Tarring – The Old Houses
Publisher: John Davis, 24 Victoria Street
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West Tarring village lay in the south part of the parish. There seems no reason to believe that the early medieval village centre was not on the present site, as has been suggested, even though the church lies away from it. The village consists of three streets, called North, South, and West streets in the 17th and 18th centuries and High Street, South Street, and Church Road in 1978; the junction between them was presumably the site of the marketplace recorded from 1499. The buildings are chiefly of brick, flint, and cobbles, some being painted or rendered or hung with tiles; roofs are of tiles, slates, or Horsham stone slabs. Many buildings are of the 18th century or earlier, especially in High Street which is flanked almost entirely by old houses. The lack of gaps between the buildings and the absence of front gardens, both there and in the adjacent part of Church Road, give the village a quasi-urban character. Many of the older buildings were still used as dwellings in 1978.
There are two medieval buildings in the village besides the church. The Old Palace is described below. At the south end of High Street nos. 4–10, part of what was called Parsonage Row in 1615, comprise a small late-medieval timber-framed house with a central two-bay hall and cross-wings with elaborately carved gables giving a faôade of modified ‘Wealden’ type. The hall and north cross-wing have exposed timber-framing and the hall has a two-storey oriel window; the south cross-wing is cased with brick and hung tiles. An upper floor was later inserted in the hall, probably in the 17th century, and an extension at the rear of the building is probably of the same date. (fn. 13) The building formerly belonged to Tarring rectory manor, and it is possible that it was the original rectory house.
“A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part)”, 1980
The Parsonage – a journey back in timeThe Parsonage began its journey back in 1987, but Parsons Row and Tarring Village have a long and illustrious history dating back to 1066!Tarring was given by King Athelstan of England to the archbishops of Canterbury in the 10th century. At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the village was known as Terringes, and consisted of 50 households. It is thought that the place name means “Teorra’s people”, with Teorra being a Saxon settler. There is a tradition that the village was visited by Thomas Becket, the martyred archbishop, in the 12th century and also by St Richard of Chichester, patron saint of Sussex, in the 13th century. West Tarring is noted for its 13th-century parish church of St Andrew, 13th-century Archbishop’s Palace, numerous old houses including the 15th-century, now Grade II listed, timber-framed Parsonage Row. The present day Parsonage, now the oldest restaurant in Worthing was formerly home for the Sussex Archaeological Museum in the mid 80’s. Since 1987 the Parsonage has adapted and grown with the changing preferences of its customers and visitors.