Place:Lodsworth, Sussex, England

Coordinates51.002°N 0.6798°W
Located inSussex, England
Also located inWest Sussex, England     (1865 - )
See alsoChichester Rape, Sussex, Englandrape in which it was located
Easebourne Hundred, Sussex, Englandhundred in which it was located
Midhurst Rural, Sussex, Englandrural district 1894-1974
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

Lodsworth is a small village and civil parish in the Chichester District of West Sussex, England. It is situated between Midhurst and Petworth, half a mile north of the A272 road. It lies within the South Downs National Park, just to the north of the valley of the River Rother. A tributary stream, the River Lod, runs close to the east end of the village.

The area of the parish is 12.46 km2 (4.81 sq mi) and the population in the 2011 UK census was 672.

Lodsworth Manor House was built by the Bishop of London, who owned the manor during the Middle Ages, when first built it would have been the finest building in Lodsworth. The present house is likely to have been the home of the Bishop's steward, who would have administered the manor. Manorial courts would have been held there and there was a basement dungeon to hold prisoners. The Manor was held as a "liberty" by the Bishop, making it independent of the county justice system, so even the most serious crimes would have been tried there, and executions would have been carried out at Gallows Hill on the border with Graffham. Archaeological work during the autumn of 2002 revealed the foundations of a 7-metre extension to the east of the building, with 1 metre foundations resting on solid rock which may have supported a tower. It is likely that there was a great hall to the south of the building.

In 1119 Richard de Belmas, then Bishop of London, was given the manor by the Montgomerie family; and Lodsworth was made a Liberty by Royal Charter of King Henry I. This unusual status made the manor independent from the county and hundred legal system so that even the most serious crimes were tried at the manorial court held at the manor house. The manor was run by the Bishop of London’s representative the Sheriff who lived at the manor house. Villagers were exempt from tolls at markets and fairs in other parishes, and all income from the manor went straight to the bishop. The manor must have been a valuable source of income to the bishop with revenue from pilgrims to St. Peter’s well and probably from stone quarrying, and the status of Liberty was vigorously defended and was reaffirmed by several kings, the last being Henry VI.

Agriculture and forestry use most of the land area. There is arable cropping, dairying and the grazing of livestock. There are large areas of chestnut coppice on Bexley Hill, cut in rotation to produce fence materials, and areas of oak and conifers.

There is a large timberyard and sawmill at Lodsbridge, south of Halfway Bridge and a small factory at the old watermill site at Halfway Bridge.

The first transport other than pack horses or horse carts was in 1795 when the Rother Navigation was built from Pulborough to Midhurst, allowing canal barges to reach the wharf at Lodsbridge. This was used mainly to bring chalk and coal in and to export timber. The railway line from Pulborough to Petworth was extended to Midhurst in the 1860s with stations at Selham and Midhurst.

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 Lodsworth. 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.