Prominent Ringmer home’s history revealed

Delves House, Ringmer
Delves House, Ringmer

If you have ever been curious about the history of Delves House in Ringmer then head for a meeting of Ringmer History Group tonight (Friday March 13).

The home, next to Ringmer Green and St Mary’s Church, is one of the village’s best known houses.

John Delve, a local agent for the powerful but unpopular John of Gaunt, arrived in Ringmer in 1381 and was immediately a local target of the Peasants’ Revolt.

The Delves family remained at Delves House until 1580.

Later owners included Henry Snooke, son of an 18th century vicar of Ringmer.

He bought Timothy the Tortoise, now the village emblem, from a Portsmouth sailor, and brought her to live at Delves House for 40 years.

The naturalist Gilbert White of Selborne regularly visited his aunt, Snooke’s widow, after her husband’s death and later inherited Timothy who featured in his book The Natural History of Selborne.

A number of medieval pottery sites and brick or tile kilns have been located on its land and probably account for its prominent hill-top ponds.

Its prominent position on Ringmer Green has ensured that it has continued to play an important part in Ringmer’s history. Chairman of Ringmer History Group John Kay will tell people more about the house’s history at the meeting which begins at 7.45pm in Ringmer Village Hall, in Lewes Road.