The land called the Gores, still represented by Goreshaw, formed part of the 200 acres formerly called Churchlands. It is the piece which runs down behind the houses in Hapstead from the Recreation Ground to the corner opposite the Greyhound. Churchlands is the whole piece lying between the High Road and Wakehurst Lane, bounded on the north by Bolney and on the south by Street Lane. All this was held by Wakehurst from the Manor of Ditchling. But Sir William Culpeper had no right to allow a house to be built or ground to be enclosed on the waste or open ground of the manor which did not belong to him. The waste of the manor was very carefully guarded, for there the tenants of the manor had the right of grazing. So the day came when the Saxon Manor of Ditchling woke up and said to the Elizabethan Manor of Wakehurst: “What are you doing, allowing people to build on my waste?” It is not the only time that these little things happened, as we shall see when we come to Street Lane. Anyhow, by 1750 this matter had been set straight, and George Box, who was then owner of Langridge’s Cottage, was admitted as a copyholder of Ditchling Manor on the annual payment of 6d. He mortgaged it almost at once to the Rev. Charles Lyddell, and so Wakehurst and Ditchling get doubly entangled again, for Charles was not only Rector of Ardingly but Lord of the manor of Wakehurst. This is the sort of conundrum that one is often coming up against, but in the long run the original manor will always win. The four ancient manors which held the greater part of Ardingly as far back as we can trace its history are South Malling, Ditchling, Plumpton Boscage and Street.

Entries corresponding with Mr. Backshall’s deeds occur in the Court Books of the Manor of Ditchling and there is no shadow of doubt as to its rights in the matter.

Place Name Index