Lancing, West Sussex


Lancing, West Sussex

Lancing is a village and civil parish in the Adur district of West Sussex, England, on the western edge of the Adur Valley. It lies on the coastal plain between Sompting to the west, Shoreham-by-Sea to the east and the parish of Coombes to the north. It is sometimes credited as being the largest village in England, covering an area of 3.9 miles² (892.4ha).

It is a mix of coastal urban dwelling and rural chalk downland landscape. The oldest non-religious buildings date to around 1500 CE. The 2002 population was around 19,000.

The village was a popular seaside resort in the mid-19th century, gaining favour from the gentry of the time for its secluded atmosphere. Lancing today no longer has a notable tourist trade although there are a number of small guest houses, most of them on the A259 coast road.

Location

There is a shingle beach with good stretches of clean sand at low water. South of the coast road is Widewater, an internationally rare brackish lagoon. Immediately north of the developed area is Lancing Ring, a Nature Reserve, part of the designated Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the proposed South Downs National Park. To the north of that is farmed agricultural downland connected to Lancing College Farm. On its eastern side is Shoreham Airport, the world's oldest continually-operational airport which also served as an RAF base during World War II.

The village's boundary with Sompting to the west has historically been along Boundstone Lane, named after the boundstone or boundary stone that marked the boundary. The stone is now kept at Boundstone Community College. Much of Lancing's northern boundary with the village of Coombes runs along the Ladywell Stream, a tributary of the River Adur which runs from the South Downs near to Lancing College. The source of the Ladywell Stream, the Ladywell Spring, is believed to be an ancient holy well or sacred stream with pre-Christian significance. [http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=10642]

History

In 1828, remains of what may be an iron age shrine and to its west a later Romano-British temple were found just west of Lancing Ring. [http://www.glaucus.org.uk/LancRing.htm] The Romano-British temple was located within an oval temenos [http://www.romansinsussex.co.uk/level3/search/site_detail.asp?sitenumber=81] and seems to have been built in the 1st century AD. [http://www.roman-britain.org/places/lancing_down.htm] A track has existed since Celtic British times which ran from Chanctonbury Ring via Cissbury Ring to Lancing Ring and from then on to a probable ford across the River Adur by the modern Sussex Pad, close to the Old Tollbridge at Old Shoreham. The Roman road from Chichester ("Noviomagus Reginorum") to Brighton also ran through modern North Lancing (along the Street) down to the ford.

Much of the land now covered with housing was formerly taken by a number of family-run market gardening businesses growing fruit or flowers for the Brighton Market or Covent Garden in London. Sparks Nursery was growing fruit such as tomatoes and Young's produced carnations. Chrysanthemums were grown by Frank Lisher on his land south of The Finches, the house he built. The Nash family were fruit growers, producing grapes under huge glass that could be rolled into place on a rail track. 'Mr Marshall's Nursery' was also notable.

Lancing railway station opened with what is now known as the West Coastway Line in 1849. Between 1908 and 1912 the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway developed its railway wagon and carriage works in the area that is now the Lancing Business Park at the western edge of the village. The railway works were closed on 25th June 1965.

Following World War II the population of Lancing increased dramatically. The village is largely suburban in character and forms part of the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation.

Etymology

Lancing probably means "the people of Wlanc" or "people of Hlanc". Like many places throughout this part of Sussex, Lancing has an "-ing" ending, meaning "people of". "Wlanc" seems to mean proud or imperious, while "Hlanc" seems to mean lank or lean. [http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Shoreh10.htm] The suggestion [http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Lancing.htm] that Lancing takes its name from the Wlencing or Wlenca, the son of the South Saxon king Ælle, has been discounted. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18216]

Education

The local secondary school, Boundstone Community College, located just inside the neighbouring village of Sompting, is a mixed comprehensive of around 1,100 students from ages 12-18.

In the north-east of the parish on the Downs lies Lancing College, an independent school and major landmark.

Literary connections

Lancing was visited by Oscar Wilde in the 1890s when he stayed at nearby Worthing. The working title for his masterpiece "The Importance of Being Earnest" was "Lady Lancing". Wilde's friend and lover, the poet Lord Alfred Douglas lived in nearby Brighton and died while staying at Monk's Farmhouse in Lancing. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18216] Lancing was also visited by another poet, Algernon Charles Swinburne, who stayed at The Terrace in the 1880s.

port

Football

There are several teams in the village covering adult and junior games. Lancing F.C. are based at the Culver Road ground while Lancing United play at Monks Recreation ground (Crabtree Lane) and Croshaw Recreation Ground (Boundstone Lane). The junior's Lancing Rangers Football Club successfully achieved The FA Charter Standard in 2004. The Sussex County Football Association is based at Culver Road in the village.

Cricket

Lancing Manor Cricket Club play at the cricket ground at the junction of the A27 and Grinstead Lane.

People

The writer Ted Walker was born in Lancing in 1934 and grew up at 186, Brighton road, by the Widewater. His autobiographical work, "The High Path" takes its name from the footpath that ran between Brighton road and the Widewater, and which was formerly a public right of way.

ee also

* Lady Lancing
* Lancing Carriage Works
* Adur (district)
* Shoreham-by-Sea
* Sompting
* Coombes

External links

* [http://www.adur.gov.uk/ Adur District Council]
* [http://www.adur.gov.uk/your-environment/river-adur.htm Adur District Council - The River Adur]
* [http://www.lancingparishcouncil.gov.uk/ Lancing Parish Council]
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=18216 British History Online]
* [http://www.northlancing.com North Lancing Website]
* [http://www.lancingfc.co.uk/ Lancing Football Club]
* [http://www.lancingunitedfc.co.uk/ Lancing United Football Club]
* [http://www.lancingrangers.org/ Lancing Rangers Football Club]
* [http://www.lancingmanor.co.uk/ Lancing Manor Cricket Club]


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