Whether later tithe amendments for Angmering answered this has not been discovered.

An interesting feature of the tithe agreements concerns land for which ancient "modus" payments were made instead of great or small tithes. These all related to land which had been owned by monasteries before the Reformation. In Kingston the manor farm paid a modus to the vicar. In Angmering Ecclesden Manor farm was tithe free, and a modus was paid on other lands. However, the areas to which these payments related in 1836, should not be assumed to have been exactly the same as the monastic farms, or even those of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Kingston manor farm of 1759, and 1671, was a smaller area within the modus land of 1836.

WSRO has the diocesan copies of tithe apportionments and maps, [IR35 and IR29] and these maps can differ in some details of treatment from the original PRO maps. But the WSRO does not have the tithe agents Reports [IR 18] which are very useful in providing details of crops, rotations and comments on the valuations. Anyone dealing with a single parish might find the tithe agent reporting a three or four course rotation, with yields of as much as 40 bushels an acre for wheat. For Angmering a four course rotation and 24 bushels is specified. There can be little doubt that this is a generality or average, with yields on the brickearth coastal plain more likely to be 40 bushels - as reported for East Preston - but as little as 16 bushels in the northern parts. This is supported by the relative rate values of different quality land in the parish. It is also unlikely that a farm extending across parish boundaries had different rotations on contiguous fields of the same quality.

Who were the main landowners of the district? With people virtually living under the shadow of Arundel Castle, there can be no doubt that the chief personage in this part of Sussex was the Duke of Norfolk. But, as the title implies, this was not his only seat of power, and indeed the current 12th Duke chose not to live in the county, and his influence was at best indirect. Of more relevance is the fact that he had never been the chief landowner in the immediate district, although the downland parts of Angmering were dominated by him after his acquisition of the Shelley estate based on Michelgrove, including Old and New Place in Angmering, with the decoy ponds. Rebuilding of the castle, which had begun earlier, was completed by the next duke, who did live there.

The more immediate landowners of the district were George Pechell of Castle Goring, who owned a thousand acres of Angmering, and William Gratwicke of Ham Manor, with six hundred acres there and in East Preston and Rustington, and perhaps two hundred acres elsewhere. Almost as a matter of course Pechell was an MP whilst Gratwicke was a magistrate.

Captain Pechell had acquired part of the estate of Sir Cecil Bishopp of Parham, when he died in 1828, by marriage to a daughter. In similar manner it would later pass from him to Arthur Somerset. His newly acquired house is still well known, south of Clapham, with its Gothic north aspect contrasting extraordinarily with its Palladian south aspect. Castle Goring had belonged to the Shelley family.

William Gratwicke was the son of William Kinleside a rector of Angmering, but added another Gratwicke to his name, to show his descent from that family through his mother. The Gratwickes had owned land in Ham since the 16th century. He is best known perhaps as the rebuilder of Angmering Church, and of Older’s School opposite, in 1852, reputedly using race horse winnings. Amongst other successes, he won the Derby with Merry Monarch in 1845, and took £2000 on a side bet, and the horse is buried on the estate.

Apart from the triumvirate, the greatest clan in the district was that of Olliver – Henty.  George Olliver with over 300 acres in Kingston and East Preston, and James Olliver at Pound House in Angmering with 120 acres, whilst William Olliver of Preston Place had another 100 acres in East Preston and Angmering. These were rivalled by Edwin Henty with his 460 acres attached to The Grange in Ferring, and Samuel Henty with another 300 acres in Kingston and Angmering.

Of rather over sixty measurable estates in the district, only sixteen exceeded 100 acres [40 hectares], the rest were seventy acres and below with twenty-five under ten acres. These substantial holdings include, James Grant at Ecclesden Manor, Edward Penfold at Rustington House, Bushby at West Preston Manor, George Cortis largely in Angmering, the Corney family at the Manor House in East Preston, David Lyon at East Ferring, and Thomas Compton in Rustington.

One important point to be emphasised is that there was, and no doubt still is, all manner of kinds and degrees of ‘ownership’.  Captain Pechell, as lord of the manor, had small quit rents payable on a number of freeholds, but so far as the Tithe map was concerned the freeholder was the owner.  Other extensive lands were held on very long leases, with nominal rents payable, but the leaseholder was the owner according to the Tithe map.

RWS 19/3/2009

Bargham & Ham Apportionments
Angmering Key Maps
Angmering Apportionments