Ashburnham (St. James)

ASHBURNHAM (St. James), a parish, in the union of Battle, hundred of Foxearle, rape of Hastings, E. division of Sussex, 4½ miles (W. by S.) from Battle; containing 790 inhabitants. The manor, with the exception only of a few years, has been from a time anterior to the Conquest in the continued possession of the noble family of Ashburnham, whose mansion-house here is beautifully situated, and surrounded by a fine park. The parish comprises about 3600 acres; and was once noted for the smelting of iron-ore. The living is a vicarage, with the rectory of Penhurst annexed, valued in the king's books at £8. 13. 4.; patron and impropriator, the Earl of Ashburnham. The great tithes of the parish have been commuted for £260, and the vicarial for £239; the glebe consists of 6 acres. A lectureship was founded in 1631 by R. Bateman, Esq., and others, with an endowment of £40 per annum for two sermons every week; it is in the gift of the coheiresses of the late Sir Hugh Bateman, the last surviving trustee. The church, situated behind Ashburnham House, is a neat cruciform edifice in the decorated English style, with a tower; the south transept contains a gallery for the family, and in the north are handsome monuments to William and John Ashburnham, and their wives: in a glass case lined with red velvet, are preserved the watch of Charles I., and portions of the dress which he wore when he was beheaded. There are several mineral springs in the parish.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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