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Title 1898

Section 6 - Pages 28-37 (inclusive)

Distances from Hooe Post Office Click on the picture, on the left, for a larger image. The distances below refer to the points indicated on the map


Ashburnham by C 3 miles
Battle by C 6 miles
Bexhill by B 7 miles
Bexhill by C * 5 miles
Bexhill by D 4 ½ miles
Catsfield by C 3 miles
Eastbourne by A 10 miles
Hastings by C 9 miles
Hooe Church 1 ½ miles
Hurstmonceux by C * 6 ½ miles
Hurstmonceux by E 5 miles
Little Common by B * 4 ½ miles
Little Common by D 2 ½ miles
Normanhurst by C 3 miles
Ninfield by C 2 miles
Pevensey by A 5 miles
Sidley by C * 3 ½ miles
Sidley by D 3 miles
Wartling by E 3 miles
Whydown by D 1 ½ miles

* Best road for cyclists.

Note: - - - - - - - - - - - - Denotes footpaths to the church.

Burials in Churches - APPENDIX A

Burials in the North of the churchyard have in many parts of the country been strongly objected to by parishioners for the following reasons:

  1. It does not enjoy the amount of sunshine the south does, and is in consequence associated with damp, darkness, and decay.
  2. It is exposed to cold winds which bring discomfort, colds, chills and 'icy death'.
  3. It has been considered the abode of demons and ghosts.
  4. Strangers and suicides have been ~buried there (GH LXXII. 209)
  5. Incense was burnt in churches in bygone days to sweeten them - obviously a necessity.
  6. Crypts were frequently built under chancels and chapels to receive human remains, from time to time, dug up in churchyards (GM LXIV.617).

The Royal Arms in Churches - APPENDIX B

The Royal Arms in churches are mentioned first soon after the death of Henry VIII. They appear as a sign of loyalty to the sovereign and opposition to papal claims. In 1547 the curate of St. Martin's, Ironmonger Lane, substituted the Royal Arms for the crucifix. Many were put up in Elizabeth's reign. In a licence granted by Archbishop Abbot, October 24th 1631, they are mentioned with the Ten Commandments and 'other holy sentences' as required in Churches. After the Restoration, an Order in Council seems to have been issued commanding them (NQ).

St. Mary-in-the--Castle, Hastings - APPENDIX C

This Church and Priory were founded by Henry of Eu, or by his father. (MH 95, GA Hastings Castle). The site of the church is considered by antiquarians to be marked by the fragment of a square tower in the northern wall. (MH 86). In 1299 the gift of the prebends was said to have been in the crown ever since the barony of Hastings came into the King's hands (GA) in 1278 or 1279. The dean had licence to build himself a mansion within the walls of the castle by a patent of Edward III in 1332.

The college seal is shewn opposite page 95 of Moss' History./p

In Edward III's reign it was styled the King's Free Chapel - liberated probably in 1340.


Eu, or Ewe, is a sea-port town about twelve miles N.E. of Dieppe. Its name in Latin appears to be Augum (anciently Auci, Auco or Augi) and to be derived from augere, to elevate. 'Eu' may therefore be accepted as the French equivalent of 'Hooe'.

It was in Eu William the Conqueror met with Matilda, daughter of Count Baldwin, who became his wife. They were married in spite of Pope Leo IX's opposition. But his successor, Nicolas II, ratified the contract in 1059 on condition they built and endowed a monastery and a nunnery. They fulfilled this at Caen. In Eu, Harold was detained by William and was made to promise solemnly he would support his claim to the throne of England. (BN 9).

Appendix D

Bec Abbey - APPENDIX E

This famous abbey was built by Hellonin, its first abbot, in 1034 and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

In 1415 the monks had to garrison a fortress to protect it from Henry V. The fortress was besieged by the Duke of Clarence and fell into his hands. He put 140 men there to be kept by the monks. Several of the brethren fled and retired to priories.

Margaret, wife of Henry VI, spent five days there with her son Edward (the Prince of Wales) in 1464.

Albold of Bec became abbot of St. Edmund's Bury in England; Richard, of St. Werburgh, near Chester; Hugh of St. Austin, Canterbury; Gilbert of Colchester; Lanfranc became Archbishop of Canterbury; also Anselm, Theobald and Hubert; Ernulf was bishop of Rochester, also Gundulph; and Gilbert Crispin, Abbot of' Rochester. (HB 84-88).

The seals of the Abbey are shown on p 118 of Bourget's History. Bec possessed both the manor and priory at Hooe (HB 126, 127).

Previous to the French Revolution, it presented to 160 churches and 30 other benefices, priories and chapels. Its church has been rebuilt six times (MA VI 1067) but there now remain only a tower and a portion of the nave. The monastic buildings are used as a military depot. (BN 73).

An Anglo-Saxon Church at Hooe - APPENDIX F

The following are reasons for believing a church existed at Hooe before the Conquest:

  1. The deflection of the chancel, and the plan of it in the main, corresponds to the Saxon Church at Greenstead, Essex, built in 1013.
  2. The age of the muniment chest, and the font.
  3. The existence of the manor of Hooe and its value in Edward the Confessor's reign.
  4. Evidently the village gave its name to the Hundred of Hoo in Saxon times.
  5. Its proximity to Pevensey which possessed a castle, haven, shipping and importance and was once linked to Hastings as a Cinque Port. (MB 521; AR XXXIV 2446250).
  6. Its proximity to the old Saxon towns of Barnhorn and Northeye.
  7. It possessed a haven, and is on the road from Pevensey to Hastings and to London.
  8. Its east wall was found to be of Saxon (rubble) work when the reredos was erected in 1898.

The Old Chest - APPENDIX G

In olden times chests with locks were the depositories of portable objects of intrinsic value and utility - garments, jewels, plate and ornaments. In Anglo-Saxon times the words applied to them were:

"loc" from which we get "locker", "cyste" - our "chest", and "arc" - our "ark".

The Anglo-Normans used the terms:

"huche" - our "hutch", "coffre" - our "coffer" (DM 265).

It is suggested the word chapel is derived from the Latin "capell" a diminutive of "capsa", which signifies a chest; and that it originated from the practice of depositing relics of saints and other holy persons in a chest there. (AR II 424).

The durability of oak is illustrated by St. Radegund's reading desk at Poitiers, which dates from the sixth century. (AY XXXIV 319). Sussex oak is among the best (BS XIV 11).

The jewellery and weapons of the Angles, Saxons or Jutes show they practised the arts of working metals to the fullest extent. Objects of gold and bronze shew the highest pitch of metallurgical skill had been reached. (IR 38, 44).

It is not possible the Danes made the chest for they did not settle in Sussex. (CH 31, 32).

The Romans smelted iron in Sussex under Agricola (AY XXXII 198); but down to late Roman times the smelting seems to have been given over to savage or half savage denizens of caves and woods. (IR 9).

Such workmanship was practised by Celts and Teutons in the manufacture of boats, canoes, cisterns and coffins. (AJ XVII 54-56, GIl XXXVII 53,54, BB 12, 23, 32, 375, 376, 384).

It is not likely the Normans would adopt a Saxon article, though permitting one found to remain. A chest like that at Hooe (6 ft. long) was in Lancing Church, Sussex, in 1808 (GM LXXVIII 316) and another at Stanford Bishop, Herefordshire. Also one was at Christchurch, Hampshire.

Probably the chest was supported upon blocks of oak - as shown in early extant drawings.

Canons of Holy Trinity, Hastings APPENDIX H

These were Black Canons of the Order of St. Austin (MH 79).

The Priory is said by an historian to have suffered from inundations and encroachments of the sea; and, in consequence, to have been removed to Warbleton - to land given them by Sir James Pelham - in 1408. (MH 79, 81).

Church Bells - APPENDIX K

The Church of Rome baptized bells with godfathers, who made responses for a new one as in the baptism of a Christian, giving it a name and clothing it with a new garment, believing this would make it capable of driving away tempests and devils. (AR II 163).


A Lord Hastings was beheaded by Richard III for espousing the cause of Jane Shore in 1483.

At one time Sir Thomas Hoo was Chancellor of France. Afterwards he was created Lord Hoo and Hastings. He died in 1455 without male issue. The estate was divided among his three daughters and the title became extinct. A canopied altar tomb in the chancel of Horsham Church marks his resting place. Queen Elizabeth was connected with him through the Boleyns. It is said his tomb was repaired by her order after one of her progresses through the county.

The title was afterwards conferred on William de Hastings (another family) and his descendants by Edward IV. (MB V 499).

APPENDIX M - Chancels

The reasons assigned for the deflection of chancels are:

1. To symbolise the inclination of the Saviour's head at the crucifixion.

2. To represent the exact position of the rising sun on the day of the patron saint.

3. To better express the length of the edifice.

4. Errors of builders (NQ 7th I 435)

The first of these reasons seems to have governed Saxon architects.

APPENDIX N - Stained Glass

At the famous sale of Horace Walpole′s curiosities and antiquities at Strawberry Hill in 1842 (which realised £33,450 11s. 9d. in 24 days) it is said there was some stained glass from Hooe Church, which contained the effigies of Henry III and his wife Eleanor. Horace Walpole in his "Aedes Strawberrianae" only mentions a window, which was given him by the Earl of Ashburnham and came from the church of Bexhill. In his "Anecdotes of Painting" he gives a drawing of it as a frontispiece, where it appears as a two-light window, with head thus

Appendix D

But in his "Catalogue of the Sale at Strawberry Hill" (limited to twenty-five copies) he marks with an asterisk the purchaser of the glass was Earl Waldegrave who paid £1 5s. 0d. for it on May 21 1842, the last day of the sale; and adds "None of the stained glass windows were sold but at prices which amounted to the cost of supplying the vacancies in plain glass". From this the questions arise: "Was there more than one stained glass window, if there were, where did they come?" The present Earl Waldegrave cannot assist us.


The age of a brick cannot well be determined by its size; but we know the Normans utilised Roman bricks in their buildings. (BA). Roman bricks were from 1¼" to 1¾" thick (EB XX 810).

Miscellanea - APPENDIX

A cockatrice was a serpent fabled to have been hatched by a serpent from a cock′s egg. its breath or look was considered fatal.

In the middle ages the term Saracen was applied to the followers of Mohammed in Palestine. In a word, it meant an unbeliever.


Early Eighth Century Saxon Church, Chest, Font, Altar (?)
Early Twelfth Century Norman Chancel (on Saxon foundation) and Vestry.
Twelfth Century Late Norman or Early English Nave, Porch and Tower (with one bell?). Hooe a Prebend.
End Fourteenth to late in Fifteenth Century Second church (except vestry) recased and reroofed; tower furnished
1537 Prebend ceased.
1789 Bells re-cast; sounding-board for pulpit supplied; Royal Arms erected or substituted for older.
1898 Reredos erected.
1899 Tower, porch and vestry restored; three bells re-cast.


John de Haselarton was afterwards Vicar of' Hatfield, and Selsey.

Robert de Walton became prebendary of Wherwell, vicar of Ippethorne and Ferring; also chancellor of Chichester.

Thomas de Alston at one time was vicar of Old Romney.

Thomas Boteler was formerly Vicar of Lemynge (Kent), Sydlesham and Coleworth.

Ralph Repingdon became dean of St. Chad, Shrewsbury; and at other periods was vicar of Wrytlingho, West Wittering and Sydlesham.

Thomas Staundon (in 1331) and John de Wade (in 1345) became deans ofSt. Mary's-in-the-Castle, Hastings (MH 95)

John de Wade when dean for life of the King's Free Chapel, (St. Mary's-in-the-Castle), Hastings, got into trouble and was ordered to the Tower for contempt; but as he submitted the King (Edward iii) let him off. However, he resigned and went to Hollington. Afterwards he was vicar of Winchelsea (BS XIV 186; AC XXI 48-71; MH 95). It is very likely the trouble arose because he acknowledged the Bishop of Chjchester's authority over the Free Chapel at Hastings.

Thomas Bowers, 1687-1708, became Bishop of Chichester in 1722 and was such for 2 years. The deaths of his wife Jane, and son John are recorded on a slab now outside the west door.

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