Burpham shown within West Sussex
|Area||12.45 km2 (4.81 sq mi) |
|Population||193 (2001 Census)|
|- Density||15 /km2 (39 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||47 miles (76 km) NNE|
|Shire county||West Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Arundel and South Downs|
The village is next to the site of a Saxon Burh (an Old English term for "fortification") with earthworks to protect against Viking attack up the River Arun. It is one of a series of burhs ordered by Alfred the Great or his successor, Edward the Elder in about AD 900 and listed in the Burghal Hidage. Burpham's toponym is derived from burh.
Folklore has it that nearby Harrow Hill was the last place in Britain where fairies lived, until disturbed by archæologists. The deserted medieval village of Bargham or Barpham was Burpham's twin village but was depopulated by the Black Death.
Burpham has one main street, mainly of thatched Sussex flint cottages.
Burpham has a rich literary history. Mervyn Peake and his family lived here and he walked the South Downs while devising the fantasy characters of Gormenghast. The turrets of Arundel Castle may have been its inspiration. John Cowper Powys moved to Burpham with his wife Margaret in 1902 and wrote warmly of Burpham in his memoirs. His son Littleton Alfred Powys was born in the village later that year and subsequently grew up living with his mother whilst John Cowper Powys toured America delivering public lectures and writing. The Rev. Tickner Edwardes, who lived in what is now the Burpham Country House Hotel, when Vicar of Burpham, was a noted naturalist, and wrote many books including The Lore of the Honey-Bee, as well as authoring romantic novels and early films of the 1920s such as Tansy, the story of a love triangle between a village girl and two brothers. A blue plaque on the building commemorates him. Both Peake and Edwardes are buried in St. Mary's churchyard.
Burpham has notable views across the Arun and its water meadows towards Arundel Castle, Arundel Cathedral and Arundel Priory. The village has a century-old cricket pitch where W. G. Grace played. There is one public house, the George and Dragon, that was built in 1736 and now holds an AA Rosette as a gastropub.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
- Further reading
- Nairn, Ian; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1965). Sussex. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 120–122. ISBN 0-14-071028-0.
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