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The following is from the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

Mid- to late 19th-century informal gardens, laid out around a late 18th-century house and set within a mid- to late 19th-century park, with a subsidiary manor house surrounded by mid- to late 19th-century kitchen gardens, woodland gardens and mid-20th-century courtyard gardens.


Pitshill is situated 0.25km north of the A272 Petworth to Midhurst road, about 1km north-west of Tillington village. The 38-hectare registered site comprises about 7 hectares of informal gardens surrounding both the principal house, Pitshill and, 0.8km to its south, the Manor of Dean, and about 31 hectares of parkland and woodland. The site lies on the high crest and south-facing slopes of an east to west sandstone ridge which dips in the centre to enclose a deep, south-facing combe known as Dene Dip. From the ridge crest there are extensive views south over the farmland of the Rother valley to the South Downs and northwards over a landscape of well-wooded ridges to the crest of Blackdown and towards Surrey. Pitshill and its park are largely bounded to the east, north and west by agricultural fencing (or, where woodland extends beyond the site, are unfenced) while to the south and separating it from the Manor of Dean runs River Lane, which, west of Dene Dip, is retained on its north side by a drystone wall and hedge. Except on the south side where paddocks abut the grounds, the Manor of Dean is bounded by lanes on all sides, the western boundary along Dean Lane being retained by stone walling.

REFERENCES used by English Heritage

T W Horsfield, The History, Antiquities and Topography of the County of Sussex (1835), p 181

D G C Elwes, The Castles and Mansions of Western Sussex (1876), pp 239-40

W T Pike (ed), Sussex in the Twentieth Century: Contemporary Biographies (1910), p 176

Sussex County Magazine 5, (1931), pp 81-5

F W Steer (ed), The Mitford Archives: A Catalogue, (West Sussex County Council 1961), pp V-X; pls ii, vi [West Sussex Record Office Library 5603]

I Nairn and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex (1965), pp 352-3

The Manor of Dean, guidebook, (The Manor of Dean - no date)


W Gardner and T Gream, A Topographical map of the County of Sussex...., 1" to 1 mile, 1795

C and J Greenwood, A Map of the County of Sussex from an actual survey ..., 1" to 1 mile, surveyed 1823-4

OS 6" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1874-5, published 1880; 2nd edition surveyed 1895-6, published 1898; 3rd edition surveyed 1910, published 1913

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition surveyed 1875; 3rd edition surveyed 1910


S H Grimm, Pitshill, Tillington, in 1785 (British Museum) [reproduced in Steer (ed) 1991]

Archival items

The Mitford archives date from 1760 to the late 20th century and include title deeds, estate maps and plans, two plans for the house in Sir John Soane's hand and papers on taxation during the Treasurership of William Mitford I and II (West Sussex Record Office).  


Description written: May 1998

Amended: January 2000

Edited: June 2000

Grid reference:SU949229
Map reference: [ EPSG:27700] 4949, 1229
Identifiers: [ PGDP] Record ID - 2634

People Involved:

  • [ Publisher] Parks & Gardens UK

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