COLLEGE BARN, COLLEGE FARM AND COLLEGE WOOD
PRIORS FARM AND WORSFOLDS FARM

COLLEGE BARN, COLLEGE FARM AND COLLEGE WOOD
PRIORS FARM AND WORSFOLDS FARM

We have long been intrigued by the old maps showing College barn at some distance from College Farmhouse. Members vaguely remember seeing it years ago, but it was demolished long ago possibly after a fire. With what we know of hardship in the 19th century with problems with the corn laws and dire poverty it did not seem reasonable that goods of any worth should be stored at such a distance from habitation.


COLLEGE WOOD
The maps show the numerous paths and trackways through College Wood which remained more or less intact until the bulk of the land was sold to Federated Homes in 1968.
Older maps such as the 1835 Walker map and the 1875/9 Ordnance survey show a substantial clearing in the middle of the wood. It could be referred to as an ASSART, the definition of which is “a piece of land recently brought under cultivation after woodland clearance“
The 1844 Tithe map gives this the name of Shipley Field and reference 1045. College Wood is reference 1046, and was retained by Sir Henry Fletcher. Shipley Field was occupied by Henry Simmons who had College Farm. The boundary with the parish of Shipley is only a matter of yards away. Perhaps Shipley had some claim on this land or the boundaries were moved at some time.
A later map of 1909 shows the same area again wooded, but the wood would appear to be conifers rather than the surrounding deciduous trees.

COLLEGE FARM
In the 1851 census Henry Simmons was farming College Farm with 3 labourers, one of whom was John Kilner aged 19. College Farm at that time was 130 acres. Ten years earlier it is shown being farmed by William Kilner, who was a relation of John Kilner.
In 1805 an advertisement for the sale of timber says that there are thirty oaks, cut and lying in the lane near the Cock Inn adjoining Worsfolds Farm, occupied by Thomas Kilner.
But to go back to College barn . . . . The 1844 Tithe map gives a wealth of detail.1048 is listed as a Homestead and 1050 is shown as a cottage orchard also as 1047 is stated as being Well Field. So may be the barn was not so isolated after all. There must have been people living there. The barn is not mentioned , although 1123 at the present College farm is listed as barn, yards etc.
An old dictionary definition of a homestead is “a house, especially a farmhouse with the buildings attached “ Perhaps it was along the lines of Parsons Farm shown below, which was also marked as a homestead in 1844.

We know Worsfolds Farm was near where the church stands today as it is stated in the Church land conveyance in 1849. The two small meadows that formed part of Worsfolds Farm were called Worsfolds Upper Meadow and Worsfolds Lower Meadow. It is strange that the names of these fields in 1849 are different from the names on the Tithe map 1056 and 1058 when they were pasture land named the Old Orchard and Little Mead.
But the biggest clue is the paper in Horsham Museum ( ref 2001.280.1) which lists Sir Henry’s tenants and more importantly to us details the acreages of the farms 1809. Other papers in the museum such as land tax and poor rates lists show all three farms, College, Worsfolds and Priors as being let to one tenant, Edward Etheridge in 1782 and 1797 and Thomas Kilner in 1812
Using field acres from the 1911 ordnance survey we can us start with Worsfold Farm , by the Church. In 1809 it had 20 acres. The area around the present day College Farm had 54 acres. That leaves the land by, and including College Wood which is roughly 82 acres. Thus we can split the 1844 College Farm into three smaller farms.
The clincher is the 1794 map which clearly shows the present day College Farm as being called Priors.



So . . . .

Now called College Farm it was originally Priors Farm (Maybe the name came from the College or Church connection ?
Now called Vicarage Cottage was this the farmhouse for Worsfolds Farm ?

and may be this was the old College Farm ( with a bit of imagination )

The site can be seen on this ariel picture. Poor crops mark the place

Field walking by members have produced some interesting finds.


Metal work

A 16C belt buckle

Old brick and tile

Glassware including a complete Camp Coffee bottle

Pottery sherds



A fragment of a Bartman Jug was found

And an old clay pipe

We hope to do some test pits in the ponds at some time as “ rubbish was often discarded in such places.
The finds were verified by the Sussex Archaelogical Society

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