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Ticehurst, Sussex

Ticehurst is a small village in East Sussex, very close to the border of Kent, 15 miles North of Hastings. Ticehurst is first mentioned by name in a deed of Combwell Priory dated 1180, when ‘Adam the priest of Ticehurst’ is mentioned and again in 1197 when Walter de Scotney gives the church to the priory of Holy Trinity in Hastings. The name has been spelt in a variety of ways during its history, including Tycheherst (11th-14th centuries), Thichesherst, Tychesherst (13th-14th centuries) and Tyse- hurst (15th-16th centuries).


The first Dengate to appear in the village was John Dengate (c.1703-1743), although just like the first Dengate to appear in Wittersham, detailed searches of the early Ticehurst baptism registers reveal that he was not baptised there. The first record we have of John Dengate is his marriage in Ticehurst in 1729 to Elizabeth Fuller. Unfortunately, the marriage register reveals no further details about the couple or where they resided at the time of the marriage.

John and Elizabeth had three children: Elizabeth, John and Mary Dengate. Today there are several living Dengates who descend from John and all the Dengates who appear in the Ticehurst parish registers descend from him. DNA tests have connected this branch to the Wittersham Tree, where the paper trail so far provides no connection.

The Church

St Mary’s Church stands in a prominent position in the village, surrounded by a large, open churchyard, which is filled with Dengate graves (although some of these are hidden under bushes and trees). The church stands opposite many old, traditional, weather-boarded homes, where members of the Dengate family no doubt resided. The main part of the church dates from around 1300, although Francis Drewe in his book Ticehurst, Stonegate and Flimwell notes that this date is only approximate as there are no original records surviving for the building and several parts of the church have been added or changed over the centuries.

There were 51 Dengates baptised in the church between 1730 and 1966, 23 marriages and 33 burials.



loving memory


Edith eldest child of

William S. and Caroline Dengate

who died April 18th 1883

Aged 5 years and 6 months

of such is the kingdom of heaven: Matt 19.14'



loving memory



son of D and E Dengate

who suddenly departed this life

May 8th 1880 aged 18 years

Our life is but a sinking? day

His? glorious noon? _ quickly past

lead us o? where all is gone?

Safe home

Also of Esther

daughter of D and E Dengate

Born October 13th / 15th 1844

Died June 12th 1848'

[Left grave]

'In loving memory of

Daniel Dengate

of this parish

Born June 21st 1815

Died March 22nd 1888

And of 

Esther Dengate

His wife

Born May 14th 1820

Died March 9th 1895

Also of

Harriet Ann Dengate

Daughter of the above

interred in Brighton Cemetery

Born July 16th 1854

Died July 10th 1894'

[right grave]


'In loving memory of

Lucy Jane Dengate

only daughter of the late

William and Harriet Dengate

who died July 15th 1916

Aged 60 years

Safe home where the weary are forever.  At rest'

[under a bush]



to the memory of

Alfred the eldest son of William and Harriet Dengate

who departed this life October 17th 1861

Aged 10? years 10 months

Also of 


who departed this life

October 30th 1870

Aged 16 years

Also of Philip

who departed this life

December 27th 1873

Aged 23 years

Should pining sickness waste away _? my life in premature decay _? _? _?' 

[under a bush]

'In memory of

my beloved husband

William Standen Dengate

Died June 17th 1923

Aged 76


At rest waiting the resurrection morning



Caroline Lucy Dengate

widow of the above

Died January 11th 1929

Aged 78


Also to the memory of

William Percy

Elder son of the above and husband of

Beatrice B. Dengate

Died June 30th 1943 aged 64


Loved and remembered'

Ticehurst School

A school room was provided in the Poor House in Ticehurst in the mid-1700s, although few records still survive for this building and there is no evidence that any of the Dengate family attended the school. Other schools appeared in the village, but it is not until 1846 when the present school buildings were built.

The headmaster’s logbook, beginning in 1863, is now kept in the County Record Office and makes for very interesting reading. The first Dengate to make an appearance in the logbook is Phillip Dengate (1850-1874), who is mentioned positively several times: ‘...Wednesday 9th December 1863, Rev. Pott gave prizes to three best essays, “What do we got to Church for?” in 1st class, Phillip Dengate 1st, R Binks and W Bishop share the two next... Wednesday 16th January 1864, Rev Pott gave prizes to three best essays, “What do you go to School for?” which were taken by the same boys as the last... 5th May 1864, Ascension Day prizes given by Rev’d Pott to P. Dengate and J. Butler for essay on Ascension Day... 21st October 1864, Philip Dengate chosen monitor... 1st December 1864, Philip Dengate absent—death of his father... 2nd December, P Dengate absent... 5th December, P. Dengate absent.... 31st March 1865, Philip Dengate left.’


Philip went on to become a harness-maker but died in 1874 at the age of 24 years. Philip’s younger brother Albert Dengate (1854-1870) briefly took the reigns of school monitor until he left in 1869, although he also died young the following year aged 16.

Philip and Albert’s 2nd cousin, William Dengate (1859-1919), commenced duty at the school in October 1871, as monitor in anticipation of becoming Pupil Teacher. There are still other volumes of the Ticehurst school logbooks to be searched, including the Girls Logbook, which may yield more mention of the family!

Wesleyan Chapel

The first Wesleyan Chapel appeared in Ticehurst in 1821. The first building was superseded by the larger building in the photograph (below) in 1840 and included two school rooms. This building was again replaced in 1897 with the building which survives today (converted into a block of flats, after falling into disuse after WW2). Many of the different branches of the Dengate family were Methodists, and this includes the Ticehurst branch. William Standen Dengate (1847-1923) and his wife Caroline Lucy Dengate (nee Newton (1851-1929) were dedicated members of the chapel, and their son William Percy Dengate (1879-1943) played the organ there until close to his death in 1943. It is unknown how many other members of the family at- tended the church.


Ticehurst School, c.1880

A plaque hanging on the wall of Ticehurst Church (above) and the Methodist Chapel (below)

The 1841 census shows that there were 10 Dengates living in Ticehurst in three family groups. Two were listed as simply living in ‘the village’, the other family in Parsonage Farm, Ticehurst, which appears to have been in the Dengate family for a number of years. In 1774 John Dengate paid £12 as a year’s rent on the property and the house is still in the family in 1851.

There are no longer members of the Dengate family residing in Ticehurst. The last Dengate to live in the village was Beatrice Elizabeth Dengate (1882-1957), the widow of William Percy Dengate (1879-1943).


Advert in the Ticehurst Parish Magazine, 1907


Dengate Hairdressers, Ticehurst

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