WELCOME TO FINDON VILLAGE
The community website for Findon in West Sussex

Local History

A brief history of Findon

Findon Village nestles in a dry valley between the Iron Age hill fort of Cissbury to the east and Church Hill to the west.  Both hills bear the remains of prehistoric flint mines, established during the Neolithic Age some five thousand years ago when farmers lived and worked on the chalk hills of the South Downs, using the flint for axes and other tools*. 

Later, during Roman and Saxon times a shortage of water coupled with improved methods of agriculture resulted in people moving off the hills and settling in the valleys. 

Findune (Anglo-Saxon spelling) is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, which suggests that a community has existed in this spot for considerably more than 1,000 years. 

The present village developed in the late Middle Ages at the junction of an important east/west highway across the South Downs with a minor (at the time) north/south route to the sea.  The original settlement developed close to the old Manor of Findon and the 11thC Parish Church, although permanent development of the village took place a small distance to the east. 

Following the ravages of the Black Death in 1349 the South Downs were largely abandoned to sheep and it was not until the 17th century that agriculture was re-established.  Findon’s farming community at that time numbered around 200.  Principal landowners included the Lords of Findon and Muntham manors and the owners of Cissbury Estate. 

By the middle of the 19th century the annual Sheep Fair on Nepcote Green was well established and racehorse training on the excellent downland turf had begun.  These activities continue to define Findon to the present day. 

The arrival of motorised transport in the first half of the 20th century resulted in major residential development taking place, with the A24 by-pass being completed in 1938 to limit the increasing flow of traffic through the village.  Residential building resumed post-war with completion of further significant housing on what had been Findon Farm.  Development also resulted in the previously separate hamlet of Nepcote becoming linked to Findon Village.  The current population of the Parish is slightly over 2,000. 

To date, development has been contained within the boundary of the village, often by infilling of large gardens, but almost all such available space has now been utilised.  Agricultural employment has naturally declined, but dairy and arable farms continue to thrive throughout the Parish, together with active and successful equestrian, including horse racing, stables. 

Findon remains an attractive and popular place to live for all ages and family sizes, contributing to the community’s dynamic mix.  It is also seen as a destination village, popular because of its charm, accessibility, closeness to the South Downs Way as well as for its numerous pubs, restaurants and specialist shops. 

*For more information on the archaeology of Findon, please click here.

 

 

 

high streetFindon High Street early 1900's

 

high streetFindon High Street early 1900's

Local History

A brief history of Findon

Findon Village nestles in a dry valley between the Iron Age hill fort of Cissbury to the east and Church Hill to the west.  Both hills bear the remains of prehistoric flint mines, established during the Neolithic Age some five thousand years ago when farmers lived and worked on the chalk hills of the South Downs, using the flint for axes and other tools*. 

Later, during Roman and Saxon times a shortage of water coupled with improved methods of agriculture resulted in people moving off the hills and settling in the valleys. 

Findune (Anglo-Saxon spelling) is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, which suggests that a community has existed in this spot for considerably more than 1,000 years. 

The present village developed in the late Middle Ages at the junction of an important east/west highway across the South Downs with a minor (at the time) north/south route to the sea.  The original settlement developed close to the old Manor of Findon and the 11thC Parish Church, although permanent development of the village took place a small distance to the east. 

Following the ravages of the Black Death in 1349 the South Downs were largely abandoned to sheep and it was not until the 17th century that agriculture was re-established.  Findon’s farming community at that time numbered around 200.  Principal landowners included the Lords of Findon and Muntham manors and the owners of Cissbury Estate. 

By the middle of the 19th century the annual Sheep Fair on Nepcote Green was well established and racehorse training on the excellent downland turf had begun.  These activities continue to define Findon to the present day. 

The arrival of motorised transport in the first half of the 20th century resulted in major residential development taking place, with the A24 by-pass being completed in 1938 to limit the increasing flow of traffic through the village.  Residential building resumed post-war with completion of further significant housing on what had been Findon Farm.  Development also resulted in the previously separate hamlet of Nepcote becoming linked to Findon Village.  The current population of the Parish is slightly over 2,000. 

To date, development has been contained within the boundary of the village, often by infilling of large gardens, but almost all such available space has now been utilised.  Agricultural employment has naturally declined, but dairy and arable farms continue to thrive throughout the Parish, together with active and successful equestrian, including horse racing, stables. 

Findon remains an attractive and popular place to live for all ages and family sizes, contributing to the community’s dynamic mix.  It is also seen as a destination village, popular because of its charm, accessibility, closeness to the South Downs Way as well as for its numerous pubs, restaurants and specialist shops. 

*For more information on the archaeology of Findon, please click here.