The Bognor, Arundel and Littlehampton Guide 1828

In 1828 Richard Dally authored one of the first Guide Books to Bognor, Arundel and surrounding areas.

As is typical of guide books in the 19th century it concentrates on topographical features of the landscape, together with architectural detail of the churches and an account of the benefice, and concluding with a record of the farming landscape, landowners and population. Such information might be of interest to the landed gentry who were, of course, the target audience for these "holiday guidebooks".

Written to accompany a series of outings from Bognor, he describes the features a visitor to Yapton might be interested in knowing to illluminate their journey.


The following is a verbatim transcription of the pages relating to Yapton.


This village lies on the direct road to Arundel and Littlehampton. It is part of the Rape of Arundel, and is bounded on the north by Walberton and Binstead, on the east by Ford, on the south by Climping, and on the west by Felpham.

The Church has a nave and two aisles, divided by a double arcade, alternately round and octangular, with capitals in foliage, of the stile prevalent in the reign of Henry III. At the west end of the aisle is a low tower. The chancel has been rebuilt and modernized. Both with respect to shape and antiquity, the font is of great curiosity, it is composed of black granite and certainly Saxon.

Yapton Bells.
1. Largest, "Thomas Warfield me BK. 1617."
2. "Ave Maria +."
3. "Samuel Knight cast mee 1712."
4. Stephen Rogers C W (Churchwarden) 1712."

The church was ceiled in 1716. Gallery at west end erected in 1730.

On a marble monument near the entrance to the chancel, on the north side,

Sacred to the memory of Stephen Roe, Citizen of London, born in this parish and buried at Islington, who by his will, dated Oct. 17, 1766, gave twelve hundred pounds (three per cent South Sea annuities) to the poor of this parish, yearly for ever.
The parent hence shall never depart, 
But love each babe with joyful heart, 
To view this church stone. 
Here gratitude delights to dwell, 
And young and old shall always tell 
The good that Roe has done. 
Soft pity now shall comfort woe, 
And ignorance have herself to know, 
By bounty taught and fed. 
Orphans and widows more and more, 
And children yet unborn shall pour 
Their blessings on his head.

The pillars between the body and aisles are ornamented with sculptural devices.

The BENEFICE is a Vicarage in the Deanry of Arundel, endowed with the tithe of hay and all small tithes, the impropriation having passed with the manor in the purchase made by Sir George Thomas, Bart. and is now the property of Mrs. Crosbie, daughter of George Thomas, Esq. late M.P. for Chichester, who purchased the same. The vicarage is now consolidated with that of Walberton, adjoining. In Pope Nicholas's valuation it stands at 10l. in the Nonæ Roll at 23 marks, and in the King's Books at 7l. 10s. 11½d. There is no manse, the Vicar residing at Walberton; but it has eighteen acres of glebe, one field of which, Mr. Dallaway says, was so fertile, that for eighteen years in succession, it had produced corn without measure—indeed the whole of Yapton is singularly fertile.

Yapton was originally called Yabeton, but is not mentioned in Domesday Book. It comprises 1500 statute acres of extremely fertile land (marine loam) of which 100 are pasture, and very little of wood, distant from Arundel about five miles. It is in the Rape of Arundel, and Hundred of Avisford.

The Manor of Yapton.

In the Testa de Nevil, Henry de Preston is said to hold a quarter of a knight's fee in Balsham (now Bilsom) and Yabeton of the Honour of Arundel. In the early centuries, it was subdivided by grants of it in parcels to several monastic bodies. But the paramount manor remained vested in the Earls of Arundel. It was sold by Henry Fitz-Alan, the last of that name, in 1571 to John Edmunds, and subsequently came by purchase to the above named George Thomas, Esq. and is now vested in Mrs. Crosbie. The Manor House was for many years occupied by Scrase Dickins, Esq. and lately by Colonel Palmer.

Richard, Earl of Arundel, upon his founding the College of Arundel, bequeathed the Manor of Balsham and Yabeton, together with the impropriation and advowson of the Vicarage to the Master and Fellows, who in 1624 presented Patrick Bolden.

There was formerly a manor in Yapton called Shulbrude Manor, or Wallinchmere, parcel of a priory there to whom it was granted by Edmund de St John, which was valued in 1291, in Pope Nicholas's valuation at 6l. 15s. 2d. At the dissolution of priories, it fell into the hands of the crown, and was granted in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth, with the manors of Berecourt and Balsham in Yapton, to John Edmunds, and descended as one manor by unity of possession to the Thomas family as above mentioned.

Bilsom in Yapton

Bilsom was originally a hamlet and chapelry. One knight's fee upon the partition of the Earldom of Arundel was assigned to Robert De Tateshall. In an ecclesiastical valor in 1551, it is stated that lands with their appropriate tithes belonged to the dissolved Priory of Tortington, and at that period to Henry, Earl of Arundel, and that the church of Bilsham was fallen down, having no service nor curate, the annual value being 5l. 6s. 8d. Bilsom farm containing 190 acres is held in jointure by Ann, Countess Dowager of Newburgh and the Corporation of Chichester have 600 acres of land in Bilsom and Yapton.

The copy of Nonæ Roll relating to Yabeton is given below, shewing the facts above stated as to the Priories of Arundel, Tortington, and Shulbrede having lands in this parish. The parish register of Yapton commences in 1558.

In the year 1734, 22 freeholders gave their votes; in 1774, 13, and in 1820, 14.

In 1821 there were houses, ................... 79
Occupied by families, ...........................105
Families chiefly employed in agriculture, ... 76
In trade, &c. ....................................... 21
Not in either of those classes, ................. 8
Number of males......... 311 }
               Females..... 268 } Total 579
                                            £. s. d.
Amount of Poor Rates, ......... 668 18 0
Ratio to each person, ............. 1 3 1¼

Dally included an extract from the Nonæ Roll with annotations, as a footnote.


Ecclesia de Yabeton extenditur cum vicaria ad xxii marcos. Et dicunt quod nona pars garbarum ejusdem parochiae valet hoc anno v. iibros et xs. et nona pars velleris valet hoc anno iiiis. et nona pars agnorum valet iiis. Et sic summum totalis aejusdem parochiae v libros xviis. —Item, dicunt quod Prior Arundclis habet ibidem CC. acras terrae arabile cujus nona valet hoc anno Ls. Item, habet [decima] velleris et agnorum (fleece and lambs) quod hoc anno valent vis. viiid. —Item, Prior de Tortyngton habet iu eadem parochia terries arabiles et seminatas undecim, quorum nona valet vis. viiid. Item, Prior de Shulbrede habet in eadem parochia terras seminatas undecim quorum nona valet xxd. — Item, dicunt quod nona garbarum, nona velleris, et nona agnorum non respondent nee attingere possunt ad taxationem ecclesiae praedictae per eo quod vicarius ejusdem parochiae de Yabeton habet unum messuagium et xxi acras terrae ut glebas ecclesiae praedictae quae valent per aunnum ii marcos. Item, decima fini valet hoc anno xs. —Item, decima syserum valet hoc anno ii marcos. —Item, dicunt quod decimae lini (flax) canibi (hemp) porcellorum (pigs) vitulorum (calves) vaccarum lactagii (milk of cows) et ovorum (sheep) valent hoc anno i marcum, (13s.1d.) —Item, oblationes mortuorom omnibus aliis minutis decimis per estimacionem ad altarem pervenient valent per annum xxxs.

The Bognor, Arundel And Littlehampton Guide,
Comprising A History Of Those Places, And Of The Castle Of Arundel

Pub: 1828
pp. 160-165

GJW, July 2019

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