Seeking additional protection for Barnhorn Manor


Bexhill Heritage has applied to Historic England to upgrade their listing of Lower Barnhorn Manor from Grade II to Grade II* to recognise the buildings special architectural and historical importance.

The building is timber-framed refaced with flint dressings and quoins of red brick. We presume the manor house to be 14th century or possibly earlier. In addition, we understand its Tudor interior is largely ‘untouched’. Its roof beams, walls, fireplaces, floors and principal staircase appear to be original.

We’ve also recommended that the cow shed east of the manor house be given Listed status. This auxiliary building is oak-framed with a later patterned brick infill – probably Victorian but possibly earlier. Bricks will have been made locally – probably out of farmland clay. The shed is unusual in that a public clock has been added to its roof together with a wind vane depicting a cow. We believe these to be Victorian additions. The roof (clay tiles) is also Victorian. Internal features reflect Victorian farming practices.

Bexhill Heritage believes that the cow shed is one of the most interesting vernacular buildings in the town and one that remains relatively undiscovered.


Barnhorn or Barnhorne stands as one of the oldest sites in Bexhill and has significant historic interest. The name means Byrna’s horne – a tongue of land protruding into the marsh.

The Domesday Book records that the land was worth 20 pounds before the conquest, was ‘waste’ in 1066 and was worth 18 pounds 10 shillings in 1086.

0772 – King Offa first granted a charter.
1068 – King William gave the land to Robert, Count of Eu, with most of the Hastings area.
1120 – Ralph, Abbot of Battle Abbey acquired ownership of 90 acres, adding mills and houses. Tenants took hay and wheat to the Abbey in lieu of rent.
1148 – Robert’s grandson, John, Count of Eu, gave back the holding to Hilary of Chichester where Barnhorn was first described as a manor.
1305 – Sometime before this date the manor house was moved from a site to the east named ‘Old Town field’ to the present site of Barnhorn Farm.
1306 – Mention of a furnace at Lower Barnhorn, identified by Ernest Straker as the site of one of three bloomeries in Bexhill.
1307 – Recorded as having 444 acres of arable land, of which 167 acres were salt marsh, including the now abandoned medieval village of Northeye.
1539 – At the dissolution of the monasteries, the estate was given to Sir Anthony Browne, Master of the Horse to Henry VIII.
1719 – Sold to Sir Thomas Webster.

Through the Webster family, the present Battle Abbey Estate still owns some 60 acres of Barnhorn land together with the title of the manor. This now has no benefits but nevertheless provides a remarkable reminder of the ancient association of that part of Bexhill.

Barnhorn Farm c1900 – © Bexhill Museum