Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/318

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260
NOTES TO SUSSEX.

181. Ninfield.—In the account of the possessions of the Earl of Eu, near the commencement, the manor of Nerewelle is described, in the domain of which was a church; "in dominio habet Robbertus unam carucam et aecclesiam,—Robert has one plough and a church." (D.B.) No hundred is mentioned, so that no clue is here afforded for ascertaining the place designed. But among the lands of Battle Abbey we find named " Nirefeld," as being held by the Earl of Eu, "quod tenet comes de Ow:" the only places belonging to the earl, to which this sentence can apply, being those elsewhere alluded to as "Nerewelle" and "Nedrefelle." The latter is noticed after "Montifelle,," now Mountfield, in Hailesaltede hundred, and is easily recognised as Netherfield, which has given a title to a hundred, but is now merely a small hamlet. With the first, "Nerewelle," as already stated, no hundred is named; but it follows Hoo, Catsfield, and Medehei; which last I cannot identify. The paragraph, containing the above quotation respecting Nirefeld, is headed certainly with the title of a hundred, Totenore, but it seems hardly possible, that all the places there enumerated can be included in that hundred; and the conclusion manifestly appears to be, that the Domesday names "Nirefeld" and "Nerewelle" are really the same, and can only signify Ninfield; to which accordingly the Earl of Eu's church of Nerewelle has been assigned, together with the Domesday names. Ninfield church comprises chancel, nave, south porch (of which the sides have been renewed with brick) and large wooden bell-turret over the west end of the nave. The chancel has E.E. windows; the western is Dec. The church was not entered.

182. Nonneminstre.—I strongly suspect, that this name is intended for another portion of the manor of Lolinminstre. "Abbatia de Almanesches tenet de comite Nonneminstre. Esmund presbyter tenuit de rege Edwardo,—The abbey of Almanesches holds Nouneminstre of the earl. Esmund priest held it of King Edward." (D.B.) If Bp. Tanner's notion of the early connection between Leominster priory and the above-named Norman abbey be correct (refer to the Note on Leominster) the quotation from (D.B.) positively affirms one also between that abbey and Nonneminstre; a fair presumption in favour of my conjecture, that Lolinminstre and Nonneminstre are nearly or quite identical. Moreover both places are noticed under the same hundred, Risberg, the description of Nonneminstre following immediately after that of Lolinminstre and its members,