Delves House 5547

East Sussex, England, East Sussex, Lewes

Brief Description

The house was re-built in the late-18th-century, and the grounds were landscaped at the same time. The house was demolished after 1936. Mid-20th-century additions to the garden have altered the character considerably. Earlier features which have been retained include a 16th-century yew hedge, elm trees and two ponds.

Detailed Description

Recent additions in the mid-20th century have obliterated much of the original gardens. There is a plan of the gardens in the 1930s in the Sussex Gardens Trust archives. Remaining features include a large yew hedge planted in the 16th century, elm trees and two ponds. Originally, there was a brick kiln in the grounds.
  • Hedge
  • Description: There is a large yew hedge which was planted in the 16th century.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: Elm trees
  • Pond
  • Description: There are two ponds.

Civil Parish

  • Ringmer

Detailed History

It is thought that Delves belonged to the Priory of St. Pancras. After the Dissolution (1536-1540) there are records of the Delves family residing in the area of Ringmer, though not in Delves House itself.

Henry Snooke inherited Delves from his uncle in 1706, and moved into the house in 1720. The grounds then consisted of hedges, an orchard (with quinces, mulberries, apples, plums and medlars) and ponds. There was also a brick kiln in the grounds.

Rebecca Snooke, his wife, was a niece of the naturalist Gilbert White, who made frequent visits to Delves which he wrote about in his diaries. Henry Snooke's will of 1763 also gives instructions about the maintenance of the gardens.

In the late-18th century, Blunt re-built and re-fronted the house and landscaped the grounds.

The site was sold in 1893 and was tenanted until 1936. Captain and Mrs Gerald Spencer were tenants from 1910 until 1934. Mrs Spencer was a talented gardener. She attributed the selection of fruit trees to the gardening interest of the monks from the Priory of St. Pancras.

In 1936, the house was bought and demolished by John Christie.


  • 18th Century
  • Late 18th Century


  • Norma Muirhead


  • Sussex Gardens Trust