Stanmer village

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

d) STANMER VILLAGE: The village street is now lined with listed buildings, but the houses of the village were once sited in the paddock opposite the stores where the outlines of the foundations may still be seen. The present houses were erected in the mid eighteenth century as a new estate village by the earls of Chichester; most were severely damaged during the military occupation of the Second World War, but were subsequently restored by the corporation.

At the road junction is the Home Farmhouse, faced in knapped flint and red brick, and with flint farm buildings adjacent. Opposite stands the weather-boarded and flint Long Barn, dating from the eighteenth century or possibly earlier. Nos.1-6, 7-10 (nineteenth century) and 13-16 are all small, knapped-flint cottages, while nos.11-12 were built in 1912 in memory of Lilla, Countess of Chichester, and are not listed. Near the pond and church stands an ancient flint well-house, covered in ivy and with a slate roof. It was rebuilt in 1838 at the same time as the church, incorporating an earlier arch, and houses a thirteen-foot donkey treadmill which dates from the seventeenth century or earlier. The well itself is 252 feet deep and was dug in the sixteenth century. Stanmer pond is surrounded by large sarsen stones, probably giving the village its name which means ‘stony pool’. {1,44,228,289,311}

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

Comments about this page

  • Loved this little cafe. From Hollingbury we could walk over the hill and enter the park from the top woodland side. Our dog loved the adventure as we did. Lazy Sundays spent in the sunshine watching a game of cricket or playing games, followed by ice cream or tea from the cafe. Life was a different pace then.

    By Sandra (08/12/2008)
  • I lived in the left hand property from 1971 to 1973, whilst working in Stanmer nursery. The wooden seat shown in the picture was carved from a log I had cut out by Jim Driver who still lives in the top lodges. The log is a piece of apple wood that came from the small orchard within the nursery grounds.

    By John Ridgewell (04/03/2011)
  • This page was great, would not have known about the village without it, thanks.

    By Wendy (18/07/2011)
  • A friend, John Ridgwell, lived in one of these cottages in the early 70s when working for Parks and Gardens.

    By Alan Spicer (25/04/2014)
  • When I worked  at Stanmer House in  the early sixties, getting the hall  ready  for uni. enrolment, there was  a family that lived in the building. At  the top, the father, who  worked at the  Nurseries, told me his family had  been associated with the estate for many  years long before it was sold off to  the council in 1948.  The  interesting  thing was, that he told me that the  Chichesters sold the estate to the  council on the proviso that nothing  would be built on the land, and  we  all know what happened – the University.  Most of the older members of  the family are probably dead by now,  but there were three kids, and  they’re  somewhere so  I’ll  never know, but  I  didn’t  doubt them for a minute.  There will always be loopholes the  council  can use to  get round these things.  It would  be great if there was a  document in the archives somewhere.

    By Harry Atkins (28/04/2014)
  • The last comment needs some clarification (although I do not doubt that there is often Council subterfuge!). There are lots of documents,  articles and learned papers on Stanmer across the road in The Keep archive. The Chichester estate was completely broke after WWII, both financially and physically, which is why Brighton bought it for such a low sum. The scheme from the start was to use the estate for a housing estate, higher education and a new hospital complex, but only the university was actually built. There may have been a degree of ‘Chinese Whispers’ about a deal not to build on the land, as there was no reason for the Council to have bought it other than for major infrastructure. The hospital idea surfaced regularly throughout the 1960s, to link up with the research facilities of the university campus, but a variety of economic factors meant it never happened.

    By Geoffrey Mead (29/04/2014)

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