Herstmonceux  Sussex


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Herstmonceux like this:

HERSTMONCEAUX, or HURSTMONCEANX, a village and a parish in Hailsham district, Sussex. The village stands 3½ miles NE of Hailsham r. station, 5¼ N by W of Pevensey bay, and 8 WSW of Battle; is commonly called Gardiner-Street; and has a post office, ‡ of that name, under Hurst-Green. ...

The parish comprises 5, 039 acres. Real property, £7, 983. Pop., 1, 287. Houses, 229. The manor belonged anciently to a family who came from Monceaux in France; passed to the De Fiennes, one of whom was at Agincourt; descended from them to the Lords Dacre, who held it till 1708; and has passed, since that time, through many hands, chiefly the allied families of Hare and Naylor. Herstmonceaux Place, a modern mansion, is the seat of H. M. Curteis, Esq. Herstmonceaux Castle was built, in the time of Henry VI., by Sir Roger de Fiennes; is a brick edifice, the largest and oldest baronial mansion of that material in England; became much decayed about 1777, and was then gutted to supply materials for Herstmonceaux Place; is still, in its mere shell, a very interesting specimen of the fortified mansion of the later feudal times; retains flanking towers, 84 feet high, capped by watch turrets; measures 206 feet along the grand front, and 214 feet along the sides; comprises one large court and two small courts; and was surrounded by a moat, which expanded on one side into a large pond. A row of very ancient Spanish chestnuts is beyond the moat, and possibly shadowed the walls of a manor house which preceded the castle. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Chichester. Value, £1, 054. * Patron, the Rev. J. Wild. The church is mainly early English; stands on high ground, commanding a distant view of Beachy Head; and contains a splendid monument of the Dacres, two recumbent figures under a richly worked canopy, a fine brass of 1405, and a monument to the mother and family of Archdeacon Hare. A great yewtree, with a cluster of tomb crosses under it, is in the churchyard. Archdeacon Hare, who died in 1855, was rector; and John Sterling, biographies of whom were written by him and by Carlyle, was his first curate. The church of the chapelry of St. John stands in Bodlestreet; is a fine modern edifice, in the pointed style; and consists of nave and chancel. That chapelry includes part of Herstmonceaux parish, but consists mainly of parts of Warbleton and Wartling; and was constituted in 1855. Pop., 763. Houses, 144. Pop. of the Warbleton portion, 473; of the Wartling portion, 181. Houses, 87 and 42. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Chichester. Value, £140.* Patrons, the Rector of Herstmonceaux, one turn, and the Rector of Warbleton, two turn s. There are an Independent chapel at Lime Cross, a Calvinistic chapel at Bodle street, and national schools at Gardiner street and in St. John.

Herstmonceux through time

Herstmonceux is now part of Wealden district. Click here for graphs and data of how Wealden has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Herstmonceux itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Herstmonceux, in Wealden and Sussex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 07th July 2022

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