Site of a medieval moated manor house. The moat and an early 14th century gatehouse are the only survivals from this period. The gatehouse is stone-built and comprises a carriage arch with a room above and a porter’s lodge to the rear. The house which currently occupies the moated island dates from the 16th century and originally formed part of a larger house. It is timber framed and L-shaped in plan.
There was a manor of considerable importance at Ewhurst, with the ancient residence of the Peverel family, from whom it descended to the Wests, Lords Delawarr. They owned it until 1529, when it passed to the families successively of Pelham, Byrne, and Heath, and ultimately to the Earl of Chichester, who sold the estate in 1785 to Dr. Challen.
Sir Andrew Peverel appears to have acquired his possessions, about 1216, from William de Braose, Lord of Bramber, and his descendants of the same name held them till 1396; the Peverels, no doubt, built the original house in King John’s time, and were certainly dwelling here at the beginning of the fourteenth century.• Then in default of heirs male the place passed by daughters and wives to a family called Brocas, and in 1392 to Alicia, the wife of Thomas Lord West, who held it at his death in 1416, and his descendants continued to live here in Queen Mary’s reign.
The old manor house of the Pelhams has disappeared, but there are still some fragments of the earlier moated residence of the Peverels and Wests; the style is that of Edward I. when the Peverels had it. There is still standing the detached entrance gatehouse, a good specimen of Edwardian work, having an arched gateway with a groined ceiling, and a tower with a high pointed roof over this. On each side are guard rooms or lodges, built of rag and sandstone ; the ancient massive gates, too, still remain, having a small wicket contained, and there is a good chimney. (Castles Of England, Sir James D. Mackenzie, 1896)
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