Billingshurst is something of a crossroads village – it lies at the intersection of the old London to Chichester road (Stane Street) and the Wealden highway – the A272. Not content with that, Billingshurst also lies on the London mainline railway line and the route of the Wey and Arun Canal
, as well as in a narrow strip of land between the River Arun and the River Adur.
Unsurprisingly Billingshurst derived much of its trade in years gone by from coaching traffic on its way to and from London.
These days Billingshurst has been a little spoiled by traffic and new development. It’s always been a place for passing through, with the unusual zig zag route of the A272 through the village centre. The traffic became a bit of a strain on the centre of the village. But now there is a bypass and lots of new housing there’s a danger that Billingshurst loses some of its busy charm.
Because the centre of Billingshurst really is charming. There are more shops than a village of its size has any right to expect. There are many attractive old buildings scattered among more modern houses. The oldest parts of St Mary’s Church date from the 12th century. The architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner described the 1866 alterations to the east end of St Mary’s as “rather disastrous” but that’s a bit unfair. I guess if you spent as much time as Pevsner just looking at old buildings, you’re entitled to become a bit of church snob.
The Kings Arms pub is perhaps the stand out building in Billingshurst. It was here that William Cobbett called on his famous Rural Rides, noted that he had had a particularly enjoyable breakfast and that he found the village of Billingshurst lovely.
What Cobbett would have made of Billingshurst today no one can be sure, but he would still have found several buildings that he would have recognized had he taken the trouble to think about it.
Ye Olde Six Bells, which is in Billingshurst High Street, has a picturesque overhanging jetty which is typical of late medieval English buildings.
The Quakers’ Blue Idol Meeting House is nearby at Coolham, just over a mile away, and there is a long history of religious non-conformism in the Billingshurst and Horsham area.
Billingshurst High Street contains an interesting Unitarian Chapel which was built in 1754. In time this building came to serve the village as both a library and a school.
Billingshurst Choral Society perform four times a year and rehearse in St Mary's Church on Tuesday evenings.
BEAT are volunteers who provide an emergency response to 999 calls in and around Billingshurst. Billingshurst Emergency Assistance Team members are trained by the Ambulance Service to deal with heart attacks and a host of other life threatening emergency medical conditions which require a rapid response.
Horsham & Billingshurst Ramblers are part of Sussex Area of the Ramblers Association.
For boys and girls in Billingshurst aged between 4 and 7 years.
Billingshurst Junior School is in Station Road.
The Weald School, Billingshurst is a Technology and Sports Specialist School located at
St Mary's is Billinghurst's Anglican church.
St Gabriel's Church, Billingshurst and St Crispin & St Crispinian's Church, Pulborough now have a combined website.
A non-denomination church following the New Testament.
Billingshurst Scouts and Beavers
For boys and girls aged 6-8. Great website by the way.
And Parbrook Cub Pack
The Angling Society caters for "match, specialist and pleasure anglers who wish to enjoy beautiful peaceful waters". The anglers fish several stretches of the River Arun, as well as Shillinglee Lake, Jubilee Fields Lake and Malthouse Upper and Lower Lakes.
Billingshurst Bowling Club was founded in 1932 and continues to play behind Station Road Gardens.
Billingshurst has a very strong cricket club, with 4 Saturday sides - this is a becoming a rarity in this day and age.
The nearest golf to Billingshurst is a few miles north of the village at Foxbridge - a newish golf course of Plaistow Road, Kirdford.
The tennis club play at the recreation ground and have 3 hard courts, plus a clubhouse and practice facilities.
Billingshurst Football Club play in West Sussex Football League Division One and run three adult teams in total. Billingshurst FC play at Jubilee Fields, Newbridge Road, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9HY.
Other Billingshurst information
Billingshurst Parish Council website, including council minutes and meetings schedule, plus Billingshurst Village Hall booking information.
Train times to and from Billingshurst to London and other destinations.
Very good village website with details of everything from the Billingshurst Horticultural Society to local events and matters of a more policial nature.