Hurstpierpoint

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Coordinates: 50°56′00″N 0°11′07″W / 50.933288°N 0.185339°W / 50.933288; -0.185339

Hurstpierpoint
Hurstpierpoint High Street.jpg
Hurstpierpoint High Street
Hurstpierpoint is located in West Sussex
Hurstpierpoint
Hurstpierpoint
 Hurstpierpoint shown within West Sussex
OS grid reference TQ279165
    - London  39 miles (63 km) N 
Civil parish Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common
District Mid Sussex
Shire county West Sussex
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HASSOCKS
Postcode district BN6
Dialling code 01273
Police Sussex
Fire West Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Arundel and South Downs
List of places
UK
England
West Sussex

Hurstpierpoint is a village in the Mid Sussex district of West Sussex, England. Together with Sayers Common it forms one of the Mid Sussex civil parishes, with an area of 2029.88 ha and a population of 6,264 people.[1]

It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Burgess Hill, and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the nearest railway station at Hassocks, from where Brighton and London are approximately 10 minutes and one hour away respectively. There is also an hourly bus service to Haywards Heath, Brighton and a two hourly service operated by Metrobus to Crawley and Brighton.

History[edit]

Toponymy[edit]

The name derives from 'Hurst', the Old English name for a wood, and 'Pierpoint' after the de Pierpoint family who arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066. The settlement was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Throughout the centuries there have been several variants on the Hurstpierpoint name e.g. Herst (11th century); Herstperpunt (14th century); Perpondesherst (15th century).

The village is chiefly one long street running east and west and most of the buildings in it are of the 18th century or later.

Manors[edit]

The manor of Hurstpierpoint was held before the Norman Conquest by Earl Godwin, when it was an estate assessed at 41 hides, of which 3½ hides in the Rape of Pevensey and 19 hides in the Rape of Bramber were detached. After the Conquest, the remaining 18½ hides were held in 1086 by Robert de Pierpoint of William de Warenne. There was a church and 3 mills. The overlordship descended with the rape until the division after the death of Beatrice, Countess of Arundel, in 1439, when the 10 fees late of Robert de Pierpoint passed to the Duke of Norfolk. Subsequently the overlordship of Hurstpierpoint came into the hands of the Lords Bergavenny, and the manor was said in 1602 to have been held of their manor of Ditchling.

Geography[edit]

The village is built on a slight sandstone ridge, 145 feet (44 m) above sea level, running east and west across the parish, on the road from Lewes to Albourne, and this is crossed in the centre of the village by Cuckfield Road which goes north to Cuckfield. The village is well known for the public school Hurstpierpoint College, situated to the north east of the village.[2]

Landmarks[edit]

To the south of Hurstpierpoint is Danny House an Elizabethan Mansion [3] at the foot of Wolstonbury Hill which forms part of the South Downs

Holy Trinity[edit]

The parish church consists of a chancel with arcades of two bays, north chapel, south chapel (now organ chamber and vestry), nave, north and south transepts, north arcade and aisle of four bays, south arcade and aisle of five bays, and a north-west tower with an octagonal spire of stone. The base of the tower serves as a porch and there is a small porch to the north chapel. The nave has a clearstory.

Church at the main crossroads in Hurstpierpoint.

The church was completely rebuilt from the designs of Sir Charles Barry in 1843–5,who most famously designed the Houses of Parliament

In 1854 the north chapel was added, and in 1874 the south chapel; the last has a dated foundation-stone in the east wall. The north transept has been fitted up as a chapel in memory of those who died in the War of 1914–18. The church which it replaced consisted of a chancel with a south chapel (the Danny chapel - see Danny House) of approximately equal dimensions, a nave with south aisle and north porch, and a west tower with a shingled spire. It had been almost rebuilt by a rector, John Urry, about 1420, but the tracery of the windows and most other ancient features had vanished under 'churchwarden improvements' before 1835.

A number of funeral monuments and fittings were preserved from the old church. The font is probably of c. 1200, but the heavy round bowl has been reworked and painted; the stem is plain; the base has a late 12th or early 13th century mould. Nearby, a broken mortar, brought from a local farmyard, has been set on a stem and base as if to represent a font. The enclosure around the font has turned balusters and moulded handrail of the 18th century and may have been the former communion rails.

In the east window of the south chapel are set fifteen medallions of German or Flemish glass of the 16th and 17th centuries; five are circular, the others oval; they mostly depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments and include a Nativity, and the placing of our Lord in the sepulchre. There are also four similar oval cartouches in the west window of the tower-porch, all collected and placed here by Canon Borrer in 1845.

In the south chapel is a much weathered recumbent effigy, 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) long, of a cross-legged knight in chain armour, of c. 1260; he bears his heater-shaped shield on his left arm and his right hand grasps the hilt of his sword. The feet rest against a lion.

At the west end of the north aisle is a much mutilated effigy of a knight of c. 1340 wearing a bascinet, mail gorget, close-fitting gypon with scalloped lower edge, a baudrick, and plate armour with knee-caps to the legs. The head rests on his helm, which has a lion crest; the feet also rest against a recumbent lion. The figure now rests on an altar-tomb against the north wall; the exposed south side has four quatrefoil panels each enclosing a plain shield, and the east end a single panel. The tomb is enclosed by an iron railing, 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 m) high, which has three diagonal standards treated with buttresses and with moulded and embattled caps and spikes for candles; these are of early 16th century date.

In the churchyard by the west wall are five tapering coffin lids of the 12th or 13th century with hollow chamfered edges. One shows faint traces of a raised cross.

Relaid in the pavement outside the west doorway are about 150 inlaid slip tiles, 6 inches (15 cm) square; of two patterns, one has a fish in a vesica piscis, four of the tiles forming a complete circular design, the other has a whorl of foliage forming part, probably, of a border pattern: late 13th or early 14th century, they are suffering from wear in their present position.

There are eight bells, of which three date from 1775, and the others from 1846. The church registers date from 1558.

There are 4 other churches in the village which are St Georges (not in use), Hurstpierpoint Methodist Church, St Luke's Catholic Church and Hurstpierpoint Evangelical Church.

St Lawrence Fair[edit]

Every July the St Lawrence Fair takes place in Hurstpierpoint.[4] The fair was granted a royal charter in 1313 and is still an important event in the life of the village. The fair takes place on the first Saturday in July and begins with a procession of floats through the high street. These are made by groups such as playschools, primary schools, scouts and brownies and have a different theme each year. Other popular events of the day are the family fun run and the tug-o-war where the local pubs battle it out for a barrel of beer. In 2007 and 2008 it was won by the White Horse of Albourne Road. The fair is home to Harris fun fair and usually has a chair-o-plane amongst its rides as well as different stalls such as a coconut shy. Charities and businesses from around the area place stalls, tombolas and raffles around the centre, and on the other side is the beer tent and pig roast.

Sport[edit]

Hurstpierpoint is the home of Hurstpierpoint F.C.[5] who currently play in Sussex County League Division 3. The village also has a thriving youth system, with children aged 5 through to 16 able to play for Hurstpierpoint F.C. Colts. The Colts also have a growing link with the Sussex County League side.

Hurstpierpoint is also home to a cricket club with the same name, which has several youth sides and 2 men's sides.

Hurstpierpoint is also home to Pink Flamingos Football Club, whose three Sunday sides make them one of the biggest Sunday league football clubs in southern England[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]

A notable local resident is Jimmy Hill,[6] who is generous of his time for local events, clubs and societies. Greta Scacchi also lived in the village[7] until 2011 when a dispute with a neighbour led her to leave.[8] The agricultural chemist Sir John Saint (1898–1987) lived at Selwyn in St George's Lane.[9] The Olympic runner Frank Salvat also lived there until his death in 2013, and Brighton & Hove Albion winger Kazenga LuaLua lives in the village.[10]

References[edit]