St Mary's Church
|Area||32.19 km2 (12.43 sq mi) |
|• Density||256/km2 (660/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||36 miles (58 km) NNE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|Website||Billingshurst Parish Council|
Billingshurst is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. The village lies on the A29 road (the Roman Stane Street) at its crossroads with the A272, 6 miles (10 km) south-west of Horsham and 5.5 miles (9 km) north-east of Pulborough.
The village's name derives from Anglo-Saxon and means 'a wooded hill of Billa's people', most likely referring to the sandstone hillock that St Mary's Church is sited on in the historical centre of the village. 'Bill' is the head of a family, 'ing' means of the people, and 'hurst' means wooded hill. It is most likely that it was a small family settlement, not yet being a large community or a parish, headed by one 'Billa' - someone of unestablished origin, and not by a populous Saxon tribe.
The village has a secondary school and a sixth form college, known together as The Weald School. Billingshurst Primary School (formerly separate infant and junior schools, amalgamated in 2010) is situated near to The Weald.
New housing development on the eastern side of the village will include a spine road linking the A29 road north of the village with the A272 road to the east. 550 new homes will be built along with a school, dentists' surgery, play areas and improvements to the railway station.
The village is to the east of a remaining section of the Wey and Arun Canal; the canal has not been fully navigable since the 1890s.
Billingshurst has four churches. St Mary's Church (Church of England) is the oldest, with a mix of service styles, ranging from Book of Common Prayer communion services to informal family worship. Other churches are St Gabriel's Church (Catholic), Billingshurst Family Church (Evangelical; part of the Commission family of churches) and Trinity Church (United Reformed). Billingshurst Unitarian Chapel, set back behind the High Street, was founded in 1754 and is one of south-east England's oldest Nonconformist places of worship.
- Paul Darrow (1941-2019), actor and author, lived in Billingshurst
- Janet Lees-Price (1943-2012), actress, lived in Billingshurst
- Pom Oliver (1952-), filmmaker and arctic explorer, lived in Billingshurst
- Harry Enfield (1961-), comedian, lived in Billingshurst
- James Tilley (1998-), footballer, born and lived in Billingshurst and went to school in Billingshurst at The Weald School
Film and cultural appearances
- Billingshurst's Dell Lane was the location for the BBC sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles starring Richard Briers
- Michael Lugg (1956) in British Pathé 'Boy's Traction Engine'
- Paul Adorian (1965) in British Pathé 'Vintage Fire Brigade'
- "2001 Census: West Sussex – Population by Parish" (PDF). West Sussex County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- "Civil Parish population 2011" (PDF). Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- Lawes 2017, The Saxons Colonise Britain - 477 to 1066 AD, p. 36.
- "Term start delayed for new Billingshurst Primary School". Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- "Horsham District Council". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
- "Billingshurst 550-home development gets one step closer". West Sussex County Times. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
- Lines, Wendy (1995). Billingshurst. The Archive Photographs Series. Chalford: Chalford Publishing Company. p. 87. ISBN 0-7524-0301-X.
- Page, Sarah (4 June 2019). "Tributes to Billingshurst-based Blake's 7 actor Paul Darrow". West Sussex County Times. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- "Paul Darrow". Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- Hickman, Martin (8 June 2002). "Women who conquered the North Pole fly back to a nice warm bath". The Independent. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- Bearn, Emily (28 August 2002). "I'm a boring sod, really". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
- "James Tilley". Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- Berry, Ollie (21 January 2019). "Billingshurst-based Brighton & Hove Albion forward Tilley praised for debut brace at Cork City". West Sussex County Times. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- "Boy's Traction Engine 1956". Retrieved 22 September 2019.
- "Vintage Fire Brigade 1965". Retrieved 22 September 2019.
- Lawes, Geoffrey (2017). Billingshurst's Heritage: An Historical Miscellany of a West Sussex Village. United States: Peacock Press. ISBN 9781912271023.
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