HISTORY

Our Villages

The parish contains the villages, Binsted, Fontwell and Walberton together with Havenwood Park. The population at the 2011Census was 2,175.

Walberton was a flourishing village in Saxon times with a population of 35 men and their families at the time of the Domesday survey. It is situated just to the south of the South Downs. The north-east of the parish, Rewell Wood, is within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which with parts of Binsted are included in the Southdown National Park. The A27 trunk road runs along part of the northern boundary of the parish and provides relatively easy access to Chichester and Worthing for commuters and shoppers. Littlehampton and Bognor Regis are also within easy reach. There is a community bus service, several supermarkets run free buses, and there are regular hourly bus services to Arundel, Barnham, Bognor Regis, and Chichester. Timetables and other information are available in  the “Bus Fact Sheet” which is available from the Post Office for 15p.  Train services run from Barnham Station, about 2 miles away, to Bognor Regis, Bournemouth, Brighton, Littlehampton, London, Portsmouth, Southampton, Swansea, and Winchester.

Residents are very active and the village received “Best Kept Village” awards in 1975, 1976, and 1979. There are numerous societies and groups, a Village School which dates from 1732, a Village Hall (built in 1989), two public houses, a Post Office (which contains a tearoom), six shops, plus three in Fontwell, as well as a four-star hotel, and the village garage in The Street. In Fontwell there are also a large filling station, a Travelodge Hotels

The Church of St. Mary in Walberton was founded in Saxon times. The first known priest was Acard in 1086. The Saxon font and west wall remain with additions in the 11th, 13th, and later centuries. The Lychgate is an unusual war memorial.

The main fabric of Binsted church is 12th century although the font seems to be 11th century. During a major restoration in 1868 the interior was found to be covered with wall paintings but, unfortunately these have now faded and only one can be made out.

The Baptist chapel, which replaces a meeting house registered in 1714, was opened in 1886.

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