The documents in this collection comprise those family and estate deeds and papers of the owners of the Southwick and Norman Court Estates which were preserved until recent years at Norman Court, West Tytherley. The documents divide naturally into two archive groups.
The first group consists of deeds and papers concerning the Southwick Estate and the other properties acquired by, or in the possession of, the White and Norton families from the 16th century down to the death of Richard Norton in 1732. John White with his purchase of the site and demesne lands of Southwick Priory acquired not merely deeds and other evidences of title relating to his own lands but in addition all or most of the surviving muniments of the Priory relating to the whole of its extensive possessions. This present collection, however, contains only a part of these Priory muniments which had come with White's hands and are those which were kept, perhaps fortuitously, with the Southwick Estate records. Because of their interest as records of a medieval religious house and also because they relate partly to lands beyond the limits of the Southwick Estate they have been catalogued in a separate section and are listed as numbers 1-332. The remaining documents in this first group are the Southwick Estate and the White and Norton family papers and these are numbered 333-1958.
The second group consists of deeds and papers concerning the Norman Court Estate and the other properties forming the inheritance of the Whithed family and descending together with the Southwick Estate, on the death of Richard Whithed in 1733 to Francis Thistlethwayte of Winterslow. Unlike the Southwick Estate which in extent has changed little since the 17th century and the descent of which has been by family inheritance, the Norman Court Estate, in its widest sense, has not survived and since the early years of the 19th century Norman Court itself has passed by purchase through several ownerships. The Norman Court Estate documents therefore contain few material evidences of title and can be considered rather as historic records of the Estate and its early owners. The documents in this group are number 2001-2776, the numbers 1958-2000 being omitted for cataloguing reasons.