Bolney Farm

Bolney Farm is part of the same Manor of Plumpton Boscage, but its history is much more difficult than that of Tillinghurst. The earliest record that we have is in 1591, when it was held by Richard Backshall, and it is then called Ballesdye. In the Hearth Tax of 1665 it appears as Bauldeigh and in the Wakehurst Estate Map of 1727 it is entered as Baldney als Bolne. The etymologists can make nothing of it from these late records, so its meaning must remain unsolved for the present.

There is some evidence in Add. M.S. 57,688 that Bolney was at one time called Combland, the tenant and quit rent being the same under both names in later records. If so, it was held by Richard Comber in 1575. In 1606 John Comber leaves by will “unto John my youngest son one croft called the Riddens containing two acres with a way leading from the King’s highway into that through the lands of Sir Edward Culpeper”. This road still exists, and is the southern boundary of the plot belonging to Plumpton Boscage. The road to Tillinghurst forms the northern boundary. Sir Edward Culpeper purchased unnamed lands from Roger Comber and Elizabeth his wife in 1600, and it is possible that these were the Bolney portion. A purchase does not affect the manor to which lands belong.

In the Hearth Tax of 1665 Francis Hamlin senr. Farmed Bolney and paid 4s. for four hearths at Bauldeigh as it appears in our contemporary valuation in the Church Books, in which its rateable value is given as £40 10s.

Place Name Index