Sutton Place

Sutton Place was built around 1840 near the much older Manor House of Sandore Sutton, which was once a manorial establishment under Robertsbridge Abbey. It was never a religious establishment.

SCHOOLS 125 Sutton Place Seaford ref G 2227 36 G7659 14

Although Sutton was not mentioned in the Domesday Book, nevertheless the parish of Sutton did exist, and Seaford was carved out of the parish of Sutton in the late 1080’s.Thus the new Seaford as a parish was merely a town, not requiring an agricultural base of a wide hinterland to support it. Sutton had its original parish church and burial ground, the site of which is marked clearly on the OS maps from 1875 onwards until it was built on  when planning approval that enabled Harison Road and Sandore Close to be built. Sutton church was always the poor relation. It served the local agricultural community, which itself served Robertsbridge Priory whereas Seaford’s status as an arm of Hasting’s Cinque Port (effectively a tax haven dodge to get residents out of feudal duties etc) meant that it thrived while the port worked and the monarch required ships to cross the Channel for raiding parties to try and keep the Norman estates in France. During the Hundred Years War, the French would occasionally hit towns on the English coast in retaliation for England’s territorial struggles. Thus, in 1377 it was reported that Sutton Church vicarage was burnt to the ground and the church severely damaged by the French. By 1428 Sutton was so badly affected by plague and French raids that no freeholder in Sutton was able to pay their taxes. There was a similar report in 1439. Seaford took over Sutton’s parochial duties in 1508, and so the child took over from the parent. The effect of the Dissolution of the Monasteries was the break-up of the Robertsbridge Abbey portfolio in 1538 under Thomas Cromwell,  who sold it to Sir William Sidney of Penshurst. Subsequent transactions from 1538 to 1624 are as yet undiscovered but by that time it was owned by Sir Benjamin Pellatt who commissioned a survey from the Lewes-based John de Ward which is held at The Keep. It is a brilliant piece of surveying of remarkable accuracy, and shows the Manor House as being to the south of the present Sutton Place, with the burial ground to the north of the present Sutton Place, as per the OS map. The map shows details from that survey showing the manor house (plot 80) and burial ground (plot 83) just to the north of what we now call Sutton Corner, left of Sutton Green.

webmap of sutton place

 

The present Sutton Place is a Grade II listed building status granted 26 October 1971 and the entry states it was built “circa 1840. Stuccoed. Slate roof. 7 windows - 2:3:2 - glazing bars intact. Good porch with Doric columns, pediment, 6 panel door. Additions to north and south”.

Sutton estate was in the ownership of the Dobell and then Harison families (they were related), and then briefly by James E A Gwynne of Folkington Manor who, in 1897, sold it to Alfred Blandford Hutchings who proceeded to develop the land steadily with schools and large houses in the eastern part and semis in the part west of Southdown Road. Sutton Place was occupied initially by Hutchings and then went through several tenants including Viscount Selby, Speaker of the House of Commons and President of Seaford Head Golf Club until WW1 came, when it was requisitioned by the Army as a 'Khaki College'.

Based on information provided by Charlie Grimble.