Sackville House Grade 2 listed building.

Sackville House dates back to around 1525. East Grinstead was laid out as borough in the early part of the 13th Century with its wide high street which was used as a market place. It was flanked by 48 plots and each plot, known as a burgage. At just over 40 feet Sackville House’s plot is wider than the norm of (33 feet) for the town and unusually long at 630 feet. Its position nearly opposite the church was clearly an important one.

There is evidence from the borough court rolls that Sackville House was at least between 1576-1577 an inn called the Lion which throws new light on the development this building.

In 1607 the Sackville’s acquired the Borough of East Grinstead. For three centuries they dominated the affairs of the town, especially through parliamentary elections because the system of burgage tenure and the right to vote was particularly susceptible to manipulation through acquisition of burgages.

(Thomas Sackville)

Thomas Sackville, a cousin of Elizabeth 1 on the Boleyn side, a peot and playwright at court, was created Lord Buckhurst in 1567 and became the 1st Earl of Dorset in 1604, the year after he took possession of Knole. Sackville College is the family’s most important memorial in East Grinstead.

Sackville House original role was as a Almshouse which were established from the 10th century in Britain, to provide a place of residence for poor, old and distressed people.

It was in the 17th Century that the Sackville family from nearby Knole started to actively acquire burgages and it is from this connection that the house got its name, although it doesn’t appear to have been known as Sackville House until the 19th Century.

It is the same Sackville family that has given its name to, Sackville college, lying nearly opposite Sackville House.

(Sackville College)