St Mary's Church, Walberton
|Area||10.44 km2 (4.03 sq mi)|
|Population||2,174 (Civil Parish.2011)|
|• Density||208/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||50 miles (80 km) NNE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
Walberton is a village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, 5 miles (8 km) north-west of Littlehampton, and south of the A27 road. The land rises from 33–115 feet (10–35 m) above sea level, a quarter of the height of Nore Hill, the nearest foothill of the South Downs, which is to the north of the parish. The parish includes the smaller village of Binsted to the east and the larger neighbourhood of Fontwell, less than two-thirds of a mile (1 km) to the north-west. Walberton has a medieval church next to its clustered centre. Binsted's medieval church retains an original setting of village houses dispersed over farm fields.
The two churchyards have yielded archaeological evidence that there was settlement during the Bronze Age, about 3,500 years ago. Some fragments of brick and tile were discovered at Binsted during excavations in 1992.
The timber lychgate to the churchyard was installed as a war memorial in 1920.
The space above the chancel of Walberton Church contains a colony of pipistrelle bats, which is counted annually. A figure of 300 has been recorded.
The local school is Walberton and Binsted CE Primary School. The present building is just over ten years old. There are seven classrooms, each of which has its own piece of garden. The school also offers ample play space, a music room and computer facilities.
The school was graded Good by Ofsted in all the main respects at its last inspection in May 2017. There were 208 pupils at that time and 202 at a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) in March 2020, which concentrated on religious education.
Walberton's The Holly Tree is recorded as a public house from 1845 and received its present name in 1867. Towards the end of the village, there is a small duck pond. There are a few shops close to the modern village hall.
Binsted has a pub, the Black Horse and a Norman church built in 1140 CE by the monks of Tortington Priory to the immediate east. Roman and medieval pottery and tile kilns have been excavated there. Binsted also has a traditional summer festival, Strawberry Fair, where locally grown produce is sold for charity.
In 1846, a small group of parishioners left St Mary's to form a Baptist church. Its present flint building dates from 1886. Since 1973, it has been affiliated to the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.
- Sir William Anson (1843–1914), jurist, academic and politician, was born in Walberton.
- Frederick Marquis, 1st Earl of Woolton (1883–1964), businessman and government minister, is buried in Walberton churchyard.
- Rosemary Sutcliff (1920–1992), children's writer, spent the latter part of her life in Walberton.
- The Hilton Avisford Park Hotel, with its golf course between Walberton and Binsted, was formerly Avisford Roman Catholic Preparatory School for Boys (1928–73), where BBC journalist Edward Stourton (born 1957) was head boy and Robert Nairac (1948–1977), an army officer abducted and murdered in Northern Ireland, spent a year teaching before university in the late 1960s.
- Lt Gen Thomas Reynell (1777-1848) is buried in the churchyard
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 10 May 2014
- Church history. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- School site. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
- Ofsted report. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
- SIAMS report. Retrieved 3 February 2002.
- British History Online: Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Remains of Tortington Priory and its fish pond Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1021459)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- T P Hudson (Editor), A P Baggs, H M Warne (1997). "Binsted". A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 5 Part 1: Arundel Rape: south-western part, including Arundel. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 11 May 2014.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) This includes a detailed architectural description of the church.
- St Mary's Walberton Website "Church Website".
- Walberton Baptists "Find-a-Church Website".
- ODNB: H. C. G. Matthew: "Anson, Sir William Reynell, third baronet (1843–1914)" Retrieved 10 May 2014. Pay-walled.
- Delorme, Mary (1987). Curious Sussex (London: Robert Hale). ISBN 0-7090-2970-5
- Rosemary Sutcliff's ODNB entry: Retrieved 12 September 2011. Subscription required.
- Avisford Park Hotel Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1222534)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 May 2014.