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Pagham manor of Archbishop of Canterbury

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Becket's Barn

In the civil parish of Pagham.
In the historic county of Sussex.
Modern Authority of West Sussex.
1974 county of West Sussex.
Medieval County of Sussex (Rape of Chichester).

OS Map Grid Reference: SZ88429741
Latitude 50.76955° Longitude -0.74748°

Pagham manor of Archbishop of Canterbury has been described as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Residential manor house of the archbishops of Canterbury. (Thompson)

The foundations and moat of the palace may still be seen, at a short distance from the church, to the south-east. (Lewis)

Becket's Barn .... long used as a barn, but clearly incorporating the remains of the great hall of the mediaeval Rectory. This probably dates from C14, to which period belong a blocked doorway and a small two-light window visible in the north wall, which is built of stone rubble. Inside, towards the east end of the same wall, can be traced the outline of a large blocked fire-place; and at the west end of the south wall, at first-floor level, is a segmental-headed doorway, presumably leading into a solar, of which there are slight traces outside. The gabled east end has been shortened and rebuilt. The roof has plain queen-post trusses and wind-braced purlins. To the south are remains of an extensive double-moated inclosure, the inner moat probably once surrounding the building. (VCH)

Remains of an Archiepiscopal Palace noted by the OS. These buildings represent the remains of Pagham Rectory, first recorded in documents in 1299. Since Pagham belonged to the see of Canterbury detailed records survive of repairs etc., particularly for the period 1380-1444. A 1650 survey refers to a parsonage house, barns, storehouse and a large yard. By 1671 the house had disappeared, but near the churchyard were two barns. Excavations in 1956-7 dated certain features of the barn to C13 and partially recovered some floor plans (Collins and Fleming 1958). The inside of the barn and 3 areas close by were excavated in 1974 by Gregory. RB and Saxon occupation was proved, while the medieval occupation was dated to C13 and C14 (Gregory). In 1993 three trenches were excavated, and found that the 1956-7 'corridor' had been left exposed until it was covered by makeup but in all they were mainly undisturbed, doubt has now been cast on the explanation for the 'corridor' suggested by Flemming and Collins. Two post holes of indeterminate date were found to the west of the 'corridor', and a deposit containing prehistoric and Saxo- Norman pottery was found adjacent to the wall (Gardiner 1993). (West Sussex HER)

The archaeology suggests medieval occupation from C13 although the architectural remains are C14. Pagham was a significant port in the C13/C14 and a residence here may have been useful for the coastal and sea going travel of the archbishops although a function as an import/export centre for the archbishops considerable estates will have been a more ongoing function.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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