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Walberton House 5774

Brief Description

The site had a manor house by 1302, possibly earlier. A new house was built on the site in 1817-1818, which is now a nursing home. There were originally gardens and parkland around the house, but the extent of their survival is not known.


There was a manor house on the site by 1302. A garden is mentioned in 1362.

Detailed Description

Currently Walberton Park is not open to view because of high walls and solid gates. However, the gardens appear to be laid to well tended lawns with some mature parkland trees. There is also a ha-ha near the main house.
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The house is in Greek revival style.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Lawn, Ha-ha

Civil Parish

  • Walberton

Detailed History

The manor of Walberton was held in 1066 by three free men, and from at least 1200 was held by the St John family. It passed to Thomas West, later Lord de la Warr at the end of the 15th century. The manor was given to the Crown in 1540 as part of an exchange, and thereafter had six successive owners until 1903, when the site comprised over 1400 acres. In 1817 Richard Prime, Tory MP for the western division of Sussex, bought the estate which remained in his family till 1903.

Several farms were sold off in the early-20th century, Walberton, Lower, Todhurst and Pigeon Farms, while under the ownership of the Liddle Family. In 1954 the house and remaining estate of about 160 acres were bought by Frederick James, later Earl of Woolton, who died in 1964.

There was a manor house on the estate at 1302 at the latest. A house is recorded in the 17th century as having 9 hearths, and with a main front with seven bays, the central three recessed. The house was rebuilt and greatly enlarged by General Whyte about 1803,and was replaced in 1817-18 by Richard Prime in plain Greek revival style.

A garden is mentioned in 1362. In 1756 large formal gardens adjoined the manor house, including two square plan areas each with diagonal paths and a round pond. There were also shrubberies and a kitchen garden. In 1778 a park is shown extending eastwards as far as Yapton Lane. By the 1840s the main approach to the house was from Yapton Lane in the east, and in 1902 this drive was lined with an avenue of trees. At the same date, the house also had two walled kitchen gardens, with a cucumber house, mushroom house and vinery.

American soldiers billeted at the house in World War 2 scratched their names into the brick pillars of the main gate posts. A secondary drive from the village, flanked by lawns and flowerbeds, became the only access after 1945. Much of the park was given over to agriculture by 1993.

In the early 1980s the building was divided into apartments, and a new wing was added, containing eight apartments. It was later converted for use as a nursing home.



  • Claire Ryley


  • Patricia Ford


  • Sussex Gardens Trust