The Village of Thakeham, West Sussex

Thakeham Street

History of Thakeham

Mentioned in the Domesday Book The earliest signs of human activity were found in the South Hill Farm where Neolithic in the Lower Greensand Ridge.

In the Great Norman Survey in 1068 leading to the Domesday Book, it had thirty villains, twelve bondsmen, and eight ploughs. A church and mill of three shillings, sixteen acres of meadow and a wood of sixty hops, total value fourteen pounds. A knight holds one hide of land with five oxen and a bondsman.

Described in 1843 as an out of the way parish with no resident gentlemen(!!), it had a population was 597, 70 farm labourers of whom 64 were needed and 20 unemployed according to season. The average wages were 12/- (60p) with beer in the summer.

In 1875 the school was built to accomodate 92 children but in 1935 this had fallen to 35. It was bolstered by an influx of evacuees during the second world war requiring the use of the parsih rooms, adjacent to the school.

After the first world war it became the home to many retired service officers as well as expanding to become a centre of market gardening. In 1913 AG Linfield and Sons from Worthing acquired land to become the largest mushroom grower in Europe.

Where is Thakeham??

The quiet village of Thakeham nestles in the shelter of the South Downs in the heart of West Sussex about three miles north from Storrington. It has many fine views of the downs.

The south downs near Thakeham

Find it on the map

What goes on in the village

The quiet peaceful atmosphere belies the activity which takes place in the background.

Village day is held on the third Saturday of June, and attracts a crowd to see the variety of displays and activities which represent the village.

No English Village would be complete without its own Morris dance side and Thakeham maintains this tradition with their very own Gillian's Morris team.

For the community as a whole there is a Christmas Dinner, Spring Teas, annual Village walk and an occasional "Burns Supper". There are numerous dances held in the Village Hall and a bi-annual Flower Festival.

Other activities include a Gardeners Club, the WI, Mother and Toddler group, Pre School Playgroup and a Youth Club.

The Street, Thakeham

The oldest part of the village of Thakeham is "The Street". Walk down this lane and you will find a variety of architectural styles and developments.

Take a short virtual walk round Thakeham.

Thakeham Street

The Church

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For further details of services activities, etc., please click here St Mary's Thakeham

The spiritual well being of the parishioners is cared for by the Church of St Mary's St Mary's from the front , dating from Norman times it is a building of quiet sanctity and the churchyard is a most peaceful place. It is well cared for and has many interesting headstones.

The interior Church of St Mary's of the Church is well preserved with a bell tower at one end and the view from the door of the church is one of the tranquil beauty of a typical English village. view of village from church

The nearby church at Warminghurst is almost as old and is sadly now redundant. It is used for special services and has some interesting features like sheep pen pew cubicles to keep the congregation free from draughts?. There is a simple altar at one end of the church.

Living in Thakeham

This is primarily an agricultural area with much of the land being devoted to farming and there are many fine farms and farm buildings around this area. The view across the fields on an autum afternoon can be a dramatic and satisfying sight.

The largest employer in the area is Chesswood Produce, famous for its mushroom growing capability. It provides an agricultural air about Thakeham covering many acres of land int he area as well as having its own pig farm.

The School

The education of the local children up to the age of ten is provided by Thakeham First School, dating from Victorian times it is a building steeped in traditional learning yet provides the modern learning environment. Visit the school site

Sussex Mummers

Sussex is well known for its tradition of mummers plays. This one has been updated to take a lighthearted reflection on recent events.Thakeham Mummers Play.

For more information on Sussex