Place:Appledram, Sussex, England

Alt namesApuldramsource: Family History Library Catalog, Wikipedia
Coordinates50.821°N 0.822°W
Located inSussex, England
Also located inWest Sussex, England     (1865 - )
See alsoChichester Rape, Sussex, Englandrape in which it was located
Box and Stockbridge Hundred, Sussex, Englandhundred in which it was located
Westhampnett Rural, Sussex, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1933
Chichester Rural, Sussex, Englandrural district of which it was part 1933-1974
Chichester District, West Sussex, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Appledram or Apuldram is a small parish on the northeastern upper reach of Chichester Harbour about two miles (3 km) southwest of the centre of Chichester in West Sussex, England. Access to the harbour is at Dell Quay (see below).

The nearest railway station is 1.2 miles (1.9 km) northeast of the village, at Chichester.

Most of the parish is farmland, roughly bounded to the north by the River Lavant, to the west by the harbour and to the south by Chichester Marina and the Chichester Canal. The parish is crossed by several public footpaths, offering views of the harbour, cathedral and South Downs. There is now no village centre, and of the original medieval village only the church, the manor and Rymans now remain.

The area of the parish is 1,073 acres (4.34 km2 or 1.68 sq mi) and at the 2011 census the population was 169, a reduction of 9% from the 2001 census.

Old records show many different spellings: Apulderham, Apeldreham (1121), Appeltrieham (1198), Appuldram (1440) – but for several centuries the spelling used by the church and the parishioners has been Apuldram. Civic authorities use both 'Appledram' and 'Apuldram' in their records.

Evidence of when or where in the parish apple farming took place has not come to light – records show grain and, later, wool as the main products of the area. Richard Ratcliffe's history of the parish, written in 1986, examines, but does not favour, a suggestion that the name is derived from polder, a Dutch word meaning low-lying land protected or reclaimed from the sea, although this would indeed be an apt description of a large part of the parish.

Place names within the parish reflect the industries and activities that once flourished. Salterns Copse, near the Marina, takes its name from the salt pans that were located nearby. Seventeenth century legislation killed off most of the salt industry in Sussex, but Apuldram survived until the middle of the 19th century, when free trade laws opened up the market to continental imports. Copperas Point records the production of copperas from iron pyrite.



In Saxon times, and for a while after the Norman Conquest in 1066, the area now forming the Parish of Apuldram was part of the Manor of Bosham which in the 11th century, during the reign of Edward the Confessor, belonged to Godwin, Earl of Wessex, the powerful Earl of Wessex, whose son Harold was defeated at Hastings. After the Conquest William I took possession of the Manor.

In 1125 Henry I gave the parish to the Abbot and Brethren of Battle Abbey. However, the College of Bosham remained responsible for ecclesiastical matters and one of the six canons of the College held the Prebend and paid a deputy to live in and care for the parish. At one time the Prebend of Apuldram was held by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester.

In 1197 Battle granted possession to Sir Michael de Appeltrieham, Sheriff of Sussex. The demesne reverted to the Crown following the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1538 and 1542, and in 1580 Elizabeth I granted it to William, Baron Howard of Effingham. On his death it passed to his son Charles, who was Lord High Admiral from 1585 to 1618 and commanded the fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada.

The church

The original church is believed to have been built soon after 1100, but the main building was constructed in its present form in about 1250. The south aisle was added about 100 years later.

The chancel has beautifully proportioned triple lancet windows with Purbeck marble shafts and stone mouldings. The altar stands on Victorian tiles, but those in the first pavement by the rails are medieval. A crusader's floor slab lies on the south side of the sanctuary. Behind the pulpit is the start of a stone staircase that once led up to a rood loft, but this has long since been removed, together with the rest of the staircase.


Rymans is a grade 1 listed building. At the end of the 12th century Sir Michael de Appeltrieham owned several hundred acres of the parish, including the site of this property. The earliest recorded house on the site was built for Chauns in the 13th century, and at the beginning of the 15th century William Ryman added the three-storey tower and the south wing shown in Wikipedia. Despite many later alterations, including some by the architect Walter Godfrey in the 1930s, William Ryman's house was probably much the same size as it is today. Ryman was a prominent lawyer and his son, Sir William Ryman, was Sheriff of Sussex. The Ryman family held the estate for nearly two centuries until it was bought in 1619 by William Smyth of Binderton. After a suit in Chancery it was divided in 1730 between the two daughters of George Smyth. Rymans and some 300 acres (120 ha) went to Barbara, wife of the Rev William Barttelot. Apuldram Manor and the same amount of land went to Mary, see below.

The Manor House

The Manor House is grade 2 listed. The north face of this early 17th-century house has a Dutch gable, rare in this part of the county. Soon after its construction it was bought by William Smyth. It passed via his great-granddaughter Mary to her husband William Hamilton and stayed in that family for a century and a half.

Dell Quay

In Roman times the harbour was navigable all the way to Fishbourne, and Roman galleys may have sailed right up to the Fishbourne Palace. Sea levels in the harbour were higher in the Middle Ages than they are now, and there are records of losses of land to the sea. The Great Flood of Apuldram occurred in 1274, following which additional sea walls and sluices were installed. The former existence of a tide mill on the River Lavant near Apuldram Common is an indication of the level of the sea at what was then the northern boundary of the parish.

The landing place was moved down channel owing to silting of the upper reaches, and for a time there was access to the harbour a little to the south of the mouth of the Lavant. Here there was a sunken channel, now dry, which led to the centre of the medieval Apuldram village. There is also evidence of a landing place at La Delle. A rent list, dated 1432, records a villein whose duties included "to cart from La Delle to Chichester". Exports in the 14th and 15th centuries were mainly wool and cloth.

The wharf at Dell Quay was built in the 16th century on the orders of Lord Fitzwilliam of Cowdray, Lord High Admiral from 1536 to 1540 and in 1580 it was written that the wharf had been "longe sythens buylded by the Lord Fitzwilliam". The quay was at that time the only official landing place for the Port of Chichester, which in the 14th century was rated the 7th in importance in all England.

At that time there were no warehouses at Dell Quay and no inn. The citizens of Chichester gave this as a reason for asking permission to dig a canal from the quay to the town. Permission was granted but with a condition that the canal must not cut through lands belonging to 'the Baron' (Howard of Effingham), and this made the scheme impractical. Instead, the picturesque Crown & Anchor Inn was built at the end of the 16th century and seems to have been called initially 'Dell Key House' (not to be confused with the present Dell Quay House, which incorporates William Tipper's post mill built in the eighteenth century, the subject of paintings by Richard Nibbs[15] and George Lambert).

During the 17th century the channel needed constant attention. Ships offloading ballast as they approached the quay added to the problem. However, after an intensive programme of dredging, ships of 40 tons could in 1685 once again dock at the quay. In the 18th century coal from Newcastle upon Tyne became the major import and the outlook was graced by three large coal pounds – on the quay, by the inn and on the site of what is now Quay Cottage. The amount of goods delivered varied over the years. 2,128 tons in 1786, 4,085 in 1793, 2,771 in 1800, 3,043 in 1807 and 3,602 in 1813. By 1908 there was a steam-driven crane, running on rails, which was later replaced by a diesel-powered crane.

The water at Dell Quay is now normally only navigable for dinghies and small cabin cruisers for a few hours either side of high tide. However, the tall ship Phoenix of Dell Quay visited twice during the second half of the 20th century and tied up on the end of the quay.

Research Tips

  • The West Sussex Record Office is located in Chichester. Because it holds the records of the Church of England Diocese of Chichester, which covers the whole of Sussex, it has church records relating to both parts of Sussex.
  • An on-line catalogue for some of the collections held by the West Sussex Record Office is available under the Access to Archives (A2A) project (a nationwide facility housed at The National Archives, Kew).
  • West Sussex Past - database of 2 million records from West Sussex heritage organizations.
  • The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies' Sussex Collection (PDF). This is a 9-page PDF naming the files relating to Sussex in their collection-a possible first step in a course of research.
  • The National Library of Scotland has a website which provides maps taken from the Ordnance Survey England & Wales One-Inch to the Mile series of 1892-1908 as well as equivalent maps for Scotland itself. The immediate presentation is a "help" screen and a place selection screen prompting the entry of a location down to town, village or parish level. These screens can be removed by a click of the "X". The map is very clear and shows parish and county boundaries and many large buildings and estates that existed at the turn of the 20th century. Magnification can be adjusted and an "overlay feature" allows inspection of the area today along with that of 1900. The specific map from the series can be viewed as a whole ("View this map") and this allows the inspection of the map legend (found in the left hand bottom corner. Becoming familiar with the various facilities of these maps is well worth the trouble.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Apuldram. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.