Page images
PDF
EPUB

vol. iv. of our Collections, in the paper on “Hurstmonceux and its Lords." Gregory, son and heir of this unfortunate young peer, succeeded to his father's property and honours. He was the last Baron Dacre of the name of Fienes, his sister and heir carrying that dignity to her husband, Henry Lennard, from whom descends the present owner of the title. And now, after an uninterrupted continuance for 500 years, an end is put to the hereditary succession of the manor of Herst, and the estates that seemed to have always clustered around and to have passed with that inheritance. By deed dated the 24th of January, 1582, Gregory Fienes, Lord Dacre, and the Lady Anne, his wife, conveyed to George Goring, of Lewes, Esq., the manor of Hurst-Pierpoint, and the park and grounds called Danny Park and Hurst Park, with the royalties of the hundred of Buttingbill

, and all their other estates in Bolney, Twineham, Slaugham, Newtimber, Cuckfield, Worth, Westweston, Street, Newick, Ditchling, Albourne, Chailey, Lindfield, Ardingly, and West Hoathly, for the sum of £10,000.1 This transaction is thus noticed in the parish register :: "1582. Mr. Goring, Esq., did take possession of the manor of Hurstpierpoint.'

This cessation of the reign of a long race of lords, who could boast of inheriting the blood and possessions of the first Norman owner of the soil, must have been looked upon by the minor proprietors and inhabitants of the day as the commencement of a new era in their annals and associations. Probably the last Sir Simon de Pierpoint was the last resident lord; for it is doubtful if the Uffords or Sir William Bowett resided at Hurst ; the latter was buried, at least, elsewhere. And the stately castle of Hurstmonceux was, we may be sure, preferred, except for an occasional visit, to the more humble manor house of Hurst. This, we know, stood immediately north of the church, for the foundation walls, of great thickness, were some years since discovered there ; but as it is not mentioned in the survey taken of the manor in 12 Elizabeth, which notices that "Herst Park was on the north side of the church,” it had probably been suffered to go to decay after the Dacres and Fienes' came into possession. This circumstance probably induced the new owner,

in

carry

1 Burrell MSS.

ing out his intention of residing on his estate, to build the new manor-house in a situation of more sylvan seclusion and greater distance from the village-considerations that in the more intellectual and refined age of Elizabeth seem, for the first time, to have been studied. Thus in a few years the villagers and tenants were gratified to find a resident proprietor amongst them; and must have been amazed at the magnificence of a mansion that could not have been matched in any neighbouring parish, and that must have excited the envy and admiration of every squire in the county, even of the builders of Wakehurst and Gravetye, of Paxhill and Street-Place, and whose only rival for miles round, and that a later period, could have been what was undoubtedly once the splendid residence of the Coverts at Slaugham.

12 Elizabeth, a Survey was taken of the manor, wherein it is stated that Herst Park was on the north side of the church, one mile and a quarter in circuit, and contained 80 head of deer, and 18 antlers. The pannage was worth five pounds per annum. There was also a pond of two acres, containing two hundred carp and tench, fit for the lord's house. Herst Park, afterwards and now called Little Park (though long since disparked and divided into enclosures), is depicted as existing in the reign of James I., on the map

of Sussex published in Speed's Thesaurus, as also southward the park of Danny. The old house at Danny, and the park, are thus described in the Survey :

A fair mansion-house of timber, where the keeper lieth, who hath the custody thereof, the same being moated, two parts with water, the other part dry. The house and scite within the moat, 180 feet long, and 80 feet broad. The entry of the house on the east, at a porch containing 12 feet long, and eight feet broad, of four stories ; the hither story used for a lodging, newly built, and so entering the hall, lyeth on the south, 43 feet long, and 24 feet broad, having no other story; at the highest end is a fair parlour, 28 feet long and 20 feet broad, of two stories, the lower story has two fair bay windows, with transoms, embowed with timber-work, containing 21 lights, 7 below each transom, each window containing 10, and nine feet long, adjoining to which are certain other edifices, used for lodgings, of two stories, having a

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »