Glyndley Manor 5014

Wealden, England, East Sussex, Wealden

Brief Description

Glyndley Manor is a late-19th-century garden laid out with a sunken garden, lake, woodland and shrubbery walks to the north. The gardens are to the east and south-east of a 16th-century Elizabethan manor house.

History

The manor house was probably reduced in size and occupied by tenants until bought in 1872 by Captain William Taylor. In the grounds, Taylor extended the parkland around the house and the plantations to the south and south-east, creating a decoy duck pond and making a drive of 'a mile in length from one lodge to another'.

Detailed Description

LOCATION, AREA, BOUNDARIES, LANDFORM, SETTING

Glyndley Manor is situated on high ground above Pevensey Levels with views south-west to the South Downs. It lies 1.8 kilometres north-west of Hankham and around two kilometres north-east of Polegate, off the north side of the B2104 between Hailsham and Stone Cross, eight kilometres north of Eastbourne. The 11 hectare site is bordered on the south and south-west by the Hillier Garden Centre and Glyndley Nursery, on the south-east by Decoy Wood (now in separate ownership) and on the north-west, north and north-east by adjoining agricultural fields and pastureland.

ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES

Glyndley Manor is approached from the north side of the Hailsham Road (B2104) between commercial nursery grounds, the Hillier Garden Centre to the west of the consolidated gravel drive and Glyndley Nursery to the east. In the 18th century, the approach to the manor house was probably some 300 metres further east from this entrance, along Glynleigh Road (Yeakell and Gardner, 1778-83).

The 19th-century entrance (1st edition Ordnance Survey map) lay only 80 metres further east from the present entrance, at the junction of the B2104 and Glynleigh Road, alterations probably being made when the manor house was enlarged from 1872. The west and east gate lodges (now, 2004, in separate ownership) had been built by 1899 (2nd edition Ordnance Survey map).

The first 100 metre section of the 19th-century drive is now incorporated into West Lodge garden and the path system of Glyndley Nursery, whilst the drive across Decoy Wood, some five kilometres to the south-east, from East Lodge (sited around one kilometre east along the Glynleigh Road from the West Lodge) no longer exists.

From the present entrance between the nurseries, the 400 metre drive to Glyndley Manor curves north-east towards the house, joining the route of the 19th-century drive at the entrance of Glyndley Nursery, around 150 metres from the Hailsham Road. The drive continues for some 150 metres bordered by a one metre high wire fence (now, 2004, in a dilapidated state) backed on the west by the trees of Warren Plantation and on the east by a two metre conifer hedge surrounding the garden of a late-20th-century house (Heatherdene).

Approximately 40 metres further along on the west side of the drive a 25 metre concrete track leads to Glynleigh Farm (late-20th-century) and an entrance to the 19th-century walled kitchen garden (now, 2004, the property of Garden Bungalow). On the final 60 metre approach to Glyndley Manor, the drive bears east, bordered for some 25 metres on the north by the remains of ornamental planting (conifers, rhododendrons and yews) until it reaches a 20 metre dirt track off the main drive leading to the main entrance of the former kitchen garden and other 19th-century estate buildings (Glynleigh Manor Cottage, The Stable, East Cottage) now in private occupation. On the south side of the drive, mature trees (oak, hawthorn, plane, cedar) partly obscure views south across adjoining pastureland.

On the south front of Glyndley Manor, the 19th-century and early-20th-century carriage sweep, enclosed by a ha-ha to preserve views south from the house, has been reshaped to form a rectangular car park (20 metres x 40 metres) and an adjoining tennis court. East of the manor house, the drive continues for around 100 metres as a concrete track to Glyndley Manor Cottage Estate and Decoy Wood.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS

The ornamental gardens lie to the north, east and south-east of Glyndley Manor. On the south-east of the house a spacious lawn is bordered on the east and south-east by mature trees (many now, 2004, in need of attention), enclosed by the track to Glyndley Cottage Estate and the west boundary of the Estate. On the north side of the lawn, a sunken garden, in the shape of a 30m square with a curved eastern end and a circular central bed, is aligned on the east front of the house. The sunken garden is accessed via three steps down from the centre of a grass terrace running the length of the east front. Shown on the 1st edn OS map, the sunken garden was possibly lost when the gardens were developed after 1872 but reinstated by 1928 with a central circular fountain. Now, 2004, the sunken garden is a grass bowl with mixed planting around a circular gravel path that encloses a lawn with planting beds and a central pool with crazy paving surround. A second set of three steps on the east side of the sunken garden leads up to serpentine walks through woodland and shrubbery on the north and north-east of the manor house (shown on C19 OS maps). From the north front of Glyndley Manor there are views down over grass terraces to an irregularly shaped lake with a backdrop of trees on the north-east property boundary, although a boat house shown on the east side (C19 maps) is now, 2004, no longer there.

On the north-west side of the manor house, on the site of a former range of C19 glasshouses, a 2m high yew hedge screens a C20 swimming pool with concrete paving surround. Twenty metres west of Glyndley Manor, a C19 glasshouse and bothy have been replaced by a single storey wooden building with low eaves, built as an estate office.

REFERENCES

Books and articles

Thomas Walker Horsfield, The History, Antiquities and Topography of the County of Sussex Vol 1 (London: Messrs Nichols & Son, 1835), 302-3

John Farrant, Sussex Depicted. Views and Descriptions 1600-1800 .Sussex Record Society Vol 85 (Lewes: Sussex Record Society, 2001), 333.

Paul Endersby, Glyndley Manor. Notes on the house and its history, 1986 (Glyndley Manor).

Maps

John Speed Sussex Described 1610. Old Sussex Mapped website www.envf.port.ac.uk/geo/research/historical/webmap/sussexmap/speedhastings1rg.jpg.

Robert Morden, Sussex 1695. 1:318000. Old Sussex Mapped website www.envf.port.ac.uk/geo/research/historical/webmap/sussexmap/morden106hastings1rg.jpg.

Thomas Yeakell and William Gardner Topographical Survey of the County of Sussex 1778-83. 2" to 1mile (Sheet 3).

Westham Tithe Map 1835 (W.Figg). East Sussex Record Office (ESRO) Ref TD/E84

Westham (W.Figg) 1840. Plan of Glynley and other lands. ESRO Ref SAS29

OS 25" to 1mile: 1st edition published 1875; 2nd edition published 1899; 3rd edition published 1909

Revised edition published 1928; 1979 edition

Illustrations

South front of Glynley near Westham, S.H. Grimm, 1789. Drawing no 95 in Grimm's Sussex Drawings. Rape of Pevensey. BL Ref Additional MS.Burrell. 5671.

Archival Items

Sales Particulars, Woodhams & Sons 1883 (Glyndley Manor)

Sales Particulars, Knight Frank & Rutley 24th April 1951 ESRO DW/C47/207

Description written: July 2004

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: Glyndley Manor, of 16th-century origin, is a two-storey building with basement on the north side. It is built of brick with cement facing and casement windows with stone mullions under a red-tiled roof, with its principal elevation facing south. The 16th-century manor house featured onion domes on octagonal corner turrets but these were replaced by the present tile-hung pointed turrets at the end of the 19th century when the house was enlarged by Captain Taylor. There is a stone mounting block on the west side of the front door. The building has been subject to recent alterations including the addition of a tile-hung attic storey to provide additional residential accommodation.Approximately 80 metres to the south-east of the manor house, Glyndley Manor Cottage Estate (around 140 metres x 60 metres) comprises 34 brick-built single-storey detached and semi-detached chalet-style bungalows with brown wooden doors and window frames under brown tiled roofs with low eaves. They are grouped around a former brick dairy with tiled roof, since re-built as a laundry room. Other 19th-century buildings between the walled kitchen garden (80 metres north-west of the house) and Glyndley Manor have been converted to residential use.
  • Earliest Date:
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  • Drive
  • Description: From the present entrance between the nurseries, the 400 metre drive to Glyndley Manor curves north-east towards the house, joining the route of the 19th-century drive at the entrance of Glyndley Nursery, around 150 metres from the Hailsham Road.
  • Lawn
  • Description: On the south-east of the house a spacious lawn is bordered on the east and south-east by mature trees.
  • Planting
  • Description: On the north side of the lawn, a sunken garden, in the shape of a 30 metre square with a curved eastern end and a circular central bed, is aligned on the east front of the house. Shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, the sunken garden was possibly lost when the gardens were developed after 1872 but re-instated by 1928 with a central circular fountain. Now, 2004, the sunken garden is a grass bowl with mixed planting around a circular gravel path that encloses a lawn with planting beds and a central pool with crazy paving surround.
  • Walk
  • Description: Serpentine walks through woodland and shrubbery on the north and north-east of the manor house.
  • Garden Terrace
  • Description: Grass terraces.
  • Hedge
  • Description: Two metre high yew hedge.
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool
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  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: Ninety metres to the north-west of the manor house, the rectangular-shaped 19th-century kitchen garden (2nd edition Ordnance Survey map) is completely walled and by 1909 (3rd edition Ordnance Survey map) had been enlarged to its present size (40 metres x 50 metres). The kitchen garden remained productive until at least 1951 (Sales Particulars) when it was described as having wall fruit of peaches, plums and pears. A depression in the ground in the west marks the position of a circular tank shown on maps from 1899.Now in private ownership, a bungalow occupies the south-east corner of the walled garden, between entrances on the south and east walls, its ground being cultivated as an ornamental, vegetable and fruit garden.
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  • Potager
  • Description: Outside the walled area to the north and extending to the property boundary, the site of a previous orchard (30 metres x 50 metres) is now, 2004, cultivated as a vegetable garden with a poly-tunnel. A pigsty is sited on the south side of the vegetable garden against the north kitchen garden wall.
Ha-ha, Fountain, Lake
Access & Directions

Directions

Glyndley Manor lies 1.8 kilometres north-west of Hankham and around two kilometres north-east of Polegate, off the north side of the B2104 between Hailsham and Stone Cross, eight kilometres north of Eastbourne.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Westham
History

Detailed History

A charter dating from AD947 refers to ‘the three hides of land at West Hankam and Glynleigh', a name of Germanic or Old English derivation meaning ‘a clearing marked by an enclosure'. Glyndley (variously known as Glynly, Greenly, Greenlee, Glynlie, Glenleigh, Glenlye, Glynleigh) is shown on maps from at least 1610 and has a close association with adjoining Priesthawes (also possibly part of the 14th-century estate) and the Priory of Lewes, giving rise to unsupported speculation that there was once a nunnery on the site of Glyndley Manor.

The Almon family from Pevensey built up an estate there during the Elizabethan era, the house with onion domes on octagonal corner turrets shown in Grimm's view (1789) probably being built by one of the sons of Thomas Almon, who died in 1559. All the sons died childless and in 1591 Glyndley Manor was inherited by his nephew Thomas Meeres, the property being described as a ‘capital messuage' on his death six years later.

The manor house remained in the ownership of the Meeres family until Thomas Meeres' great grandson, John, left it to his widow Elizabeth, who in 1694 married Thomas Fagg of Wilston. A number of the Fagg family are commemorated in the transit of Westham Church (around three kilometres to the south-east) and possibly ownership of Glyndley Manor entailed a vested right to this part of the church.

Elizabeth's son, Thomas Meeres Fagg, settled Glyndley Manor on his only daughter on her marriage to Sir John Peachey of West Dean in 1752. However, after his death Lady Peachey lived mainly at Tunbridge Wells. In about 1785 it was described as ‘a very comfortable house... A fine grove of trees in front; fish-ponds and woods behind; a good kitchen garden; and pleasant views from the house and downs' (Horsfield, 1835), presumably the gardens depicted by Grimm four years later.

Following Lady Peachey's death in 1804 the manor house was probably reduced in size and occupied by tenants until bought in 1872 by Captain William Taylor of the 9th Cinque Ports Artillery Volunteers, later Mayor of Pevensey and County Councillor for East Sussex. Taylor also bought the adjoining estate of Priesthawes, using stone from ‘The Old Place' there to enlarge Glyndley Manor, also replacing the 16th-century onion domes with pointed turrets. Stable and garden buildings and a range of glasshouses were developed to the north-west of the manor house and a walled kitchen garden built.

In the grounds, Taylor extended the parkland around the house and the plantations to the south and south-east, creating a decoy duck pond and making a drive of ‘a mile in length from one lodge to another' (1st edition Ordnance Survey map). The estate (covering some 247 hectares) was offered for sale in 1883 as a ‘well built commodious mansion... and necessary surroundings of a Country Gentleman's seat' including ‘park-like grounds with ornamental plantations and water, conservatory and greenhouses, kitchen and flower gardens'.

By 1907 Glyndley Manor was owned by a Mr R. Cunliffe Smith, whose widow remained there for at least ten years after his death, selling around 1928. For the next 20 years the ownership of the property is unclear, although it was certainly unoccupied some of the time (Kelly's Directory 1938) and the Canadian Army was based there during World War 2.

After the war the manor house with around 11 hectares of land was used as an hotel, the grounds still retaining many of their 19th-century features - ‘The pleasure grounds contain a great variety of specimen and timber trees including copper beech, spruce, larch, cedar, white lime, cypress and many others. Paths lead through the trees and shrubs to the lake of about half an acre. The woodlands include protective belts... well timbered with many Corsican and Scots Pine' (Sales Particulars 1951).

In the late-1970s the manor house was largely gutted by fire but was rebuilt by a Mr Ray King in the 1980s, who also added 34 holiday cottages on the site of the 19th-century pheasantry and former dairy. In 1991, after a number of further short-lived ownerships, Glyndley Manor was acquired by the Ellel Ministries as a south of England base for their work. It remains in single corporate ownership.

References

References

Contributors

  • Barbara Simms

    1

  • Sussex Gardens Trust