Rural burglary arrests

Bramlands Lane

Bramlands Lane

The Argus reports:

The 26-year-old man and 24-year-old woman, both from Worthing, were questioned after homes .. were broken into in May, June and July. The homes broken into were in Balcombe Road, Crawley, Bramlands Lane and Wheatsheaf Road in Henfield, Woodpecker Lane and Link Hill in Storrington and West Chiltington Lane in Billingshurst. Among the items stolen were electrical equipment, jewellery and cash.

£2 towards cycle path

Henfield Business Park

Henfield Business Park

The West Sussex County Times reports:

Councillors have granted a business developer approval to reduce its transport contributions from thousands of pounds to just £2. .. Brian O’Connell (Con: Henfield) said the county council’s transport contribution demand was ‘ridiculous’. .. One of the county council’s requests was to create a cycle path from Woodmancote to Henfield, which Mr O’Connell laughed at the prospect of. .. Brian Donnelly (Con Pulborough and Coldwaltham) said: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this, we could get it wrong. Cycle paths are a total waste of money, but this site will be adding to cars on the road, so there should be a transport charge. I don’t understand why the mechanics went so wrong.”

Survey work on trench begins

Surveying the route of the trench
The West Sussex County Times is reporting that work on surveying the trench is about to begin:

Chris Tomlinson, E.ON Development Manager for the project, said: “Over the next few weeks we’ll be carrying out surveys at various sites along the cable route to help us understand the makeup of the soil and the impact construction may have on the ground. We’ll also be working to identify areas of archaeological importance by digging trenches that will enable us to plan the most appropriate monitoring and protection during construction. Weather permitting, the work will begin at the end of October and is expected to take six to eight weeks.”

Anyone [who] has any questions about the survey works should email or call 01273 603 721.

A magnet for rubbish

Small Dole is a magnet for rubbish
The West Sussex County Times reports:

Sweeptech [have applied] to change the use of a site from a storage and distribution centre to a waste recycling facility off Shoreham Road, just south of Henfield and north of Small Dole, [it] will recycle 75,000 tonnes of waste per year collected from road sweeping and gully clearing. ..

Henfield resident Adrian Jessup lives just 100 yards from the proposed 22 acre site, also known as the Old Brickworks. “Sweeptech have said there will be 35 movements a day from the site onto Shoreham Road (A2037), which is situated on a bend that has no overtaking on it, and if they can’t go through Henfield or Small Dole they’ll have to take Horn Lane, a small treacherous road.” ..

Small Dole residents have battled waste facilities in the past, including Horton Landfill Site, which opened in 1991 and closed in 2011. Small Dole Action Committee member Chris Warren said residents are still ‘suffering the consequences of pollution’. “Small Dole seems to be a magnet for waste processing. It’s more than we need,” said Mr Warren. “We have had waste lorries for donkey’s years and there’s been damage done to the roads as a result. There will be a dozen residents directly affected by this.” Mr Warren said he is also concerned about the waste vehicles’ route, and claimed it could potentially affect Henfield, Woodmancote, Small Dole and Upper Beeding.

Woodmancote Place — still available

Woodmancote Place
Country Life does the history:

Set in 149 acres of lakeside gardens and grounds, pasture, deer park and woodland, the house, first mentioned in records of 1339 and 1434, has evolved over time around the core of a late-medieval stone building, of which only one storey survives, with an early-17th-century, timber-framed first floor above it.

According to its listing, the south parlour was rebuilt in the early 1700s as part of a new five-bay range running eastwards, and the entire house was refaced in about 1920, and extended to the east, west and north, in the revived Sussex Vernacular style, par timber-framed and part tile-hung. The park, restocked with deer by the current owners, who bought Woodmancote Place in 2002, was established in the late 19th century; the gardens around the house were laid out by Cheals of Crawley in 1923. As the chief manor house of the village, Woodmancote Place has had its share of famous-and infamous-owners.

In 1530, Woodmancote passed to Catherine, wife of Sir Edward Seymour, later Earl of Hertford and 1st Duke of Somerset, who was executed for treason in 1552. In 1531, Seymour sold the manor to Richard Bellingham, whose widow married George Goring, described as lord of the manor in 1560. For 200 years from 1693, the estate was owned by the industrious Dennett family, who extended the house and increased the farmland to 402 acres by 1840.

Residential continuity in the nineteenth century

If you wander around the churchyard at St. Andrew’s peering at graves, you will soon get the impression that certain families persisted in the parish over several generations. But many of the older graves are hard to read and some are missing altogether. To get a more accurate sense of how many residents had parents who also lived in the parish, we need to turn to the nineteenth century census returns. The first ‘modern’ census, in 1841, only asked respondents if they had been born in the county in which they were then living. But the 1851 and subsequent censuses asked for both the county and the parish of birth. These later censuses thus permit a rather fine-grained analysis of the relation between where people were living and where they were born.

Year EdFulk AdjPar ElsSus OutSus Total
1851 57% 14% 26% 3% 288
1861 41% 18% 34% 6% 299
1871 41% 11% 38% 10% 300
1881 41% 11% 39% 8% 340
1891 39% 9% 38% 14% 358

Where were the residents of the parish born?

In this table[1], the rows correspond to the five censuses that took place in the second half of the nineteenth century. The columns show the census year; the percentage of the parish population who were born in the parish (i.e., in Edburton or Fulking, EdFulk); the percentage who were born in one of the immediately adjacent parishes (AdjPar), i.e., Poynings, Portslade, [Old] Shoreham, [Upper] Beeding, Henfield or Woodmancote; the percentage who were born elsewhere in Sussex (ElsSus); the percentage who were born outside Sussex (OutSus); and the total size of the population in the census year.

The first row is perhaps the most striking. In 1851, over 70% of the residents of the parish were living within easy walking distance of where they were born (i.e., in Edburton or Fulking or one of the immediately adjacent parishes) and only 3% had been born outside Sussex. By the last decade of the century, the corresponding figures were 48% and 14%, respectively, and the size of the local population had increased by nearly 25%.

The remaining four rows are notable more for their similarity each with the next than for any radical changes. As the total population increases, the proportion of residents born in the parish remains more or less constant, as does the proportion born in Sussex but outside the immediate area (ElsSus). The proportion born in the immediately adjacent parishes halves over the 1861-1891 period whilst the proportion born outside Sussex more than doubles.

The first table provides a good sense of where the population had come from in any given census year but it does not give us a sense of the family structure of the parish. To get that, we need to look at the way the main resident families[2] persisted over time:

Family 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Barber 22 13 13 14 3 0
Baird/Beard 3 4 4 3 12 15
Burtenshaw 15 5 11 10 10 6
Cousins/Cozens 4 2 10 11 3 1
Jackson 5 7 5 2 7 0
Lelliot/Lelliott 10 12 20 4 10 0
Madgwick 0 3 4 2 2 1
Marchant 10 11 1 4 2 3
Morley 8 8 7 8 16 9
Page 1 1 7 18 10 9
Paine/Payne 40 40 27 10 6 10
Pollard 5 6 2 6 8 5
Sayers 3 4 5 3 7 15
Steel/Steele 16 29 14 13 14 13
Stevens 7 11 10 11 13 7
Stoveld/Stovell 5 9 9 4 3 7
Strevens/Strivens 12 14 13 8 11 14
Willet/Willett 10 7 8 13 5 5

Families resident in the parish for five contiguous censuses

These eighteen (extended) families comprised nearly two thirds of the population of the parish in 1851. By 1891, that proportion had declined to one third. The overall picture is thus rather what one would have expected: over the course of the second half of the nineteenth century, the outside world gradually made its presence felt in what had hitherto been a somewhat isolated rural parish.


[1] A couple of rows sum to 99% rather than 100% as a consequence of rounding.

[2] Family members are defined here by surname, not genetics. If Jane Paine marries Bert Burtenshaw and remains in the parish then she will be counted as a Burtenshaw, not as a Paine, in the following census. Where the census takers used alternant spellings for a surname, both are listed in the table.


  • Marion Woolgar (1995) Census transcriptions and surname index for Edburton & Fulking. Published by the Sussex Family History Group.