(Part 4, Chapter 1, Section 3, Sub-Section 5) ( Bk. Index )

[ Farm Houses in 1839 - their histories]

3.5 The Rosery (or Rosary)

The Rosery

The Rosery, The Square (demolished c1950)

Site Plan from the 1839 Tithe Map.
The house is in Plot No 408 on the east side of the Village Square and with its farm buildings occupied the area between the former Red Lion Inn and Ann’s Cottage to the south.

1839 Tithe Map

1839 Tithe Apportionment
House, outbuildings, butcher’s shop, yard and gardens, owned by George Cortis, occupied by John Cortis area 75 rods  

The Farm
For the 19th century farm, refer to Maps 6 and 7, George Cortis estate, in the Tithe Maps section. Part 1.2.9  

1679 Survey
50/1 and 51/1    Thomas Palmer freehold house in the Square [T408]        
50/1      Allso Thomas Palmer Esq holdeth of the Lord of this Mannor One Tenement being a Messuage and barne and forty acres of Land with the appurtenances lying in East Angmering called the Mill Feild and the South Feild bounded by the Highway there on the North and West by the Lands of Richard Sturt called Cottrills and the Common Feild on the East by the Lands of Joan Penfold widdow and Thomas Olliver called Earthpitt Feild on the South
Lands               40 acres in East Angmering
Freehold not stated - rent ?        
In c1737 John Edmunds                 

The Rosery

At this time of writing there must still be a few people, albeit with creaking bones, who can recall this former farmstead on the east side of The Square,  when still to be seen in the 1940s. Its exact location was set back from the road, just north of the Byfleet terrace of houses, where is now a small supermarket. In its earliest days the farmstead, together with its barns and yards, would have occupied the entire area south of the High Street, apart from a small expanse of verge or waste later occupied by Ann’s and other cottages.

In the early 20th century the name was spelt Rosary, but it is unlikely that any Catholic connotation was intended. Rosery and Rose Cottage were common names in the 19th century, with their atmosphere of warn summer evenings and the scent of roses about the door.

The House
Since this house was demolished by about 1950,  it does not figure as one of the Listed Buildings formulated  thereafter. Its construction and size can only be deduced from maps, photos, and sparse descriptions by former villagers. There can be little doubt that it is the same house as existed in the 1679 Survey, and other sources, as one of the principal farmsteads of the village.  Nor can there be any doubt that it was in the vernacular style, and of the common size for such houses locally. Pigeonhouse in the Street is an example, in respect of size and layout, although this is of very early date.

Although the site may have suggested an alignment north to south, there was sufficient space for any alignment required.  Many farmsteads of medieval or post medieval period were built that way. A four bay house is probable, consisting of rooms to the full depth of the main building. Whether originally four bay or three bay, and extended later, cannot be resolved.  A photograph of the rear does suggest an outshoot or lean-to range of ancillary rooms, although the open 'porch' may have been a late addition. 

The front elevation, in various photos, scales more or less as a one and half storey building - with the upper rooms ceilings at collar level.  However, a full two storey is not ruled out. One invaluable internal photo is probably an end bay room, called the 'library' and clearly having book shelves. There is a door opening to the left of a typically large open fireplace, which accessed an internal room. The ceiling is obviously of early construction, with a substantial spine beam supporting square section joists to the upper floor. Since the photo can be assumed to be an end bay, nothing is hinted at as to whether the centre bays may have formed an open hall, which would later have been floored for an upper bedroom.

Exterior photos indicate that it was half-hipped at both ends, which is quite typical of local thatched houses.  Although tiled in later years, thatch may be assumed originally.  One of the photos taken from the church indicates what may be a gablet at the top of the half hip, which might suggest an early smoke louver.  The chimney between the south bay and the centre bays appears to be of similar style to Pendean at the Open Air Museum, with three flues a pair and single. 

Photos show the exterior as of a slightly Victorian in appearance, with a bay window, and casements generally.  There is no sign of timber framing.  This is quite common locally, with framed external walls cased in brick and flintwork at  a later date. 

When London House shop was built, it overlapped the north end of the Rosary.  It is unclear whether the rooms here remained with the old house, or were taken in with London House.  A rear boundary line does appear to take this bay into London House.  However, one person owned both places so far as is presently known.

There is one colourful recollection of this house published.
“A lovely old Tudor House called "The Rosary" stood in the village centre approximately where Oakshott's shop is today.  It had a balcony at the back and contained delightful Tudor fireplaces - the roof dipped in the centre, the beams being adzed. What a great pity this building was destroyed as it gave great charm to the village centre.” [Angmering Reminiscences: 2003]

Owners and Occupiers
Here we are at the very heart of Angmering history, for after Palmer sold his manors to Bishopp in 1615, the family did not disappear into oblivion.  It is worth recalling that they were cousins to, and intermarried with, the Palmer family of Somerset, who had owned Parham before Bishopp. Their descendants in the 17th century managed to cling on to various farm tenancies, but more importantly continued to own one fair sized farm in the village, attached to the Rosery.

There will be some difficulty calculating how large the “Rosery” farm was, since only part of it was held as freehold or long leasehold of the manor.  In 1679, the central Thomas Palmer holding was the farmstead and forty acre Mill Field south of that, together with more land north of the village.  In his own right he owned the Lopdells north of the village, and no doubt other fields that passed to John Edmonds early in the next century. 

It was presumably John Edmonds’ son who, at his decease in 1795, left this estate to his nephew George Cortis.  By the time George passed away in 1840, other lands and houses had been accrued amounting to almost 110 acres. One of the larger houses owned by both Edmonds and Cortis was Church House, where George no doubt lived, for the Rosery was occupied by John his butcher or baker relative - almost the entire farm was pasture for cattle or sheep, or more likely both.

The Cortis estate was then disposed of by public auction and split up. Much of the farm acquired by The Olliver family, this passing to R A Warren of Preston Place in 1854, having married the daughter of William Olliver of Courtland, Goring.  His estate was broken up in its turn in the early 20th century.

However the Rosery itself did not belong to Mr Warren and, with the building of London House and shop, it sank into the retail background. Nevertheless, the last occupier is known as Charlotte de Beauchief, who lived there from the 1920s until her decease in March 1938. The house then evidently became derelict, and in the 1939 rates was described as a house used as store rooms for the London House stores. The present shops replaced London House and the Rosery in the 1950s.

Census returns are invaluable, where the house can be identified, but there is no mention of the Rosery in any of them. But by dint of placing all the easily identified houses, it is possible to deduce others. In 1901 London House is named and included the Rosery

In 1841, it was the farmstead of John Cortis, as in the tithes.  Aged 45, he is described as a ‘baker’, which barely goes with the ‘butcher’s shop’ mentioned in the tithes a couple of years earlier. To have two trades was not at all unknown, and certainly John must have made use of his pastures, either himself or a subtenant. He and his wife Mary, with their son William, boasted the usual house servants, a female and two male of no specific descriptions.

With the sale of the Cortis estate, and a new owner in William Nye, by 1851 there had appeared a fresh tenant in William Baker aged 30, and aptly enough a master baker. His wife Sophia and three children, appear to have had no need for indoor servants, apart from an errand boy. Thereafter the tenancy passed to Robert Heath and his son in law Arthur Elliott. London House had been built, the well known shop, and was later enlarged.

RWS 2009 NRD