The Early History of Hedgecourt Manor and Farm

The Early History of Hedgecourt Manor and Farm

This document covers the period up to the start of the 18th century and is divided into two parts, the first considers the documentary evidence and the second discusses the landscape features and how they relate to map evidence and what they can tell us about the history of the manor of Hedgecourt.

Below is a collection of the various references associated with Hedgecourt Manor, it is therefore a work in progress and the addition of any more information that might help to clarify the history of this manor would be gratefully received. 


13th century

The first document relating to the land holding later called Hedgecourt is a foot of fine[1] from 2nd May 1290 when Gilbert de Appeltrefeld confirmed the grant by his brother Stephen to John de Berewyk of the manor of Tylemundesdon and one carucate of land in Lynglegh, all in the county of Surrey. To hold to John and his heirs of Gilbert and his heirs by the payment of a red rose at Midsummer and services to the chief lord. On the reverse of the fine is written ‘John son of Roger de St. John puts in his claim’ and thus the St. John’s, who held the manor of Lagham, are most probably holding this land as tenant-in-chief (someone who held their lands as tenants directly from the king to whom they did homage, as opposed to holding them from another nobleman or senior member of the clergy). The subdivision of manorial rights, known as subinfeudation, was stopped by a statute in 1290 and the manor of Tylemundesdon was one of several manors subinfeudated in Godstone; others include Norbryght, which had been formed by 1238[2], and was transferred to the chief lordship of Roger de St. John by Alice de Dammartin in 1248[3].

There has been speculation about the existence of Tylemundesdon and that it could have been a fictitious place[4], this is based upon there only being three documents that mention this place-name, and that Lynglegh was a significant miss-spelling of Lingfield. As will be shown later in this document, Lynglegh can be shown to have been a place not associated with Lingfield and therefore it is possible that Tylemundesdon did exist and its name has been lost as it became known as Hedgecourt. The etymology of Tylemundesdon is potentially Tilmundes-dūn where Tilmund is a common Anglo-Saxon name and dūn is old English for hill or down[5]. Lynglegh could potentially be made up of the old English elements ling-lēah, ling meaning heather and lēah being a clearing or glade. I only include the potential etymology here as it might provide clues to the appearance of the landscape in these early times when much of the weald was forested.   

Gilbert and Stephen de Appeltrefeld [Apuldrefeld] were the sons of Sir William de Apuldrefeld who held the manor of Horsted in the parishes of Chatham and Rochester in Kent, and the manors of Morton and East Hemelsworth in Dorset[6], Gilbert being the heir of Sir William who died in 1283. There are no surviving records that indicate how or when Stephen de Apuldrefeld acquired the manor of Tylemundesdon and the land at Lynglegh for him to then transfer it to John de Berewyk in 1290. However, it is known that Stephen de Apuldrefeld had accompanied John de Berewyk for a one year journey ‘beyond the seas on the king’s service’ departing in June 1288[7] and therefore the land transfer was documented within a year of the end of this journey together.

14th century

In 1302, John de Berewyk, who was the King’s clerk, received a grant of free warren for him and his heirs in all his demesne lands in Becheworth, Culingleye, Tilmundesdoune and Hegecurt in the county of Surrey and 14 other manors in other counties[8]. The grant of free warren allowed him to kill certain species of game within these manorial lands. John had acquired the manor of [West] Becheworth in 1293 from John de Wauton[9] and along with Culingleye, these manors would be closely associated for centuries. John de Berewyk was also appointed the dean of the College of South Malling in 1293. The College was formed from a gift from Aldulf, prince or duke of the South Saxons, about the year 765, of lands in Stanmer, Lindfield and Burleigh. It was later granted the manor of Malling[10].

John de Berewyk died on 17th July 1312, and an inquest was held at Southwark on 31st July 1312[11] where it was determined that he had held the manor of Heggecourt by a service of 1d yearly and that John de St. John of Lagham was the chief lord. He also held the manors of Westbechesworth and Conelingeleye alias Conynggeleye. Amongst his other manors and lands were also 100a of heath in Horne by a service of 6s yearly to Thomas be Warbelton, knight of the manor of Tanrigge [Tandridge], and the following lands in Lingfield; 7a land held of Thomas de Leukenore, knight, by service of 6d yearly; 5a meadow held of Giles de Bileserche by service of 1d yearly; 4a meadow hold of William ate More by service of 4d yearly; and 1a meadow held of John de Heystede by service of 1d yearly. On 28th October 1312, the escheator (the person who managed the transfer of land and the king’s interest in it when tenants-in-chief died) was ordered not to interfere with a tenement called le Heycurt which had been taken into the king’s hands on the death of John de Berewyco, as the inquest showed that he only held it for life from John de St. John of Lagham and thus it ought to revert to de St. John[12]. There seems to have been some doubt about this inquest regarding Hedgecourt as a further inquisition was held at Southwark on 3rd April 1314 which recorded the following, ‘The tenement called le Heggecourt alias Le Heycourt, which was contained in a former inquisition, is of the manor of Tylmundesdon, and of 1 carucate land in Lindelegh, of which manor and land the said John was sometime enfeoffed by Stephen de Appelderfeld, by fine levied in the late king’s court; and he was in seisin until three weeks before his death, when John de Sancto Johanne of Lageham, the elder, considering him to be dead, asserting that he only held the same for life, and claiming the reversion, entered upon the said manor, and ejected the said John de Berewyco; the said John de Berewyco held the said manor of the said John de Sancto Johanne, by service of 1d yearly, who held of the king by Knight’s service; the said John de Berewyco also died seized of the said carucate in Lindeleghe, which is now in the king’s hand in the name of wardship’. John de Berewyck’s heir was Roger Hussey, son of John Hussey, but he was still a minor and so the king ordered Master Gilbert de Middelton to possess ‘le Heggecurt’ till the heir was of age at the yearly rent of 20s which was the full value of the extent[13].

It is difficult to determine if anyone actually occupied the tenement of Hedgecourt in this early period as the ‘tenants’ of the property held many other properties. In the above records the property is referred to as a tenement which does not imply that there was a principle dwelling there in which case it would have normally been referred to as a capital tenement or messuage. There is however, a reference in a 1314 extent of the manor of Coulingley where Walter atte Heggecort is listed as one of the witnesses[14], although it not possible to identify who Walter was, this does imply that he lived within Hedgecourt.

Master Gilbert de Middelton demised the property to William Husey and it is not until 2nd June 1327 that the king orders William Husey to deliver the manor of Heggecourt to Roger, son of John Husey, who has now proved his age[15]. The ownership of Hedgecourt is unclear following this order as the manors of Westbechesworth and Heggecourt are later gifted to Roger Husee and Margery his wife in 1353 by Warin de Insula and Edmund de Chelrye[16], the gift also includes a messuage, 1 carucate of land and 200 acres of wood in East Grinstead and Worth. Roger de Husee died on 8th September 1361 holding the tenements in Worth and East Grinstead listed in the gift from Warin de Insula and Edmund de Chelrye which are valued at 40s. He also held the manors of West Bechesworth and Heggecourt, the latter being held of John de Walbreton [Walbelton] as of the manor of Tandridge by service rendering 6s 8d yearly[17]. His heir was his brother John Husey and he quickly gifts some of his inherited property to Hugh Craan of Winchester who then gives them to Sir Nicholas Lovayne in a transaction signed at Heggecourt[18] on 10th June 1365. This gift to Sir Nicholas Lovayne provides the first description of Hedgecourt; ‘manors of Heggecourt and Coulyngle with a wood called Lynlee and a chapel in the park there, and with parks, mills, woods, meadows, pastures, waters, fisheries, ponds, fish ponds, ways, paths, turbaries, rents, reliefs, heriots, suits of court, rights etc. in the parishes of Wolkenstede, Grenstede, Lyngefeld, Horne, Crawle, Borstowe and Horle in the counties of Surrey and Sussex’. The lands in Sussex within this gift must be the messuage, 1 carucate of land and 200 acres of wood in East Grinstead and Worth in the 1353 gift, and this would therefore equate to the manor of Coulyngle as named in this description as this later became Cuttinglye and lies within Sussex. The wood called Lynlee may be the one carucate of Lynglegh/Lindelegh but it seems more likely that it is another part of the same named area as Hedgecourt was described in 1314 as being the manor of Tylemundesdon and the carucate of Lyndelegh implying that the tenement of Hedgecourt included both these named holdings. Whilst the exact location of Lynglegh/Lindelegh is not known it is potentially relevant that the early forms of Coulyngle bear such a strong similarity with the prefix of Coue-/Col-/Cul-.

Collingeley 1244 Misc Inquisitions

Couelingeley 1286 Charter Rolls

Kouelynelegh 1296 Lay Subsidy

Culingleye 1302 Charter Rolls

Conelingeleye alias Conynggeleye 1312 IPM for John de Berewyk

Collingelegh, Coue-lingelegh 1314 extent (hyphenated version on reverse)

Covelyngeleye 1344 Feet of Fines

Couelyngleye 1334 Ipm, 1346 Patent Rolls, 1370 Gage Papers

Coulyngle 1365 Close Rolls

The land holding of Hedgecourt manor in 1541 includes Myllwood[19] [now Furnace Wood] which abuts what was known as Coulyngle. The English Place Name Society proposed the derivation as being old English Cūfeling(a)-Lēage, ‘clearing of Cufela’ or his people[20], but this seems less likely now it is known that there was land in this vicinity called Lynglegh and thus the breakdown of couelingelegh is coue-lingelegh as written on the reverse of the 1314 extent of the manor rather than previously proposed as couelinge-legh. The prefix may derive from old English cū or middle English cǒu meaning cow or middle English cōl/coul having diverse meanings of cold or green vegetables such as cabbage or kale[21].

The manors of Heggecourt and Coulyngle are described as having parks, these are lands that have been enclosed and are most probably the demesne lands that John de Berewyk was granted free warren for in 1302. Coulyngle is known as Cuddingly Park in the South Malling Court records and its embankments are still visible along its western boundary, this will be covered in more detail in a future handout on the history of Cuttinglye. Hedgecourt must also have enclosed part of its lands by this date to form a park. There are clearly inhabitants in these lands with the description including fish ponds to provide food on holy days, mills which would have required millers and also people to grow and harvest the cereal crops to be ground. There are also the rents and herriots arising from the tenants of the manorial lands. Turbary is the right to cut turf (peat) to provide fuel, this would only exist in boggy or marshy areas and gives another indication of the local historic landscape, similar to the conditions that exist today at the east and west ends of Hedgecourt Lake.

The location of the chapel in the description is ambiguous as it lies somewhere within the parks of Heggecourt and Coulyngle. Although chapels from this period are found alongside transport routes for the use of travellers, they are usually remote and the close proximity of Godstone makes this less likely a reason for its construction. It seems more likely that the chapel would have been at or near a principle dwelling or may even have been within its immediate grounds as is the surviving case at Ightham Mote near Sevenoaks which has a 14th century chapel within the moated house site.

In 1366, Nicholas de Lovaygne and his heirs were granted free warren in all the demesne lands of their manor of Hecchecourt in the counties of Surrey and Sussex[22]. Then in 1369, the lands of Sir Nicholas de Lovayne, knight of Lagham, were valued and Heggecourt was worth 27s 8d[23] whilst Couelynglee was worth 26s 8d and the Worth lands were 20s. Hedgecourt has not increased considerably since the valuation of 20s recorded in 1314 and thus it would seem that nothing significant had happened to increase the value of the holding during this period. The 1366 grant of free warren is interesting as it is the first time that the manor of Hedgecourt is identified as having lands in Sussex as well as Surrey, this could demonstrate the amalgamation of the manors of Hedgecourt and Couelynglee as there are no entries after 1369 for the manor of Couelynglee only for parts of its earlier land holding and most of these are contained within the Hedgecourt manor records.

Sir Nicholas de Lovayne died[24] on 23rd September 1374 and Margaret his daughter inherited his lands bringing them to her husband Sir Philip de Seyntclere[25]

15th century

It is not until 1408 that Hedgecourt is mentioned again, Sir Philip de Seyntclere and his wife Margaret both died in May 1408 and the inquest for Philip shows that he held the manor of Hedgecourt (this is the first appearance of the modern spelling). The manor is described as being ‘1 parcel called Shavenore with part of the park is held of John Dalyngregge, knight, of his manor of Shiffolds, by a rent of 10s, and the other parcel called Lilley with the rest of the park of William Warbelton of his manor of Tandridge, services unknown, annual value of the whole manor of Hedgecourt is 40s’[26]; the lands in Worth and Couelynglee previously held by Roger Husee are not identified in any of the inquisitions. This is the first mention of Shavenore which is held of the manor of Sheffield-Lingfield and has been added to Hedgecourt most probably after 1369. Its location can be identified from later documents as being at Coopers Hill[27] [now Woodcock Hill] and south of Woodcock lands[28] [the farm land south east of Wiremill Lake]. The other part called Lilley must now describe all of the lands previously called Hedgecourt including Tylmundesdon and the carucate of Lynglegh. Although the service is unknown in this inquest, it had been described in 1302 as 100a of heath in Horne held by the service of 6s of the manor of Tanrigge and in 1361 the manor of Hedgecourt was held of the manor of Tanridge by the service of 6s 8d. The value of the manor of Hedgecourt including Shavenore is now stated as 40s which is difficult to compare to the earlier valuations as it is unclear whether any of the Worth lands or Couelynglee are also being valued within this 40s as they are not listed elsewhere.

John Seyntclare is the son and heir of Sir Philip Seyntclare and an orphan, the King gave his wardship to Sir John Pelham[29]. It was intended that John Seyntclare was to marry Joan, who was the daughter of Sir John Pelham, but it is not known if this took place as John died in Normandy on 6th December 1418, only three months after he came of age. The inquisition held on 29th March 1419 following John Seyntclare’s death only records that he held the manors of Lagham, Marden, Burstow and Hedgecourt (the last being worth 4 marks), amongst many other manors, and that Thomas, also in Sir John Pelham’s wardship, was his brother and heir[30].

Another inquest was held on 11th April 1419 which contains far greater details relating to Hedgecourt. It details how Sir John Pelham had the wardship of the sons of Sir Philip Seyntclare and that the letters patent relating to this wardship stated that he was to enjoy the income of the manors of the late Sir Philip Seyntclare and maintain the houses and buildings on the premises and supporting all other charges as long as he held the wardship. It then goes on to present that he ‘did waste in the manors. In Lagham he pulled down most of a barn worth 10 pounds and he also pulled down a stable worth a further 10 pounds and two other buildings worth 100s each. In the manor of Hedgecourt, which is worth 4 marks (1 mark = 13s 4d) net yearly, he pulled down most of the paling of the park to the value of 10 marks, whereby a great part of the game formerly therein escaped therefrom. In the manor of Marden he unroofed and pulled down diverse parts of the buildings thereof, viz. a hall, a kitchen, a building called ‘stable’ and a barn, each worth 50s by itself’[31].

The details of Sir John Pelham’s damage to the manors potentially triggered the King taking the manors of the late Sir Philip Seyntclare into his hands, and in October 1423 Ralph Radmelde and Richard Banbury are shown as occupying the manors in Godstone[32]. A further inquest into the lands of John Seyntclare was held when his brother Thomas had come of age in March 1423[33]. This inquest provides more details about the manors including Hedgecourt; ‘The manor of Hedgecourt to which belongs a park containing the site of the manor, worth nothing yearly after the maintenance of the beasts of the chase. There are there 80 acres of arable, each acre worth 2d yearly; 12 acres of meadow, each acre worth 12d yearly; 500 acres of wood, each acre worth 1d yearly; 100 acres of pasture, each acre worth 1d yearly; and 9s assize rents. The manor is held of the manor of Shiffolds by 10s rent yearly except for a wood called ‘le lee’ held of the manor of Tandridge by 6s rent yearly’. This inquest also shows the impact of Sir John Pelham’s destruction as the manor which had been worth 4 marks net is now worth nothing after its outgoings. We also have a total acreage of 692 acres and a total land value of £4 4s 4d including the fixed assize rents, although the acreages given in inquests post mortem are not always accurate it does enable us to judge the comparative size of the manor compared to its later stated sizes. ‘le lee’ is clearly the same lands as Lilley and the annual rental due to the manor of Tandridge for this land has returned to 6s as it had been recorded in 1302.

Thomas Seyntclare had married Margaret Hoo without getting a licence which was required as he was still only aged 20. On 8th February 1424, he paid £200 to the king and prayed for pardon which was granted[34]. Thomas died in France on 6th May 1435 leaving three daughters Elizabeth aged 13, Eleanor aged 12 and Edith aged 11[35]. An inquisition was held in March 1439 into the lands that had been held by Thomas Seyntclare[36]. It found that Thomas had died holding Lagham and Marden in chief by knight’s service, Hedgecourt was worth £4 yearly, tenure unknown, and Burstow was held of the Archbishop of Canterbury as of his manor of Wimbledon. Thomas ‘had granted the manors to William Cheyne, knight, John Aston and Geoffrey Motte, their heirs and assigns to his own use and that of his heirs by fraud and collusion to defraud the king and the other lords of the fees of wardship thereof and the marriage of his heirs’. The king held a royal right of wardship over minor heirs of a tenant-in-chief. The right entitled the king to all the revenues of the deceased’s estate (except the land allocated to his widow) until the heir reached his/her majority, 21 or 14 years respectively. The king sold the wardships to the highest bidder or granted them as rewards, hence the severity of granting his lands without allowing the king his right of wardship.

On 16th December 1445 the three heiresses were finally granted their inheritance, by this date Elizabeth was the wife of William Lovell, esquire; Eleanor had married John Gage, esquire, and received the manors of Marden and Hedgecourt, and Edith had married Richard Harecourt, esquire[37].

In 1444 we get the first detailed list of tenants for Hedgecourt Manor within an extent[38], unfortunately there is a large hole in the parchment and so some sections are illegible.

Heggecourt worth per year in herbage and pannage 60s 10d

Free tenants    William Sande 1 parcell land called Northland and paying per
   year for 4 rod                                                                               8d

William Underhile 1 croft called Coteland                                        8d

William Quentheworth 1 messuage and appurtenance paying
   per year                                                                                     4½d

Agnes Hosyer paying per year                                                       2s 1d

John Alberey 1 croft called le morehale rent per year                       6d

John Golde rent per year                                                                12d

Johanna Lamon rent per year                                                         16d

Simon Philip rent per year                                                             2s

Richard Barnes rent per year                                                         6d
Sum                                                                                             9s 1½d

William Sandes [illegible] called Gylinger Halle and also parcel [illegible]                 10s
Thomas at Sh[illegible]                                                                                         10s
John Gaynesford                                                                                                    20d
John at Shacke                                                                                                       2s
Alan Luggeford                                                                                                      2s
James Alaner                                                                                                          7s
William Telbehurst                                                                                                12s
William Barnes                                                                                                      8s
John Wills                                                                                                              2s
James Wills                                                                                                            5s
John Nicholas                                                                                                         12d
Richard Burley                                                                                                       2s
John Shepherd                                                                                                        8s
Simon Philip                                                                                                          2s

Sum                                                                                                                      72s 8d

Outgoings       Richard Dalyngrigge maner of Sheffeld                                          10s

Prior of Lewes                                                                              2s
Richard Wakehurst                                                                      9s
Dean of Malling                                                                           7s
to the Canons there [at Malling]                                                   6d
William Warbylton maner of Tanregge                                         6s
William Sandes                                                                            4d

Sum recorded by Alan Luggerford, park keeper                                  34s 10d

Sum net                                                                                                         46s 11½d

The outgoing quit rents are similar to some that we have seen earlier; 10s to Richard Dalyngrigge and the manor of Sheffield-Lingfield is for Shavenor. The 2s to the Prior of Lewes will be for lands held by their manor of Imberhorne, this is most probably for Tanners in Tandridge parish which is recorded as being held by John Gage in 1597/8 for 2s rent in the Buckhurst Terrier as part of Imberhorne manor[39]. The 6s to William Warbelton and the manor of Tandridge will be for Lilley/le lee which contained the rest of the park that was not in Shavenor. The payments to Malling are of particular note as the College of South Malling held the manor of Lindfield and the lands recorded in the South Malling Lindfield court records include Cuddingly Park, Husseys, Shirleys, Brookes and Crawlies, all held by the Gage’s of Hedgecourt[40]. Some or all of these would have been parts of the manor of Couelingeley or the ‘Worth lands’ held by Roger Husee and descended with Hedgecourt manor. The canons of South Malling administered the deanary of the Archbishop of Canterbury who held Burstow manor. The 9s to Richard Wakehurst could be for lands held by his manor of Ditchling[41] or it is possible that it is for some of the land that Richard holds from the manor of Walsted as this manor has land both east and west of Furnace Wood. It is not known what property was rented from William Sandes for 4d.

We can see from this extent the number of tenants holding property within the manor of Hedgecourt. Care has to be taken as these are not necessarily tenants occupying dwellings within Hedgecourt manor. Firstly there are lands reported here that are detached from the main manorial lands eg: Coteland and Morehale that we later see are within the parish of Lingfield. There may also be tenants that only hold land within the manor but have a dwelling elsewhere. However, as a snapshot of the surnames in the Felbridge area from the mid 15th century this still provides a useful reference including names such as Burley, Nicholas, Underhill[Underhile], Tablehurst[Telbehurst], Gaynesford, Luxford[Luggeford] and Alfrey[Alberey] which we still find as place or surnames in the Sussex/Surrey borders today.

Alan Luggerford lists himself as a park keeper and on 29th September 1473 John and William Gage lease ‘the manor of Hedgecourt with the park of the same and all lands, tenements, meads, pastures, rents and courts of the said manor and park in any way pertaining’ for 20 years to Richard Luggesford[42] [most probably the son of Alan Luggerford and Alice his wife[43]] and William Sharpe, for the sum of £3 13s 4d per annum. Richard Luggesford and William Sharpe are required by the lease to make yearly ‘one furlong of 'bete' pale and hedge about the park’ and John Gage and William Gage allow reasonable ‘firebote, ploughbote, wainbote and hedgebote’.

John Gage had been knighted in 1453/4[44] and died on 3rd September 1475 leaving two sons, William his heir and John. The inquest for the Surrey lands was held on 11th November 1475[45] which found that he held Burstow, Marden and Heggecourt, the latter being worth 40s held of Sir Roger Lewkenor for an unknown service, he also held 100 acres of land and 100 acres of wood called Lylle in Wolkestede [Godstone] and Horne, valued at 6s 8d a year held of Margaret Besill [the widow of William Warbelton]. He also held lands in Lingfield, East Grinstead and Worth[46] which includes parts of the manor of Cuelinglegh.

The Lindfield Court Book is unsure as to which Gage is now holding land from them as the entry for 26th September 1475 leaves the forename blank, but finds him in default for not attending the court whilst holding ‘Colyngley’40.

Further demonstration that the Lord of the manor of Hedgecourt is holding the lands that previously formed Cuelinglegh is found in a lease on 18th August 1476 when William Gage esquire, leases two parcels of ground called Coblynglegh and Tylthe in Worth to Thomas Nycholas of Worth, the lease being for 11s per annum[47]. The first parcel of land is likely to be another variant of Cuelinglegh, whilst Tylthe is later known as Tilts and gives its name to the area near where Tiltwood House now stands. However, unless there was a revision to the lease of 1473, these lands could not be part of Hedgecourt as they would already be leased to Richard Luggeford and William Sharpe. We also know that Richard Luggeford [this is the spelling used in his own accounts] is still at Hedgecourt from 1490 to 1492 as he compiles the accounts for those years[48] (detailed below).

Similarly, there is another lease in 1485 for 21 years at 15s per annum dated 8th April from William Gage esquire, to Andrew Bernlys of Worth, for a ‘parcel of land called Smythford in East Grinstead and Worth in Sussex, and a wood called the Millewood in Worth and in Walksted [Godstone]’[49]. Smythford is located east of Hophurst Hill and is held of the manor of South Malling Lindfield[50]. Millewood/Mylwood appears in the Hedgecourt Court Rolls in 1542[51] and is now known as Furnace Wood. But again if Mylwood is land belonging to Hedgecourt, then it would still be leased out to Richard Luggeford and William Sharpe within their 1473 lease. It would appear that some of the land that is administered through the Courts at Hedgecourt is not considered to be within the description of the lease ‘manor of Hedgecourt with the park of the same and all lands’. Perhaps more interesting is that the lands that are treated this way are also those that are more likely to have originally been part of the manor of Cuelinglegh based upon their proximity to Cuttinglye.

The accounts written by Richard Luggeford for the years 1490 to 1494 vary in detail each year and are summarised below51.

Quit rents       Richard Dalyngrygge                                                                   10s

Prior of Lewes                                                                              2s
Richard Wakehurst                                                                      9s
Dean of Malling                                                                           7s
to the Canons there [at Malling]                                                 6d
William Warbylton                                                                      6s
William Sandys                                                                           4d

Richard Dalyngrygge for Gobenshawe                                       1d

The Archbishop for Lylley                                                          1d

Sum                                                                                           35s

This list is the same at that for 1444 with the addition of the last two entries. The first is for Gobenshawe which is unknown but must have been held by the manor of Sheffield-Lingfield for the payment to be to Richard Dallingridge. The second additional quit rental would imply that another part of the lands known as Lylley has been added to Hedgecourt between 1444 and 1490 and that this additional land was held by the manor of Burstow which was held by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The freehold rents remain the same at 9s 1½d and the other rents are 79s 6d. No breakdown is provided to see who is holding which properties but the total rental income has only increased 6s 10d since 1444. There is however a list of fees being paid out in 1490 on the ‘descent of tenements’, these are possibly heriots due to the lords in chief when the tenants of their lands have died but it is not clear why these fines are being paid by Richard Luggeford as the tenancy of these lands is by William Gage and he is still alive.

For Simon Fylld                                                                                         2s
For 5 parcels of pasture lately John Shaw                                                   2s
For Shanoure and Couper Hyll rent per annum 8s 4d and now 3s 4d of
Richard Luggerford                                                                                    5s
For Courtefyld lately in the tenure of William Tylkhurst                                2s
For land called Sherley in the tenure of Richard Burley                             18d

The Walsted manor records show that the heriot due for the 4 acres called Sherley in Worth was 18d in 1530[52] thus some correlation exists with other manorial records, however none of the other entries listed above can be positively matched. There is an implication that Shanoure [Shavenour] and Couper Hyll [Coopers Hill] were held together at the rent of 8s 4d and they would have abutted, but this rental is still less than the 10s quit rent paid to Sheffield-Lingfield for Shavenour therefore some other part of Shavenour is not being included here, perhaps the 8s 4d is the part of Shavenour that lies outside Hedgecourt Park.

The account from Easter 1493 provides a valuation of 39s 5d for herbage and 60s for pannage in the year, much greater than the combined total in 1444 of 60s 10d. The high value received from pannage shows that there is still significant woodland area within the manorial lands. Notes on expenses during the same year include the costs of repairing the pale as required by the 1473 lease; the cost is 9s per furlong for the three furlongs that he had built, presumably catching up on three years worth of repairs. At the end of the expenses he pays William Sharpe 6s 8d for the year but does not state what this is for. Considering that the lease was to Richard Luggeford and William Sharpe but all the expenditure and income is in Richard’s name, it is not clear what role William Sharpe has at Hedgecourt.

1495 is the date of the first surviving court roll for the manor of Hedgecourt[53] and the juror is Roger atte Fenne [of Gibbshaven] with a large number of the tenants fined for not attending the court including William Quethworth, Richard Underhill, William Skrynelond, William and John Burley of Trolnhurst, John Harling of Horne, Robert Sondes gent and Edmund Alfrey gent. The only entries for the court itself record Robert Sondes [Sandes] paying the heriot of 12d upon inheriting Northlond and the land called Felbrugges from his father Raymond Sondes; and Edmund Alfrey being announced as the son and heir of Richard Alfrey and owing a heriot of 6d, but the entry does not name the land holding.

William Gage died on 16th February 1497 leaving his son John, aged variously as 17 or 19, as his heir. The subsequent inquisition[54] found that he held 50 acres of land in East Grinstead worth 3s, held of Henry Tracy; 350 acres of land in Worth, worth 13s 4d held of the Dean and Chapter of South Malling, by service unknown; the manors of Burstow and Marden in Surrey; the manor of Hedgecourt worth 40s held of Richard Lewkenore of Shefeld, by service unknown; a messuage, 100a land in the parish of Tanrige, worth 20s, held of George Putnam esquire by service unknown; 14 acres of land called Tanners in the parish of Tanrige worth 2s, held of Richard Culpeper by service unknown; a field called Tommescroft or Tounescroft in the parish of Tanrige worth 12d, held of the prior and convent of Lewes by service unknown; 100 acres of land, 100 acres wood called le Lille in the parishes of Wolkested [Godstone] and Horne worth 10s, held of the said George Putnam by service unknown.

This inquest enables us to put names and places to some of the quit rentals being paid out of Hedgecourt in 1444 and 1490. The manor of Sheffield-Lingfield had passed from the Dallingridge family to the Lewkenore family through the second marriage of Philippa, the sister of Sir John Dalyngrugge, to Sir Thomas Lewkenor[55]. Thus the unknown service due to Sheffield is for Shavenor. The land called Tanners is later held as part of Raby’s Farm south of the Newchapel Road and is most probably the same land that incurred the 9s quit rent paid to Richard Wakehurst. Tommescroft is clearly the same land held of the Prior of Lewes for 2s. The 200 acres called le Lille is clearly Lilley held of George Puttenham’s manor of Tandridge for 6s. The 350 acres held of the Dean and Chapter of South Malling is for the lands held by them and their corresponding Court Book for the manor of Lindfield[56] in 1497 that records William Gage’s death as having died seized of Cullingly Park paying 1s rent. There is a significant shortfall in the rental paid by Hedgecourt and that recorded in Lindfield, this is most probably because the other 6s was paid to the manor of Walsted which was also held by the Dean and Chapter of South Malling, Walsted and Lindfield are later merged in the court records with little or no distinction made between them.

16th century

The early court rolls for Hedgecourt contain some useful entries extracted below:

6 Apr 1503        Richard Underhyll died holding a croft in Lingfield called Cotelond paying 8d, his son and heir is John. Edmond Alfrey pays 6d rent for Morehale. Robert Sondes pays 12d rent for Northlond in Lingfield and Felbriggen in Tandridge[57].

21st May 1507   Richard Swaynlond sells his freehold croft of land at rent of 25d in Lingfield to Richard Underhill [this is later known as Hosiers after Agnes Hosyer from the 1444 rental, this land is located at Felcourt Heath and is held of Sheffield-Lingfield]. John atte Fenne paying 6d for Honnies and Cuelyn Croft [parts of the land previously held by Roger Hussey][58].

11th Jun 1530    John Afenn dies holding Gybbes Afen at the rent of 2s 6d, Roger Afenn is his son and heir.

3rd Nov 1530     Robert Sande died holding a parcel of land called North Land in Lingfield paying 8d rent and a parcel of land called Felbrigge paying 12d[59].

1541                  William Chalfroft, John Payne and John Myles are paid to enclose the land called Mylwoode[60].

Sir John Gage knight of the garter, died on 18th April 1556, Sir Edward Gage being his son and heir[61]. Sir John’s death is also recorded in the Court Book for the manor of Lindfield as he died ‘holding land late Roger Hussey in Worth and certain land called Crawleys and Shirleys paying 6s 6d rent’[62]. In 1557 the same Court Book records the death of John Gage, knight, who died ‘holding a parcel of land called Senlers [elsewhere called Seyntclares Mead] paying 6d’ thus making up the 7s service paid to South Malling in the accounts of 1490.

Some evidence for the location of Shavenore is given in 1559 when the Lagham[63] court instructs that “John Mentalle had a day to cleanse and amend a rivulet and water course towards his lands called Shawnors to carry of the water from the queens highway leading between New Chapel and Grinstead under the penalty of 20s and William Launder had the same day to remove a tree and boughs being in a common river called Hegge Court River to the obstruction of the water course there so that the aforesaid water overflowed the queens highway, under penalty of 20s”. This entry not only informs us that John Mentalle is holding the land but also that the water course must be downstream (the east side) of the highway. It is also interesting to note that the water course to the west of the highway is being described as a common river. In 1561, Lagham[64] court again instructs people to clear their ditches; “Robert Dane had a day to scower his ditch near certain lands called Coops Moors under penalty of 6s 8d, Thomas Infield had the same day to scour his ditches near Edgecorte Parke and Shawnores under penalty of 20s., Andrew Launder had the same day to scour his ditches near Rowlands under the penalty of 2s, John Lamb had the same day to scour his ditches called Shawhawes Wood and Hills under penalty of 20s”. Coops Moors is later known as Coopers Moor and lies east of Woodcock Hill. Rowlands is also known as Hodge-a-Horne and later Hodgehorne farm, it is held by the manor of Tandridge and is now called Garfield Farm to the east and south east of Coopers Moor. After the construction of Woodcock Hammer mill and the flooding of what is today Wiremill Lake in about 1565, the lands to the south of the lake took on the names of Hammerlands and Woodcock Lands. It appears that this replaced the name Shavenore as we see the emergence of Woodcock Hill or Coopers Hill instead of Shawhawes Hill and Hammer Wood instead of Shawhawes Wood. We cannot prove these are identical places but the name Shavenore appears less often in the documents after 1567.

The names that appear in the records for Hedgecourt manor between 1560 and 1570[65] are John Thorpe, Bartholemew Harman, John Underhill snr, John Underhill jnr, Roger Harling, Anthony Sands Gent, John Alfrey, John Uhurst, William Estland, Thomas Hapyll, John Byshe and Thomas Byshe. This list will not include all the tenants as it only contains the jurors of the courts and those mentioned in the transactions of the court which are mainly fines for not attending.

In 1562 there is no iron works in the manor and the farmer, John Thorpe, is repairing a building and the mill and bank at a cost of £64[66] which is a high cost so this must have been work on a large scale. The construction of the furnace in Myllwood [Furnace Wood] has been completed by 1567 as Sir Edward Gage leases the iron works[67] for 21 years at 10s to John Fawkner of Waldron, yeoman, and John French of Chiddingly, yeoman. The description is “a furnace with houses, Buildings, erected by the leasees upon Sir Edward Gage’s ground called Myllwood in Worth, being part of his manor of Hedgecourt, and upon a piece of ground called Coddinglighe adjoining Myllwood, with ponds, mill dams, banks, bays”. The terms of the lease provide Fawkner and French with wood for charcoal from within the manors of Burstow, Shovelstrode and Hedgecourt and the woods called Millwood and Coddinglighe as well as the rights to mine iron ore within the same manors. It is worth noting that the lease describes Myllwood as being part of the manor of Hedgecourt but does not extend this to Coddinglighe.

The manor of Hedgecourt is then leased[68] by Sir Edward Gage to John Thorpe, yeoman of Horne, for 21 years at £40. The description of the lands is “The demesne lands of the manor of Hedgecourt in Sussex and Surrey and lands called the park of Hedgecourt, Coddinglighe Park, Sharnowrs, Gages Meades, Cowpers Hill, Tanners, Smythforde Courte, The Tylt, Honneys, Warnars Crofts and the Myllwood, with all barns, stables, stalls and other buildings in the park, mills and mill dams in Godstone, Horne, Tandridge, Grinstead and Worth”. The lease specifically excludes “the furnace or iron work, houses and buildings lately built upon lands called Myllwood and Coddingligh Park by John Fawkener & John Frenche” which were granted in the lease above. John Thorpe has to accommodate Sir Edward Gage’s steward keeping courts twice a year, and seize any wards and herriots due to Edward Gage’s manor of Hedgecourt.

The description includes the two parks, one at Hedgecourt and the other at Cuttinglye; Shavenor; Gage’s Meadows which is 11a of land in Godstone east of Coopers Moor[69]; Coopers Hill; Tanners which is the 17a of land in Tandridge farmed as part of Rabies Farm; Smithford Court which is the land immediately south of Felbridge Water and east of Hophurst Hill, potentially it is called ‘Court’ as this was where the manor of Coulingelegh held its courts; the Tilt located at or adjacent to Tiltwood, Honneys which is described as the lands bounded by Smithford to the south, the Worth parish boundary to the east and what is now the Crawley Down Road and Hophurst Hill on the north and west[70]; Warnars Crofts has also been known as Warnetts70 and was to the south of Smithford and north of the lane leading from Hophurst Farm to Gullege, bounded on the east by the Worth parish boundary and on the west by Hophurst Hill; Millwood which is now known as Furnace Wood.

John Thorpe is living at Hedgecourt Farm, just north of Hedgecourt Lake on the west side of Stubpond Lane. He was born about 1534 and had been living in the parish of Newdigate[71] and is first documented at Hedgecourt in 1562. He married Alice Bowett about 1560 and had seven children, his son Thomas becoming his heir.

In 1568, Sir Edward Gage died and his heir is his son John. The Court Books for the manor of Lindfield record that he died holding ‘lands called Crawlies and Shirlies, tenement of Roger Hussey and John Brokes at Crawlies Down’ for the rent of 5s 6d they also record him holding ‘Coddengly Parke’ but do not state the rent[72].

In 1578 John Thorpe extends his existing lease of Hedgecourt, which ends in 1589, by a further 40 years but it now costs him £100 and then £42 a year after the death of Elizabeth Gage the widow of Sir Edward Gage. The lease repeats the description from the lease of 1567 and continues to exclude the Myllwood furnace[73], however it includes a clause allowing John Thorpe to occupy the furnace should the iron works close during the term of the lease. John Thorpe is clearly ensuring that his family can continue to hold Hedgecourt as this lease will not expire until long after his death. In 1588 the lease on Myllood furnace expires and the furnace also appears on a list of furnaces ordered to stop production of guns[74] so it is likely that the furnace ceases operation a few years later; there is definitely no rent for the furnace in 1599.

In 1594 John Gage sells timber to John Thorpe[75] the description is ‘the trees on land occupied by Thomas Humfrey, living in one tenement in the park of Hedgecourt adjoining Newe Chappell; a parcel of trees adjoining the last sale made in Thorne Park and divided by an old bank of old trees lying northwards from the bank to the pale, through which piece of ground the mill way goes to Burstow; 1000 decaying stubs in various places in the manor of Hedgecourt, already marked out by John Gage’s servant Henry Collins, to be cut down, coaled and carried away within ten years.’ The documents for the ‘last sale made in Thorne Park’ have not survived but Thorney Park is marked on the 1748 Bourd[76] map of Hedgecourt as a wood where Domewood is today. The other parts of the description including old banks and the pale being north of this bank are tantalising but there is insufficient information to be able to locate this land conclusively.  

A rental for the manor of Hedgecourt survives for 1598-9[77] and lists:

Thorpe for Gibbs Atte Fen, 20 acres                                                                                 2s 6d
Roger John Underhill tenement and certain lands called Estland                                         2s 1d
George Turner for a croft of land in Lingfield called Cottcroft, late Richard Underhill              8d
Roger Harling for tenement and 17 acres called Little Sherleys late John Harling                  14d
Thomas Underhill one tenement, two crofts containing 7 acres and another croft
of 2 acres late John Estlands                                                                                                4d
John Cranston for farm and tenement called Morehall in Lingfield                                         6d
Demesne lands, John Thorpe for his farm and rent of Hedgecourt Park, Cuddingly
and Lumbardie Meads                                                                                                      £42
The same for the ______ Cuddinlye

As the demesne lands leased to John Thorpe are listed at the end of this rental with the rent of £42 matching the 1578 lease, the other lands are outside the leased lands but are held as part of Hedgecourt manor. Gibbs Atte Fen is Gibbshaven Farm and was occupied by John Thorpe’s son Thomas. Estland would appear to be the latest name for the land held by Agnes Hosyer in 1444 and Richard Underhill in 1507. Cottcroft was called Coteland in 1444 and is in the parish of Lingfield. Little Sherleys is on the west side of Furnace Wood south of the Copthorne Road. The location of the lands ‘late John Estlands’ is not known. Morehall in Lingfield can also be traced back to 1444 as Morehale. Lumbardie Meads is located near Burstow Church and is held of the manor of Burstow.

John Gage died on 10th October 1598 and in Sussex was holding an Iron Mill [Furnace Mill] and windmill [on Crawley Down] and two parcels of wood and land called Millwood and Cuddingly in Worth[78]. In Surrey he was holding the manors of Burstow and Hedgecourt. He had married twice but had no issue and so his estate passed to his nephew John Gage who was the son of Thomas Gage.

Following the death of John Gage, John Thorpe and his son Thomas entered into the lands of Millwood and Cuddinglye and cut down and uprooted most of the woods. They were fined £3,000 and a further £1,000 for the decayed stubs remaining from 2,000 ‘great and sound trees’[79]. In 1602 Christopher Crowcher is also taken to court as he refuses to pay the Gage estate the rental for 5 acres of land called Seintcleres Meade claiming it to be part of the 100 acres of land called Frenches passed to him by his father. A number of the local residents come forward to give evidence including Roger Harling of Little Shirley who was a farmer aged 70, Thomas Thorpe aged 36 living at Hedgecourt, the son of John Thorpe who is now living at Gibbshaven.

17th century

In 1606 John Thorpe dies from Gibbshaven and his will passes the lease of Hedgecourt to his son Thomas and his heirs. It is a long will[80] written in October 1605 including details about the people associated with his household at Hedgecourt.

To Richard Ledger my servant the house where he lives and the lands thereunto belonging and also all that parcel of ground parcel of Covinglye now in the occupation of William Blundell for the term of fifteen years, paying an annual rent of £5

To Andrew Turner my servant, the house and lands now in his tenure and occupation, for the term of fifteen years, paying an annual rent of £5

To Edmond Robinson servant to my son Thomas Thorpe £2

To the widow Nicholas servant to my daughter Thorpe at Hedgecourt, £5.

To Anne Topfield servant to my son Thomas, £1

To Thomas Boorer, John Topner, and to Robert Harling servants to my son Thomas, to each of them £2.

Thomas Thorpe then died in 1608 and his will[81] refers to some of the rooms at his house of Hedgecourt which he reserves for the use of his widow Elizabeth, whilst the rest of the house and farm is granted to his son Richard.

‘The guest chamber over the parlour, the next chamber to it over the children’s chamber, and the children’s chamber and also the parlour’. He also specifies that ‘Elizabeth his wife and her servants shall at all that time she lives at Hedgecourt, dress and make ready any meat for her use her friends and family and brew with my vessels, and bake and wash and do anything necessary in any of fire or place within or about my said house at Hedgecourt for such of the like services’.

He also gives money to his servants:

Richard Browne, Thomas Borer, Edward Harris and Robert Harling £2 each

To John Banger alias Trendle and Thomas Butler £1 each

To Mabell Osborne my servant and goddaughter £3 when she reaches the age of 21

Hedgecourt at this time would have been a hall house, and as such the chambers granted for the use of his widow Elizabeth would be the chambers relating to the upper end of the hall. The parlour and children’s chamber being on the ground floor beyond the end of the hall and the two chambers above them.

In 1614, John Gage sold the manor of Burstow to Edward Culpepper of Wakehurst[82] breaking apart the joint ownership of these manors that had existed since 1419. The sale excluded Lumbardy Mead and Lumbardy Field which were still being used by the farmers of Hedgecourt despite their considerable distance from Hedgecourt.

The 1609 boundary of Hedgecourt Park[83] provides good evidence for the land within the park. (numbers in brackets relate to locations on the following map):-

In Horne

From Park Corner (1) to Newchapel (2) 12 furlongs

from New Chapel 5 furlongs

from there (3) along Lillee Bank and over pond bay to Plawes Corner (4) 11 furlongs

from whence to Park Corner (1) 3 furlongs.

And from

Mill bay (5) to Snowhill (6) 7 furlongs

Snow Hill to Copthorne (7) 3 furlongs

Copthorne to Lillee (8) 10 furlongs

Mill gate (8) to pond 5 furlongs.


Then in Godstone,

Coopers Hill next Hodge Horn (9), to East Main London Road

Shavenors (10) next to the way to the east and round Woodcock Land on South.

The ancient name of Lilley/Le Lee is still being used in 1609, this time as Lillee Bank clearly being the same as Stubpond Lane and Mill Lane today. Shavenors also appears again; the first time that it would be possible to go east from the road is immediately north of Coopers Moor (which was part of Sheffield-Lingfield and not held by Hedgecourt). I have then shown the route with ‘Woodcock lands to the south’ in grey as the description given is not well defined enough and the route is very constrained by the lands proven to be held outside of Hedgecourt at this period. The most land this route could encompass is what is now Wiremill Lake and its flood margins above the bay. It is quite possible that the flooding of this lake caused (or required) exchanges in the land ownership as the mill bay and lands below it are within Lagham and are not freeheld by Hedgecourt. The route from the Mill Bay (5) to Snow Hill (6) is shown as a straight line, although the bounds of Bletchingly Manor[84] gives exact details of the location of the boundary and the extent to which the lake covers the lands of Bletchingly Manor, but this route could not have been walked in 1609 as it passed through the lake.


In 1629, Richard Thorpe, gent, who was living at Hedgecourt, renews the lease of Hedgecourt that his grandfather John had taken out, obtaining a lease[85] for a further 31 years at a premium of £400 and £100 per annum. The description of the leased lands is ‘The manor of Hedgecourt and lands called Hedgecourt Park, and Thorney Park, Cuddingly, Cuddingly Park, Smythfords, Milwood, Cowpers Hill, Tanners, Pricketts Meades, Honeyes, the Tylt, Gages Mead, and Shernours, the iron forge or ironworks called Woodcock Hammer or Woodcock Works’. There has been a very significant rise in annual rental from the £42 that it was in the 1789 lease, but the lease now includes the ironworks at Woodcock Hammer. Pricketts Meades is a new name but may well represent some part of Smythford Court or Warners Croft both of which are not listed in this lease. In the same year, John Gage sold ‘Lumbardie Meade or Meades’ in Burstow to John Goodwyn of Horne[86], therefore they are no longer reserved for the use of the farmers at Hedgecourt.

John Gage, Baronet died on 3rd October 1633, Thomas Gage is his son and heir. Tandridge manorial court records his death and that he held ‘one parcel of lands called Edge Court Park by the rent of 6s’[87].

In 1651 the remaining 10 years of the lease for Hedgecourt is sold by Richard Thorpe, son of Richard Thorpe, to clear a debt of £50 that he had with Thomas Gage. Thomas Gage then leases the remainder of the lease to Simon Everenden of Lewes[88]. This ended the Thorpe occupancy of Hedgecourt which had continued since 1562, however Richard Thorpe continues to hold and live at Gibbshaven and hold other parts of what had been Hedgecourt[89]. Thomas Gage sells the 11 acres of Gages Meades to its current occupier James Newman of Lingfield[90] and also sells the 8 acres of Coopers Hill on the east of the East Grinstead to Godstone Road to John Dudeney, yeoman of Godstone[91].

Captain Simon Everenden is listed as an iron master manufacturing shot for the government in 1653[92]; it therefore seems likely that he purchased Hedgecourt to restart the furnace. During 1652, Simon Everenden leases out the farmland areas of Hedgecourt Park in separate leases including the ‘capital messuage of the manor of Hedgecourt’ along with 250 acres of land which he leases to John Wakeman, gent, of Hedgecourt for £65 per annum[93]. The other tenants named are:-

John Bennett, yeoman of Godstone, who leases the messuage and lands called Parkeland totalling 79 acres lately occupied by William Ledger for £19 per annum[94].

Robert Filkes, yeoman of Godstone, who leases the messuage and lands he currently occupies, the field names that match the 1748 Bourd map are located at the north east corner of Hedgecourt at what became Newchapel Farm for £31 per annum[95].

John Dudeney, yeoman of Godstone, who leases a messuage and 28 acres of land being on the west of the Godstone to East Grinstead Road south of Woodcock Bridge for £8 per annum[96].

John Finch, miller of Godstone, who leases Hedgecourt Mill and 11 acres of land for £20 per annum[97].

Richard Thorpe, gent of Worth, who leases Smythford and Honneyes with 24 acres of enclosed woodland and plain land called the Parke for £14 per annum[98].

The leases above expired between 1660 and 1674, and there are a couple of draft leases surviving between John Gage and the previous tenants and a surviving lease for Hedgecourt Mill to Sarah Marchant, widow[99], under the same terms as the previous lease to John Finch. There is also a lease of a messuage and 120 acres of land being the entire enclosure of Thorney Park at the west end of Hedgecourt for £30 per annum[100].

The accounts for Hedgecourt in 1678 show there have been some changes to the tenancies[101];

Mr John Wakeman for manor house and farm           £65/a 

Edward Stenning of a farm                                         £32/a 

John Coleman for a small farm                                  £18/a

Edward Harman for a farm                                         £30/a 

John Finch for a house and land                                 £8/a

Widow Marchant for a water corn mill and lands     £20/a

John Wakeman is still living at Hedgecourt with the 250 acres of land. Sarah Marchant is holding Hedgecourt Mill and John Finch would appear to have taken over the lands that were previously John Dudeney. The small rental changes make it difficult to be conclusive, but John Coleman appears to now hold the lands previously held by John Bennett. In 1695, Edward Stenning is listed as previously holding the same fields[102] as were named in the 1652 lease to Robert Filkes therefore it is likely that he is holding Robert Filkes property in 1678. It is not known why Smithford and Honeys do not appear in the 1678 rentals.

The freeholders of Hedgecourt in the late 17th century were[103];

William Saxby, gent, for Gibbs at Fenne at 2s 6d, previously Richard Thorpe

Richard Ledger of Bish Court for Hosiers at 2s 1d

George Turner for Morehiles in the occupation of William Blundell at 6d

Michael Rickett of East Grinstead for Cott Croft in Lingfield at 8d, previously George Turner

John Saxby for Eastland at 4½d

John Baker for Little Shirley in the tenancy of Richard Baker and Nantea Humphries at 14d.

Comparing this last list to the first list of freeholders in 1444 shows that Hosiers/Agnes Hosyer’s, Morehiles/Morehale, Cott Croft/Coteland and Eastland/William Quentheworth’s were still held by Hedgecourt over 300 years later. Gibbs at Fenne and Little Shirley were more likely to have been associated with Coulingeley which merged into Hedgecourt after 1444.

Physical and Map Evidence

It is worthwhile considering what the physical evidence can tell us about Hedgecourt. The site of the original principle dwelling at Hedgecourt is highly likely to be at the moated site almost halfway between what is now Hedgecourt Mill and Woodcock Bridge. This moat is typical of a 13th/14th century homestead moat of which many survive in Surrey[104]. These moats are believed to have been constructed as a status symbol rather than as a purely defence nature[105]. The moat enclosed an island 93yds x 93yds (85m x 85m) and the moat ditches were 20ft to 30ft (6m to 9m) wide in the early 1900’s[106]. The north eastern moat arm has a retaining bank and the southern half of the island had a dense scatter of roof tile and stone in the 1960’s[107]. The ordnance survey maps show an access track crossing the moated site roughly east-west dividing the island into a southern section about twice the size of the northern part.

The building debris almost definitely relates to the location of the main buildings on the moated site. This is a large moat with an enclosure of 1.8 acres when compared to Ightham Mote or Bysshe Court moat both of which enclose 0.3 acres, and would not have been as densely built upon as either of those examples. The construction of moated sites rises rapidly from 1200, reaching a peak construction period between 1200 and 1275 and a complete decline after 1325. Without archaeological investigation, it is not possible to determine the date of construction of the moated site at Hedgecourt, but it is unlikely to have been after 1325. The name Hedgecourt was first documented in 1302 and suggests that this was naming a place where the manorial court met within a hedge rather than a manorial hall.

Water management is an important aspect of a moated site and the best survey of the water courses is shown on the 1964 Ordnance survey map. The most northerly water course flows from Hedgecourt mill and takes a meandering route before branching, one branch feeds the south corner of the moat whilst the other goes past the moat and enters a large meander at which point it is rejoined by an outlet from a pond at the northeast corner of the moat. It is common to have a water course that bypasses the moat as this could take excessive water flow in wet months but also allowed maintenance on the moat by providing an alternative watercourse. At Hedgecourt the stream passing to the south of the moat takes a very straight path, whilst the watercourse joining to the moat is very irregular implying that the bypass is manmade whilst the stream to the moat is the irregular natural stream bed that would have predated the moat. This is also supported by land height surveys[108] which demonstrate that the valley bottom runs diagonally through the moat from the southwest to the northeast, this is therefore most likely to be the original natural watercourse. The water management has been influenced by the generation of Hedgecourt Lake as this required the formation of a sluice south of Hedgecourt mill to allow excess water to bypass the mill and feed the hammer forge at what is now Wiremill. The sluice stream is manmade being cut into a surface level that was over 8ft (2.5m) higher than the land surrounding the mill race. The sluice stream runs roughly parallel to the mill race and is joined by a stream from the south. The less regular path of the sluice stream after it joins this stream indicates that it is likely that the sluice stream then follows the historic route of the stream it has just joined, but the stream bed has been widened to take the high water flow from the sluices, removing some but not all of the meanders. Ultimately the mill race and the sluice stream join downstream of the moated site. It would have been significantly less effort to dig the short channel required to join the sluice stream into the mill race before the moat site but this would have almost definitely led to flooding the moated site when the sluice was opened, this would imply that the moated site was still being used for some useful purpose during the 16th century when the lake was formed to warrant the considerable additional effort required to prevent it flooding by cutting a much longer sluice stream.

Unfortunately this historic moated site has not faired well during the 20th century. By 1961 the west side of the moat had been partly filled with farm rubbish, by 1984 the northern arm of the moat had been ploughed out and become part of the adjoining field with the enclosure recorded as damp pasture[109]. The whole site has now been flooded and re-landscaped to form a fishing pond named Moat Pond.

This map is based upon the Bourd map of the Evelyn Estate made in 1748 for Edward Evelyn, who had purchased the manor of Hedgecourt from the Gage family and added it to his existing land holding at Felbridge. Continuous field boundaries (those that other boundaries butt up to) and sharply curved boundary features have been highlighted where they do not coincide with water courses. The position of the moated site has also been marked along with the modern lake and place names to assist orientation. There are a number of features worth discussing, firstly the curved features.


The enclosure marked A surrounds what is now Domewood and was known in 1594 as Thorney Park[110]. It is possible that this enclosure marks the carucate of Linglegh that was sold with the manor of Tylemondesdon to John de Berewyk in 1290. This land is likely to have been held by the manor of Lagham as only John de St. John made a claim to holding the combined lands in chief. The area of the enclosure is 125 acres which is a good match for a carucate which is a variable amount of land about 120 acres.

The curved boundary B is known to have been the boundary of Hedgecourt Park in 1609[111] and the extension of the boundary across the fields to the east was still visible as a crop mark in an aerial photograph from 1955. There is no surviving ditch or bank in this position today so its construction cannot be determined.

The boundary C is still visible today as a ditch which, despite containing leaf litter from the surrounding trees and soil settlement, is still 5ft (1.5m) deep and over 20ft (6m) between the bank tops (see section below). The ditch and banks survive continuously for 330yds (300m); there are banks on top of both the inner and outer edges of the ditch making this a very impressive boundary. It falls within the type of bank and ditch that is usually used for manorial, parish or ecclesiastical boundaries[112]. It seems likely that this was therefore a corner of an early enclosure at Hedgecourt before the manor extended further northwards, this boundary would have been paled to contain the game as referenced in a number of documents earlier in this handout. The boundary extends from C towards D where it joins a small water course that flows from E. There is no evidence for a significant ditch and bank system similar to that seen at C where the boundary crosses the parish boundary (Stubpond Lane) near point F or anywhere along the boundary E-F, so whatever this double bank enclosed it must have only been on the east of the parish boundary. There are two parallel banks surviving on the east side of Stubpond Lane between M and N as well as the boundary bank to the west of the lane. The two banks are about the same distance apart as those at C but the ditch between them is far less defined but this is potentially part of the same boundary.


The curved boundary G is visible on early mapping but has been ploughed out in recent years, small fragments of it remain and appear to be no more than a shallow ditch and bank. The fragment of a curved boundary at H is again only visible on early mapping, however there is a curved line of mature trees extending from the west end of boundary H to the very short field boundary at I, potentially linking to boundary G. Three dimensional landscape modelling demonstrates that the boundaries G and H and the extension H-I are on the visible horizon to a person stood on the moated site. The landscape modelling accuracy has been proven in the field for boundary G with open ground between it and the moated site.

With only a shallow ditch and bank on these boundaries which it seems likely that these boundaries mark the edges of an area of woodland that was cleared around the moated site, such that the entire sightline from the moated site was clear. This would be in keeping with the believed purpose of moated sites in the 13th/14th century as being more of a visual statement than a defensive structure[113]. The clearance of the woodland would not only provide defensive visibility to the horizon from the moated site but would also enable it to be seen by anyone travelling on the Godstone to East Grinstead road.

Turning now to some of the linear boundary features, boundaries O and P suggest progressive woodland clearance from the southern edge of enclosure A. The continuation of the boundaries O and P through the eastern boundary of enclosure A indicates that this land clearance must have taken place after the land between enclosure A and Stubpond Lane had been incorporated into the same ownership. Boundary Q could represent further clearance of enclosure A from the south, but is more likely to be the boundary of the clearance from the north as the majority of the land between boundaries P and Q was still woodland in 1748.

Boundaries R and S are visible today as field hedges on top of a bank with no predominant ditch on either side of the bank. Again they are likely to represent progressive clearance of the woodland from the south as the land to the north of boundary R is still mainly woodland in 1748 even as far east as boundary C.

The boundaries J and K give the appearance of an access route between them, boundary J was later ploughed into the adjoining fields to make better use of the land. The dotted line shows a potential route for an alternative alignment of the Godstone to East Grinstead road. The landscape model can be used to identify the gradient that this route would have as it rises from Woodcock Bridge at the north towards East Grinstead. The gradients are shown in the illustration below, Route 1 being the dotted line and Route 2 being the current road alignment up Woodcock Hill. What is clear is that the current Woodcock Hill road alignment has much steeper inclines to be able to climb the same hill, despite 20th century re-grading that has reduced the worst of the inclines. In fact the maximum incline on Route 2 is still 0.1m/m (1:10) whilst Route 1 is only 0.052m/m (1:19) or nearly twice as steep on Route 2. The steady incline of the proposed Route 1 would suit heavy loads and this even gradient only exists along the dotted line, deviating by even 10yds (9m) off this line breaks the smoothness of the incline. Based on this data it would seem more likely that Route 1 was an ancient route for horse drawn vehicles rather than Route 2.

The other observation regarding these two routes is their relative width. The gap between boundaries J and K is similar to the gap between the roadside boundaries north of Woodcock Bridge and typical of routes which wander to find dryer ground in wet weather. Even in 1748 the Bourd map shows that the route up Woodcock Hill on the current alignment is very narrow and was restricted by the adjacent boundaries.

It is difficult to determine when the road may have altered to its current alignment, but it known to have been on the early alignment in 1562 as the Queen’s Highway is encroached by two perch on the eastern side by Benjamin Harman who held the land between the two road alignments[114]. By 1609 the road is on the modern alignment when it is used as the route of the bounds of Hedgecourt Park[115]. The Lagham Court Books do not record the realignment of the highway, probably because George Evelyn purchased the lands in this area in 1588[116] and after that date there are no encroachments recorded or instructions for tenants to clear ditches for the land bounding the highway south of Newchapel.

Another potential factor for Route 1 being the alignment of the road is that from the point at which it passes boundary H it has an overlooking view down onto the moated site which would have been beneficial for a moated site as a demonstration of status and could have influenced where along the water course the moat was constructed. The profile of the land east of boundary K means that the moated site would not come into view until more than halfway down the hill when viewed from the modern road alignment.

At the northern end of the boundary J it turns northwest potentially marking the southern boundary of an access route towards the south east corner of the moat. The land on the south side of the moat rises more rapidly than it does to the north and therefore this would provide a drier approach although it would then have to cross more water courses to reach the moat. The trackway across the moat recorded on the 1912 ordnance survey map is on the alignment of the straight field boundaries both east and west of the moat on the 1748 map. It is quite possible that this is a later trackway, but it was common for moated sites to have two bridges over the moat[117] and the early ordnance survey maps show the track from the moat heading east to a footbridge over the combined stream just north of the end of boundary J which could echo an earlier approach route.

It is worth considering when the moated site ceased being the principle dwelling and a new manor house was constructed on the drier ground further up the hill on the west of Stubpond Lane. If Tylemundesdon was the manor surrounded by the curved boundaries B and C on the plan on page 18 and the carucate of Lingelegh was the land enclosed by boundary A, then the principle dwelling could only have relocated after the land between them became part of Hedgecourt. The transaction that led to this land acquisition is not clear in the documentary evidence, however the total land holding in the 1423 inquest of 692 acres is very close (considering the estimated 500 acres of wood) to the actual total of 730 acres that make up Hedgecourt excluding Furnace Wood. Therefore it seems likely that the land between the two enclosures had been added to the holding before 1423. Widespread abandonment of moated sites takes place around the early 16th century with rising standards of comfort and domestic security[118] and it is known that by 1562, the principle dwelling is in Horne as John Thorpe, living at Hedgecourt, is described as a yeoman of Horne. There appears to be no evidence to help clarify when prior to 1562 a new principle dwelling was constructed and the moated site ceased being the manorial focus. 

The ‘size’ of Hedgecourt manor can be considered using the following incomplete data sets:-

Acreage, which is effectively unchanged from 1423 to 1748.

Value of pannage and herbage which increases by 60% between 1444 and 1493

Valuations which rise from 20s in 1314, 27s 8d in 1366, 53s 4d in 1419 falling to nothing in 1423 following the Pelham damage, before rising again to 46s 8d in 1453.

Rents received from the demesne lands, 72s 8d in 1444, 79s 6d in 1490, £42 in 1598 and £78 in 1653.

None of these data sets are complete enough or consistently on the same basis to provide a cohesive view to determine periods of growth versus periods of stability or contraction, although the general trend is of growth from the early 14th century through to the mid 17th century.



There is physical evidence that the moated site at Hedgecourt was at the centre of a large clearing in the woodland and within a larger double banked enclosure, parts of which still survive today. This type of moated site was constructed primarily in the mid 13th century and would have been the location of a homestead. Thus we have evidence for the early occupation of the area that was later to become Felbridge.

The early documents provide tantalising glimpses of the people living in the area including surnames that are recognisable in the area today such as Luxford or Alfrey. The documents also provide the most information about the manorial ownership and land transfers.

This paper has attempted to trace the early history of Hedgecourt by utilising both of these sources and accepts (and hopes) that further information will be discovered or further interpretation of the information provided here will yield even more conclusions. 

[1] Foot of Fine TNA CP25/1/227/25 f24.

[2] Foot of Fine TNA CP25/1/225/10 f25.

[3] Foot of Fine TNA CP25/1/226/13 f3.

[4] Uvedale Lambert, Godstone A Parish History, 1929; p90.

[5] Judith Glover, The Place Names of Sussex, 1975.

[6] G Steinman Steinman, Some account of the manor of Apuldrefeild in the Parish of Cudham, Kent, 1851; P31.

[7] Cal. Patent Rolls, 1288 May 26th & June 8th

[8] Cal. Patent Rolls, Vol. 3 1908, p23.

[9] Foot of Fine TNA CP25/1/227/26 f33.

[10] Collegiate churches: South Malling, A History of the County of Sussex: Vol. 2 1973, p117

[11] Cal. IPM Vol.5 1908, 396

[12] Cal. Close Rolls 1312, 486

[13] Cal. Fine Rolls 1314, p202, p210.

[14] TNA E199/42/8

[15] Cal. Fine Rolls 1323, p284; 1327, p130.

[16] TNA CP25/1/287/44 f482.

[17] Cal. IPM 1361, 95 & 96.

[18] Cal. Close Rolls 1365, 19a

[19] Hedgecourt Court Roll, ESRO SAS/G43/87

[20] English Place Name Society Vol. 7, Place Names of Sussex Part II, 1930.

[21] University of Michigan, The Middle English Dictionary.

[22] Cal. Charter Rolls 1366, p193

[23] Cal. Inq. Misc 1369, 722

[24] Exchequer enrolment of Inquisitions, Oxfordshire 1375, TNA E153/199 173

[25] Uvedale Lambert, Godstone A Parish History, 1929, p149

[26] Cal. IPM 1408, 458

[27] View of the accounts of Hedgecourt 1490-2, ESRO SAS/G43/101

[28] Lagham Court Book 1559, SHC P25/21/11

[29] Cal. IPM 1419, 379

[30] Cal. IPM 1419, 379

[31] Cal. Inq. Misc. 1419, 566

[32] Cal. IPM 1423, 87

[33] Cal. IPM 1423, 68-75

[34] Cal. Patent Rolls 1424, m29 p180

[35] Uvedale Lambert, Godstone A Parish History, 1929, p161.

[36] Cal. Inq. Misc. 1439, 117

[37] Cal. Patent Rolls 1445, m20 p443

[38] ESRO SAS/G1/50

[39] Buckhurst Terrier, Sussex Record Society, Vol. 39 p49

[40] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183/South Malling Court Books, ESRO ACC/2327/1/5

[41] J. Caley & J. Bayley, Cal. IPM 1828 Vol. 5 p302

[42] ESRO SAS/G43/118

[43] Frank Lewis, Fines Relating to the County of Surrey 1894.

[44] John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, Vol. 5 1789, p207

[45] Uvedale Lambert, Godstone a Parish History, 1929, p163.

[46] J. Caley & J. Bayley, Cal. IPM 1828, Vol. 4 p370

[47] ESRO SAS/G13/96

[48] ESRO SAS/G43/101

[49] ESRO SAS/G43/95

[50] ESRO ACC2327/1/5/1

[51] ESRO SAS/G43/87

[52] ESRO ACC2327/1/5/1 f33a

[53] ESRO SAS/G43/118

[54] Cal. IPM Hen VII, Vol. 1 1160 & Vol. 2 209

[55] Uvedale Lambert, Godstone a Parish History, 1929, p165.

[56] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183 f5

[57] ESRO SAS/G43/81

[58] ESRO SAS/G43/82

[59] ESRO SAS/G43/84

[60] ESRO SAS/G43/87

[61] Sussex Inquisitions, Sussex Record Society, 1912, Vol. 14, 446

[62] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183 f25

[63] 10th April 1559 Lagham manor Court Book, SHC P25/21/11 f3

[64] 17th April 1561 Lagham manor Court Book, SHC P25/21/11 f15

[65] 23rd September 1560, ESRO SAS/G43/94; 1562, SHC P25/21/11; 1562-1570, ESRO SAS/G45/14

[66] ESRO SAS/G45/95

[67] 1st August 1567, ESRO SAS/G13/97

[68] 1st October 1567, ESRO SAS/G43/32

[69] 18th June 1652 Sale of Gages Mead to James Newman of Lingfield, ESRO SAS/G43/50

[70] 28th January 1535 Grant to Roger Aven, ESRO SAS/G43/30

[71] William Berry, Pedigrees of the families in the county of Sussex 1830, p348

[72] Lindfield manor Court Book, BL ADD 33183 f100

[73] 20th October 1578, ESRO SAS/G43/122

[74] Jeremy Hodgkinson, Warren Furnace talk FHA

[75] 20th January 1594, ESRO SAS/G43/37

[76] Bourd Map of the estate of Edward Evelyn 1748. FHA

[77] ESRO SAS/G/ACC/917 f8

[78] Sussex Record Society Vol. 33

[79] ESRO SAS/G16/80a

[80] PCC Prob/11/109 345

[81] PCC Prob/11/113 508

[82] ESRO SAS/G43/45

[83] ESRO SAS/G/ACC/914a

[84] Bletchingly Manor Survey 1681, SHC 453/1/1(g)

[85] 7th February 1629, ESRO SAS/G43/123

[86] 20th May 1629, ESRO SAS/G43/47

[87] 31st July 1640, SHC K61/7/64

[88] 10th September 1651, ESRO SAS/G43/125; 4th November 1651, ESRO SAS/G43/126

[89] 1655 Rentals for Hedgecourt, ESRO SAS/G/17/2

[90] 18th June 1652, ESRO SAS/G43/50

[91] 9th January 1654, ESRO SAS/G43/51

[92] Christopher Whittick, talk titled ‘The Gages and the Iron Industry’ presented to the Wealden Iron Research Group

[93] 15th July 1656, ESRO SAS/G43/129

[94] 7th October 1652, ESRO SAS/G43/141

[95] 7th October 1652, ESRO SAS/G43/139

[96] 9th January 1654, ESRO SAS/G43/143

[97] 30th April 1663, ESRO SAS/G43/130

[98] 21st October 1664, ESRO SAS/G43/53

[99] 10th October 1674, ESRO SAS/G43/132-133

[100] 10th October 1674, ESRO SAS/G43/131

[101] ESRO SAS/G11/28

[102] 30th November 1695, ESRO SAS/G43/145

[103] Hedgecourt Freeholders Court Book, SHC 3151 Box1 1599-1803 [entries used are from 1641-1703]

[104] English Heritage, National Monuments Records; D. Turner, Moated Sites in Surrey, SryAC Vol. 71 p91-95

[105] Medieval Moated Sites. CBA Research Report, Ed. F. A. Aberg 1978.

[106] 1912 Ordnance Survey Map.

[107] National Monuments Record for Hedgecourt, NMR TQ34SE3

[108] 2001 Ordnance Survey DTM

[109] Survey of Moat Wood, Park Farm FHA

[110] ESRO SAS /G43/37

[111] Hedgecourt Court Book, ESRO SAS/G/ACC/914a

[112] Nicola Bannister, The cultural heritage of woodlands in the South East, Forestry Commission (2007); Nicola Bannister, Woodland archaeology in Surrey: Its recognition and management (1996)

[113] Medieval Moated Sites. CBA Research Report, Ed. F. A. Aberg, 1978.

[114] Lagham Court Book, SHC P25/21/11 f20

[115] Hedgecourt Court Book, ESRO SAS/G/ACC/914a

[116] Surrey Feet of Fines

[117] Medieval Moated Sites. CBA Research Report, Ed. F. A. Aberg, 1978

[118] John Steane, The archaeology of medieval England and Wales, 1985