Denne House

Denne Park House sits at the top of Denne Hill off the Worthing Road route into Horsham. It lies at the far end of an impressive avenue comprising two rows of lime trees on each side that stretches about a 1/3 of a mile. Curiously there is no entrance on the west face of the property at the end of the avenue. The photographs are from August 2008.

August 2008, this one showing the new gate pillars
August 2008, this one showing the new gate pillars

Denne Park House followed Chesworth House as an important property owned by those who had political influence in Horsham and beyond. There is speculation that building materials from the disrepaired Chesworth House were used in the Denne Park House.

The sandstone property dates from 1605 but has 18th century additions. The original property comprises the four storey tower and the three gabled sections when viewed from the west face. A 17th century staircase is still in the tower today. Denne Park had a number of stone quarries on the estate and these supplied the Horsham stone roof tiles that are still evident. The house was extended southwards in a sympathetic style c1870; the gabled section was added to the right hand side of the west facing section. The left hand section, in front of the tower is more recent.

There are four listed buildings on the park. They are the main house, the Gate Cottage at the start of the drive, the Pineapple Cottage and the garden balustrade and piers to the front of the main house.

The records of the manor of Denne date back to the mid 10th century but no evidence of any medieval predecessor to the current property has been traced to date. The Dukes of Norfolk owned the estate until 1572. In that year it was forfeited to the Crown when Thomas Howard, the fourth Duke was executed for plotting against Elizabeth I to bring Mary Queen of Scots to power.

Between 1572 and 1605 the estate changed hands a number of times then, in 1605, the property was conveyed from a Stephen Barnham to Sir Thomas Eversfield (some records suggest it was his father Sir John) for £5,500 [2007: £823,186.05] who then built the property. A large house was required for Sir Thomas who had 19 children from two marriages.

The Eversfields provided a number of MPs for the town and local area. In 1721, with Arthur Ingram, Lord Irwin funded the rebuilding of the town hall in Market Square.

The Eversfield family came from East Sussex and made their fortune from the iron works at Worth. The manor, said to be 1200 acres in 1818, remained in the hands of the Eversfields until 1947. At that time the estate, comprising 593 acres was broken up and, over the next three years, the main property was divided into apartments and remains that way today. Two ranges of angled garages were added around that time.

At around 1600 the main road for Worthing and Southwater was Denne Road which ran through the estate. This was closed to wagons when the Eversfields moved in and so the Worthing Road through Tower Hill became that route out of Horsham. The closure was belatedly legislated for  in 1764 by an Act of Parliament.

It is recorded that the glass roofed entrance hall once was a ball room for the main house. The Horsham Photographer would like the opportunity to take photographs of this and the 1605 date stone. Please use the contact form below if you can assist in this request.

The Promenade

‘the brow of this hill was in old times converted into a terrace and kept rolled and mowed, forming a beautiful promenade much frequented by the inhabitants of the town in the summer evenings, but this for many years has not been kept up’

Dorothea Hurst
The History And Antiquities Of Horsham