Beyond the west end of the hall there must have been an earlier structure
which could have been in line with or at right angles to the surviving
building, but the form and dimensions of this are not known. At some point
before the main 17th century alterations the walls of the eastern half of
the building were provided with substantial flint foundations.
17th century refurbishment amounted almost to a complete rebuild. The
accommodation created was in two halves, separated by the new chimney stack
and the remains of the earlier cross frame, intercommunicating only via a
lobby inside the north doorway. The eastern half provided two heated living
rooms, one downstairs and one upstairs. The western half provided five
unheated rooms, three downstairs and two upstairs. Of these, the room that
occupied the position of the earlier open hall had evidently become a
bake-house since it contained an oven. The internal walls were plastered and
white painted and a brick floor was laid on top of the earlier floor levels.
style of the ‘new’ house suggests that the rebuild was undertaken in the
first half of the 17th century.
Front view of the house
from Walderton before dismantling,
looking south, with the east end to the left and the west end
to the right.
At the time of its removal to the Museum in 1980
the house was divided into two cottages, the western half of which had been
empty and derelict since about 1930. The western half was owned by Ruth
Mills and the eastern half was owned and occupied by Mr R G Hurst.
Hurst had five documents in his possession relating to the early ownership
of the house from 1614 to 1793, the contents of which were summarised in the
1982 article. The most important of these were an indenture dated 25 March
1614 and a mortgage agreement dated 15 March 1646. In the first of these
Hugh Speke and Matthew Woodward, lords of the manor of Walderton, leased
John Catchlove a house, garden and orchard comprising half an acre of land
and a separate half acre plot of land called the North Garden for a period
of 10,000 years. John Catchlove was already the tenant of both properties
since the lease describes them as ‘now in [his] tenure or occupation’. The
rent for this was six days harvest work per year, two days at hay harvest,
two at wheat harvest and two at barley, oats and peas harvest plus two
capons at Easter. If the manorial lords were not in residence during the
harvest then he was to pay 1s in lieu of the harvest work and 6d in lieu of
this date North Garden was just a plot of land. However, by 30 July 1614 – only four months later – when John Catchlove sold
a 9,000 year lease on the property to John Thornden, it was described as
‘the plot of land called North Garden containing by estimation half an acre
and also the dwelling house thereupon built’. The original lease does not
survive and so we do not know how much money Catchlove made from the sale.
(It will be recalled that Richard Clare did much the same thing in 1639 when
he sold a 9,000 year lease on Pendean, with its 40 acres of land, to
Viscount Montagu.) From this date North Garden
disappears from the story.
On 15 March 1646 William Catchlove mortgaged the
house to Nicholas Powell, a tailor living in West Dean, for £20. This was a
secure loan which Catchlove undertook to repay with £1 12s (8%) interest by
20 March 1647, although we do not know whether he did so. After this there
is a gap in the documentation until 1759 when Elizabeth Page of Emsworth and
Mathew Catchlove of Westbourne sold the lease to Nicholas Pay.
Two John Catchloves
terms of identifying an early 17th century occupant the provenance of the
1614 lease is crucial since (unlike North Garden) the location of the
property it describes is otherwise unidentifiable. From a documentary
historian’s point of view it appears to be sound ‘proof’ that John Catchlove
lived there. So who was he? As Fred Aldsworth and Richard Harris identified
in their article, there were two John Catchloves living in the parish of
Stoughton in the early 17th century. They were evidently related but we do
not know how. They are easy to distinguish from each other since ‘our’ John
Catchlove was an illiterate husbandman (he signed the 1614 lease with a ‘+’)
whereas the other John Catchlove was a tailor and sufficiently literate to
act as the parish clerk. Some of what we know about both men comes from
legal depositions or witness statements that they gave in separate tithe
disputes heard in the Chichester Archdeaconry Court in 1614 and 1625
his 1625 deposition ‘our’ John Catchlove states that he is a husbandman,
aged 55 years, and has lived all his life in the parish of Stoughton. He was therefore born in c.1570. We know that he was the
son of William Catchlove, who died in 1585, and that at that date he had
three brothers, William, Edward and Robert, and two sisters, Joan and Jane.
He died in 1634, aged about 64, and was survived by his two daughters,
Martha and Katherine, both unmarried, and his brother, Robert. His will does
not mention his lease. He gave all his goods to his daughters and they were
granted administration which would suggest that they inherited the property,
but by 1646 it was in the hands of William Catchlove, who may have been his
The other John Catchlove was younger – 28 in 1614 – and
died in 1640 aged about 54. He lived in the village of Stoughton rather than
We now come on to trickier ground. The 17th century
alterations to the house made it a substantial property, comparable in size
to Pendean, which we know was occupied by yeomen. Husbandmen typically lived
in smaller houses, like Poplar Cottage. Obviously, these are generalisations
and the wealth of individual yeomen and husbandmen varied quite widely. It
is therefore worth looking at John Catchlove’s economic status more closely.
In 1625 when he gave evidence in the tithe dispute he
stated that ‘he is worth £10 in goods after his debts have been paid and
lives by his labour in husbandry’. At the time of his death in 1634 he was
owed £17 10s in money, which we know because he lists it in his will. His
probate inventory valued his estate at £28 14s. Unfortunately, the inventory
is badly damaged and the last section – probably about six lines – is
missing. The goods that are listed amount to £8 14s, leaving £20 unaccounted
for. It is likely that most of this is his outstanding debt. Probate
inventories generally include debts owing to the deceased at or near the
bottom of the inventory and they are added to the total value of the estate.
Catchlove’s ‘net’ worth at the time of his death was therefore about £8 to
£10. As a point of comparison, two other Stoughton husbandmen who died
around the same time – William Goodchild (1635) and William Smyth (1640) –
had estates valued at £39 5s 8d and £64 8s 4d respectively, with Smyth’s
inventory recording a ‘good debt’ of £40 making a ‘net’ worth of £24 8s 4d.
In other words, even by the standards of his social peers Catchlove was not
especially well off.
Catchlove’s probate inventory of 1634 which shows he left
between £8 and £10 at his death, indicating that
he was not well off.
A more intractable problem is that posed by the rooms and
goods itemised in the inventory itself. Only two rooms are listed – a hall
and a chamber – and, whilst we cannot rule out the possibility that another
room was listed in the missing portion, it is likely that this was the
extent of his accommodation. Catchlove’s hall contained a table and a frame,
a form (a bench), two chairs and a cupboard. It was where he cooked since
the inventory records a spit, a pair of pot-hangers, two frying pans, three
kettles, an iron and a brass pot and a posnet (a small saucepan or pot with
three feet). He also had three tubs, two firkins and one kiver (a shallow,
wooden trough) – all items that could be used for dairying or brewing. His
chamber contained at least one bed and bedding.
So what are we to make of it? The documents provide us with
three events which could have been associated with the radical refurbishment
of the house into the form in which it has been reconstructed at the Museum.
The first is the 1614 sale of the lease on the North Garden plot with its
newly built house (apparently built in the four months following the
original granting of the lease), which might have provided funds for the
refurbishment. The second is John Catchlove’s death in 1634: his daughters
inherited the property, but by 1646 it belonged to another family member,
William Catchlove, so there may have been a change of ownership in the later
1630s and an associated opportunity for the refurbishment. The third is the
1646 loan that William Catchlove secured, which again might have provided
funds for the refurbishment.
cutaway drawing showing the probable extent of a late phase in the
development of the medieval timber-framed building.
Stylistically the alterations could fit any of these three
dates, but 1614 is arguably a little early. The main dating feature is the
window construction, with mullions built of brick and plastered to imitate
stone. Another Museum exhibit, the building from Lavant, also has brick
mullion windows that were originally plastered, and it was built c1614, but
it seems to have been a building with some special purpose. There are also
almshouses locally with comparable construction built in the first quarter
of the century, and it is arguable that an ordinary village house might
adopt such an up-to-date style a little later than almshouses, which tend to
be somewhat self-conscious architecturally. The brick arch over the front
door is another clue: it has more of a mid- than an early-17th century look,
quite different from the arched doorheads of the building from Lavant and
comparable local almshouses.
So, could the alterations have been carried out after 1614
but before John Catchlove died in 1634? His inventory mentions two rooms, a
hall and chamber, which could refer to the two rooms in the eastern half of
the house. But in the light of what we know about his age (64), economic
status and the material impoverishment revealed by his inventory it seems
more likely that at the time of his death in 1634 he was living in two rooms
of what by then would have been a decaying medieval hall house. The fact
that the flint and brick ‘refurbishment’ was so radical, completely removing
all the timber-framed external walls and the medieval floor, suggests that
the medieval house had got into a poor state. The architectural and social
evidence therefore all points to a date after 1634 for the flint and brick
So who rebuilt the house and when? If it happened in the
late 1630s after John Catchlove’s death, we do not know who was responsible,
but if one of his two daughters had married her husband might have enabled
the work to take place. Alternatively it may have been done by William
Catchlove when he acquired the property sometime between 1634 and 1646, or
in 1646 when he secured a loan of £20.
A service half