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Henfield from the air
Henfield is located in West Sussex
Location within West Sussex
Area17.35 km2 (6.70 sq mi) [1]
Population5,012 [1] 2001 Census
5,349 (2011 Census)[2]
• Density289/km2 (750/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ215162
• London40 miles (64 km) N
Civil parish
  • Henfield
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBN5
Dialling code01273
FireWest Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
WebsiteParish Council
List of places
West Sussex
50°55′59″N 0°16′37″W / 50.933°N 0.277°W / 50.933; -0.277Coordinates: 50°55′59″N 0°16′37″W / 50.933°N 0.277°W / 50.933; -0.277
Arms of Henfield Parish Council
CrestOn a Wreath Argent and Gules upon the top of a Thorn Bush a Golden Oriole wings displayed and addorsed grasping with the dexter claw a Sprig of Thorn issuing from the bush and fructed at the top with two Berries all proper.
BlazonArgent on a Bend cottised between in chief two Keys in saltire the bows downward tied by a Cord and in base a Pelican in her Piety Gules three Bezants.
MottoDomine Salva Nos (Lord Save Us)
Granted on 10th February 1992. [3]

Henfield is a large village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies 33 miles (53 km) south of London, 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Brighton, and 30 miles (48 km) east northeast of the county town of Chichester at the road junction of the A281 and A2037. The parish has a land area of 4,285 acres (1,734.1 ha). In the 2001 census 5,012 people lived in 2,153 households, of whom 2,361 were economically active. Other nearby towns include Burgess Hill to the east and Shoreham-by-Sea to the south. The population at the 2011 Census was 5,349.[2]

Just west of the town, the two branches of the River Adur, the western Adur and the eastern Adur, meet at Betley Bridge. From Henfield the Adur flows on into the English Channel at Shoreham-by-Sea.[4]

Henfield was already a large village, of 52 households, at the time of Domesday (1086).[5]


Looking north along the High Street

One of the largest village communities in the Horsham district, Henfield has an old and attractive centre.

It has a modern and intensely used village hall just off the High Street, the 13th-century St Peter's church, old inns, a wide and attractive common, and many interesting houses in private ownership.

There is a fire station, part of the West Sussex Fire Brigade, equipped with a single fire engine.

Henfield has one of the oldest cricket clubs in the world, dating back to 1771.

Henfield also officially has the oldest Scout group in the country (1st Henfield), dating from 1907.

To the south is Woods Mill, a restored mill, now the headquarters of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, its attractions including an extensive nature trail.

There is also a theatre company which is held in the village hall.

Sports facilities[edit]

Henfield Leisure Centre at Northcroft has a sports hall and fitness suite. There is a small skate park located next to the sports centre. Near to the leisure centre is Henfield tennis club, founded in 1920.

The Cat House[edit]

The Cat House

The Cat House is at Pinchnose Green, so called because there used to be a tannery nearby and the process of tanning produces unpleasant odours. This house was once owned by George Ward who had a canary. This bird was killed by a cat belonging to the Anglican Canon Nathaniel Woodard who lived at nearby Martyn Lodge. So incensed was Ward that he painted his house with pictures of a cat holding a bird that would be seen by the canon every time he walked past on his way to the church.[citation needed] He also rigged up strings of sea shells to rattle, and a black figure would appear at a small window called the zulu hole when the hapless canon was seen approaching.


Henfield was the home of Colonel Henry Bishop, who was appointed Postmaster General by King Charles II in January 1660–61. Bishop devised the first type of postmark used in England, which is known to collectors as a Bishop mark. His invention was commemorated in 1963, on the occasion of an exhibition by Henfield Stamp Club. A special date stamp, which included the wording HENRY BISHOP'S VILLAGE, was used. Bishop is buried in Henfield churchyard.[citation needed]

The botanist William Borrer, who specialised in the flora of the British Isles, was born and died in Henfield.

When the British government introduced the Cat and Mouse Act in 1913, local Suffragette Elizabeth Robins used her 15th century farmhouse at Backsettown, near Henfield, that she shared with Octavia Wilberforce, as a retreat for suffragettes recovering from hunger strike.[6]


  1. ^ a b "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.
  2. ^ a b "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  3. ^ "HENFIELD PARISH COUNCIL (W SUSSEX)". Robert Young. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  4. ^ http://www.waterscape.com/canals-and-rivers/river-adur
  5. ^ Domesday on-line: Henfield.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Media related to Henfield at Wikimedia Commons