From Manor, Parish and Borough to Horsham District Council
The earliest administrative structure in Horsham was that of the Manor, which dates back to Saxon times. This was followed by the Parish, and then the parliamentary Borough, which survived until 1885. The manorial courts dealt with matters such as the granting of land by freehold or copyhold tenure, for which payment of fees, heriots and other dues were made to the Lord of the Manor. The Vicar of the Parish was responsible for collecting tithes.
From the sixteenth century, the right to reside in a parish rested with the Parish officers, who included churchwardens, constables, overseers of the poor, and surveyors of the highways, who performed many of the functions now carried out by the local District Council and the police. The administration of justice was by the Assize Courts and Quarter Sessions, due to which the Sussex County Gaol was at Horsham, at first in the Carfax and later at East Street.