infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Lurgashall

static_image_caption=Lurgashall Village Green
latitude= 51.03616
longitude= -0.66633
population = 581 (2001)
shire_district= Chichester
shire_county = West Sussex
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Chichester
post_town= PETWORTH
postcode_district = GU28
postcode_area= GU
dial_code= 01428
os_grid_reference= SU936271

Lurgashall is a village and civil parish in the Chichester district of West Sussex, England. It is north east of Midhurst. The church of St Laurence, The Noah's Ark pub, the old school and several old houses are built around a picturesque village green which is the village cricket pitch. In the 2001 census the parish covered 20.97 km² and had 220 households with a total population of 581. 271 residents were economically active.


Although there was, almost certainly, an inhabited settlement in the village of Lurgashall in Roman times, the name is Saxon. it means "aula" or Hall of Leotegar who, in about 495 AD, found a convenient, and probably inhabited, clearing in the Wealden forest in which he decided to settle.

In due course of time, Leotegar's descendants were converted to Christianity by the followers of St Wilfred and built the first St Laurence's Church. Although the Church has had many additions over the years, it still retains some evidence of the original Saxon structure.

After the Norman Conquest the King gave the Lurgashall area to a Norman family called Alta Rippa who built a Manor House there in about 1100. The Manor House itself has not survived but the area that the estate occupied is now Park Farm, which gets its name from the Deer Park which the Alta Rippa family established in about 1200.

It is perhaps as well that the Alta Rippa family came to Lurgashall since, either through plague, or bad harvest, or for some other reason, the village had become almost extinct in 1100, and finds no mention in the Domesday Book of 1086. The coming of the Manor revived the village's fortunes and it grew in importance throughout the feudal period.

Noah's Ark

In 1557 a village inn was built at the side of the Green, probably with funds provided by the Manor. At first it had no name at all, since it was not necessary to distinguish it from any other, but ever since records began in about 1700, it has been known as 'The Noah's Ark'. It is said that it acquired this somewhat unusual name because a pond was once outside the door, which patrons had to cross to refresh themselves, giving the impression of animals crossing into the Ark before the deluge.

With the inn was built a brew house, which continued for over 350 years to brew its own beer, which was delivered to other Inns in the district. As well as brewing beer, 'The Noah's Ark' baked bread for the village, giving rise to the old jingle:' For well-baked bread and home-brewed ale, you must come to Lurgashale'.

Noah's Ark became the center of village life - local meetings were held there, it provided refreshments for the Midsummer Fair held each year on 'Tally Nob', it was the local headquarters of the Swing Riots of 1830 and it has refreshed many cricket and football teams after their exertions over the years.

In 1871, 'The Noah's Ark' was sold to an Arundel Brewery and, from that date, brewing on the premises ceased. In 1906 it was sold again, this time to the Eagle Brewery for the very low price of £1,250.00. Fifteen years later it was again sold, this time to Friary, Holroyde and Healy who owned it until 1990 when the present brewers, Greene King, took over.

For over thirty years, 'The Noah's Ark' has played host to a summer theatrical production. Started hesitantly in 1967, the venture received an enormous boost when the late Tad Swannell took over the Inn in 1970. Happily, his enthusiasm for the project, and his efficiency in organizing ticket sales, which resulted in an extension of the run from the original one night to the present three, has been continued by his successors.

The Rev AA Evans wrote in 'A Countryman's Diary':"This was Lurgashall. have been to it several times since and with heightened appreciation ... its beauty increases with familiarity, it endures, while the merely catchy and trivial wear away".

ports and Leisure

Lurgashall cricket club plays on the village green, and is often the guest team at the Ebernoe Horn Fair. Some of the sheep's horn trophies won by highest scoring batsmen [ [ Lurgashall winning teams with the Ebernoe horns] ] are displayed in the Noahs Ark pub. There is a village hall for indoor activities, parties and receptions. The football field has fallen out of use.


External links

* [ Lurgashall Village Website]
* [ St Laurence's Church]
* [ The Rother Valley Guide.] - Contains maps, photo galleries, history, news and information.

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