Stansted, Sussex

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Royal), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameStansted, Sussex
Alternative Names
Historic CountrySussex
Modern AuthorityWest Sussex
1974 AuthorityWest Sussex
Civil ParishStoughton

Royal hunting lodge, demolished and replaced by a house in 1686. The house was remodelled and enlarged in 1786 and circa 1840. It was destroyed by fire in 1900. The house was rebuilt in neo-Wren style in 1902. (PastScape)

The history of the manor, within which is included an extensive forest of very great beauty, dates back to the 13th century, when it was in possession of the noble family of de Albini, Earls of Arundel, who made it their occasional residence, entertaining there, in 1215, King John and his retinue. It remained part of the Arundel estates for more than centuries after, and as such descended to Lord Lumley, and from him to the Earls of Scarborough, who lived there till about the middle of the last century.

The mansion, as already stated, has undergone many changes. The earliest notice we can find of a manorial residence belongs to the year 1327 (20 Edw. II.), when it appears to have consisted of a hall, with a chapel and two chambers, a kitchen and one chamber over the gate. Judging from these facts it could scarcely be termed the principal residence of the Earls of Arundel, but was probably used by them as a hunting seat, for which it was well adapted by its proximity to an extensive forest. About the year 1480, it is said to have been rebuilt by Thomas, Lord Maltravers, upon whom it had been settled by his father, William, Earl of Arundel. No doubt the change it then underwent was similar to that effected in many of the feudal strongholds throughout England ; that is to say, it was converted into a castellated mansion, in which the comfort of the inmates rather than their defence was chiefly consulted. So far as we can learn it was quadrangular in form, having a turreted gateway for an entrance, and within an open courtyard and cloister

This building in its turn gave place to the far larger structure erected by Lord Scarborough in 1686, after the design of William Talman, the architect of Uppark, in Harting, which Stansted is said to have closely resembled.

Stansted was a demense manor of the Earls of Arundel, who evidently had a hunting lodge here in the twelfth century. When William, Earl of Arundel, died in 1176, his lands were taken into the king's hands, and in the following year Henry II spent ... (HKW)

Gatehouse Comments

Originally a demense manor of Earls of Arundel, held by the Crown from 1176 to c.1216 and used as occasional residence. £130 spent on new chamber and other works in 1180's. King's falconers were recorded as here in 1179 and 1181.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* 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 ReferenceSU761103
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  • Pevsner, N. and Nairn, I., 1965, Buildings of England: Sussex (London, Penguin) p. 336-7
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 1003
  • Earl of Bessborough, 1958, A Place in the Forest being the story of Stansted in Sussex (Batsford)
  • Elwes, Dudley George Cary, 1876, A history of the Castles, Mansions, and Manors of Western Sussex (London: Longmans) p. 224 online copy
  • Day, J., 1815, A history of the western division of the county of Sussex Vol. 1 p. 158- online copy