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Horsham – Description

From Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867

HORSHAM is a borough union market town, parish, and polling place for the Western division of the county, 37½ miles from London by railway and 35½ by road, 22 north from Brighton, and 9 from the Three Bridges station, in Singlecross hundred, rape of Bramber, diocese and archdeaconry of Chichester, and rural deanery of Storrington. It is not incorporated. At the north end of the town is the station on the line between the Three Bridges and Portsmouth, with a branch from Pulborough to Petworth and Midhurst: at about 2 miles south-west of the town the line diverges to the right and left running to Guildford and Brighton: the western branch, known as the Horsham and Guildford line, joining the Reading and Reigate branch of the South Eastern at Shalford, about 2 miles south from Guildford and the Eastern branch. known as the Shoreham. Steyning and Henfield line, joining the Brighton and South Coast line at Shoreham for the Brighton traffic, and by a connection now (1866) in progress at Lancing for the Worthing traffic. The communication eastward from the town, via Three Bridges, is rendered perfect by the completion of a line recently opened from East Grinstead to Tunbridge Wells, and the line now nearly constructed through Dorking and Leatherhead will give a direct and uninterrupted route to the Metropolis: it is, therefore, evident that before the close of the present year (1866) there will be no place in the kingdom better supplied with railway communication than the ancient town of Horsham.
The union consists of ten parishes, viz.:- Horsham, Ifield, Itchingfield, Lower Beeding, Nuthurst, Rusper, Shipley, Slinfold, Warnham, and West Grinstead, the Workhouse for which, with the Horsham Union Hospital attached, is one mile north of the town. Petty sessions are held here, and it is a polling place for West Sussex. The county court district comprises the following places:- Horsham, Itchingfield, Slinfold, Rudgwick, Billingshurst, Shipley, West Grinstead, Nuthurst. Lower Beeding, Ifield, Crawley, Rusper, and Warnham.
The borough returns one member to Parliament.
The corn market is held on Wednesday, and the poultry market on Monday. Fairs are held on 5th April, 18th July, 17th and 27th November, and the Monday before Whitsuntide. A fortnightly cattle market is held on Wednesday, which is well supplied with all kinds of fat stock. The mid-summer quarter sessions for West Sussex are held here, but temporarily removed for one year to Petworth. The police consists of three constables and a superintendent.
The parish church of St. Mary is of very ancient date, much Norman work, having been discovered during the late restoration: it was considerably added to by the nuns of Rusper, who, in 1231, received from Robert de Braose the grant of the living: in the fifteenth century all the windows were enlarged with Perpendicular tracery; and later the aisles were spanned by enormous galleries, the west end being similarly blocked up: in addition to this huge buttresses had at various times to be erected both inside and outside, to prop up the leaning walls: it is 156 feet long and consists of tower. with broach spire, nave, chancel, and aisles, and it a good specimen of the Early English style of architecture: there is a chantry on the north side, in the Early Decorated style, and one on the south, of Perpendicular work, founded by Henry V1.: the chancel and nave are remarkable for being the same width and height, the clerestory extending the whole length of the church: several handsome tombs remain, one to the memory of Thomas de Braose, a figure in the military garb of the reign of Richard II.; a canopied altar tomb to Thomas Lord Hoo (1445), and a marble effigy of Elizabeth Delves (1654), carved by Frances Fanelli: the church was reopened after a careful and extensive restoration in 1865; the several chantries being thrown into the building, and an additional aisle built on the south side to compensate for the room lost by the removal of the galleries: the east window is filled with very richly stained glass, and numerous memorials of a similar kind add to the beauty of the interior: the church is seated throughout with oak, and will accommodate about 1,400 persons: there is a fine-toned organ in the north aisle: the spire is of oak shingle, and contains a peel of 8 bells. The register dates from 1540. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £750, with residence, in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and held by the Rev. John Fisher Hodgson, M.A., of Christ Church, Oxford, prebendary of Chichester Cathedral and rural dean and surrogate; the Revs. J. Arthur Henry Scott, M.A. of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and George Gavin Maclean, M.A., of Wadham College, Oxford, are the curates.
St. Mark’s chapel was built A.D. 1840, annual value £100, in the gift of the vicar and held by the Rev. Francis J. Mount, M.A. of Oriel College, Oxford.
The Roman Catholic chapel, built in 1864-65, is a neat structure, and is supplied from the monastery at Crawley: this edifice was erected at the sole expense of the Duchess of Norfolk.
The Grammar school was founded by Richard Collyer, in 1540, for sixty boys, and endowed with properly situate in Cheapside and Queen-street, Cheapside, London, the rent of which now produces about £400 per annum: it was rebuilt in 1840: and in 1857, the Mercers’ Company, who are the trustees, added twenty scholars: the whole of the scholars are educated gratuitously: they are admitted at the age of eight year, and remain till they are fourteen, and are elected by the churchwardens, and two school wardens, the latter two being chosen annually: the founder’s intentions are strictly carried out, and the school at the present time is in an efficient state, under the first and second masters.
There are several small charities in this borough, viz.:- One founded by Henry Pilfold, in 1585 consisting of 16s. per annum: another, founded by Henry Wickers, in 1613, consisting of £1 12s. per annum: another, founded by Theobald Shelley, in 1689, consisting of £5 4s. per annum,: another, founded by Lady Matthew, consisting of £5 per annum; all the above arise from land, and are to be applied to the use of the poor: another, founded by John Gorringe, in 1717 consisting of £1 per annum, arising from land, to be applied to ten poor widows not receiving parish relief.
Almshouses were founded in 1842 by the Rev. Jarvis Kenrick for sixteen aged women and four married couples: they are partially endowed, and several legacies have been left. Here are eight chapels for Dissenters.
Here are a Royal British, a National, and also an Infant school, and a new school-room for the girls in connection with the National school.
The Court House is a handsome stone building, in the Gothic style, in the centre of the town.
Denne Hill, close to the town, commands very extensive views of the surrounding country, including Mike Mill’s Race, an avenue in St. Leonard’s Forest, a mile and a quarter long. Cheesworth was an ancient residence of the Braose family: it is now converted into a farm-house: the unfortunate Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, who fell a victim to the jealousy of Queen Elizabeth, was apprehended here in 1571: it is said that the papers which led to his conviction were discovered concealed in the roof of this building. Denne House is another estate of the same family: the spot upon which this edifice stands is supposed to be the site of a Danish encampment during a conflict with the Picts, who made choice of an opposite eminence, still retaining the name of Picts’ Hill while the other preserves the appellation of Denne, undoubtedly derived from Dane Hill. Denne House, with its extensive park, well stocked with deer, is now occupied by Charles Gilbert Eversfield, Esq.
To the west of the town are the remains of Hills Place (erected in 1786); the only portion now remaining is part of a wing added to the structure on the marriage of Lord William Ingram, one of the family: in one of the upper rooms is a venerable escutcheon, with the motto “In coelo quies,” in a good state of preservation: Hills Place, with the adjoining lands, is now the property of Mr. Charles Sharp, an extensive landowner and agriculturist in this parish.
Within the last few years the town has considerably improved: the buildings are handsome and the shops modernized; it is lighted with gas, and the streets are clean, broad, and well paved with large flat stones, procured in abundance from quarries which abound in its neighbourhood; the air is good, and the scenery agreeable. There are in the town and its vicinity several corn mills and malting establishments, two ale and porter breweries, and an extensive and old-established tanyard. In East-street there is a large nursery ground (Mr. Allman’s), established in 1828; it covers ten acres of land, is tastefully laid out, and contains a choice collection of ornamental trees and plants, rhododendrons, and other American plants, and a considerable portion is devoted to the culture of florists’ flowers: since 1862 the forcing houses for the growth of choice exotics have been greatly enlarged. There is an iron foundry, engineering, and agricultural implement manufactory; Mr. Boxall is proprietor. There is an extensive. and old-established carriage manufactory and repository, Messrs. J. and E. Heath’s. Messrs. Lintott and Son, wholesale provision merchants, &c., have erected a handsome pile of buildings in Carfax, which adds considerably to the improvements in the town: Mr. John Rowland of this town was the builder. Many of the old and low buildings have given place to spacious houses and shops, and in all directions building is being carried on with a spirit of energy and taste. In the town there are two banks and a savings bank and a post office savings bank was established (under the recent Act) in 1861. Gas works were erected in 1835.
A company, called the Horsham Corn Exchange Company Limited, has recently been established, for the purpose of erecting a building for a corn exchange, and the holding of concerts, lectures, public and other meetings. The corn market at Horsham has from time immemorial held a high place amongst the markets in Sussex and the neighbouring counties, supplied as it has been by the produce of a district celebrated for its corn growing qualities; and much success has attended the establishment of the cattle market, in the neighbourhood of the corn market.
The Horsham Water Works Company Limited has been formed with the object of supplying the town with water from a well sunk upon land in Park-terrace east.
The Horsham Agricultural Society is in a flourishing state; and at Christmas there is an exhibition of fat stock, corn, poultry, and roots, and prizes are awarded.
There are some excellent benefit societies: the Permanent Benefit Building Society, established in 1885, is in a safe and prosperous condition: the total sum advanced since the formation of the society is £26,000.
There is a literary and scientific institution in Richmond-terrace; the reading room is well supplied with newspapers and standard volumes, periodicals, &c.
There is a cricket club, supported by the gentry of Horsham and the neighbourhood: the cricket field, of five acres, is situate close to the town.
The Horsham Fire Brigade consists of two engines, and a body of 61 members. viz.: 1 captain, 8 superintendents, 32
engineers, and 20 assistant engineers (all of whom give their services gratuitously): it was established in 1840, and the meetings are held at the “Hurst Arms.”
The Friendly or Mutual Benefit Society is in a thriving state, and receives the support of the gentry of Horsham and the neighbourhood, many of whom are honorary members, contributing to the funds of the society not less than two pounds by donation, or not less than five shillings per annum by subscription: the meetings of the board of directors take place in the National school-room, North-street. The Odd Fellows hold their meetings at the “Hurst Arms.” The Ancient Order of Foresters meet at the “Crown,” and the Horsham Friendly Society holds its meetings at the “Dog and Bacon.”
The town possesses some well regulated hotels and inns. The “King’s Head,” situate in the centre of the town. is an old established house, replete with every comfort and convenience: attached to this is a spacious music hall and assembly room, capable of seating over 500 persons: the interior is elegant: it is furnished with sun lights, and well lighted with gas: there is also a large billiard room. The Railway Hotel, adjoining the station, with its delightful pleasure gardens, covering about an acre of land, offers good accommodation. The “Hurst Arms,” within three minutes walk of the station, is an old established house, with a spacious assembly room attached, for the holding of concerts and meetings, and capable of seating over 200 persons. The Swan Hotel and Crown Inn, both situate in the heart of the town, possess the necessary requisites to ensure comfort.
There are several handsome and ancient mansions in Horsham and the neighbourhood. Coolhurst is a seat, rebuilt in 1831, in the Tudor style, by P. F. Robinson, for the Dowager Marchioness of Northampton, now the residence of Charles Scrase Dickins, Esq, J.P.: it was considerably added to in 1843, under the superintendence of Edward Blore, Esq. Holbrook is the delightful seat of W. R. S. Vesey Fitzgerald Esq. Manor House is the residence of Henry Padwick, sen., Esq. Horsham Park is the seat of R. H. Hurst, Esq, M.P. Springfield Place is occupied by the Hon Mrs. Pelham. About a mile from the town, on the London road, is Wimblehurst, the residence of John Braby, Esq.; it is a handsome mansion, in: the pure Italian style of architecture. has a commanding view, and is surrounded with stately oak trees.
Major Aldridge and Robert Henry Hurst, Esq., M.P., are the principal landowners.
The parish constitutes the borough, and contains 10,770 acres; the population in 1851 was, 5,947, and in 1861 it was 6,747.
BROADBRIDGE HEATH, 2 miles west, is partly in this parish and partly in Sullington: it consists of an extensive farm, in the occupation of W. M. Stanford, Esq and a few cottages. The manor is held by W. M. Stanford, Esq. Here is a National school for boys and girls, supported by Miss Mary Stanford and her friends, aided by a small weekly payment from the scholars: the building was erected in 1853, through the exertions of the Stanford family and others, and the ground upon which it stands was presented by the late Matthew Stanford, Esq., of Broadbridge-place. Divine service is performed in the building according to the rites of the Established Church during the winter months by the clergy of Horsham.
ROUGHEY is 3 miles north-east: it consists of a few farmhouses and cottages. Here is an iron church, capable of accommodating 80 persons. The farm house called Roughey Place stands on the site of Lord Hoo’s residence, which afterwards belonged to the Duke of Norfolk.
SOUTHWATER a small village and railway station, and consolidated district chapelry, on the Horsham, Henfield, Steyning and Shoreham line, 3 miles south from Horsham by road and 4½ by rail, combines portions of the parishes of Horsham and Shipley. The church of the Holy Innocents (consecrated in 1850) is a small but handsome edifice. The living is a perpetual curacy, yearly value £45, with residence, in the gift of the vicar of Horsham, and held by the Rev. Arthur Henry S. Barwell, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge. The Parochial school, for boys and girls, is held in a neat building recently erected by subscription: it is supported by voluntary contributions and a small weekly payment from the scholars.

Parish Clerk. Mr. William Randall, South street.