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Coordinates: 50°48′37″N 0°30′19″W / 50.81019°N 0.50521°W / 50.81019; -0.50521

Rustington Church3.JPG
The church of St. Peter and St. Paul
Rustington is located in West Sussex
 Rustington shown within West Sussex
Area  4.32 km2 (1.67 sq mi) [1]
Population 13,210 [1] 2001 Census
    - Density  3,060 /km2 (7,900 /sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ054022
    - London  51 miles (82 km) NNE 
Civil parish Rustington
District Arun
Shire county West Sussex
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BN16
Dialling code 01903
Police Sussex
Fire West Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Worthing West
Website Rustington Parish Council
List of places
West Sussex

Rustington is a seaside resort and civil parish near Littlehampton in West Sussex. Rustington is centrally situated on the West Sussex coast almost midway between the cathedral city of Chichester and Brighton. For local government purposes, it forms part of the Arun district of the administrative county of West Sussex. Officially a village with its own parish council, Rustington is larger than this implies. The A259 runs through the north of the village, westward to Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Chichester, and east to Worthing and Brighton.

It has expanded considerably in the last few years[when?], with extensive new housing developments, which have altered its original character. With a population of 12,676 in 2001, it has the size and facilities of a small town, including a shopping area with several chain stores[citation needed]. It is in the Worthing West parliamentary constituency and its current MP is Peter Bottomley. It is served by Angmering railway station. The parish of Rustington includes the hamlet of West Preston.

The village[edit]

Rustington contains a conservation area which extends from the south end of North Lane to the Lamb Public House in The Street. This area, whose trees are protected, has the largest number of historic buildings in the area (many listed Grade II), with The Street and surrounding roads containing among the finest 17th and 18th century Sussex flint cottages in West Sussex, some thatched.

There is a village information centre at the Churchill Parade car park.[2]

Rustington competes annually in the South-East in Bloom competition. It holds an annual carnival and fete in August and at Christmas has a village carol concert which is free for local residents and features local school children accompanied by the Littlehampton Concert Band.

The local non-league football team, Rustington F.C., went through the entire calendar year of 2006 without losing a single match, earning them a mention on Sky Sports News on New Year's Eve.

Rustington achieved national fame in 1956 with the launch of Flanders and Swann's show At the Drop of a Hat, in which the Gnu Song contains the lines:

I had taken furnished lodgings down at Rustington-on-Sea
Whence I travelled on to...(Ashton-under-Lyne it was actually)...

Rustington was home to an American World War I air base. No longer in existence, this was formerly sited to the east of the high street.

Rustington has its own museum, containing local exhibits and a coffee shop, housed in an 18th-century thatched house recently converted for the purpose.

Shopping facilities[edit]

Rustington's shopping facilities have increased over the last few years and there are various independent retailers including butchers, greengrocers and bakers as well as a number of quality multiple retailers. It has all the major banks and a post office serving a population of 40,000.

Located just off the high street is a small courtyard of shops called Churchill Court. On display in the high street is a large Late Ice Age erratic boulder; this was brought to Rustington on the sea ice during the last Ice Age. It was discovered in a local field (Stonefield) and was used as a boundary marker for many years. Rustington also has a retail park located on the A259 road.

Sport and leisure[edit]

Rustington has a Non-League football club Rustington F.C. who play at the Recreation Ground.


Rustington shares Angmering railway station with Angmering and East Preston. Links to Brighton and Portsmouth are provided by the 700 Coastliner bus.

In the news[edit]

  • Paul Pegrum, of Pegrum's bakery (now Forfar's), created the world's biggest hot cross bun[citation needed] to publicise Rustington at Easter 2002. After four hours of cooking, the bun surpassed two out of the three existing records. A weights and measures inspector from Brighton and Hove Council found the bun had smashed the current weight record of 38 kg (84 lbs), weighing in at 42.8 kg (94 lb 6oz).It is also the widest hot cross bun ever made, with a diameter of 4 ft 4in (132 cm).[3]

Air speed records[edit]

Two world air speed records were set on the date 7 September over Rustington sea front.

Record 1 - set on 7 September 1946, by Group Captain Teddy Donaldson, flying a Gloster Meteor Star. Donaldson also became the first man to break the 1,000 km/h barrier.[4]

Record 2 - set on 7 September 1953, by Squadron Leader Neville Duke, flying Hawker Hunter WB188, at a speed of 1170.9 km/h.

To celebrate, on 7 September 1996, Neville Duke returned to Rustington to unveil a plaque, marking the event. He was joined by a Gloster Meteor and a Hawker Hunter, which flew over Rustington sea front.

Twin towns[edit]

Notable people[edit]

  • JM Barrie, Scottish author and dramatist; author of Peter Pan.
  • Graham Sutherland OM, English artist
  • Leslie Arthur Wilcox R.I., R.S.M.A., British Marine Artist - lived in Cove Road 1963-1982.
  • Lindsay Anderson, Indian-born English feature film, theatre and documentary director, film critic, and leading light of the Free Cinema movement and the British New Wave. He wrote If.... while living in his mother's house on the village's Sea Estate.
  • Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, English landscape architect, garden designer, architect and author, who grew up in the village.[5]
  • Sir Hubert Parry, English composer, lived in Sea Lane from 1880 until his death in October 1918. He composed the well-known hymn tune Rustington which he named after the village.
  • Delirious?, English Christian rock and worship band members lived in the village.
  • Brian White, Cartoonist. He spent much of his later life in the village.
  • Ed Petrie, British comedian, actor and television presenter. He was born and raised in the village.
  • Mitchell Symons, journalist and bestselling author. He has lived just outside the village since 1995.
  • Andrew Pearson, cricketer who played for Bedfordshire.[6]


  1. ^ a b "2001 Census: West Sussex – Population by Parish". West Sussex County Council. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  2. ^ Littlehampton Gazette
  3. ^ The Argus 28 March 2002
  4. ^ Thomas, Nick. RAF Top Gun: Teddy Donaldson CB, DSO, AFC and Bar Battle of Britain Ace and World Air Speed Record Holder, Pen & Sword, 2008. ISBN 1-84415-685-0
  5. ^ 1996 Obituary for Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe who grew up in Rustington
  6. ^ "Player profile: Andrew Pearson". CricketArchive. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Rustington at Wikimedia Commons