The name Danny is a corruption of the Saxon Danehithe, meaning "valley and haven".
The name Danny is a corruption of the Saxon Danehithe, meaning "valley and haven". The site has been used ever since early Iron Age men came down the steep sides of their camp on the top of Wolstonbury Hill in search of game and fresh water. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded that 'Robert holds Herst of William', i.e. that Robert de Pierpoint held the land from William de Warenne, who was a son-in-law of the Conqueror.
There has been a house of some sort on this site since the 13th century, originally little more than a hunting-lodge, serving the Park granted by Royal Charter in the 13th Century to the de Pierpoints. The house in its present form dates from 1586. It was built by Geroge Goring who held the lucrative post of ward of courts under Elizabeth 1. His grandson was made the Earl of Norwich and was one of the main financiers of King Charles 1 in the Civil War. The Earl's son, Sir George Goring was a leading general in the Civil War. After four generations of Gorings, Danny was sold to Peter Courthope in 1650. In 1702, Barbara Courthope married Henry Campion, and in 1725 they made Danny their home, and soon undertook extensive alterations, as is confirmed by the date 1728 and their initials on the leaden water-pipes. Several generations of Campions followed.
The house has many historical links, the main one being in 1918, when it was rented for three months for Prime Minister Lloyd George. He lived here with his dog, his wife Margaret and his secretary/mistress Frances Stevenson. He held regular conferences in the Great Hall, where on 13 October they agreed the terms of the Armistice to be offered to Germany at the end of the Great War. There were some letters, written from Danny, from Lloyd George to Frances Stevenson, one of which read:
"My darling Pussy. You might phone from the Treasury on Friday if you can come. Don't let Hankey see you. If Saturday impossible, what about Monday? Fondest love to my own. D"(Hankey was then Cabinet Secretary).
The house was taken over by Country Houses Association in 1956. It was bought by Richard Burrows in 2004, to maintain it as serviced apartments for retired people and as a family home. In 2007, Danny House celebrated 50 years as a retirement home.
The East Front
Painting by Thomas Cobb in 1906.
By Van Dyck
Sir George Goring (right) and the Earl of Newport.
By Cornelius Jansen
The Danny coach
A fascinating book has just been published on the history of the Elizabethan mansion in Hurstpierpoint, which nestles under Wolstonbury Hill. The authors of ‘Danny House - A Sussex Mansion through Seven Centuries’ are Colin Brent, Vice-President of the Sussex Archaeological Society and Judith Brent, an archivist at the East Sussex records Office for 31 years.Buy on AMAZON