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Church of St Mary
|Thakeham shown within West Sussex|
|Area||11.71 km2 (4.52 sq mi) |
|Population||1,794  2001 Census
1,816 (Census 2011)
|• Density||153/km2 (400/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||41 miles (66 km) NNE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
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" 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.
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 and the village hall. The mushroom factory exists on two sites - the main office known as the Thakeham site and a secondary location further south called the Abingworth site. It supplies its produce to several supermarkets and has been open for more than a hundred years. However in recent times, it has had several owners and has been through many iterations - starting as Linfield Mushrooms in the 1880s, Chesswoods, Heveco (a Dutch firm) and it is now known as Sussex Mushrooms. Several recent setbacks led to the land being declared unsustainable for long term growth and a planned move to Pulborough was mooted. In late 2008, it announced plans to close one of the two sites and turn the land over to new housing. From the profits from the land sale, Sussex Mushrooms would modernise and consolidate the going concern at the remaining main site. Finally in April 2011 after much delay, Horsham District Council announced they had approved the plans for 150 new homes or varying shapes and sizes. Thakeham and several other nearby parish councils have joined Thakeham Village Action (TVA) in opposition to the plans. Although Sussex Mushrooms has said that if the plans are not approved, the whole site on both sides of the road will have to close with the loss of several hundred jobs, few people who work there live locally.
On Merrywood Lane is Little Thakeham, a Grade I listed country house, designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens in 1902. Further south is Rydon Community College and Thakeham Tiles, the other industry in the village, both 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. Part of the developer's proposals for 2016 include a new cricket pitch/pavilion beyond where the football pitches are currently cited. The cricket club has already expressed interest in managing the new Thakeham ground as a second ground to run further adults and colts sides.
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
- "2001 Census: West Sussex – Population by Parish" (PDF). West Sussex County Council. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
- Historic England. "Little Thakeham (1001214)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- Media related to Thakeham at Wikimedia Commons