A Spotlight on Findon, West Sussex
20 Dec, 2018
Nestling amongst the beautiful rolling countryside of the South Downs National Park is the pretty West Sussex village of Findon – a bubbling rural community of 2,000 people of all ages. Findon is situated in a dry river valley with the Iron Age hill fort of Cissbury Ring just to its west. Cissbury Ring is the second large Iron Age hill fort in the country. Just to the east of the village, is Church Hill.
History of Findon, West Sussex
Findon is steeped in history as evidence of prehistoric flint mines has been found on both hills suggesting that there were farming communities living there 5,000 years ago as the farmers used flint for axes and other tools. Later, during Roman times, the communities moved into the valley bottom and continued farming the land.
Findon is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086 where it is named as 'Findune'. Late in the Middle Ages, the community moved from its original position and developed at the junction of the important east / west route across the South Downs and the smaller north / south track that led down to the coast near Worthing. Findon Manor was built and so was the parish church during the 12th century and by all accounts, the village was thriving.
All changed with the Black Death in 1349 when the communities on the South Downs were largely abandoned. It was not until the 17th century that Findon began to thrive again and records show that at that time, there were 200 farmers living in the village. By the mid 19th century, the popular annual sheep fair had been established in nearby Nepcote Green and race horsing had begun in the valley – and both continue to this day.
The development of the motor car in the early 20th century led to major development in the village and by 1938 it had been deemed necessary to build the A24 bypass to try and ease congestion in the village
Since then, the hamlet of Nepcote has become part of Findon, which now has 2,000 residents. It remains an important farming area with both arable and dairy farms. The village has grown tremendously but has not exceed its boundaries as most new houses have been built on plots sold by house owners who have been happy to reduce the size of their gardens.
What Can You Do in Findon?
Findon is popular with weekend visitors as it has three pubs, two restaurants and a hotel. The Gun Inn dates from the 17th century. There are also two well known racehorse stables - and one of them has proudly reared two Grand National winners. The annual Findon Sheep Fair and Village Festival is held on the second weekend in September and draws many visitors as it is a fun day for all the family. Many walkers also visit Findon as the 615 mile Monarch Way passes through the heart of the village.
Certainly enjoying a stroll either first thing in the morning or as the sun begins to set, it is easy to see why the area around Findon is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty...