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The Three Cups Inn

A Grade II Listed Building in Warbleton, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.957 / 50°57'25"N

Longitude: 0.328 / 0°19'40"E

OS Eastings: 563594

OS Northings: 120088

OS Grid: TQ635200

Mapcode National: GBR NT9.ZPH

Mapcode Global: FRA C6KL.5L0

Plus Code: 9F22X84H+R5

Entry Name: The Three Cups Inn

Listing Date: 15 March 2022

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1480239

ID on this website: 101480239

Location: Three Cups Corner, Wealden, East Sussex, TN21

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden

Civil Parish: Warbleton

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex


Public house, built in around the C17 or earlier probably as an inn or dwelling with extensions added to the rear between 1874 and 1909 and further additions to the east side and front, including a porch, from about the early C20.


Public house, built in around the C17 or earlier probably as an inn or dwelling with extensions added to the rear between 1874 and 1909 and further additions to the east side and front, including a porch, from about the early C20.

MATERIALS: a timber-framed building later under-built in brick with weather-boarding to the first floor with the exception of the west gable end which is tile-hung. There is a slate roof covering to the main range and tile covering to the cross-wing. The C20 additions to the east side and front have felt-covered roofs.

PLAN: originally built as a timber-framed dwelling or inn which appears to have had a baffle-entry plan with a lobby in front of an axial chimney-stack (since removed) and a further inglenook fireplace at the west end in the C17. Later used as a public house with a public bar, kitchen, storeroom and bathrooms on the ground-floor, and a pub manager’s flat on the first floor.

EXTERIOR: the main range is orientated east to west with the main façade on the north side facing Battle Road. The front elevation has five bays to the ground floor including, from left to right: a two-light casement window, five-light bay window, entrance porch with glazed timber doors, a two-light window and five-light bay window. A long flat-roofed veranda with a felt-covered roof and timber posts runs across the whole of the façade. The first floor is weather-boarded with three two-light casement windows. There is a slate-covered roof, which is hipped at the east end and gabled at the west end where there is a chimney stack. The west elevation is blind (without any openings) and has a tile-hung first floor. Projecting to the rear of the building is a large gabled cross-range, a lean-to and further single-storey additions. The cross-range is constructed of red and blue (vitrified) brick with French doors to the south gable end and a red tile roof. On the east side of the building is a single-storey brick extension with a single fixed and top-hung window and flat felt-covered roof.

INTERIOR: the entrance porch now leads into a large open plan public bar on the ground floor, which has a parquet floor, timber-boarded walls and a timber-boarded bar counter. Photographs indicate that the ceiling is of central girder (axial beam) construction supporting joists which span across the building. The central girders are largely supported by later brick piers, although there is also a substantial stop-chamfered post, which has a decorative foliated corbel attached to it. At the east gable end is a brick and stone inglenook fireplace with a chamfered bressumer inscribed: dT.1696. There are two bathrooms entered through timber-boarded doors, as well as a kitchen and beer store. A wooden staircase with turned balusters possibly of C18 date leads up to the first floor, which includes a small kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. The timber frame is partially visible on this floor and appears to include three jowled posts (one of which may be partially sawn off), as well as a tie-beam and wall plate. The walls and ceilings appear to be boarded.


The Three Cups Inn is thought to have been built in the C17 or earlier. In the rental of Burwash manor of about 1620 this area is described as forest land. John Weekes (and his heir(s) of the same name) owned the site in the early to mid-C17. It included a building in 1662 because a hearth tax for one flue was assessed. A court roll for the manor covering 1664 to 1707 documents a messuage, with a barn and six acres called ‘The Three Cups’ in Warbleton. The interior of the building includes a bressumer for an inglenook fireplace inscribed with the date 1696. A warrant for an arrest for smuggling activities at the Three Cups Inn on the night of the murder of Gerrard Reeves is dated 8 April 1717 and held at East Sussex Record Office (Ref: SAY 254). The 1838 tithe map shows a building in this location, alongside some smaller buildings to the north-west, with the apportionment described as ‘Three Cups Land’. The current building is clearly shown on the 1874 OS map (1:2500) with a small addition or cross-range extending to the rear, and is situated alongside a number of smaller buildings adjacent to the road. The 1909 OS map shows the building marked as a beer house with further additions at the rear, including what is likely to be the current cross-range and lean-to. A 1973 aerial photograph shows a central chimney stack (since removed), which is consistent with a baffle entry plan. Recent photographs indicate a former well is situated in front of the inn.

Documentary evidence, including the Burwash manor court books and rentals, together with the Warbleton land tax, hearth tax and tithe award, record a number of owners of the site, as follows. Thos Turner owned the property in the late C17 before it passed to John Turner in 1717, Art Bexhill in the same year, Will Johnson in the early C18, Rog Johnson in the mid-C18, Will Wenham in 1772, and the Trill family from about 1773 until about 1918. It passed on to two further private individuals before being sold to the Star Brewery Company in 1938, and then Courage Brewery, John Smith’s Brewery and, by 1992, Beards Brewery, before it was bought by the current owners.

Reasons for Listing

The Three Cups Inn, built in the C17 or earlier, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* the inn has a history dating back well over 300 years and is well documented in historical sources from the C17 onwards, including court books and rentals, the land tax, hearth tax and tithe awards.

Architectural interest:

* the inn appears to have originally had a baffle-entry plan with a lobby in front of an axial chimney stack, supporting an early date;

* the inn retains a significant proportion of the original fabric dating from the C17 or earlier, including a ceiling of central girder (axial beam) construction, three jowled posts and a hipped roof structure with a tie-beam and wall plate. In addition, there is a decorative stop-chamfered post with a foliated corbel;

* an impressive brick and stone inglenook fireplace with a chamfered bressumer beam dated 1696 survives well at the west end and is likely to have been a later addition to the building.

Group value:

* with the adjacent Grade II-listed C18 cottages of The Old Dairy and The Corner House.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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