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Midhurst, Sussex

Historical Description

Midhurst, a town and a parish in Sussex. The town stands on a gentle eminence, adjacent to the river Rother, with stations on the L.B. & S.C.R. and L. & S.W.R. 60 miles from London, and 12 N by E of Chichester. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage of parish, 669; population, 1674. The town has picturesque and hilly environs; is supposed by some antiquaries to occupy the site of the Roman station Mida; appears to have been at Domesday part of the manor of Easebourne; became afterwards a lordship in possession of the Bohuns; had, on St Anne's Hill, an ancient castle of the Bohuns, the foundations of which can still be traced; was long a town of considerable importance; fell eventually into decadence, or at least did not keep pace with the progress of modern improvement; exhibits at present a well-built appearance, with clean streets; enjoys so fine an atmosphere that its inhabitants are remarkable for longevity; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and county police station; and has a bank, two hotels, a town-hall, a church, a Calvinistic chapel, public hall and assembly-rooms, a library and reading-room, a mechanics' institution with a good library, and a Roman Catholic church. The church is Later English, has been repaired and enlarged, consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with low embattled tower, and had formerly a great tomb of the Montagues which is now at Easebourne. A grammar school was founded in 1672 by Gilbert Hannam " for teaching twelve poor men's sons in Midhurst," had an endowment of £33 a year, and boasts among its pupils Sir Charles Lyell the geologist; but, either from the inadequacy of the endowment or from some occult cause, sank for nearly twenty years into insignificance, but was reopened in 1880. A weekly newspaper is published. The town sent two members to Parliament from the time of Edward IV. till the passing of the Act of 1832, afterwards only one, and by the Act of 1885 its representation was merged in that of the county. Dunford House, the seat of the Cobden family, and the ruins of Cowdray, belonging to the Earl of Egmont, are in the neighbourhood of the town, and both have been separately noticed. The manor went from the Bohuns by marriage to Sir David Owen, was sold by him in 1528 to Sir William Fitzwilliam, passed to Lord Montague and to W. S. Poyntz, Esq., and belongs now to the Earl of Egmont. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Chichester; gross value, £140 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Egmont.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountySussex 
Ecclesiastical parishMidhurst St. Denis 
HundredEasebourne 
Poor Law unionMidhurst 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Midhurst from the following:


Maps

Online maps of Midhurst are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Sussex newspapers online:

DistrictChichester
CountyWest Sussex
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Postal districtGU29
Post TownMidhurst