D7.1 Nos.78 & 76 High Street.

Part of 1852OS map showing Nos.78 &76 High Street out-lined

in pink and their individual property boundaries out-lined in green.

These two properties were both erected on part of an ancient parcel of land held of Worthing manor.

No.78 High Street.

A photograph of No.78 High Street taken in August 1902.

This cottage was erected by Thomas Burden in 1762 adjoining the northern end of his own cottage (No.76 High Street) on the north-west corner of his garden. This was commemorated by a stone over the porch of the new house which was inscribed ‘Burden Thos. & Ann 1762’ in three lines (see photograph below).


Photograph of inscribed stone tablet above the door of No.78 High Street in 1959 prior to the demolition of the building. Although very worn, the details can be seen.

His tenant was Alex Burden, presumably a relative of Thomas. It was not, however, until 1780 that the manorial books of Worthing record that the cottage was surrendered to the use of Alex Burden, who was then officially admitted as the tenant. Alex died in 1810, aged 77, and John Bawcombe, who let out donkey and pony chaises for hire, took over the cottage. The cottage survived into the 20th century but was demolished in 1960 for road improvements.

[Ref:- Worthing – From Saxon Settlement to Seaside Town, Ronald Kerridge and Michael Standing, 2000, p.59.]

No.78 High Street on the junction of High Street and

Lyndhurst Road shortly before demolition, circa 1958.

Occupants list.

1762 – 1810 Alex Burden

1810 – 1841 John Bawcombe

1846 – 1866 Henry Bawcombe

1870 – 1873 Henry Searle – carter

1874           Empty

1875 – 1892 Mr T.Ball – coal merchant

1893 – 1896 Thomas Gale – stonemason

1897            Mr C.E.Burstow – machinist

1898 – 1915 Arthur J.Foster

1916 – 1940 Mrs Foster

1941 – 1945 ?

1946 – 1958 Robert W.Anderson

1960           Demolished.

No.76 High Street [Alma Cottage].

A cottage on this site can be traced back to 1551 when it was recorded as ‘a cottage and garden and 2 Hemplotts formerly Lamballes’ occupied by Edward Stamer. The property then descended through the Stamer family until 1666, when Elizabeth Stamer surrendered it to her sister Joane Swift who was admitted. The property was then described as a ‘cottage and garden and 2 Hemplotts estimated as 1 acre’.

The next occupant was Elizabeth Swift, daughter of John Swift of Lancing when the property was described as ‘ruinous’. It would appear that at some time following Elizabeth Swift’s marriage to John Burden the cottage was either repaired or rebuilt since the next entry relating to the property was not until 1686, some 20 years later, when Elizabeth Burden surrendered it to her children Mary and Peter Burden. Although the Broadwater parish registers record a John and Elizabeth Burden with a son Peter, there appears to be no entry relating to their marriage. The property then descended from Elizabeth to her son Peter in 1703 and after Peter’s death in 1758 to his youngest son Thomas Burden, a farmer who had married Ann Gates on 19th July 1750. It is this couple who are commemorated on the stone tablet above the door of the adjoining No.78 High Street. In August 1791 Thomas Burden senior died and his will bequeathed his copyhold property to his son, Thomas Burden junior, also a farmer, whose wife was Ann (nee Sowter). This marriage only lasted eight years as Ann died at the age 29 in 1781 and Thomas later married Mary Lamberley, a widow, in 1796. It was this Thomas Burden who was asked to prepare a map of the town’s boundaries after the the ancient ceremony of treading the bounds was carried out in 1813. A copy of an earlier plan of Worthing exists, also drawn by Thomas Burden. It is undated but believed to have been prepared in about 1805, shortly before the ‘Inclosure Act’ was implemented, perhaps to assist the Commissioners in their duties!

Photograph of Nos.78 & & 76 High Street [Ref:- Glimpses of Old Worthing,

 Edward Snewin & Henfrey Smail, 1945, page 18]. No.78 can be seen

in the centre of the photograph and No.76 (Alma Cottage) on the right.

From the latter part of the 18th century the description of the property was ‘a customary messuage or tenement, garden and one acre more or less’. This old house appears to be the same property that was later known as ‘Alma Cottage’ and is illustrated in various books on Worthing (see above). The cottage was probably named in commemoration of the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War, when on 20th September 1854 the British and their allies defeated the Russians. It became a popular name for smaller houses and cottages during that period and there several with this name in local villages. This cottage survived well into the 20th century but was badly damaged by fire in May 1946 and after having stood derelict, was demolished in April 1948. A temporary building was erected on the site and for several years served as a new Domestic Science room for the nearby school and was then used by the ‘Girls Nautical Training School’. It was later demolished.

[Ref:- Worthing – From Saxon Settlement to Seaside Town, Ronald Kerridge and Michael Standing, 2000, pp. 58 & 59.]

Occupants list.

[For occupants of cottage on site earlier than 1700 see text above].

1703 – 1758 Peter Burden

1758 – 1791 Thomas Burden

1791 – 1828 Thomas Burden (son)

1838           -----   Burden

1841           Mary Burden

1846           Thomas Currey

1851           James Baker – cordwainer

1861 – 1862 Richard Taylor– carpenter

1866 – 1873 Robert Newman – laundry man

1874 – 1899 Mr G.May

1875            Mr McPherson – music teacher

1900 – 1905 Mrs May

1906 – 1927 George Walter Brown – builder

1923 – 1927 M.Barnard & Co. – financiers

1928 – 1929 Brown & Co. – builders

1929 – 1936 Frank Hayler

1938           Ronald Charles Thomas

1939 – 1940 Sidney Charles Rolfe

1941 – 1944 ?

1945 – 1946 St. John Ambulance Brigade ?

1946           Building badly damaged by fire

1948           Demolished.

Temporary Hut/Room on site.

See text above for details.  

High Street Nos 78-76

www.westsussexpast.org.uk - P005481