Lancing, West Sussex
Lancing shown within West Sussex
|Area||3.65 sq mi (9.5 km2) |
|Population||18,692 2001 Census|
|- Density||5,121 /sq mi (1,977 /km2)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||47 miles (76 km) N|
|Shire county||West Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||BN15, BN99|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||East Worthing and Shoreham|
Lancing is a village and civil parish in the Adur district of West Sussex, England, on the western edge of the Adur Valley. It lies on the coastal plain between Sompting to the west, Shoreham-by-Sea to the east and the parish of Coombes to the north. It is sometimes credited as being the largest village in England, covering an area of 3.65 miles² (946.4 hectares).
The village was a popular seaside resort in the mid-19th century, gaining favour from the gentry of the time for its secluded atmosphere. Lancing today no longer has a notable tourist trade although there are a number of small guest houses, most of them on the A259 coast road.
There is a shingle beach with good stretches of clean sand at low water. South of the coast road is Widewater, an internationally rare brackish lagoon, and the only known location of the probably extinct Ivell's sea anemone. Immediately north of the developed area is Lancing Ring, a Nature Reserve, part of the former Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the newly established South Downs National Park. To the north of that is farmed agricultural downland connected to Lancing College Farm. On its eastern side is Shoreham Airport, the world's oldest continually-operational airport which also served as an RAF base during World War II.
The village's boundary with Sompting to the west has historically been along Boundstone Lane, named after the boundstone or boundary stone that marked the boundary. The stone is now kept at Boundstone Nursery School, Upper Boundstone Lane, having previously been kept at Boundstone Community College, which has now been closed and transformed into The Sir Robert Woodard Academy. Much of Lancing's northern boundary with the village of Coombes runs along the Ladywell Stream, a tributary of the River Adur which runs from the South Downs near to Lancing College. The source of the Ladywell Stream, the Ladywell Spring, is believed to be an ancient holy well or sacred stream with pre-Christian significance.
In 1828, remains of what may be an iron age shrine and to its west a later Romano-British temple were found just west of Lancing Ring. The Romano-British temple was located within an oval temenos and seems to have been built in the 1st century AD. A track has existed since Celtic British times which ran from Chanctonbury Ring via Cissbury Ring to Lancing Ring and from then on to a probable ford across the River Adur by the modern Sussex Pad, close to the Old Tollbridge at Old Shoreham. The Roman road from Noviomagus Reginorum (Chichester) to Novus Portus (probably Portslade near Brighton) also ran through modern North Lancing (along the Street) down to the ford.
Much of the land now covered with housing was formerly taken by a number of family-run market gardening businesses growing fruit or flowers for the Brighton Market or Covent Garden in London. Sparks Nursery was growing fruit such as tomatoes and Young's produced carnations. Chrysanthemums were grown by Frank Lisher on his land south of The Finches, the house he built. The Nash family were fruit growers, producing grapes under huge glass cloches that could be rolled into place on a rail track. 'Mr Marshall's Nursery' was also notable.
Lancing railway station opened with what is now known as the West Coastway Line in 1849. Between 1908 and 1912 the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway developed its railway wagon and carriage works in the area that is now the Lancing Business Park (also known as the Churchill Industrial Estate) at the western edge of the village. The railway works were closed on 25 June 1965 as a result of the report published in 1963 entitled 'The Reshaping of British Railways' initiated by Richard Beeching, Baron Beeching, the first Chairman of the British Railways Board, and the land on which the works were sited was predominantly turned over to the Churchill Industrial Estate.
Lancing probably means the people of Wlanc or people of Hlanc. Like many places throughout this part of Sussex, Lancing has an -ing ending, meaning people of. Wlanc seems to mean proud or imperious, while Hlanc seems to mean lank or lean. The suggestion that Lancing takes its name from the Wlencing or Wlenca, the son of the South Saxon king Ælle, has been discounted.
Shoreham Tollbridge is a Grade II* listed building which was the last tollbridge in use within Sussex. The bridge was in use for motorised traffic until the opening of the A27 flyover over the River Adur in 1970. The bridge is located in the east of the parish, crossing the River Adur into Shoreham.
Shoreham Airport, the oldest licensed airfield in the UK, opened in 1911, lies within the parish.
In the north-east of the parish on the South Downs lies Lancing College, an independent school, with its imposing, predominantly 19th Century chapel, the largest school chapel in the world, featuring the largest stained-glass rose window in England (completed in 1977).
The local senior school, The Sir Robert Woodard Academy, formerly Boundstone Community College, located just inside the neighbouring village of Sompting, is a mixed comprehensive of around 1,100 students from ages 11–18.
In the north-east of the parish on the Downs lies Lancing College, an independent school and major landmark.
There are also three primary schools. Seaside Primary (formerly Freshbrook First School and Thornberry Middle School) is located on Freshbrook Road and The Globe Primary (formerly The Willows First School and Oakfield Middle School) is located on Irene Avenue. These two schools were formed in 2008-9 when each of the previous middle schools joined with the nearest of the first schools in Lancing. North Lancing Primary School, located on Mill Road, has always been a first and middle school.
Lancing was visited by Oscar Wilde in the 1890s when he stayed at nearby Worthing. The working title for his masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest was Lady Lancing. Wilde's friend and lover, the poet Lord Alfred Douglas lived in nearby Brighton and died while staying at Monk's Farmhouse in Lancing. Lancing was also visited by another poet, Algernon Charles Swinburne, who stayed at The Terrace in the 1880s.
There are several teams in the village covering adult and junior games. Lancing F.C. are based at the Culver Road ground while Lancing United play at Monks Recreation ground (Crabtree Lane) and Croshaw Recreation Ground (Boundstone Lane). The junior's Lancing Rangers Football Club successfully achieved The FA Charter Standard in 2004. The Sussex County Football Association is based at Culver Road in the village. There also some fairly big teams located nearby including Brighton and Hove Albion, whose reserve team play at Culver Road and Worthing FC who play in the Ryman League Division 1 South.
Lancing Manor Cricket Club play at the cricket ground at the junction of the A27 and East Grinstead Lane. There is also the newly formed cricket club Lancing Lads Official.
The writer Ted Walker was born in Lancing in 1934 and grew up at 186, Brighton Road, by the Widewater. His autobiographical work, The High Path takes its name from the footpath that ran between Brighton road and the Widewater, and which was formerly a public right of way.
Lancing, (along with the other urban districts of Adur) is twinned with
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- Andy Horton (1998-01-11). "Shoreham: Toponymy". Glaucus.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- Andy Horton. "Lancing, West Sussex, England". Glaucus.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
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