Saturday 2 March 2019

(367) Barchard of Horsted Place

Barchard of Horsted Place
The Barchard family seems to have originated in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Joseph Barchard (1711-70), son of a yeoman from Hornsea, East Yorkshire, was apprenticed in 1728 to Nathaniel Thorney of London, dyer, and subsequently established his own company at Southwark (Surrey) in partnership with his half brother, Peter. The firm was sufficiently successful for his grandson, Francis Barchard (1796-1856), to style himself as a gentleman and to buy Ashcombe House near Lewes (Sussex) as a country home after his marriage in 1824. His wife died in childbirth in 1829, but he remained in Sussex, and began to make his way in Sussex society, acting as the steward of local balls, joining a variety of local committees and trusts, and eventually becoming a JP. In 1845 he inherited much of the wealth of his godfather, Francis Hilton, another London dyer. With this new accession of funds he was able to buy the Horsted Place estate at Little Horsted and to rebuild the old house there in the Gothic style which Pugin had made fashionable over the previous decade. His architect was Samuel Whitfield Daukes (1811-80), a low church architect who was nonetheless an admirer of Pugin, and who could work effectively in a wide variety of styles, including - as he showed at Horsted Place - in Puginian Gothic.
Ashcombe House, Lewes, the home of Francis Barchard from c.1827-51,
drawn by S.H. Grimm, 1787. Image: British Library Add, MS 5672, f.12.
The successful delivery of a house in this style was greatly helped, however, by the appointment of Pugin's favourite builder, George Myers, as the building contractor. The design of some of the interior fittings was left to Myers, who seems to have obtained designs for the staircase and a chimneypiece from Pugin himself, and these works were exhibited in the medieval court at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Barchard subsequently caused some embarrassment when he rejected the chimneypiece, which was installed instead in the Duke of Devonshire's Lismore Castle in Ireland, but the staircase can still be seen at Horsted Place, which is now an hotel.

Francis Barchard did not long survive the completion of his new house, which passed to the eldest of his three sons, Francis Barchard (1826-1904). The second Francis comes across as the model Victorian squire. He had qualified as a barrister and with this legal background he became chairman of his local bench and deputy chairman of Quarter Sessions. As a young man he held a commission in the militia and later he helped to encourage the rifle volunteer movement in the county. He took a strong interest in agricultural matters and in the church, and he and his wife actively supported a community of nuns at East Grinstead. He was a keen amateur photographer, had antiquarian interests, and was for many years Secretary of the Sussex Archaeological Society. The one thing he did not have was a family, and when he died in 1904 the Horsted estate passed to the eldest son of his brother, Elphinstone Barchard (1827-93) of Duddleswell Manor, Maresfield.

Both Francis and Elphinstone Barchard had been Liberals in politics, but the heir to Horsted, Francis Barchard III (1863-1932) was a Conservative. In other respects, however, he was cut from much the same cloth as his father and uncle: he qualified as a barrister but did not practice, and pursued a similarly active career in local public office. His only son, Francis Barchard IV (1903-41), was a career naval officer, and perhaps because he could not readily combine such a career with life as a country gentleman, Francis III left his widow a life interest in Horsted Place, which she continued to occupy until her death in 1964. Francis IV was sadly killed when his ship was torpedoed in the Second World War, and when Horsted Place finally came to his widow and daughters in the 1960s they promptly sold it to Lord Rupert Nevill.

Horsted Place, Sussex

A rather fine new manor house was built at Little Horsted in about 1680 for John Hay. It was drawn by S.H. Grimm in 1783, who depicts a simple but elegant brick house of five bays and two storeys, which had a hipped roof with dormers, a modillion cornice, quoins at the angles, and a stringcourse separating the ground and first floors. Two groups of three diagonally-set chimneystacks were positioned symmetrically at either end of the roof ridge, and an extra touch of distinction was given by making the central bay at little wider than the others. The house 'stood on the brow of the hill, at a short distance from the church', and was separated from the road by a forecourt with gatepiers, railings and wooden gates, while a gazebo with an ogival roof can be seen over the wall of the rear garden. 

Horsted Place, as recorded by S.H. Grimm in 1783. Image: British Library Additional MS 5671, f. 94 (no. 178)

Although Grimm shows what is obviously a house little altered since it was built a hundred years earlier (except perhaps for the installation of sash windows), T.W. Horsfield, writing in 1835, says 'the mansion has undergone very considerable alterations and improvements since the time of its erection'. These changes, whatever they were, must have taken place after 1783, but unfortunately there seems to be no visual record of them, and the house was swept away by Francis Barchard after he bought the property in 1849.

Barchard built the present house, Horsted Place, on a new site further from the main road, in 1850-51 to the designs of Samuel Dawkes. Dawkes was a versatile, not to say eclectic, architect who was equally comfortable working in the Italianate classical style at Abberley Hall or Colney Hatch Asylum, the neo-Norman of St Peter's church, Cheltenham, or the Puginian Gothic he employed here. The builder was, indeed, George Myers, who was Pugin's favourite builder, and it is thought that some of the interior decoration may have been left to Myers' discretion, as he was so well-versed in Pugin's style.

Horsted Place: the new house in about 1865, photographed by Francis Barchard II who stands in the foreground with his wife. 
Image: Victoria & Albert Museum E.3258:134-1991.
Myers' contract was for the surprisingly modest sum of £14,390, although in the end the house, exclusive of furniture and decoration, cost £16,816; a mere nine months was allowed for construction. The house is built of red brick with rather relentless grey brick diapering, generous dressings of Bath stone, and tall brick chimneystacks, also with stone dressings. The windows are early Tudor in style, with mullions and transoms but with arched heads to the lights.
Horsted Place: ground plan (after Girouard, Victorian Country House)
The main block is arranged around a central corridor, running from one side of the house to the other, with the main rooms opening off it on both sides. To the rear is a lower service wing, arranged as three ranges around an open courtyard. The entrance hall was placed off-centre at one end of the corridor, reducing draughts, and enabling the corridor to be better lit. As a result, the entrance is at the corner of the house, and its position is emphasized by carrying the corner up into a tower a full storey higher than the rest of the house, with a staircase turret which is taller still. This strong accent makes the house decisively asymmetrical, though a smaller octagonal turret balances the composition at the other end of the west front. The east front is similar, but has an oriel window sprouting from a buttress between two ground-floor towers.

Horsted Place: the central corridor, looking west.
Inside the house, the morning room and double drawing room occupy the space behind the south front. On the north side of the central corridor, the staircase is in the centre, with the dining room on one side and the library on the other. The staircase has intricate foliage panels, incorporating the Barchard crest and large heraldic birds on the newel posts, and was partly exhibited in the medieval court at the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was apparently designed by Pugin and built by George Myers. A stone fireplace, intended for Horsted Court, was also exhibited at the Great Exhibition, but was rather embarrassingly rejected by Francis Barchard. (It was sold instead to the Duke of Devonshire, and with the addition of the ducal arms was installed in the Gothic hall of Lismore Castle (Co. Waterford) where it remains).

Horsted Place: the library (now used for weddings)

The rooms are simply decorated with with joinery and chimneypieces very much in Pugin's style, and probably mostly designed by Myers. The furnishing and decorating was done by another Pugin disciple, John Webb of Hanover Square, London. The one exception to the Puginian tone is the Library, which is fitted with bookcases with clustered shafts and ogee arches of a rather more old-fashioned Gothick flavour. Could this be Daukes' contribution to the interior, after which his designs were rejected in favour of less frivolous Gothic by Myers and Pugin?

In 1965, Horsted Place was sold to Lord Rupert Nevill (d. 1982). He and his wife were close friends of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who became frequent visitors to Horsted Place in the 60s and 70s. After Lord Rupert died, however, the house was sold and converted into an hotel, which it remains today. The gardens of the house have an essentially mid 19th century structure, but were remodelled and extended by Geoffrey Jellicoe for Lady Rupert Nevill after 1965.

Descent: John de Ward (fl. 1621)... John Hay (fl. c.1680)...Richard Hay (fl. 1724) sold c.1723 to Charles Beard; sold 1736 to Anthony Nott (d. 1791); to son, Rev. Anthony Nott (d. 1829), who sold 1792 to Charles Herbert; sold to Richard Chase; sold 1823 to Evan Law (1747-1829); to widow, Henrietta Law (fl. 1841)... sold 1849 to Francis Barchard (1796-1856); to son, Francis Barchard (1826-1904); to nephew, Francis Barchard (1863-1932); to son, Francis Barchard (d. 1941); to mother, Maud Barchard (d. 1964); sold 1965 to Lord Rupert Nevill (1923-82); sold for conversion into an hotel.

Barchard family of Horsted Place

Barchard, Francis (1796-1856). Son of Joseph Vipont Barchard (1745-1831) and his wife Jane, baptised at Little Bookham (Surrey), 21 August 1796. A prosperous London dyer, he inherited substantial additional wealth from his godfather, Francis Hilton, who was also a London dyer, in 1845. JP for Sussex; High Sheriff of Sussex, 1853-54. He was joint Secretary of the South Saxon Archers, 1849-50. He married, 28 October 1824 at St George, Bloomsbury,  Margaret Jane (d. 1829), daughter of Elphinstone Piggott esq., Chief Justice of Tobago and niece of Sir Arthur Piggott, Attorney General, and had issue:
(1) Francis Barchard (1826-1904) (q.v.);
(2) Elphinstone Barchard (1827-93) (q.v.);
(3) Margaret Jane Barchard (1828-1902), born 4 April and baptised at St. Anne, Lewes (Sussex), 25 May 1828; married, 8 July 1857 at Little Horsted, Rev. William Lipsett Lawson (c.1823-93), vicar of Lynton & Lynmouth (Devon), and had issue; died at Tunbridge Wells, 13 November 1902;
(4) George Barchard (1829-91), born 5 May and baptised at St Anne, Lewes, 27 September 1829; an officer in the 16th Foot (Capt.); lived at Gresham House, Anerley (Surrey); married, 1863, Alice Anne Sutton, and had issue; died 17 August 1891; will proved 19 October 1891 (effects £10,607).
He acquired Ashcombe House, Lewes in the 1820s and lived there until he purchased the Horsted Place estate in 1849 and built a new house there in 1850-51. Ashcombe House was sold in 1852.
He died in Brighton, 17 February 1856; his will was proved in the PCC, 16 April 1856 (wealth at death, £250,000). His wife died 26 May and was buried at St Anne, Lewes, 2 June 1829.

Francis Barchard (1826-1904)
Image: V&A Musuem
Barchard, Francis (1826-1904). Elder son of Francis Barchard (1796-1856) of Horsted Place and his wife Margaret Jane, daughter of Elphinstone Piggott, Chief Justice of Tobago, born at Ashcombe near Lewes (Sussex), 19 January and baptised at All Souls, Langham Place, Marylebone (Middx), 17 February 1826. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1844; BA 1849; MA 1853) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1849; called 1854). Barrister-at-law. JP and DL for Sussex, and Vice-Chairman of East Sussex Quarter Sessions (resigned 1896). He was an officer in the Sussex Militia Artillery (Ensign, 1852; Lt., 1853; Capt., 1856), and played an important role in promoting the Rifle Volunteers movement in the county. He was a prolific and talented amateur photographer, some of whose work is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum. He also had antiquarian interests, and was Hon. Secretary of the Sussex Archaeological Society (resigned 1894). In politics, he was a Liberal and later a Liberal Unionist. He also took an interest in agricultural matters and in Church of England activities, and was a supporter of the Sisterhood of St Margaret's, East Grinstead and the Missionary Students Association. He married, 12 September 1861 at Lancing (Sussex), Arentina (1825-1909), daughter of John Watson of Hove (Sussex), but had no issue.
He inherited Horsted Place from his father in 1856. At his death the estate passed to his nephew, Francis Barchard (1863-1932). His widow lived at Wicklands, Little Horsted.
He died 28 November 1904 and was buried at Little Horsted, 2 December 1904; his will was proved 10 January 1905 (estate £61,261). His widow died 5 July 1909; her will was proved 23 August 1909 (estate £10,078).

Barchard, Elphinstone (1827-93). Younger son of Francis Barchard (1796-1856) of Horsted Place and his wife Margaret Jane, daughter of Elphinstone Piggott, Chief Justice of Tobago, born 15 February, and baptised at St Anne, Lewes, 15 July 1827. Educated at Winchester, Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1845; BA 1849; MA 1852; cricket blue, 1846-48) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1849; called 1853). Barrister-at-law. He was a Liberal in politics, and took a particular interest in the rights and privileges of the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages over Ashdown Forest (Sussex), which he defended to the best of his ability; he served as a member of the Board of Conservators of the forest until 'he found he could best serve the interests of the Foresters' outside it. He was an officer in the Uckfield Rifle Volunteers (Capt., 1870). Some years before his death, he was seriously injured when his trap overturned at Uckfield railway station and thereafter he increasingly withdrew from public life. He married, 13 September 1860 at Maresfield, Katherine Louisa Susan (1836-1908), daughter of Capt. William George Rose Barwell RN, and had issue:
(1) Francis Barchard (1863-1932) (q.v.);
(2) Ada Elphinstone Barchard (1864-1952), born 15 October 1864 and baptised at All Saints, St. Marylebone (Middx), 10 November 1865; died unmarried, 14 May 1952; will proved 2 September 1952 (estate £10,603);
(3) Gerard Elphinstone Barchard (1866-1938), baptised at All Saints, St Marylebone, 10 December 1866; emigrated to USA before 1898; lived at Summit, Benton, Oregon (USA); married, 9 May 1898 at Benton, Oregon, Etna V. (1875-1975), daughter of Joseph Skaggs, and had issue one son and one daughter; died at Contra Costa, California (USA), 31 December 1938;
(4) Brig-Gen. Arthur Elphinstone Barchard (1868-1947), born 26 May 1868; an officer in 2nd West Indian Regt. (2nd Lt., 1889; Lt., 1890; Capt., 1896; Maj., 1900; Lt-Col., 1911; Col., 1915; retired as Brig-Gen. 1920); lived with his spinster sisters at Campfield Rough, Fairwarp (Sussex); member of East Sussex County Council (from 1931) and Uckfield Rural District Council; died unmarried at Hove (Sussex), 22 August 1947; will proved 19 November 1947 (estate £5,623);
(5) Eleanor Elphinstone Barchard (1870-1962), born 11 June 1870; died unmarried, 22 February 1962; will proved 8 May 1962 (estate £20,693);
(6) Reginald Elphinstone Barchard (1873-93), baptised at Putney, 30 January 1873; died unmarried, 6 May 1893;
(7) Edmund Elphinstone Barchard (1874-1915), born 7 October 1874; assayer and mining engineer; he travelled extensively and settled in the USA; he married, 9 October 1901, in El Paso, Texas (USA), Mary Bernadette (1883-1952) (who m2, 1 April 1917, Charles Garfield Williams of Columbus, Ohio (USA), daughter of Angus D. MacEachen, but had no issue; he was lost in the sinking of RMS Lusitania, 7 May 1915; administration of his goods granted 2 November 1915 (estate £655).
He lived at Duddleswell Manor, Maresfield (Sussex).
He died 19 October, and was buried at Nutley (Sussex), 25 October 1893; his will was proved 26 January 1894 (effects £2,637). His widow died 28 October 1908; her will was proved 24 December 1908 (effects £10,631).

Barchard, Francis (1863-1932). Eldest son of Elphinstone Barchard (1827-93) and his wife Katherine, daughter of Capt. Barwill RN, born March and baptised at St Nicholas, Brighton, 20 April 1863. Educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1881; BA 1884) and Inner Temple (admitted 1885; called 1888). Barrister-at-law. JP for Sussex (from 1895); High Sheriff of Sussex, 1921. A Conservative in politics, he was a member of East Sussex County Council, 1896-1932, Uckfield Rural District Council, 1894-1932 (Vice-Chairman, 1899-1905; Chairman, 1905-32) and Uckfield Board of Guardians, 1895-1930 (Chairman, 1904-30). He served as Chairman of Uckfield Military Tribunal, 1915-18, was a director of the Uckfield Water Company, 1929-32 (Chairman, 1931-32) and President of the East Sussex Poultry Society, a subject in which he took a particular interest. He married, 1901, Maud Agnes (1877-1964), daughter of Lt-Col. Divie K. Robertson, and had issue:
(1) Francis Barchard (1903-41) (q.v.);
(2) Joan Barchard (1907-15), born 1907; died aged seven on 28 January 1915 and was buried at Little Horsted.
He inherited Horsted Place from his uncle in 1904. His widow lived at Horsted Place until her death, after which the house was sold. She also had a house in London at 66 Ashley Gardens, SW1.
He died 11 November 1932 and was buried at Uckfield; his will was proved 8 February 1933 (estate £138,854). His widow died 24 September 1964; her will was proved 25 November 1964 (estate £94,783).

Lt-Cdr. Francis Barchard (1903-41)
Barchard, Francis (1903-41). Only son of Francis Barchard (1863-1932) and his wife Maud Agnes Robertson, born 22 August 1903. He was an officer in the Royal Navy, 1917-41 (Lt-Cmdr, 1934). He married, 30 March 1933 at St Peter, Eaton Square, London, Joan Harriet (1901-71), daughter of Brig-Gen. Charles Edward FitzClarence VC, and had issue:
(1) Jane Anne Violet Barchard (b. 1935), born 5 November 1935; lived at Stoke St. Gregory (Somerset); married, 10 March 1962, Geoffrey Ewart Martin, son of Milton Ewart Martin of Twickenham House, Abingdon (Berks), and had issue one son and three daughters;
(2) Elizabeth Maud Barchard (b. 1939), born 18 April 1939; lived at Mildenhall (Wilts); married, 13 July 1967, David Leslie Scott, son of Thomas Leslie Scott of Old Bosham (Sussex), and had issue two daughters.
He inherited Horsted Place from his father in 1932, subject to the life interest of his mother, who outlived him. At the time of his death his widow was living in Fairford (Glos).
He was killed in action when HMS Barham was sunk by German torpedoes, 25 November 1941; his will was proved 2 May 1942 (estate £9,356). His widow died in Chelsea (London), 6 January 1971.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1886; Country Life, 7-14 August 1958; M. Girouard, The Victorian country house, 1979, pp. 172-78; P. Spencer-Silver, Pugin's builder: the life and works of George Myers, 1993, pp. 27, 45, 253; N. Antram & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Sussex - East, 2012, pp. 544-45.

Location of archives

Barchard of Horsted Place: deeds, estate and family papers, 19th-20th cents. [East Sussex Record Office, The Keep, Brighton: BAR]

Coat of arms

Argent, two bars azure, on a chief of the last a golden fleece pendent between two millrinds erect or.

Can you help?

  • If anyone can provide more information about the respective contributions of Daukes, Myers and Pugin to the interiors of Horsted Place, I would be most grateful.
  • I should be most grateful if anyone can provide photographs or portraits of people whose names appear in bold above, and who are not already illustrated.
  • As always, any additions or corrections to the account given above will be gratefully received and incorporated.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 2 March 2019 and updated 4 February 2022.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.