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Thakeham St Mary.jpg
Church of St Mary
Thakeham is located in West Sussex
Location within West Sussex
Area11.71 km2 (4.52 sq mi) [1]
Population1,794 [1] 2001 Census
1,816 (Census 2011)[2]
• Density153/km2 (400/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ109172
• London41 miles (66 km) NNE
Civil parish
  • Thakeham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtRH20
Dialling code01798
FireWest Sussex
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
West Sussex
50°56′38″N 0°25′20″W / 50.94394°N 0.42214°W / 50.94394; -0.42214Coordinates: 50°56′38″N 0°25′20″W / 50.94394°N 0.42214°W / 50.94394; -0.42214

Thakeham is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. The village is situated approximately 18 miles (30 km) north-east from the county town of Chichester; the parish includes the hamlets of Abingworth and Goose Green.

The name Thakeham means "thatched homestead"[3] and the original village had just one main street ("The Street") which is home to the village's only pub, The White Lion, and church. The parish has a land area of 1170.6 hectares (2891 acres). In the 2001 census 1794 people lived in 684 households, of whom 948 were economically active. At the 2011 Census the population was 1,816.[2]

View from the churchyard

To the south of the village, the main village's population resides. This area is technically the hamlet of Abingworth although few locals know it as anything other than Thakeham. Abingworth contains a large mushroom farm together with several mainly modern houses, the football and cricket grounds & the village hall.

Mushroom industry[edit]

The mushroom factory originally existed on two sites - the main remaining site sits between the original village and the edge of Abingworth. A secondary location further south was sold for housing in the early noughties. From the profits from the sale, Sussex Mushrooms modernised and consolidated the going concern at the remaining site. In April 2011 after much delay, Horsham District Council announced they had approved the plans for 150 new homes. By 2018, some houses are now built around a new cricket pitch. In addition, the developers are building a new village hall, a building which is yet to undergo planning approval for a veterinary surgery and shop/café plus a cricket pavilion and changing rooms for two new football pitches near the Storrington Road.


On Merrywood Lane is Little Thakeham, a Grade I listed country house, designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens in 1902.[4] Further south are two schools (Thakeham Primary and Steyning Grammar Rock Road) and Thakeham Tiles, the other industry in the village, all situated on Rock Road.


A village cricket team representing Linfield Mushrooms (as they were then called) folded in the 1970s but a club was revived following a merger with neighbours, West Chiltington, at the end of the 20th century to form West Chiltington & Thakeham Cricket Club. As part of the developer's proposals, a new cricket pitch is now in situ with a new pavilion beyond where the new Thakeham Village FC football pitches have been sited. The cricket club now runs their Men's 3rd XI plus the Women’s T20 and some colts games there.

Notable people[edit]

Anna Massey, who played Miss Prism alongside Colin Firth and Rupert Everett in the 2002 film version of The Importance of Being Earnest, was born in the village in 1937. She died in 2011.[5][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 3 October 2016.
  3. ^ Mills, Anthony David (1991). A Dictionary of English Place Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 324. ISBN 0198691564.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Little Thakeham (1001214)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  5. ^ Commire, Anne; Klezmer, Deborah, eds. (1999). Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Volume 1. London: Yorkin. p. 225. ISBN 0787640808.
  6. ^ "Anna Massey dies at 73". The Guardian. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Thakeham at Wikimedia Commons