A thatched cottage in Bracklesham
East Wittering shown within West Sussex
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East Wittering is a coastal village in the Chichester district of West Sussex, England. The eastern half of the village lies within the civil parish of East Wittering and Bracklesham, while the western half lies within the boundary of West Wittering civil parish. The village sits on the B2179 road seven miles (11.3 km) southwest of Chichester.
There has been a settlement at East Wittering for over a thousand years. Before the Norman Conquest King Harold had control of the Bishops. The area is mentioned in the Domesday Book, as part of the Hundred of Westringes, and the parish church of The Assumption dates from the early 12th century: Pevsner describes it as having an impressive coherence and sureness of touch. For centuries the land was in the hands of the Wystryng family. In Victorian times the RNLI raised enough subscriptions to launch a distress boat from the beach at East Wittering, a role now covered by the Fire Service. Last century the area began to attract greater numbers of holiday makers but in May 1944 it became the landing beach for the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division during a dummy run for D-Day, code named Operation Fabius.
Since then it has returned to a quiet area with a small primary school, popular with week-end surfers. Nikolaus Pevsner described the village as "a jumble of bungalows and chalets near the beach in an untidy half grown up state". St Anne's Anglican Church was designed by architect Harry Sherwood who was surveyor of the fabric of Chichester Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid on 6 June 1958 by the then Bishop of Chichester who consecrated the building on 14 May 1959. Within the Church there is a plaque inscribed "1914-1918 No lives were lost from this Parish. All returned safely. LAUS DEO" which testifies to the fact that East Wittering is one of the Thankful Villages - those very rare places that suffered no fatalities during the Great War of 1914-1918.
The village of East Wittering and the whole stretch of Bracklesham Bay is a favourite with many surfers. With a low beach gradient and the lack of any obvious dangers such as rips or obstacles it is a great beach for learners and with one of the UK's longest running surf clubs, Shore Surf Club.
- Chichester Harbour- a history Reger, J. (1996 Chichester Phillimore & Co Ltd)ISBN 1860770133
- A Guide to the Buildings of West Sussex Pevsner,N./ Nairn,I. (Sussex (1965,Middlesex, Penguin p 216) ISBN 0-14-071028-0
- 'East Wittering', Victoria County Histories:A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4: The Rape of Chichester (1953) pp215-217 Salzman, L
- W.S.F.S. Support Vessel details
- 1937 Guide Book
- Vhs VideoD-Day: Eyewitness–1994 FranboroughDD Videos DD 872 Ref:X102116997 1994
- Details of exercise
- School details
- Surfers Description
Media related to East Wittering at Wikimedia Commons