Manor Cottage Heritage Centre
The building dates from about the mid 15th century and was built as an open hall with an oak frame, wattle and daub walls and probably a thatched roof. The original building is the larger part that runs from north to south. No signs have been found of an earlier house but some shards of pottery do perhaps indicate possible activity in the area before the present house was built.
It was probably built by Reigate Priory, who owned the land, or their tenant. It was not a labourer’s cottage but rather a reasonably well-to-do house for a yeoman farmer or the bailiff managing the estate.
In the 1538 Reigate Priory was dissolved by Henry VIII and the land sold. At this time their tenant in Southwick was Agnes Barrell,
perhaps she lived in the house. For a period the house and estate belonged to Lord Howard of Effingham, Admiral of England at the Armada but he certainly did not live here.
At the end of the 16th century it was sold to Henry “Dog” Smith of London and formed part of his huge estate across southeast
England. On his death it passed to Smith’s Charity, which still exists.
Museum, Historic house or home
Please contact the centre for details as opening hours vary according to season and volunteer availability.