Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering East Sussex
Brighton and Hove) to the east,
Hampshire to the west and Surrey
to the north, and to the south the English Channel.
Chichester in the
southwest is the county town and only city in West Sussex, with the
largest towns being Crawley,
Worthing and Horsham.
Sussex has a range of scenery, including wealden, downland and
coastal. The highest point of the county is Blackdown, at 280 metres
(919 ft). It has a number of stately homes including Goodwood,
Petworth House and
Uppark and also castles such as
Arundel Castle and
Bramber Castle. Over half the county is protected countryside,
offering walking, cycling and other recreational opportunities.
1.1 Provision for paupers
3.1 Physical geography
4 Land economy
5 Communications and transport
6 National politics
7 Local government
7.1 County Council
Sussex Youth Cabinet
8 Places of interest
8.1 Nature and zoos
8.2 Castles, houses and other buildings
8.3 Religious buildings
8.5 The arts
9 Economy and demography
12 See also
14 External links
Main article: History of Sussex
Although the name Sussex, derived from the
Old English 'Sūþsēaxe'
('South Saxons'), is from the Saxon period between AD 477 to 1066, the
history of human habitation in
Sussex goes back to the Old Stone
Age. The oldest hominin remains known in Britain were found at
Eartham Pit, Boxgrove.
Sussex has been occupied since those
times and has succumbed to various invasions and migrations throughout
its long history. Prehistoric monuments include the Devil's Jumps,
a group of Bronze Age burial mounds, and the Iron Age Cissbury Ring
Chanctonbury Ring hill forts on the South Downs.
The Roman period saw the building of
Fishbourne Roman Palace
Fishbourne Roman Palace and rural
villas such as
Bignor Roman Villa
Bignor Roman Villa together with a network of roads
including Stane Street, the
Chichester to Silchester Way and the
Sussex Greensand Way. The Romans used the
Weald for iron production on
an industrial scale.
The foundation of the
Kingdom of Sussex
Kingdom of Sussex is recorded by the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle for the year AD 477; it says that Ælle arrived at a place
Cymenshore in three ships with his three sons and killed or put
to flight the local inhabitants. The foundation story is regarded as
somewhat of a myth by most historians, although the archaeology
suggests that Saxons did start to settle in the area in the late 5th
Kingdom of Sussex
Kingdom of Sussex was absorbed into
Wessex as an
earldom and became the county of Sussex.
With its origins in the kingdom of Sussex, the later county of Sussex
was traditionally divided into six units known as rapes. By the 16th
century, the three western rapes were grouped together informally,
having their own separate Quarter Sessions. These were administered by
a separate county council from 1888, the county of
divided for administrative purposes into the administrative counties
of East and West Sussex. In 1974, West
Sussex was made a single
ceremonial county with the coming into force of the Local Government
Act 1972. At the same time a large part of the eastern rape of Lewes
Mid Sussex district which includes the towns of Haywards Heath,
Burgess Hill and East Grinstead) was transferred into West Sussex.
Provision for paupers
Until 1834 provision for the poor and destitute in West
made at parish level. From 1835 until 1948 eleven Poor Law Unions,
each catering for several parishes, took on the job.
List of places in West Sussex
List of places in West Sussex and List of settlements in
Sussex by population
Chichester Market Cross
Most settlements in West
Sussex are either along the south coast or in
Mid Sussex, near the M23/A23 corridor. The town of
Crawley is the
largest in the county with an estimated population of 106,600. The
coastal settlement of
Worthing closely follows with a population of
104,600. The seaside resort of
Bognor Regis and market town Horsham
are both large towns. Chichester, the county town, has a cathedral and
city status, and is situated not far from the border with Hampshire.
Other conurbations of a similar size are Burgess Hill, East Grinstead
Haywards Heath in the
Mid Sussex district,
Littlehampton in the
Arun district, and Lancing, Southwick and Shoreham in the Adur
district. Much of the coastal town population is part of the
Southwater are the next largest settlements in the
county. There are several more towns in West Sussex, although they are
of similar size to other villages. The smaller towns of the county are
Arundel, Midhurst, Petworth,
Selsey and Steyning. The larger villages
are Billingshurst, Copthorne,
Crawley Down, Cuckfield, Henfield,
Hassocks, Hurstpierpoint, Lindfield,
Pulborough and Storrington. The
current total population of the county makes up 1.53% of England's
1813/54 one inch to the mile OS map
(See also: Geology of West Sussex)
Sussex is bordered by
Hampshire to the west,
Surrey to the north
East Sussex to the east. The
English Channel lies to the south.
The area has been formed from
Upper Jurassic and
Lower Cretaceous rock
strata, part of the Weald–Artois Anticline. The eastern part of this
Weald of Kent,
Surrey has been greatly eroded,
with the chalk surface removed to expose older
Lower Cretaceous rocks
of the Wealden Group. In West
Sussex the exposed rock becomes
older towards the north of the county with Lower Greensand ridges
along the border with
Surrey including the highest point of the county
at Blackdown. Erosion of softer sand and clay strata has hollowed out
the basin of the
Weald leaving a north facing scarp slope of the chalk
which runs east and west across the whole county, broken only by the
valleys of the River
Arun and River Adur. In addition to these two
rivers which drain most of the county a winterbourne, the River
Lavant, flows intermittently from springs on the dip slope of the
chalk downs north of Chichester.
The county makes up 1.52% of the total land of England, making it the
30th largest county in the country.
See also: List of hills of West Sussex
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Met Office
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Sussex is officially the sunniest county in the United Kingdom
Met Office records over 29 years with an average 1902
hours per year. Sunshine totals are highest near the coast with
Bognor Regis often having the highest in mainland England, including a
total of 2237 hours in 1990. Mean annual temperature for southern
coastal counties is around 11 °C. The coldest month, January,
has mean daily minimum temperatures of around 3 °C near the
coast and lower inland. July tends to be the warmest month when mean
daily maxima tend to be around 20 °C. A maximum temperature of
35.4 °C occurred at North Heath,
Pulborough on 26 June 1976.
Coastal high temperatures are often moderated by cooler sea
Monthly rainfall tends to be highest in autumn and early winter and
lowest in the summer months, with July often being the driest month.
There is less rainfall from summer convective showers and
thunderstorms than in inland areas. The county can suffer both from
localised flooding caused by heavy rainfall and from water shortages
caused by prolonged periods of below average rainfall. Winter rainfall
is needed to recharge the chalk aquifers from which much of the water
supply is drawn.
Sussex developed distinctive land uses along with its neighbours
in the weald. The
Landrace cattle transformed into
Sussex cattle and
Sussex chickens emerged about the time of the Roman conquest. Some
of the earliest evidence of horses in Britain has been found at
Boxgrove, dated to 500,000 BC. Viticulture is a part of the economy,
with wineries producing mainly sparkling wine of varied quality.
Communications and transport
The M23 Motorway runs from
London to the south of Crawley. The A23 and
A24 roads run from
Worthing respectively with
the A29 a little further west ending in Bognor Regis. Other major
roads are the A272 which runs east to west through the middle of the
county and the A27 which does the same but closer to the coast. The
A259 is a local alternate route to the A27 in the eastern coastal
Gatwick Airport, which handled over 33 million passengers and had over
250,000 aircraft movements in 2011, is located within the borders of
Crawley, and is the second largest airport in the United Kingdom.
There is also a considerably smaller local airport at Shoreham and a
grass airfield handling light aircraft and helicopters at Goodwood.
There are three main railway routes: the
Brighton Main Line, the Arun
Valley Line and the West Coastway Line. The Portsmouth Direct Line
serves and occasionally enters the westernmost part of West Sussex,
although it has no railway stations in the county.
See also: List of Parliamentary constituencies in West Sussex
Since the 2015 general election, West
Sussex has been represented
entirely by Conservative MPs.
South Downs - Nick Herbert, Conservative
Bognor Regis &
Littlehampton - Nick Gibb, Conservative
Chichester - Andrew Tyrie, Conservative
Crawley - Henry Smith, Conservative
Horsham - Jeremy Quin, Conservative
Mid Sussex - Nicholas Soames, Conservative
Worthing East & Shoreham - Tim Loughton, Conservative
Worthing West - Peter Bottomley, Conservative
The Coat of Arms of West
Sussex County Council, used 1889 to 1975, is
based on the heraldic shield of Sussex
Further information: History of local government in Sussex
Main article: West
Sussex County Council
Sussex County Council (WSCC) is the authority that governs the
non-metropolitan county of West Sussex. The county contains 7 district
and borough councils ( Adur, Arun, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, Mid
Sussex and Worthing), and 159 town, parish and neighbourhood councils.
Sussex County Council has 71 councillors; the majority of them
being Conservative. There are 46 Conservative councillors, 10 UK
Independence Party, 8 Liberal Democrats, 6 Labour Party councillors
and 1 Independent councillor. The Chief Executive and his team of
Executive Directors are responsible for the day-to-day running of the
Sussex County Council is based at County Hall,
provides a large range of services including education, social
services, fire and rescue, libraries, trading standards, town and
country planning, refuse disposal and consumer services.
Sussex Youth Cabinet
Sussex Youth Cabinet is a group of local representatives and
UK Youth Parliament
UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) representatives, who are elected by
young people in West Sussex. The Youth Cabinet represents the
views of the young people West
Sussex at county level. Elections for
the Youth Cabinet and UKYP in West
Sussex run every year in March.
Places of interest
Nature and zoos
Wakehurst Place Gardens, Ardingly
Pagham Harbour - A protected area of wetland that is an important
feeding ground for birds.
South Downs Way - a long distance footpath
St Leonard's Forest
Warnham Local Nature Reserve, a 92-acre site with visitor centre
Arundel (a nature reserve of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust)
Castles, houses and other buildings
Christ's Hospital, an old charitable school notable for its archaic
uniforms and picturesque campus.
Goodwood House and Goodwood Motor Circuit
High Salvington windmill
Hurstpierpoint College, a public school, notable for its substantial
Sussex flint buildings and large campus.
Lancing College, a public school, notable for its substantial Sussex
sandstone chapel and large campus.
Seaford College, a public school known for its large campus
Nymans house and gardens, a National Trust property near Handcross,
Petworth House and deer park.
Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, where Sir Archibald McIndoe
carried out reconstructive surgery for burns patients during the
Second World War.
Sackville College, a Jacobean almshouse in East Grinstead
Shipley Windmill, (no longer open to the public).
Standen, East Grinstead
Uppark, a 17th-century mansion high on the South Downs.
See also: Category:Churches in West Sussex
Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, otherwise called Chichester
Cathedral, is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Chichester. It was
founded as a cathedral in 1075, when the seat of the bishop was moved
Selsey Abbey. The cathedral has architecture in both the
Norman and the Gothic styles, and has been called by the architectural
Nikolaus Pevsner "the most typical English Cathedral".
Cathedral Church of Our Lady and St Philip Howard in
Roman Catholic cathedral of the Diocese of
Arundel and Brighton.
Built in French Gothic style and dedicated in 1873 as the Catholic
parish church of Arundel, it was not designated a cathedral until the
foundation of the diocese in 1965.
Bosham Church is partly of Saxon construction and is shown on the
Bayeaux Tapestry as the local church of late Saxon and Danish kings of
England. Many other Saxon and early Norman have survived in the
county with little alteration including the Church of St Mary the
Blessed Virgin, Sompting, an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon church with a
Rhenish helm unique in
England and St. Nicholas' Church, Worth, a
10th-century church in Worth, Crawley. Some Anglican churches and many
of the numerous nonconformist chapels in the county have been
converted to residential use. Cittaviveka is a Buddhist monastery in
Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre
Tangmere Military Aviation Museum
Weald and Downland Open Air Museum of historic buildings at Singleton
Pallant House Gallery
Pallant House Gallery in
Chichester houses one of the most significant
collections of 20th-century British art outside London. It includes a
substantial body of early and mid-20th-century work bequeathed by
Walter Hussey and many later works donated by Sir Colin St John
Worthing Museum and Art Gallery houses a large collection of Georgian
and Victorian costume. The
Cass Sculpture Foundation
Cass Sculpture Foundation has an outdoor
sculpture park at Goodwood.
Economy and demography
This is a table of trend of regional gross value added of West Sussex
at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics
with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Significant companies in the county include Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, a
substantial employer near Chichester. Gatwick Airport, with associated
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, is a major
source of direct and indirect employment.
Thales Group also has a
presence in the county.
The table below shows the population change up to the 2011 census,
contrasting the previous census. It also shows the proportion of
residents in each district reliant upon lowest income and/or
joblessness benefits, the national average proportion of which was
4.5% as at August 2012, the year for which latest datasets have been
published. It can be seen that the most populous district of West
Arun containing the towns of Arundel,
Bognor Regis and
See also: List of settlements in West
Sussex by population
Population from census to census. Claimants of JSA or Income Support
JSA or Inc. Supp. claimants (August 2012) % of 2011 population
JSA and Income Support claimants (August 2001) % of 2001
Population (April 2011)
Population (April 2001)
Ranked by district
See also: List of schools in West Sussex
Sussex has a comprehensive education system, with a mix of
county-maintained secondary schools and academies and over twenty
independent senior schools. In addition primary education is provided
through a mix of around 240 infant, junior, primary, first and middle
Colleges include The College of Richard Collyer, Central Sussex
Northbrook College and The
Independent schools in the county include Christ's Hospital, whose
students wear Tudor style uniform, Seaford College, Lancing College
Tertiary education is provided by the University of
At least 40 sports are active in West Sussex.
Sussex was the first
First-Class cricket county formed in 1839 and was a cradle for club
Sussex is home to Fontwell Park Racecourse. The
county has one
Football League club located in Crawley, that is
Crawley Town F.C..
List of Lord Lieutenants of West Sussex
List of High Sheriffs of West Sussex
List of hills of West Sussex
Healthcare in Sussex
Sussex County Council: Leisure & Tourism Archived 6
December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b Armstrong. History of Sussex. Chapter 2. The first Inhabitants
^ "SSSI Citation — Eartham Pit" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 4
^ A History of Britain, Richard Dargie (2007), p. 8–9
^ H. Cleere & D. Crossley, Iron industry of the
Weald (2nd edn,
Merton Priory Press, Cardiff, 1995), 79-84; based on work by H. F.
Cleere, including 'Some operating parameters for Roman ironworks' Inst
Archaeol. Bull. 13 (1976), 233-46.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Parker MS. 477AD.
^ Welch, M.G. (1992). Anglo-Saxon England. English Heritage.
ISBN 0-7134-6566-2. pg 9
Sussex County Council: Poor Law Records". Retrieved 15
^ a b Office for National Statistics. "Census 2011 result shows
increase in population of the South East". Retrieved 13 December
^ Gallois R.W. & Edmunds M.A. (4th Ed 1965), The Wealden District,
British Regional Geology series, British Geological Survey,
^ Mantell, Gideon Algernon; Jones (1857). The Wonders of Geology. I.
Thomas Rupert (7th ed.). London: Henry G. Bohn. p. 371. Retrieved
27 October 2013.
^ Marsh, Terry; Hannaford, Jamie (2008). "UK Hydrometric Register"
(PDF). Natural Environment Research Council. p. 122.
ISBN 978-0-9557672-2-7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5
October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
^ Barrow, Mandy. "Project Britain British Life and Culture". Project
Britain. Mandy Barrow. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
Bognor Regis Climate". Met Office. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
Bognor Regis the sunniest spot in Britain". The Daily Telegraph.
London. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
^ a b "Southern England: climate". Met Office. Archived from the
original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
^ Hobson, Jeremy and Lewis, Celia. Choosing & Raising Chickens:
The complete guide to breeds and welfare. Daniel and Charles
Publishing. London. 2009. p 94-95
Sussex Wine & Beer". Retrieved 22 February
^ "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – South East". BBC News.
Sussex County Council: Councillors Archived 6 January 2007 at
the Wayback Machine.
^ "Could you be a West
Sussex youth MP? - News".
Retrieved 29 May 2013.
^ "Warnham Local Nature Reserve". Retrieved 14 March 2015.
^ Tim Tatton-Brown and John Crook, The English Cathedral, New Holland
(2002), ISBN 1-84330-120-2
Nikolaus Pevsner and Ian Nairn, Buildings of England: Sussex,
Penguin Books (1965) (now published by Yale University Press)
^ Hudson, T. P. (ed) (1997). "A History of the County of Sussex:
Volume 5 Part 1 –
Arundel Rape (South-Western Part) including
Arundel Rape: South-Western part".
Victoria County History
Victoria County History of
Sussex. British History Online. pp. 7–9. Retrieved 28 April
2011. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^ Salzman, L. F. (ed) (1953). "A History of the County of Sussex:
Volume 4 – The Rape of Chichester. Bosham". Victoria County History
of Sussex. British History Online. pp. 182–188. Retrieved 30
August 2012. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^ "Southwick (Sussex) Society - The Manor Cottage".
Steyning Museum Home Page".
^ "Welcome to Tangmere".
^  Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
^ includes hunting and forestry
^ includes energy and construction
^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
^ Key Statistics: Population; Quick Statistics: Economic indicators.
(2011 census and 2001 census) Retrieved 27 February 2015.
Sussex Info: Cricket clubs, cricket leagues and village
cricket in West Sussex". Retrieved 22 February 2015.
Sussex CCC was the first First-Class County formed in 1839".
Retrieved 22 February 2015.
^ "Cheltenham named Racegoers Club Racecourse of the Year".
^ "Official Website of the Red Devils -
Crawley Town FC".
Images of West
Sussex at the English Heritage Archive
Sussex at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Isle of Wight
Ceremonial county of West Sussex
Boroughs or districts
Mid Sussex District
See also: List of civil parishes in West Sussex
Population of major settlements
South Downs National Park
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings
Rape of Arundel
Rape of Bramber
Rape of Chichester
Rape of Hastings
Rape of Lewes
Rape of Pevensey
South Coast Plain
Kingdom of Sussex
High Middle Ages
Culture and heritage
St Richard of Chichester
Sussex by the Sea"
We wunt be druv
Diocese of Chichester
Arundel and Brighton
History of Christianity in Sussex
Sussex County League
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner
1974–1996 ← Ceremonial counties of
England → current
East Riding of Yorkshire
Isle of Wight
City of London
Tyne and Wear
Coordinates: 50°55′N 0°30′W / 50.917°N 0.500°W /