Earlier Houses: The current 18th century house was built around an ealier house.
Built / Designed For: Henry Pelham (died 1725); finished for Thomas Pelham.
House & Family History: The Pelham family purchased the Stanmer Estate in 1712 from the Gotts and began the building of the current Roman-pedimented villa style house in the 1720s. The Pelhams, later elevated to the peerage as earls of Chichester, were one of the great Whig families, dominating Sussex politics and casting a large shadow on the national stage. The House, of Wealden sandstone, was completed circa 1727 and cost £14,203 1s. 5 1/2d. and features a Garden Facade of nine bays and an eight-bay East Facade (the Entrance Facade) with a pedimented three-bay central projection and one asymmetrical bay, added in 1860. Circa 1812 Joseph Kay designed, for the 2nd Earl of Chichester, a tent-roofed veranda, an attic balustrade, a balcony on the north side, a four-bay giant Ionic colonnade closing the courtyard behind the House, and a closed-in porch, of which only the porch stands today. The House and Park were purchased by Brighton Council in 1947 and in 1961 became the administrative headquarters of the University of Sussex (the university built its modern campus on part of the former park). In 2006, after an extensive restoration, the House reopened for use as an event venue. The name derives from stony mere, which referred to the stones around the village pond.
Collections: The contents of Stanmer House were sold by Sotheby's on June 30, 1950.
Garden & Outbuildings: On the hillside to the south of the House is the Frankland Monument, a Coade Stone structure that rests on three turtles; it was designed by Richard Hayward in 1775.
Chapel & Church: The Church of 1838, adjacent to the village pond, is of flint with stone dressings, lancet windows, and a tower with a recessed spire. It was built on the site of a 14th century building, and, though its architect cannot be absolutely assigned, it seems likely to have been Joseph Butler of Chichester or Ralph Joanes of Lewes.
Architect: Joseph KayDate: Circa 1812
Architect: Joseph ButlerDate: 1838
Architect: Ralph JoanesDate: 1838
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. I, p. 192, 1854.
John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. IV, 1821.
Country Life: LXXI, 14, 66 [Furniture], 1932.
Title: Pevsner Architectural Guides: Brighton and Hove
Author: Antram, Nicholas; Morrice, Richard
Year Published: 2008
Reference: pgs. 208, 210, 211
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat / Home of: Gott family, until 1712. Thomas Pelham, 1st Earl of Chichester, 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: Government
Primary Current Ownership Use: Conference Center
Ownership Details: Stanmer House is owned by Brighton & Hove Council and leased by them to Cherrywood Ltd., who let the House for auctions, corporate functions, weddings, banquets, and seminars.