Barcombe & Hamsey Project

Please click here for the Barcombe and Hamsey website, and here for additional information, wills and place names.

The website provides a comprehensive summation of the historical sources for these two parishes north of Lewes. For each parish you will find details from the Tithe Map of 1840, details of the 1841 census, an analysis of the respective tenements, details of the main buildings, archaeological information, and data on wills, graveyards, old maps and some assorted photographs.

It is important to emphasize that the land associated with the parishes and the two principal manors with which the study is concerned are not synonymous. For the purpose of the project, we are studying all the land encompassed within the outer historic ecclesiastical parish boundaries as recorded on the tithe maps of c1840. In Barcombe that includes Balneath (now in Chailey) as well as a detached portion of the parish at Sharpsbridge in Newick.

The manorial structure within the same area is far more complex. The parish of Hamsey encompassed the manors of Hamsey and Coombe as well as a detached portion of Allington, while Barcombe parish encompasses not only the manors of Barcombe and Camois Court but also the manor house and part of Balneath manor (the rest of which lies principally in Chailey) as well as detached portions of Allington, Rodmell, Warningore, Houndene and Otehall.

Vuggles, a farm lying to the north of the modern parish of Barcombe, exemplifies the complexity of the earlier parochial and manorial administration in the area. Into the 20th century it was still administered ecclesiastically as a detached portion of Newick, which lies to the north of Barcombe, and manorially as part of Rodmell which lies at least 13k away, south of Lewes.

The Barcombe and Hamsey website is the end-point of a research project led by Pam Combes, with close assistance from Sue Rowland, (whose superb cartographic skills make the site so pleasant on the eye), and with funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund.