West Thorney Church
West Thorney shown within West Sussex
|Area||12.23 km2 (4.72 sq mi) |
|Population||1,079  2001 Census|
|- Density||88 /km2 (230 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||59 miles (95 km) NE|
|Civil parish||West Thorney|
|Shire county||West Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
West Thorney is a village and civil parish on Thorney Island, the southern part of a peninsula of land between two arms of Chichester Harbour, separated from the mainland by a channel called the Great Deep. Just to the south is the smaller Pilsey Island, a haven for birds. The island was a World War II airfield RAF Thorney Island which remained in use until 1976. Since 1982 the base has been used by the Royal Artillery. Only the church and coastal footpath are open to the public. It is necessary to give ones name and address by intercom to be allowed through remotely controlled gates. The parish has a land area of 1223 hectares (3021 acres). In the 2001 census 1079 people lived in 217 households, of whom 679 were economically active.
The parish church
The Anglican parish church is dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. The original building dates from around 1100 A.D. probably on the orders of Bishop Warlewast.
The Manor of Thorney belonged to the chapelry of Bosham at the Norman conquest and was held by the Bishops of Exeter. In 1086 A.D. the Domesday Book recorded that 'Mauger holds of the land of this church 12 hides as one manor; it is called Tornei and pays geld for 8 hides'. It was sold by the Bishop of Exeter in 1548 to Thomas Fisher, who the following year sold it to Henry Bickley.
Chichester Harbour, a Site of Special Scientific Interest is partly within the parish. This is a wetland of international importance,a Special Protection Area for wild birds and a Special Area of Conservation. The harbour is of particular importance for wintering wildfowl and waders of which five species reach numbers which are internationally important.
Pilsey Island is a small island in Chichester Harbour, just off the south eastern tip of Thorney Island. In recent years it has become joined to Thorney by accumulating sand. The island is an RSPB nature reserve and a designated Local Nature Reserve.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to West Thorney.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thorney Island.|
- "2001 Census: West Sussex – Population by Parish". West Sussex County Council. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
- Walking Britain; walk 2043
- "Sussex seashore, Thorney Island, West Sussex". London: The Guardian. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- British History Online
- SSSI Citation — Chichester Harbour (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
- "About Pilsey Island". RSPB. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Pilsey Island". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Map of Pilsey Island". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.