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Claverham Manor


The site has a moated 17th-century building with lakes. Features include grass glades and fruit trees.

Literary descriptions of the site include the following accounts by Viscountess Wolsely:

Some Sussex Byways p. 78. 'The square plot of garden that the water surrounds has mown grass glades intersecting it and through the groups of flowering shrubs or pergolas or roses or again between arching pear-trees that overarch a path, we catch pretty glimpses of the outline of the house enhanced by being reflected in the water.'

Viscountess Wolseley: Sussex County Magazine. Vol. 10. 1936. P. 160. ‘The garden is charming for I recall vistas of fruit trees, mown grass glades, flowering shrubs and rose trees and Pear trees trained to over-arch a pathway.' There are three pictures of the garden with this article, showing it to be lush and romantic. There is also a good history of Claverham in Some Sussex Byways which is repeated here.


This Manor was held by Oswald of King Edward before 1066. There were four hides of land of which half a hide was marshland in Pevensey Level. In the middle of the 19th century, after 800 years it was almost identical. In 1085 the Earl of Moreton, half -brother to William I held it.

The estate then came into the Fiennes family with first, John Baron Fiennes, hereditary Constable of Dover. Sixth in descent was Sir Gyles de Fyenles who married Sybil Folliot of Old Court in Worthing. It is alleged that they lived at Claverham between 1290 and 1300. Their great-great-grandson, Sir William Fynes, is described (1397-99) as ‘of Claverham'. His son Roger built Hurstmonceux Castle. His second son James became 1st Lord of Saye and Sele.

Roger moved to Hurstmonceux in 1440 and John Hereward became tenant. In 1450 it was known as Claverham-Hereward, later Claverham-Harwards. A Fynes came back in 1489 and the second son, Giles succeeded to the ‘Manor of Harwards' in 1525. The last Fiennes was at Claverham in 1638 and from there the Manor passed to Threeles of Bexhill, Thomas Short, then Thomas Medley. From George Medley of Buxted Place, it passed to his niece Julia Evelyn, then to a great-niece. This lady had three daughters who sold the property. In 1816 James Shoosmith of All Saints, Lewes, took residence. He was the great-grandfather of the owner at the time Lady Wolseley was writing, Edward Shoesmith.

Features & Designations


  • The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building

  • Reference: Claverham Manor
  • Grade: II


  • Moat
  • Lake
  • Glade
  • Trees
  • Building
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential


Part: standing remains

Open to the public


Civil Parish





  • Barbara Abbs

  • Sussex Gardens Trust