Westhampnett villageFor many, the little village Westhampnett is hemmed in by three modern monstrosities - Goodwood Motor Circuit, the large new Rolls Royce Motor Cars factory and, worst of all, the huge rubbish tip next to the old gravel pits - workings which are now filled with water and popular with inland windsurfers.
Chichester is encroaching towards it as well, with any sense of a gap between the large retail park on the eastern outskirts of Chichester and the village of Westhampnett being large illusory.
One day Westhampnett will be gobbled up by Chichester and become a suburb, like Portfield before it.
However, the village is a happy enough place, within easy striking distance of Chchester and the Goodwood countryside.
Rolls Royce Motors at Westhampnett The Rolls Royce Factory is interesting because it's a rare example of a large modern industrial building which has been built to be largely unnoticeable. By and large it has achieved it goals through a clever combination of landscaping, use of colour and the very low profile of the factory building itself.
It is important that people in Sussex are able to make a living and Rolls Royce Motors is a very significant employer in the Chichester area. Preventing the Sussex countryside from turning into a tourists' theme park by banning anything industrial isn't a very progressive option, so how the Rolls Royce factory at Westhampnett fits into the local environment over the next few years will be teach us something about the best way forward for the countryside and people of Sussex.
Westhampnett ChurchSt Peter's Church at Westhampnett is one of the oldest in West Sussex. It is reckoned that the church was one of the first built in this part of the county. It dates from the early eight century.
It's not unusual to find Saxon churches made out of whatever mixture of building materials was available - after all there was no Build Centre nearby as there is in Westhampnett today.
What is unusual about Westhampnett Church is that some of the materials used seem to have been pinched from nearby Chichester, including remains which are thought to be Roman in origin. Chichester in the Dark Ages had been a relative ghost town in the years after the Romans went back to Rome in a bid to stop their empire crumbling. In the 8th century it is likely that Chichester was full of ruins with little local will or money to make repairs, making it a handy source of stone.
Westhampnett also includes the nearby hamlet of Maudlin, which lives up to its name in some ways.
- Boxgrove Priory Ruins
- Bognor Regis
- Church Norton
- Bognor Regis
- Burgess Hill
- East Grinstead
- Haywards Heath