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Petworth, Sussex

Historical Description

Petworth, a town and a parish in Sussex. The town stands on an emimence near the river Rother, with a station on the L.B. & S.C.R., 55 miles from London, and 14 NE by N of Chichester. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Petworth was known at Domesday as Peteorde. It is a seat of petty sessions and county courts; and has a bank, two hotels, a town-hall, a market-house and court-room, a police station, waterworks, a church, Congregational, Calvinistic, and Roman Catholic chapels, two working-men's institutes, three suites of almshouses, a workhouse, and very large charities. The market-house and court-room stands in the centre of the town, was built at the expense of the late Earl of Egremont, and is adorned with a bust of William III. The church is Later English; was restored and beautified at a cost of more than £16,000, defrayed by the late Earl of Egremont; has a tower and spire, rebuilt under the direction of Sir Charles Barry; and contains some old effigies and monuments of the Percys and the Wyndhams. One suite of almshonses has about £1000 a year from endowments, and another suite has £270. A weekly market is held on Saturday, and fairs on 1 May, 4 Sept, and 20 Nov. Acreage of parish, 6129; population, 2867.

The manor belonged to the Saxon Countess Eddeva; passed to the Earls of Arundel, the Earls of Northumberland, the Dukes of Somerset, and the Earls of Egremont; and belongs now to Lord Leconfield. The old manorial castle gave entertainment to Edward VI., was visited by Charles III. of Spain and by Prince George of Denmark, and was mostly taken down about 1730. The present mansion was built partly by one of the Dukes of Somerset, partly by the third Earl of Egremont; was visited in 1814 by the Prince Regent and the allied sovereigns; has a frontage of 324 feet, and a height of 62 feet; contains a rich collection of paintings, statuary, and wood-carvings; and stands in a beautiful park of about 12 miles in circuit The living is a rectory in the diocese of Chichester; net value, £395 with residence. Patron, Lord Leconfield. There are two workhouses, respectively in Petworth and Wisborough Green.

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


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

Ancient CountySussex 
Ecclesiastical parishPetworth St. Mary 
Poor Law unionPetworth 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Petworth from the following:


Online maps of Petworth 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:

CountyWest Sussex
RegionSouth East
Postal districtGU28
Post TownPetworth