(Part 3, Chapter 1, Section 1) ( Bk. Index )

Ecclesden Manor and Village

1. The Village
2. Medieval
3. Chapel
4. Population
5. The Farms in 1679 and later
6. The Village and Houses in 1679 and later
7. Two Farmsteads

(For Manor House - see Part 3, Chapter 1, Section 2)

1. The Village

Ecclesden is still well known, if only because of Ecclesden manor house, that grand mansion at the east end of Angmering Street, now across the other side of a great divide or bypass road. If the ancient outliers of the manor are ignored, the core of the village or hamlet and its lands, can be fairly well identified. On the east side is the upper pasture slopes of Highdown across the Ferring boundary. To the north Ecclesden Common, with the A27 running along the Patching boundary. On the west side is Angmering village, where the largely forgotten boundary is on the east side of the motor racing circuit, and carries on south by the farmhouse at Avenals, and down what was Cow Lane but is now a footpath, where the bypass a better known marker. Then there is a wedge of land south of the A2032, bordered by East Preston, Kingston, and Ferring. 

The village is long decayed; not as a result of the Black Death, or any other such romantically awful event. It was the march of progress, as measured by the owner of the manor, in gradually taking properties into his own hands as they fell vacant, and integrating them into one great leasehold farm - Upper Ecclesden. This process was completed by the end of the 18th century, and now the village that once clustered around Ecclesden Green is but a memory, its cottages and houses gone.

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2. Medieval

It is well rehearsed that in Domesday 1086,  Angmering was named as two manors,  with both of them owned by the earl of Arundel .  What will escape the unwary reader, is the fact that Domesday was concerned with estates rather than villages, and many places were not named in the book because they were included anonymously in an estate under another name. King Edward had given Fescamp abbey extensive lands before 1066, and many erstwhile separate manors were subsumed in its Sussex estate, of which 33 hides were in Arundel rape, and it can be assumed Ecclesden was one of these. [VCH p38]

The abbot holds Steyning himself. Harold held it at the end of King Edward’s life. Then it answered for 81 hides  …… 33 ½ hides are in the rape of Arundel, the others in the rape of William of Braose, but the abbot holds them now.

West  Angmering may have been given to the abbey by the earl of Arundel before 1200. The abbey’s lands, including Ecclesden and West Angmering, were then transferred to Sion and by 1444 it possessed those parts of Angmering recalled by the tithe map of c1840 as having belonged to it; that is Ecclesden and West Angmering together with Barphamwick.

With the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII granted Ecclesden to John Palmer, in exchange with Ford.. [Acc 8503 no 231]. This family, with its mansion at New Place, held these lands until 1616, when they were sold to Sir Thomas Bishopp of Parham, such as were not already disposed of elsewhere.  The manor house at Ecclesden had already passed to John Baker. [Acc 8503 No 180]

Victoria County History (VCH) provides what little history there is of the medieval manor and village, and some few court rolls do exist for the 15th century. If these include any form of extent or land survey for Ecclesden, as yet nothing has been published. It is therefore not until fairly modern times that anything substantial can be said about the village and its farms.  The twice-yearly court leet held the assize of bread and of ale, heard pleas of debt and trespass, assault, and homicide, dealt with repair of the roads. [VCH p50]  In 1288 tenants at will claimed free status, when a holding of a house with half a yardland was typical. Later in 1324 they are recorded as paying rents in cash and kind, that is in work on the demesne farm. Various payments or fines to the lord of the manor included at marriage, annual chevage, and heriots or best beast of the farm, on a tenants death. [VCH p45]

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3. Chapel

It should not be overlooked that Sussex had become Christian in name 400 years before Domesday, and many a church and chapel may have come and gone, with as yet modern parishes not established. As well as being monastic land, Ecclesden was far removed from the two Angmering churches, although no more so than various hamlets north of the main village.

According to VCH, early in the 13th century there is mention of Ecclesden as a chapelry [p42].  If the abbey held this manor previous to acquiring West Angmering, a chapel building may not be unlikely, although it could not have survived as such for long afterwards.  It is a vast gulf of time from then until the tithe map of c1840.  Perhaps popular tradition, or romantic imagination was the source, but directly west of Ecclesden manor house, a sixteen acre field was named Chapel Croft. An area at least partly held by Ecclesden tenants in1679, with various plots and crofts named, but nothing resembling the term chapel.  There is no other source for the name, and at present it must be left aside as an oddity or eccentricity.

For most of its history the manor was more or less integrated with West Angmering, and when they both became monastic property the advowson of the vicarage belonged to Fescamp and then Syon. From 1540 and the disappropriations of Henry VIII, this right passed to the Palmer family and through Bishopp of Parham and eventually, Pechell and today Somerset. This is one of the oddities of a national church, that was based on patronage and has barely become democratic.

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4. Population

There are insurmountable problems in calculating the population of Ecclesden at any time before the census of 1841. It was seldom assessed in any way by itself, and the earliest taxation returns have it combined with West Angmering. If the two areas and settlements had been contiguous, they might be taken as one, but it was only because the two manors became effectively amalgamated that these returns were combined. An additional complication is in there being a substantial outlier settlement at Barpham, far away on the downs.

In 1086, Domesday provides no information, with Ecclesden submerged in a group of manors owned by the abbey.  Then there are the taxations or subsidies beginning with 1296, in which Ecclesden is the two manors combined.  With 41 people named, a population of 270 might be realistic. Shortly afterwards in 1327 there was a similar combined population or slightly smaller. But then a long gap to 1524 and with 45 names, around 230 is a figure which can be postulated for the two manors. In later years such sources as the 1641 Protestation Returns are invaluable, but only for Angmering as a whole. There is no way in which Ecclesden can be separated without some source and comparisons for the names of householders. It is not even possible to calculate the relative size of the two settlements in the medieval period.

There are 15th century court rolls for Ecclesden, and when some substantial information is transcribed from these, progress may be made in assessing population and many other aspects of history.

There is one source only, at present, which can be used to assess the population at a fairly later date - 1679. In land survey of that year there were twelve houses and cottages specified, from the manor house itself to those surrounding the Green and at Hangleton adjoining the Hangleton part of Ferring. It can be supposed that one or two more cottages were attached to the manor house, and perhaps one or two others missed in the survey, for which there is evidence.  With at least five people to a household, on average, that would indicate an absolute minimum population of sixty in this main area of Ecclesden,  at a time when local villages were on the decline, towards a low in the early 18th century. 

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5 The Farms in 1679 and later

Let our imagination go back a generation, to when that tarmac scar on the landscape through Ecclesden did not exist (that is the A27 and Angmering bypass).  Then also ignore the early 19th century coaching road that extended Water Lane from Avenals through to Clapham, in the valley through which the Ecclesden Stream or brook winds. We may then begin to imagine Ecclesden as it was some three hundred years ago.

In that distant time, all that linked the hamlet at Ecclesden with the outer world, was a highway extending west from it north of Ecclesden Manor house, and so to Angmering Street at a junction east of the Spotted Cow Inn.  Apart from that there existed nothing more than bridleways to Ferring, a drove way adjoining the brook, and Cow Lane running south from Ecclesden Manor, just west of the present bypass, where is now a mere footway.

Of ancient houses, no more than a handful recently survived - Ecclesden Manor itself, Upper Ecclesden and recently demolished Upper Hangleton, but very little else.

Look at any old map, and extending from Upper Ecclesden farm down to the stream was some five acres of meadow, known as Ecclesden Green.  This was no mere vanity associated with the farmhouse, but a more genuine village green than ever existed at what is today called Angmering Square.   Some few houses and cottages, with gardens and crofts as may be, overlooked this open space and the nearby brook, while others were dotted along the street as it cut its sunken way to Ecclesden Manor house and on to Angmering.  

Quite apart from minor cottages, about which little is recorded, there were several major farmsteads grouped about the Green.  On the side towards Angmering, Mary Huling with her orchard and croft.  South of the Green, William Young and Richard Penfold with their crofts, orchards and barns.  Over to the east, William Palmer owned, but perhaps never lived in his farmstead by Ecclesden Brook.  It is not entirely certain but the sole remaining farmstead, Upper Ecclesden, was probably William Young‘s. Its location and an eroded datestone suggest this.

Several other houses were either by the brook, on the Angmering side of the Green, or adjoining the lane that lead to it from Angmering. Other cottages were on the west side of Hangleton Lane, adjoining Ferring.

This was the village part of Ecclesden, as opposed to the magnificent manor house and farm to the west, and in its nature was mostly commonfield. The only significant land not open field or croft, was that large tract to the north of Ecclesden stream known as Ecclesden Common.  This was a common waste, no doubt used by villagers for grazing and collecting furze as fuel, but the regulation of which is presently unknown. It may be a peculiarity of former monastic manors, for there not to have been extensive freeholds, most of the tenancies were copyhold. Since these were copyhold for lives, very little freehold status was involved, with these mostly to be found in West Angmering.

In 1679 the significant houses with land attached, can be listed briefly:

32/1                  Mary Huling the only long lease property, virtually freehold, with 22 acres at South Hangleton in 6 plots of land
10/1                  John Strong a copyhold of 15 acres north of the main road at South Hangleton
                        in 4 plots
11/1                  John Strong a copyhold of 9 acres south of the road at South Hangleton
                        in 2 plots or more
8/1                    Sarah Ingram copyhold of 33 acres at Upper Hangleton
                        in 27 plots
9/1                    Mary Huling copyhold of 16 acres, her second property
                        in 12 plots
14/1                  Edward Ricks copyhold of 9 acres
                        in 8 plots
2/1                    William Young the only short term lease, 40 acres.
                        in 17 plots of ground
5/1                    William Palmer copyhold 62 acres
                        in 42 plots
15/1                  Thomas Pannett copyhold 5 acres
                        in 8 plots
7/1                    John Haslen copyhold 30 acres
                        in 25 plots
6/1                    Richard Penfold copyhold 40 acres
                        in 27 plots [Upper Ecclesden Farmstead of today it is deduced]
3/1                    Thomas Knight an orchard no cottage

These together with a few cottages made up the village or hamlet of Ecclesden.  It may be assumed that if the named tenants were not living there, sub-tenants were, and this is known to be so in some instances

The only parts that seem to have been missed were Parsons Field, which Thomas Knight had a lease of a few years later, and nothing is said of the brookland pastures which Thomas Adams later leased - perhaps Dinches garden was part of this.  In addition there was Ecclesden Common, which,  with no other common pasture known of, was presumably the one known as Tuffesden in 1197 [VCH p46].

The Descent of Properties
Lower Hangleton
There are still cottages at Hangleton in Ferring, but the Angmering part of this settlement is less well known and is now largely occupied by a garden centre. In the 16th century there were at least five cottages with their copyhold smallholdings on the Angmering side of the lane, but by 1679 these were reduced to three properties occupied by Huling and Strong.

[32/1] As a virtual freehold,  the Huling farm was handed down by the 18th century, to Alleyn Groome of Arundel and his family, with John Bennett of Ferring their tenant.  This smallholding was owned by Jeremiah Lear in the 19th century and it continued as the sole independent holding in Ecclesden, as a garden centre today.

[10/1  11/1]        The two other parts of Hangleton belonged to John Strong in 1679, eventually splitting up, with the Vicar of Amberley in ownership of the 9 acre smallholding in the 19th century, the other 15 acres north of the road having been absorbed into the main Ecclesden farm.

Ecclesden and Upper Hangleton [or Lower Ecclesden]
For the bulk of east Ecclesden, farm evolution took place gradually, accompanied by a commensurate decline and decay of the village.  Reconstructing the process is fraught with difficulties, lacking adequate manor court rolls, what survives in the way of Rentals is devoted to leasehold rents and they are bare of detail.  However, various leasing contracts for the 18th century do survive, and these are very useful.

The two great Ecclesden families were Ingram and Miles, in particular, Edward Ingram who died in 1725 and his son John in 1749, followed by John Miles died 1769 and his son George who continued until 1793, before handing on to others in the family.

The descent of tenancies was not as simple as the following account indicates. Some land might be taken from one and added to another holding where convenient, and plots exchanged. Not every minor transaction is known or can be covered.
[8/1]      33 acres held from before 1664 to 1749
The Ingram family seem to have begun their rise at Upper Hangleton with the occupancy of the 33 acre copyhold there.  It was probably taken over from Thomas Strong by John Ingram some tine before John’s decease in 1664.  In the 1679 Survey his wife Sara and son Edward were in possession.

In the usual way with copyholds it continued in family occupation until Edward's son John died in 1749 leaving no successor. This enabled a change to leasehold at an enhanced rent, and it passed through several hands until 1754 when taken over by John Bennett of Ferring.  Lower and Upper Hangleton may have been where the family lived over several generations. John Ingram also had a house built in Angmering High Street.

A datestone in a barn south of the yard in front of this recently demolished house, had the inscription EAI 1703, which would usually represent a surname beginning with A, but in this case it could signify Edward and Ann Ingarm.  Another datestone is thought to have had WM over 1637, and might have belonged to the house itself, but who this could have represented is little more than guesswork.

[10/1  11/1]     24 acres held from 1696 to 1749  
As previously noted, the two lower Hangleton copyholds were also Strong family properties.  Luckily there is a note in the Rentals of John Strong's widow paying two heriots of £3 each, at his decease in 1689.  It must have been after the widow passed away that her son-in-law Edward Ingram took over these lands as a leasehold at £12 rent, which is 10s for each of the 24 acres. From 1696 to 1749 therefore the family occupied all of Hangleton apart from the Groome farm [32/1].

[9/1]      16 acres held from c1720s to 1749
The family spread their interest to Ecclesden itself, and to Mary Huling's 16 acres, which seems to have been their first acquisition. It is difficult to say when this was, but certainly John held it in the 1720s, when it had become leasehold at £10 rent.  It afterwards passed through several hands including John French of Goring.

[14/1]    9 acres held from 1703 to 1749
Little is known of Edward Ricks, who had a 9 acre smallholding in 1679. In 1703 Edward Ingram took this over as a new lease at £4 rent, which makes it likely Ricks had recently died. This also became a John French property in 1754.


107 acres held from 1719 to 1733
A very large block of property was obtained by John Ingram, probably in 1719.  The William Young 40 acres [2/1],  William Palmer 62 acres [5/1], and Thomas Pannett 5 acres [15/1],  as scheduled by the traditional acreage of 1679.

This William Palmer had the distinction of being a member of the family that had owned Angmering in the previous century. But in 1689, presumably for the usual mortal reason, "the Coppyhold that was Mr Palmers fallen in the Lords hands."  It then became another leasehold at £23 rent, although in 1692, when it was absorbed into the farm occupied by William Walls, its rent was slightly less.

Thomas Pannett disappears from the record after 1679, and when the Rentals start in 1688 his five acres were already taken in with 'Youngs' at £4 rent. As to William Young himself, it is not certain when he died, but in 1688 William Walls was the tenant paying £18 per annum for the 40 acre [2/1], as well as £4 for Pannetts.

In 1692 therefore Walls had all three farms in his occupation, passing into the hands of Peter Penfold in 1699, already a substantial farmer at Avenals.

John Ingram eventually, before 1720, took over this combined holding at the overall rent of £45,  but the 13 year lease ran out in 1733 when this valuable holding was temporarily taken in with Avenals before being acquired by John Miles.


[7/1]      30 acres held briefly to 1749
The final addition to the Ingram empire was the former John Haslen 30 acres.  Unusually this seems to have been taken over as a copyhold, which it remained until 1749. 

Notionally therefore, John Ingram acquired an estate of about 220 acres in Ecclesden, at its greatest extent,  although, at the end of his life this had reduced to about 112 acres.  This does not take account of a few other small plots of land he also occupied.

In 1741 John sublet his leasehold farms [9/ 10/ 11/ 14/] together with Parsons Field in Ecclesden, to Richard Martin, for a rent of £40, when this part of his estate was measured at 59 acres. 

If the Ingram family had survived they might have taken over the whole of Ecclesden, but after 1749 what they had was split up again. 

John Miles
Now we come to the second great Ecclesden family of the era, John Miles and his descendants, with the farm that eventually took over all of Ecclesden apart from the manor house.  It is evident from parish registers that he was living in the village by about 1720, but there is no knowledge of where.  It is a reasonable assumption that his career began as a sub-tenant husbandman on one of the local farms.  Few of these men were ever recorded in manorial documents. The first positive reference is in 1752, when the Rentals begin again after a short hiatus. 

Whether he had been an Ingram sub-tenant may never be known, but the copyholds belonging to Ingram, in particular [7/1] John Haslen 30 acres, appears to have been his first direct leasehold from the Lord of the Manor, at £32 per annum.  Then in 1753, John Miles took over the three Ecclesden farms that had been held with Avenals by various people including Drewett [2/1, 5/1,15/1] and his yearly rent increased to £82.  

In 1766 at last a lease from Bishopp to John Miles, yeoman, provides bare details of his farms, comprising 60 acres together with 90 acres previously occupied by William Drewett.  £82 rent for a term of 21 years, around eleven shillings an acre.

After John died in 1769, with his first son having also died, another son George took over, after a grandson named John had been given the nominal ownership for a few years. 

Then in 1771 the next large acquisition took place, with the John French lands [6/1, 9/1, 14/1].   There is no leasing contract, but from the Rentals the rent for rather under 60 acres was the same as for John French, at £34.

What is particularly significant for this history is that the French farm centred on Upper Ecclesden [6/1]  was not acquired until 1771, presumably John French had died although this is not yet known.  At what date thereafter the family made this house their home is pure conjecture.  Albeit virtually all other farmsteads in east Ecclesden were abandoned and decayed away. 

An unfortunate gap in all sources for land ownership and tenancy then ensues until the 1780 Land Tax records begin.  These show that John jun. must have given up the tenancy and indeed he probably lived in Poling with other interests.  George, 1730-1793, had taken over the farm permanently, and the fact that he was notable enough to have been a churchwarden in 1773 tends to support the idea that he had been the manager throughout.

The 1766 lease came to the end of its term in 1787, although various new acquisitions of land must have required other leases, which have been lost.  The 1787 contract was able to gather them all together.  With George becoming elderly as would have been reckoned in the 18th century, the term of only three years was understandable.  It was succeeded by another contract that would have ended in 1797, but of course he died in 1793.

As the dominant force in Ecclesden, it only required one more tenancy to fall into their hands for them to occupy all but a few acres at Hangleton.  In 1787 Upper Hangleton, long in the hands of John Bennett, became theirs [8/1]. 

The specific fields are not specified in the deeds of 1787 and 1789, but George Miles, yeoman, had a lease of 314 acres and the messuage known as Ecclesden, already in his tenure, and now 33 acres known as Hangleton, lately occupied by John Bennett, at a rent of £200. 

George's eldest son William, born in 1761 was therefore only middle aged when he died in 1804.  His widow Elizabeth then became the nominal tenant with trustees running the farm.  The rent being paid by Elizabeth Miles, was considerably more at £500 a year – inflation in the years of war a factor. But there are no later accounts available to indicate any fall in rents later. This compares with an amount rather over thirty pounds in 1679, although the comparison is not entirely true, as copyholds had often to pay heriots of a few pounds when a tenant died and considerable sums in fines by incoming tenants. 

William junior, born in 1799 and only five when his father died. The terms of the 1804 will provided for trustees to run the farm for the benefit of the widow and children, and indeed Parish Rates have her as the nominal tenant until she died in 1840. William junior then carried on until 1878, his executors eventually handing on the farm to his son Edwin, the last of the family farming at Ecclesden after well over a hundred years when he gave up the business to Samuel Pyle of Avenals by 1910.  After his retirement Edwin Miles is said to have lived his final years in White Cottage on the Ferring side of Hangleton Lane although he was buried in St Margaret’s churchyard in 1919.

With some variations in the calculation of the true acreage, the same farm remained in the hands of the Miles' family until the end of the 19th century. By then it included Ecclesden Common, the brooks, and Ecclesden Green, as well as the old copyhold farms. Since that time it has been eaten into by buildings and roads, but is the farm attached to Upper Ecclesden to this day.


Fig. 1

North Ecclesden in 1679.

Farm locations are approximate in relation to field boundaries adapted from the 1839 Tithe Map. 
1/  - 14/ are the farms scheduled.
1/1 – 14/1 are the notations for houses

Ecclesden Brook
Ecclesden Green north of 2/1
Swans Lane

The lane past Ecclesden Manor to the Green and south from there was called the Highway and no doubt maintained by the parish.



South Ecclesden or Lower Hangleton in 1679.

Farm locations are approximate in relation to field boundaries adapted from the 1839 Tithe Map. 

10/ - 32/ are the farms scheduled.
10/1 – 32/1 are house locations

The arrows in the various common or open fields, indicate the direction of alignment of the strips.

West Common [Open Field]
( As in Fig.2 )

Although the 1679 Survey has been analysed to a degree that the various farms can be located with fair accuracy, their spread across the manor in closes and open fields was such that maps made for all of them would be an inordinate task to create, and take a vast space to reproduce.  A good example of a common open field distribution of strips at the time, may be of interest and value. For the West Common, what appears to be a full set of strips has been placed in what the descriptions indicate is the correct order.

It is assumed as very probable that the Tithe Map field was the open field, with hedgerows to the boundary in the same location. There being no reason to change them. The statute acreage in 1839 given as over 26 acres, but the aggregate nominal acreages of 1679 over 37 acres, which is what would be expected with a traditional local acre at around ¾ statute.

In the plot descriptions the north of the field was bounded by Port Bank, the east by Middle Common, and Ecclesden laines or fields on the west.

The northernmost strips have typical descriptions:

1 - William Young:  Also one other acre thereof lyeth in the West Common feild of Ecclesden and is the uppmost acre in the same feild adjoining to port bank
2 – Sara Ingram:                 Allso Three Roods of Land therof lyeth in the West common feild of Ecclesden and abutteth agt the Middlecommon feild on the East and Ecclesden farme laines on the West and is bounded by the Lands of the Lord in the Occupation of Wm Young on the North and the Lands of Mary Rickes on the South
The strips then continue with the same kind of verbal keys to each other in most cases.
3 – Edward Rickes: one acre called Hangry [Hungry] Acre ….
4 – Richard Penfold: half acre
5 – Thomas Pannett: half acre
6 – William Palmer: half acre
7 – Richard Penfold: one acre
8 – William Palmer: three acres
9 – Richard Penfold: half acre
10 – John Haslen: one acre
11 – Sara Ingram: half acre
12 – William Young: two acres [this strip names Penfold on the south seemingly in error]
13 – William Palmer: half acre
14 – Richard Penfold: acre and half
15 – William Palmer: one acre
16 – John Haslen: acre and half
17 – Thomas Pannett: half acre
18 – Richard Penfold: half acre
19 – John Haslen: one acre
20 – William Palmer: one acre
21 – Sara Ingram: two acres
22 – Edward Rickes: one acre
23 – Sara Ingram: two acres
24 – Richard Penfold: two acres and half
25 – William Palmer: one acre
26 – Mary Huling: one acre
27 – William Palmer: half acre
28 – Thomas Pannett: half acre
29 – William Palmer: acre and half
30 – Thomas Pannett: Allso One other acre of Land therof is the Lowermost acre in the same feild

Thirty strips at under an acre statute each. It should not be imagined this distribution had been in place for any great period, and certainly not for hundreds of years. Exchanges of land and redistributions are likely, although perhaps only once in a lifetime.


The rentals also refer to the Parsonage of Ecclesden, but without specifying its nature.  There is no reason to suppose any land or buildings were involved, with glebe entirely absent from Ecclesden.  The income would have been from the Great Tithes, which were owned by the lord of the manor, and which Pechell declared merged in the freehold when the tithe apportionments were agreed c1840.

When the Rentals began in 1688, Mr Henry Blaxton was paying a rent of £34 per annum for "Ecclesden Parsonage".  At a date within three years of 1699 William Walls took over and later John Olliver, together with occupancy of Chalks Farm and other land, until the rentals ceased in 1773.  It is not clear who leased the tithes from that date onwards, until 1839.

It can only be assumed these tenants were responsible for collecting the tithe in kind, i.e. as corn.  A valuable perquisite, but which the farmers no doubt resented. That Ecclesden had been monastic land is the explanation for this income to have been taken into lay hands, when the confiscated manor was sold to John Palmer in 1540.

The Blaxton family are of particular interest.  Edward who died in 1678 was the rector, and his will names a son Henry as heir to his estate.  The river bridge at Arundel was built in 1724 by another Edward Blaxton, according to the datestone which was placed in the modern bridge - Mayor of the borough at that time. 

The William Miles Farm in the Tithe Map 1839

Captain Pechell owner

William Miles tenant

Area in acres

195       44.9563            common           Ecclesden Common

196       0.6375              house               Cott. and garden

197       7.6250              arable               Breach Field

198       8.3625              a                      Parsons Field & Three Acres

199       3.2500              a                      Coppice Field

200       2.3688              furze                 Furze Field

270       7.0438              grass                Tyletts Croft

271       7.5188              g                      Flan Croft and Parmells Croft

272       7.3250              a                      West  Middle & East Grynyers

273       3.0438              g                      Clover Croft

274       0.2000              garden              Garden

275       4.6125              grass                Beggars & Caplens Croft

276       2.7250              g                      Majus Brook

277       2.4000              g                      Majus Brook

278       5.7563              g                      Ecclesden Green

279       4.3438              a                      South part 14 Acres

280       2.1375              g                      Little Brook

281       7.9125              g                      Bull Field

282       2.4563              a                      Coppice Croft

283       7.9188              a                      Ash Seven Acres

284       7.8375              a                      Cow Ground

285       15.1938            a                      Sheep Lands

286       13.1188            a                      East Hill

287       15.7500            a                      West Hill

288       4.8438              a                      Rodge Land Croft

289       9.1000              g                      Rodge Land

290       0.2938              house               Hangleton Farm Homestead buildings yards etc

291       0.5188              house               Cott. Garden etc

292       5.0313              g                      House Field

293       4.9750              a                      Spring Pond Croft etc

294       0.7625              wood                Hedge Row

295       3.0125              wood                Coppice

296       5.1625              a                      Five Acres

297       8.0000              a                      Bull Croft & East Field

298       0.4063              wood                Hedge Row

299       3.5625              a                      Barn Croft

299a     0.2313              barn                  Barn Hovel & Yard

300       1.0938              house               Ecclesden Farm House outbuildings yards gardens  orchards etc

301       0.2000              barn                  Barn Hovel and yard

302       3.2688              g                      Ham Woods

303       0.8938              wood                Ham Spinney

307       0.6875              a                      Old Garden

308       5.7313              g                      The Collins

316       26.6063            a                      High Down Field west

317       0.1563              barn                 New Barn Hovel and yard

318       39.8125            a                      High Down Field east

324       11.8813            a                      The Butts


These next fields owned by Vicar of Amberley

557       2.7500              a                      Bread & Cheese Field

558       0.0563              lane                  Lane

560       9.3250              a                      Eight Acres

Total     332.8563 acres             



Figs.3 & 4
Ecclesden in 1839 William Miles farm

William Miles farm and farmstead at Upper Ecclesden No 300 and Upper Hangleton No 290


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6. The Village and Houses in 1679 and later

There are so few houses about which anything substantial is known, with most of them gone before the 19th century, that the village and its houses may be dealt with together.  In the 1839 tithe map only Upper Ecclesden and Upper Hangleton [or Lower Ecclesden] just to the south, survived, others were cottages of recent construction on new sites.

Manor House
Apart from Lower Hangleton, which was attached to the same hamlet in Ferring, most of the houses and cottages were around the Green or to the west near the manor house. As to the manor house itself, its history is in another chapter, but it may be mentioned that since virtually no land at Ecclesden is unaccounted for, either as copyhold and leasehold village lands, that leaves only present day Ecclesden Manor and its lands identifiable with the medieval manor house. It was here that the twice-yearly court leet was held, the assize of bread and of ale, pleas of debt and trespass, assault, and homicide, and repair of the roads dealt with, in the days before this was taken over by the parish.

The unusual feature is that the house was sold off as a freehold to John Baker so long ago as 1593. [VCH p39] After that date it must be assumed the tenants of Ecclesden were answerable at a different court, and indeed the virtual amalgamation  of Ecclesden with West Angmering into a single manor under Palmer and Bishopp, meant that only the one was needed. Where that was, is a question for West Angmering.

Lower Hangleton

32         Mary Huling house – Tithe 322 – next to Hangleton lane - 22 acres
10         John Strong house – Tithe 324 – north of the main road -  9 and 15 acres at Hangleton

Ecclesden Village
The  tenants of substantial farms in 1679, have been mentioned, and their houses can be located in many instances. Tithe Field locations of 1839 are provided for anyone who has these maps and may find it more convenient  to locate the houses on them.

2          William Young house - Tithe 299a -  south of Green east of lane or highway - 40 acres.
4          Susan Wise copyhold cottage - Tithe 300 - south of Green – no land
5          William Palmer house - Tithe 297 probably – east of the Green  - 62 acres farm
6          Richard Penfold house – Tithe 300 - southwest of Green - 40 acres [Upper Ecclesden]
7          John Haslen house – Tithe 274 or 275 – west of  Green - 30 acres
8          Sarah Ingram house  -  Tithe 291 – south from Green - 33 acres at Upper Hangleton
9          Mary Huling house -  Tithe 274 or 275 – west of Green - 16 acres
14        Edward Ricks house - Tithe 344 – west of lane at Ecclesden Manor - 9 acres
15        Thomas Pannett house - Tithe 344 – north of 14 Edward Ricks - 5 acres

It is owing to the long period between 1679 and the 19th century, when maps were first made, and the unifying of so many farms, that exact locations and outlines of properties in 1679 is not possible. Some enclosures will also have been amalgamated, and in any case the original descriptions are not all exact. It is a peculiarity of the survey that is easier, at least superficially, to locate selions or strips in one or two open fields south of the village, than locate some of the enclosures.

Only one survey of value exists before 1839, and that is the 1814 Bishopp estate map. In this the only identified farmsteads are for Hangleton Farm No 147, that is the assumed Sarah Ingram house.  The farm house at No 129, assumed to be that of Richard Penfold in 1679. But nothing otherwise than two cottages on the east side of the lane, that still runs north past Ecclesden Manor.  No 124 could feasibly have been the Thomas Pannett house, while No 130 may have been the Haslen or Huling house.  But then they could equally have been labourers cottages built at a later date. The houses at Lower Hangleton are not on the map, but Huling farmstead and probably a cottage south of the main road called Hogtrough [Hogtroo] would have been there.

Building of more cottages and houses did not seem to be a priority, for most of the 19th century. Labour not being in short supply from nearby Angmering. Most of this new construction more properly relates to the 20th century and its history. Apart from the Miles family, there were no inhabitants of note in Ecclesden that did not have interests in Angmering with their story told with its.

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7. Two Farmsteads

There are only about five probate inventories with more or less direct attribution to Ecclesden. This is less than the population in the 17th and early 18th centuries would normally provide in a place of similar size, such as Kingston, with eighteen. There are therefore others under the general address of Angmering, although these may be difficult to identify with so few properties and buildings named.

Three inventories are located in the hamlet for the early 17th century.

Ellynor Wymarke widow, in 1619, with £73 of goods and cattle, including 48 sheep and two [hay]wains which suggests her husband may have had a good sized tenancy. The house probably three bay with a loft over the central hall – a good average farmstead. 

Richard Worsfeild yeoman, in 1649, with £90 of goods, but with what appears to have been a small house and a small farm, with only six cattle, and corn amounting to 24 quarters – ten acres of land maybe.

The Adams family is of more interest, with two centuries of residence in Angmering as notable landowners and tenants, including ownership of the Pigeon House. The difficulty therefore is in deciding where any particular member lived.

Edward in 1660 was a person of wealth, in local terms, with £307 of goods. His property extending from Hangleton to Ecclesden, and two waggons pointing to a sizeable acreage . But in addition he appears to have had an interest in cloth manufacture, at least in spinning linen and wool, not only by the fact of having 60 yards of cloth in store, but two loads of wool perhaps ready for use. A later member of the family leased Ecclesden Brooks, the extensive pastures, but is not mentioned in the 1679 survey.  Was this where Edward had his large four bay house?

More secure territory is found in the 17th century, with the Ingram and Miles families. Although none were named as of Ecclesden in the inventories, Edward Ingram is given that residence in the 1725 church registers. it is also fairly sure John Miles died there in 1769.

It is a good bet that the Ingram farmhouse was at Upper Hangleton [8/1] but no guess will be made as to which was John Miles farmstead  when he died in 1769. Later members of his family were at Upper Ecclesden [6/1] but they left no inventories that have survived.

Upper Hangleton [8/1]


Fig 5
Upper Hangleton or Lower Ecclesden Farmhouse

The farmhouse in the 20th century as cottages.
The south side.

Edward Ingram yeoman, 1725, had goods and cattle estimated as worth £487, with the stock of a full working farm with 140 acres of arable noted, in addition to which would have been considerable meadow or pasture. 53 acres of wheat, 40 acres barley, 15 of oats, 11 of peas, and 20 acres only of summer fallow.  A herd of 40 cattle with 13 sheep and their lambs and the usual two waggons for such a large acreage.

Reconstructing the farmstead provides us with at least a three bay building,  with some problem locating the servants chambers.  Or a four bay house,  either straight or crosswing type.
Kitchen Chamber over Kitchen
Hall Chamber over Hall
Brewhouse Chamber over Brewhouse
Servants Chamber and West Chamber
presumably over one or two of the service rooms, Backhouse, Milkhouse, Drinkhouse, and Cellar.
No mean establishment with twelve rooms, although some of these may have been in a outshut or other single storey wing.

In later years this house had been converted to three cottages, with the original timber framing clad in brickwork. But before its final demolition a view of it and dimensions were recorded in 1994. As measured the old house was 1786cm long by 804cm. Or 58ft 7in by 26ft 5in including the outshot on the north side. External brick walling covered the frame at front and ends, at 40cm and as much as 66cm at the east end where there was a substantial fireplace.

Overall the main house frames, front to rear, approximately 557cm or 18ft 3in. The internal width of the west cottage 646cm with fireplaces each side, the centre cottage 544cm with a timber framed partition east of it, and the east cottage 437cm internally.

From the ground floor to the underside of the eaves beam was around 11ft. The GF ceiling height 220cm or 7ft 3in. Evidently therefore the upper floor ceiling was at purlin level as usual in a one and half storey timber framed house. 

All of which evidence is for a three bay house converted, in the easiest way, to three cottages.  Whether a fourth bay may have existed and been removed cannot be answered.

A datestone in a barn south of the yard in front of this recently demolished house, had the inscription EAI 1703, which would usually represent a surname beginning with A, but in this case it could signify Edward and Ann Ingarm.  Another datestone is thought to have had WM over 1637, and might have belonged to the house itself, but who this could have represented is little more than guesswork.

The problem with John  Miles in 1768/9 is deciding where he lived. It could well have been Upper Hangleton, just before the family acquired their more well known home at Upper Ecclesden nearby. His inventory is damaged and although about a hundred acres of land is mentioned, this may only have been a part of the whole, considering he had a two waggon farm. With eleven rooms listed a building similar in size to the Ingram house is quite likely, but as many of these were service rooms and not all the bedchambers are identified, it can only be supposed the usual three bay farmstead was indicated.

Upper Ecclesden [6/1]


Fig 6
Upper Ecclesden farmhouse

West side.

Although it is clear enough that John French had possession of the farm attached to this house, previous to the Miles dynasty, since he was a Goring parishioner he would have sublet the property. It is not possible to reconstruct the hamlet of Ecclesden in the early 18th century, so as to decide what houses had survived, and a number of inventories may relate to this house or equally not. It is easier to relate deeds, rentals, and inventories to land than to the residence of the farmer.

This is the one ancient farmstead that does survive in Ecclesden, but it has not been surveyed in any detail. It is a Listed building and all that can be gathered from the description with that is an assumed date of 1637, from a datestone. Two storey, in two parallel ranges, faced with flints with red brick dressings, quoins and stringcourse. Half hipped tiled roof and casement windows.

There is in fact two datestones, one over the front door and another in a nearby barn. The barn stone reads as ‘ W I I 1716’ but with an assumption that the last I would be the way J was inscribed in those days. The name Ingram would fit, but there is no likely William Ingram known. If the surname is a J then again who?

But the house datestone is more relevant and this reads 1637 G [or C] P.  A peculiar device between the letters may be ignored. Since the Penfold family owned this farm, it is a reasonable deduction that the stone was made for George Penfold, a son mentioned in the will of Richard in 1608. The datestone does not necessarily record anything more than when the flint and brick casing of the house was built, and even that betrays signs of considerable alterations with new windows. If the walling covers a timber framed building then the assumption would be that this must be far older than 1637, which is quite probable.


VCH        Victoria History Volume V Part 2 pre-publication copy
WSRO    Acc 4149 - 8503 – 9163 Ecclesden leases and rentals

RWS 29/12/2008 NRD

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