- Lancing, West Sussex
Lancing is a
villageand civil parishin the Adur district of West Sussex, England, on the western edge of the Adur Valley. It lies on the coastal plain between Somptingto the west, Shoreham-by-Seato the east and the parish of Coombesto 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 downlandlandscape. 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.
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 CollegeFarm. On its eastern side is Shoreham Airport, the world's oldest continually-operational airport which also served as an RAFbase 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 stonethat marked the boundary. The stone is now kept at Boundstone Community College. Much of Lancing's northern boundary with the village of Coombesruns along the Ladywell Stream, a tributary of the River Adurwhich 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 wellor sacred stream with pre-Christiansignificance. [http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=10642]
In 1828, remains of what may be an
iron age shrineand to its west a later Romano-Britishtemple 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 centuryAD. [http://www.roman-britain.org/places/lancing_down.htm] A track has existed since Celtic British times which ran from Chanctonbury Ringvia Cissbury Ringto Lancing Ring and from then on to a probable ford across the River Adurby the modern Sussex Pad, close to the Old Tollbridge at Old Shoreham. The Roman road from Chichester(" Noviomagus Reginorum") to Brightonalso 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 gardeningbusinesses growing fruit or flowers for the BrightonMarket or Covent Gardenin 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 stationopened with what is now known as the West Coastway Linein 1849. Between 1908 and 1912 the London, Brighton and South Coast Railwaydeveloped 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.
World War IIthe population of Lancing increased dramatically. The village is largely suburban in character and forms part of the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehamptonconurbation.
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 Saxonking Ælle, has been discounted. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18216]
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.
Lancing was visited by
Oscar Wildein 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 Douglaslived in nearby Brightonand 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.
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.
Lancing Manor Cricket Club play at the cricket ground at the junction of the A27 and Grinstead Lane.
Ted Walkerwas 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.
Lancing Carriage Works
* [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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