High Street No. 38

D10.1 No.38 High Street.

This property was built on the old site known as ‘Gile’s Old Orchard’ after it had been separated from its house and garden in September 1751 by Elizabeth Booker, widow of John Booker, (who inherited the property from her husband John Booker, saddler of Arundel). Her husband had previously purchased the original property from Henry Allen of Piddlehinton, Dorset, clerk in 1711.

In 1792 the old orchard of one acre was sold to Charles Bushby of Arundel and later in 1798 his son Thomas Bushby sold it for £126 to Ambrose Cartwright, a carpenter and builder from Worthing. The extent of the site can be seen on the conjectural map shown below which is derived from information contained in various historical documents that were made available to the author many years ago.

In circa 1780 ‘Giles Old Orchard’ was the original site of

the later No.38 High Street and is shown outlined in green.

By January 1800 Ambrose Cartwright had built a substantial house on his site immediately to the south of No.40 High Street, then the house of Christopher Corfe (see map above). In the September of 1800 Cartwright sold the house, together with the orchard, to Richard Penfold of Broadwater, yeoman, for £802-10s-6d. In 1801 Michael Morrah of Worthing, surgeon, purchased the property from Penfold for £1,300 and it became both his home and surgery.

The home and surgery of Michael Morrah built on the site of No.38 High Street. This photograph was taken on August 1902 before ‘Charlecote Road’ was formed between the house and No. 40 High Street (house with bow windows on left).

An additional piece of land adjoining his property on the east was acquired by Michael Morrah as part of the re-allocation of land under the Inclosure Act of 1805. Sometime between 1808 and 1817 he had also purchased a strip of land from the baker James Corfe, who resided next door (No. 40) to provide an access to his outbuildings at the rear of his property and to his new piece of land. This strip of land measured 20 feet wide and 170 feet long and was described as ‘part and parcel of a certain orchard or close belonging to C.Corfe deceased’. It was then fenced off by a party wall built by Michael Morrah. To the south was an entrance to the High Street and on the north access to his new piece of land.

All theses changes are clearly shown on the specially prepared map for 1852 shown below. By 1852 the house was named Warwick Hall and had become a school with a school room built at the rear.

Map showing additions made to the property by 1852 for No. 38 High Street.

The house was demolished in circa 1903 and Worthing’s Central Fire Station was erected on its site and opened in 1904.

An undated postcard with the Fire Brigade outside the Fire Station in High Street.

Central Fire Station in High Street, February 1964.

The Fire Station closed in 1961 and the Fire Service transferred to a new building in Ardsheal Road, Broadwater, which opened in 1962. A tyre service company used the old Fire Station building for a few years until 1969 when it was demolished. By 1972 ‘Crown House’ and its car park covered the sites of Nos. 38 – 32 High Street (see below).

The large buildings of ‘Crown House’ (on left) in February 1984.

Occupants list.

1798 – 1800 Ambrose Cartwright

1800 – 1801 Richard Penfold

1801 – 1828 Michael Morrah – surgeon

1838           Empty

1841           ?

1846 – 1883  William Lane junior – school master/proprietor of school

1884 – 1887 G.Piggott – School for Young Gentlemen

1888 – 1894  Empty

1895            Not listed

1896 – 1901 Listed as Warwick Hall – no occupants recorded

1902 – 1903 Not listed (demolished)

[Between 1904 and 1962 the building is listed as ‘Central Fire Station’ for which the abbreviation CFS has been used in the following list].

1904 – 1909 H.N.Collet (Chief officer) - CFS

                  C.F.Haines (2nd officer)

                  H.Finnis (Station officer)

                  Albert Hunt

                  John Weller

                  Roger Allen

1910           J.Allmark (Station officer) – CFS

1911 – 1914 A.W.Bristow (Station officer) – CFS

1915 – 1928 A.E.Healey (Station officer) – CFS

1929 – 1930 H.F.Jones (Resident officer) – CFS

1931 – 1934 W.Bourne (Resident officer) – CFS

1935 – 1936 F.Wells (Resident officer) – CFS

1937 – 1939 No names recorded - CFS

1940           H.Jones (Station officer) – CFS

1941 – 1945 No names recorded – CFS

1946           S.Culnane (Station officer) – CFS

1947 – 1948 No names recorded – CFS

1949 – 1962 T.A.Hesketh (Station officer) – CFS

1963 – 1965 Empty ?  [Fire Service moved to Broadwater].

1966 – 1968 Southern Services Tyres Ltd

1969           Regional Tyre Services

[Building demolished]

1972 – 1975 Crown House - DHSS & Inland Revenue Inspector of Taxes.

www.westsussexpast.org.uk - P005485