Query about its history

“I recently visited Brighton and lunched at Hangleton Manor. It seems such a lovely old building, I thought it was bound to have a researched history, but we can’t find out much about it. We know it is Tudor but with possibly a longer history – do you know any more about it? I understand that it is supposed to be haunted.”

Response 1
By Martin Snow: sent to website by e-mail on 28/10/02

“Interesting – I was in there today with a gentleman who I met at St Helen’s to take a set of pictures. Did you know that it has some medieval Wall Paintings? See the pics!

He told me all sorts of things, the building has a long history, mostly as a private residence. It was a hotel between the wars and only became a pub in the 50’s or 60’s. There is a dovecote behind it (I have some piccies of that somewhere). There is a booklet somewhere on this, from when it was restored some 10 years ago.

The bar to the left on entering was a chapel. A piscina remains, and there are texts on the wooden panelling. There is an interesting ceiling which has been restored in the last 20 years. The main bar was a dirt-floored kitchen in the 1950’s!  Hangleton has an interesting history. The manor(s) go back to Domesday. The original village was under the council housing on the hill. It was dug before the estate was built. It later moved down around the manor house – in the valley.

Here are the results of a quick look for info – perhaps a visit to Hove Library will help.”

Author: Scales, W. F
Title: Story of Hangleton Manor, Hove
Publisher/Date: Brighton, H. Crowhurst, 1969

Author: Laker, Colin
Title: Hangleton in the Past, a Parish History
Publisher/Date: Scaly Graphics, 1991

Author: Laker, C. A
Title: Parish of Hangleton and the Churches of St Helen and St Richard
Publisher/Date: Ramsgate, Church Publishers, c.1969

Author: Laker, Colin
Title: Hangleton Manor Dovecote, Its History and Restoration, written by Colin and Sheila Laker with Ron Vosper and Compiled by Gordon Somerville
Publisher/Date: Hangleton Manor Dovecote Restoration Committee/Hove Borough Council, 1989

Response 2
By Ray Hamblett: sent to website by e-mail on 29/10/02

“Although I can admit to spending most evenings for about a year a half drinking and socialising at the Manor Pub in the early 80’s, I don’t think I can add much anecdotal interest.

Renovation work
The owner then was Ken Crosby who made money in the motor trade before buying the dilapidated building. I think he did a great deal of work to make it habitable. I worked for him on a casual basis, doing a bit of painting around the place. The kitchen extension footings were started by me but it was some months before any concrete was laid. I had moved on by then. I didn’t find any artefacts in the ground.

A skull in the public bar!
I recall the ceiling of the chapel, it had embossed roses in white and red. It was then the T.V. lounge and pool room, also used for private functions. I remember a skull in a glass case in the public bar, I don’t recall the legend of it. The restoration of the Dovecote was in the planning stage, I don’t think Ken owned that bit of land.Much of the wood panelling is modern, built and stained with shoe polish or wood dye by Bill the carpenter who was Ken’s right hand DIY man, but a section in the public bar came from Michelham Priory.

Hope that helps a bit. If I think of anything else….

Response 3
By Thomas Scrace: sent to website by e-mail on 23-07-2003

All I know is that Hangleton Manor used to be inhabited by the Scrace family. The coat of arms is on the ceiling of the chapel.

Comments about this page

  • Can anyone tell me the date that the Scrase family lived in the Manor as my grandad was Byron Alexander Scrase and I would love to know if he was part of this family branch?

    By Aly Hicks (04/09/2006)
  • I lived in the Manor from 1948-1952, when my step-father ran it as a hotel. The best book about it is ‘Smaller Manor houses of Sussex’ by Viscountess Wolseley, published by The Medici Society, 1925.
    It was a wonderful house for a child, full of ghosts!

    By David Cartwright (01/10/2006)
  • To David Cartwright (above). I’m interested in getting some information from you about the time you spent living in Hangleton Manor. Me and 4 others are students making a documentary on the Manor and it’s hauntings, and would love to talk to you about any ghostly experiences you might have had/stories you might have heard. If you manage to see this within the next few weeks and are willing to help us out then please could you contact me at ap225@sussex.ac.uk, or on 07973152872. Thanks! Your help would be much appreciated.

    By Anna Pearce (14/02/2007)
  • I have just recently started tracing back my family tree and have heard stories about the Scrase family living in the manor. So far I have traced my family tree back six generations and am up to my great great great grandfather William Scrase born in 1843 and would love to know if he was part of this family?

    By Jason Scrase (11/06/2007)
  • Does anyone know anything about the history of Rookery Cottage which is situated opposite the Manor?

    By Dee Saccone (14/12/2007)
  • Monday boredom hit me tonight, and I ran a search on Scrase and came to this site. The most I can remember is that most of my family are from the Brighton area and that my father was born and brought up in Croydon.

    By Alexander Scrase (18/02/2008)
  • Wierd, I was also bored and came across this website, my family are also from the area. All I know is that the Scrase family coat of arms has some fish and shells on it.

    By Alexander Scrase (06/06/2008)
  • My Scrase family came from Horsham – would like to know if they are part of the Scrase family from this manor – anyone of an Albert E Scrase born about 1889 married to a Clara – info would be appreciated.

    By Isabel Scrase (13/11/2008)
  • When I was a small child we lived near Hangleton Manor in Gleton Avenue. My older sister had a vivid imagination and used to take me down to the Manor and tell me spooky stories about it. I was absolutely petrified! One story was about a baby being thrown out of a window – there was a rusty stain on the ground under the window which I believed was a blood stain. The other story was about a dressing gown that hung in a window and was supposed to walk downstairs all by itself on one particluar night of the year. I have no idea where she got these stories from but I was completely spooked by them at the tender age of four!

    By Margaret Greenwood (09/12/2008)
  • To my sister, Margaret, above. I can vouch for this. I used to scare the other kids at school (Hangleton Junior) with my stories too. What a brat! I visited Hangleton Manor for the first time in over 50 years this week and was completely enchanted with the place. I will return but not as an empty dressing gown walking down the stairs (hopefully)!

    By Carrie Uren (11/12/2008)
  • Me and my family lived in the manor house in the early 1920’s, it was then a farm. My mother used to tell me about the ghost of the carraige and horses that drove up to the house, and there was supposed to be one in the house of a lady. After we left the farm in approximately 1924, there was another farmhouse built and then the manor house was put to private use. I visited the hotel in the 1980’s. I could remember the carvings in the dining room, the carvings in the dining room were there when I was a child. The house was mentiond in the Domesday Book. My family consisted of me, my brother, mother and father.

    By Mary Jamrozy-Parfitt (12/04/2009)
  • My friend used to live very near the manor in the 60s and she told me she had seen a ghost there, a woman. Can’t remember the details, but my friend did have a vivid imagination!

    By Renia Simmonds nee Lambor (02/05/2009)
  • I came to live in Hangleton in 1967 and at that time the Manor was left empty and in disrepair. At the time, I was 12 years old and like many of the local kids used to play in the building. The Manor was then opened as a pub at some time in the 1970s. Frank and Jennifer Saunders were the last owners before selling to the current brewery owner. I believe that Jennifer still retains the title to the Lordship of the manor which they bought at auction for £50,000.
    With regard to the ghost of the manor, this does concern a child being thrown from one of the upstairs windows and there used to be a painting of the scene in the lounge bar.

    By Steve Gladwell (30/05/2009)
  • My family lived there and were tenant farmers called the Hardwicks who were brought down from Derbyshire originally. My grandfather John Lynton Percy Hardwick was the last in my family to be born there and lived there till he was 10. This must have been sometime around 1900. I visited a few years ago and I remember being shown pictures of my Auntie Alice on the wall which have now gone since a change of hands. I am interested to meet anyone who knows more.

    By Peta Wilkinson (02/06/2009)
  • For Peter Wilkinson. I attended two talks and a tour of the Manor on Saturday 13th June as part of the Hangleton Festival. They were done by Trevor Povey who is an absolute ace on local history. He has photographs of some of the farming families who were here years ago. You would have loved it. You can meet him Saturday 20th June at St Helen’s Church where he is to do a couple of tours as another part of the festival run by Churches Together on St Helen’s Green. Sorry but I do not know what time he starts but probably in the afternoon. Hope you get this in time and meet up.

    By David Smart (16/06/2009)
  • The picture of a child being thrown or dropped from an upstairs window still hangs in the bar.

    By Mark Sims (25/08/2009)
  • My family lived in Rookery Cottage from 1972 (ish) to around 1977. My Mum & Dad renovated the two cottages that front onto the Manor car park. Dad and I built the flint wall that runs round the small patio area. If you look on the outside wall you can still see my old basketball hoop.

    By Tracy Steele (23/11/2009)
  • I lived at Rookery Cottage with the Steele family in 1973. A lovely place.

    By Lars Henningsson (18/04/2010)
  • For Peta Wilkinson: The Hardwicks of Hangleton are my ancestors. I have a good bit of information about them. The first Hardwick to live at Hangleton was William, an exciseman who was my 5x great grandfather. If you are interested in more information you can email me lpagnani@juno.com.

    By Linda Pagnani (16/05/2010)
  • My grandad was Albert Edward Scrase, his parents were Frederick and Emily Scrase. If anyone has any info on them, it would be appreciated. Thanks

    By Isabel Scrase (27/06/2010)
  • For Peta Wilkinson/Linda Pagnani: As a child I used to visit a dear old neighour of my parents’ in Hangleton called Miss Hardwick, who used to tell me about Hangleton. If you would like to get in touch email me at k_hinton@sky.com

    By Matthew Hinton (18/10/2010)
  • My great grandfather used to work as a blacksmith for many years at Hangleton Manor. I pressume he was a Martin. I would be grateful for any information regarding this.

    By William Marin (18/06/2011)
  • My then mother-in-law, who died many years ago told me how terrified she was. One day walking past the Manor House pushing the pram, there was this huge force trying to pull the pram with baby towards the house. She was petrified and managed with all her might to pull away and ran as fast as she could with the baby. She never walked that route again.

    By Gillian Drake (04/01/2012)
  • Hi Isabel, I am also a descendent of Frederick and Emily Scrase. I have some info on them and their family trees if you would be able to contact me.  sylvia@hotmail.com

    By Sylvia Scrase (25/04/2014)
  • According to Colin Laker in “Hangleton in the Past”, Richard Bellingham, the Sheriff of Sussex, acquired the lordship of Hangleton from James Scrase in 1538. However, the Victoria County History (Hangleton Parish) states that Richard Bellingham bought the lordship from Humphry Ratcliffe in 1538, who had bought it from Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland in 1531, a descendant of the Poynings family who had been lords of the manor since 1291. James Scrase was probably a tenant, and perhaps related to the Scrases who were tenants of the manor of West Blatchington from the end of the 14th century until the 19th century, when it descended by marriage to Mrs Hodson.

    By Renia Simmonds (13/08/2015)
  • I lived at No.1 Hangleton Manor Drive until 1978 and I remember walking past the Dovecote in the grounds of the Manor with my dog many times. She refused to stay on the pavement as we approached the spot but walked stiffly with her hackles raised until we had safely passed the dovecote. My dog was a highly intelligent German Shepherd dog and obviously was aware of something strange.

    By Vicki Morris (13/04/2020)
  • I know stories of ghosts and hauntings in Hangleton manor. I know of a baby being thrown out of the window and a lady jumping out after the baby trying to catch the baby. I went many times to play as a child and I went upstairs and there was a horrible feeling up the top of the house. When I went back many years later when I was pregnant I felt a presence all around me and stroking my stomach. I love the manor even the ghosts, after all they are people gone on before and with undone business.

    By Sarah Forrest (06/05/2021)
  • My Grandmother lived for a while in the workers cottages opposite the manor. With her Mother and Grandmother who was the housekeeper/caretaker of the Manor. This was 1930. My Nan has written her memories of this time. I’m going to make this into a book titled A year in Hangleton. It is very interesting and talks of time spent with the people in the house, the ghost and Christmas time in the Manor.

    By Lucy Doo (24/07/2021)
  • I’m Peta Wilkinson and have only just revisited this page since 2010.
    Would love to know more about the Hardwicks if anyone has information. I have messaged both Mark and Linda this morning who both showed interest in the Hardwick line in this thread from 2010.
    Happy to meet up and be in touch.
    I have managed to follow my Hardwick ancestry back 7 generations so far and drawn and then drawn blank. William Hardwick the first Hardwick to arrive at the manor is my GG x 5. My grandfather Linton Hardwick was the last to leave in the Great War.

    By Peta Wilkinson (19/11/2023)

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