West Tarring Archbishops Palace

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are major building remains

NameWest Tarring Archbishops Palace
Alternative NamesThe Old Palace, West Tarring; Parsonage House
Historic CountrySussex
Modern AuthorityWest Sussex
1974 AuthorityWest Sussex
Civil ParishWorthing

Remains of a C13 house with C15 hall, built on the site of Archbishop Becket's Palace. Converted into the Rectory at the Reformation and since the erection of the modern Rectory used as the Parish Hall. T-shaped flint and rubble building with stone quoins and frames to windows and doors. Gable at east end. South and west sides have buttresses. C15 2-light cinquefoil headed windows with stone mullions and transoms. C13 lancet window in south wing. Horsham stone slate roof, the upper portion renewed with red tiles. (Listed Building Report)

The Old Palace, the original manor-house, comprises the hall and solar blocks of a substantial house which was at one time larger. The two-storeyed solar is of 13th-century origin, but was remodelled in the 15th century with for instance new window tracery. The open hall was probably built in the early 14th century, perhaps replacing an earlier one, and was partly reconstructed in the 15th. There is evidence that other buildings formerly existed west of the hall, presumably for service purposes, and east of the solar. A gatehouse mentioned in the early 16th century has also disappeared. The surviving building has been altered or restored on several occasions, notably in the 17th, 19th, and 20th centuries. At some date between the early 16th century and the 18th, it became attached to the rectory manor. In the mid 18th century the hall was divided into three rooms, but Jeremiah Milles, rector 1747–79, repaired the building and converted it into a charity school, which it remained, though apparently not continuously, until c. 1910. Part, however, was still used as cottages in 1805, and as a dairy in 1833. After c. 1910 the building was used as a parish hall, being bought by the parochial church council in 1958. A square dovecot of cobbles, with a hipped and tiled roof, survived in 1978. (VCH 1980)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ132041
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 320-25
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 172
  • Hudson, T.P. (ed), 1980, VCH Sussex Vol. 6.1 p. 270-80 online transcription
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1907, VCH Sussex Vol. 2 p. 381 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 321 online copy
  • Turner, T.H., 1851, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 1 p. 163-4 online copy


  • < >Packham, A.B., 1923, 'The "Old Palace" at West Tarring' Sussex Archaeological Collections Vol. 64 p. 140-80 < > online transcription


  • Harris, R.B., December 2009, Worthing Historic Character Assessment Report: Sussex Extensive Urban Survey Download copy
  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) Appendix B: List of Medieval Bishop's Palaces in England and Wales (available via EThOS)