A Quick Canter Through The History Of Sullington

by Michael John Johnson
Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!

Sir Walter Scott.
During the Cretaceous period of the Earth’s history, the part of the World in which Sullington now lies was a comparatively placid shallow warm sea. Therein over a period of 30,000,000 years 1,000 feet of chalk, now believed to be a precipitate resulting from the action of a googolplex of tiny marine creatures, was deposited upon the clay and sand of the sea bed. Later, duChalk Strataring the Tertiary period of the Earth’s history, a significant movement of part of the Earth’s crust resulted in the formation of the Himalayas and the Alps, whilst in this part of the World the sea bed buckled and was slowly raised. Much of the chalk, with its underlying beds of clay and sand, thus appeared above sea level as a vast craggy mound stretching from what is now the Thames Valley in Britain to what is now the Pas De Calais in France. The sea to the east of the original landmass of Britain, with its way south thus barred by the raised chalk, built up in to a huge lake until it eventually broke through and carved out The English Channel as we now know it. Further  north the centre of the mound eroded away over the course of millions of years, leaving a line of chalk hills towards the north, The North Downs, and a line of chalk hills towards the south, The South Downs. The North and South Downs are therefore the remnants of the mound thrown up in Tertiary times. The space between the two lines of chalk hills is what we now call The Weald. The Weald extends from the base of the southerly escarpment of The North Downs and the base of the northerly escarpment of The South Downs. The Downs themselves are not actually included in The Weald. As the mound eroded away from the centre, the folded beds of clay and sand beneath the chalk were exposed, revealing a geological series in the north and south of The Weald which are mirror images of each other. As the new land appeared it was rapidly colonised by terrestrial plants and animals, resulting in the formation of the soil which eventually covered and concealed the underlying strata. 
For millions of years The Weald and the chalk hills around it was home to a succession of flora and fauna as the climate repeatedly changed, until eventually it became pretty much as it is today. But it wasn’t until a few thousand years ago before our earliest ancestors first moved in to these parts and set up home. 
The evidence for Stone Age activity in Sullington is extremely sparse but not totally lacking. Microliths, small stone blades, from the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age pop up here and there from time to time. 
Yet the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age is distinctly represented in Sullington, with burial mounds, or tumuli, on TheCremation Burial Urn South Downs and further north on Sullington Warren. In 1809 some of the tumuli on Sullington Warren were opened up by amateur archaeologists, and an almost perfectly preserved unbaked clay cremation burial urn, containing some burnt bones, was unearthed. There is no record of what became of the burial urn nor of other burial fragments which were found at the same time.
Sullington extends from across The South Downs to about three miles north of its northerly escarpment, yet its maximum width is just over a mile. In outline, the shape of Sullington loosely resembles an arrowhead, with the point facing south on the southerly slope of The South Downs. 
When our ancient ancestors first moved in to these parts The Weald was a virtually impassable jungle wherein danger lay at every turn, so in Sullington at least they kept mainly to the high ground. Thus in Sullington the original settlement arose where Sullington Church and Sullington Manor can now be found. From there our ancestors, who knew nothing of the parochial boundaries that were later to come, ventured further and further north in to The Weald, exploiting the land as they saw fit. On Sullington Warren, part of the strip of heathland running through the Parish, they took advantage of the soft sandy soil and established their main burial ground, throwing up circular mounds of earth over the cremated remains of the most important members of their society. Sullington Warren was in use as a cemetery for generations. The cremation urn with its flat base unearthed in 1809 identified our early ancestors as the so-called Beaker People. The Beaker People, who lived from the late Neolithic or New Stone Age until the early Bronze Age, made characteristic inverted bell-shaped clay vessels. The Beaker People in Sullington possibly obtained the clay for their cremation urns from Sullington Warren itself, for yellow clay can still be found in the wet north-east corner of the site.
The Weald and the hills around it were initially heavily wooded, but once our ancestors moved in, bringing with them the art of agriculture, downland was cleared for farming. Sheep then grazed on The South Downs in Sullington and the neighbourhood, keeping everything trimmed and at the same time enriching the downland soil with their dung, and thus the hills took on the grassy green appearance that we are now so familiar with. Nowadays, however, sheep farming on The South Downs in Sullington and its neighbourhood is sparse to absent, and our line of chalky hills is reverting to woodland, further resulting in the loss of flora and fauna characteristic of open downland. Cattle now graze our part of The South Downs, but with different grazing habits and preferences to sheep they do not keep the hills as well trimmed as did the sheep.
Farming in Sullington thus began in the original hamlet, and there has probably never been a time since then when farming there hasn’t been continued. It is also where Sullington Manor was established centuries ago, and where the appropriately named Sullington Manor Farm can now be found along with Sullington Church. Much of the rest of Sullington was subsequently utilised for farming, and thousands of years later little has changed in that respect. 
Our sophisticated prehistoric ancestors brought with them their own particular beliefs and religion. From our perspective they were Pagans, but since they preceded Christianity by thousands of years, the term Pagan, as one who is not a Christian, would have had no meaning to them. Nevertheless, it virtually goes without saying that there was a focal point for their religious ceremonies, and looked at in historical context it is reasonable to suppose that that was where Sullington Church was later built.
Down through the centuries, as Britain became the focus for waves of invasion and immigration, the original settlement in Sullington remained the centre of social, political and religious life. When Christianity then arrived in Britain it was standard practice to build churches on earlier religious sites to erase all memory of them. Thus it is logical and probable that Sullington Church was built where generations of our ancestors had practiced nature worship. 
For centuries there was a detached portion of Sullington, its demesne, at Broadbridge, near Itchingfield, but that was finally lost about a century ago.
Sullington Church, St. Mary’s, is at least a thousand years old, but over the centuries it has been changed and extended several times.Frederick Dixon's Burial Vault The Church shows some of its earliest Saxon work, yet most of what we now see was built in Norman times and later. ISullington Churchn the churchyard by the south wall of Sullington Church stands a burial vault containing Frederick Dixon, who was both a pioneer geologist and the founder of Worthing Hospital. He was a son of Joseph Dixon, who was the Rector of Sullington from 1794 - 1824. In the separate graveyard opposite the Church there is a headstone bearing an intriguing inscription: Here lies all that can perish of Josephine Romney & Kenneth Towndrow  lovers in life and work  1923 – 1951  For I in they heart have dwelling and thou hast in mine for ever.... The headstone is also home to some fascinating specimens of Lichen. 
A short distance away from Sullington Church along Sullington Lane is where Sullington Rectory used to be. It is now a private house bearing the name Sullington Old Rectory. At one time the actor Noel Coward lived there.
Sullington Manor Farm was originally part of the Leconfield Estate, and when Albert Hecks took the farm over in the early 1900s he was initially a tenant farmer. Yet due to crippling death duties, the Leconfield Estate subsequently sold Sullington Manor Farm to Mr. Hecks, and he and his son Bernard worked the farm until 1951. Albert Hecks died on the 7th. of February, 1951Sullington Manor Farm, at the age of 86. Then on the 20th. of September the same year, Bernard died as a result of an accident on the farm. Reg* Hecks, one of Bernard’s siblings, and who farmed on his own account in East Sussex, then ran Sullington Manor Farm until John Kittle and his father acquired it in 1954. John Kittle was the farmer at Sullington Manor Farm for forty years until his death in 1995. His son Grahame now owns the farm. At more than 500 acres, Sullington Manor Farm is the largest farm in Sullington. The farm also contains an old Tithe Barn bearing the date of its apparent restoration, 1685. Nowadays the barn is sometimes used for dances and other social functions. Sullington Manor Farm now also offers self-catering farm accommodation, attracting visitors from all over the World, many of whom return time and time again for the magnificent views, the peace and serenity, and the terrific walking country.
Cobden Farm in Sullington lies on the southerly slope of The South Downs.
John Deere Combine Harvester At Barns FarmBarns Farm in Sullington lies to the east of Sullington Manor Farm. It is owned by Martin Baldwin. It encompasses 200 acres, 90 acres of which are under cultivation. During World War II Barns Farm was the home of Barns Farm Army Camp. Nowadays the remnants of the old army camp go under the name of Sandgate Farm. It is owned and run by Robin Duke, trading under the name Gatley, at one time a local farmer and agricultural merchant.
In the northerly part of the Parish, East Wantley Farm and West Wantley Farm sit side by side. The architectural merits of both farm houses were discussed in a Sussex magazine in the 20th. century. Charlie Puttick used to own West Wantley Farm, and he had a farm shop along Fryern Road by the farm house. Charlie also used to have his own band and played at local venues. When he retired from farm work, Charlie and his wife went abroad to live. The new owners did away with the farm shop.
In the very north of the Parish there is Roundabout Farm, but as a consequence of unwanted and extremely unpopular changes made to Sullington’s boundaries in the latter part of the 20th. century, overnight the farm was sent in to exile after centuries in its native Parish. Also in the very north of the Parish, in the 1950s a farmer by the name of Van Tromp totally cleared a sizeable wood for use as farmland. 
Lying between Sullington Manor Farm and Barns Farm is the Sullington Stud, owned for about seventeen years by RicLuke Rowe On Sammyhard Rowe, a horse trainer. Behind the stable yard and running up to the foot of The Downs are Mr. Rowe’s gallops, where race horses are given a workout. Richard Rowe Jnr. is a jockey, and his younger brother Luke is currently training to be a jockey. 
Sullington Warren, once also part of Sullington Manor Farm whilst it was part of the Leconfield Estate, was at one time common land known as Sullington Common. In the 1800s a school was built in the south-east corner of Sullington Common. Also in the 1800s The White Windmill was built on high ground on Sullington Common near the school. Eventually The White Windmill fell in to disuse and became derelict, and the machinery was removed. Then on the 9th. of August, 1911, the mill was destroyed when a fire swept across The Common. All that then remained was the cast iron wind shaft and hundreds of nails. In the 1970s the old mill shaft was mounted in to concrete stocks by the then recently formed Sandgate Preservation Society.
In the 1920s Sullington Warren was marked out in to plots and put up for sale for development. Various plots around the perimeter were promptly bought and developed. Mr. Horace Bourn bought some land near the north-west corner and there set up the geographically incorrectly named Storrington Sawmill. Following Mr. Bourn’s death on the 15th. of September, 1946, at the age of 65, the business passed in to the hands of the Mills Brothers. There were four main saws: the Circular Saw, operated by Bert Woods, the Re-Saw, operated by Bert Lidbetter, the Horizontal Saw, operated by Jim Johnson, and the Band Saw, operated by Edward Towse, later by Horace Bourn’s son Billy, who later still had to come off of the saw due to ill health brought on by smoking his own uncured Tobacco. Dick Boyd, from Steyning, was the Saw Doctor. Trees were swept with a mine detector, and any metal found was dug out with an axe. 
On the 30th. of June, 1948, there was a fatal accident at the mill. Mr. Edward Towse was all but perfectly decapitated when the cast iron wheel above him, around which the high speed band saw ran, flew apart due to metal fatigue. One piece of iron struck Mr. Towse whilst he was bent forward levering a freshly cut slab of wood away from a log, and he straightened up and fell down dead. The easterly end of the building was also demolished by flying fragments of metal, and yet another piece flew across the mill and bent the ironwork on another saw. The Sawmill closed down in August, 1969, and the housing estate called Timberlands was built in its place. 
Just to the east of The Sawmill, Sullington’s second Church, the Trinity Methodist Church, arrived in the 1960s. It Trinity Methodist Church was  built in the grounds of where Mr. Stanley Wigg, a well known local signwriter, had previously lived. Mr. Wigg, like his brothers, was also an accomplished musician, and he performed solo in local pubs and clubs. At Mr. Wigg’s funeral at Sullington Church in 1989, Mr. Phil Read laid on a Gasparini fair organ. Mr. Wigg had restored the paintwork on the grand old machine.
Further east the housing estate called Woodside Close was built where a private house once stood. The open aspect of Woodside Close gives a clear indication of how large many of the original building plots were. 
Further east again a short row of houses called Marley Way was built by The Marley Tile Company for some of its workers. Nowadays the houses of Marley Way are probably privately owned. Adjacent to Marley Way, Marley Way Garage and Marley Way Stores were also built. The garage, situated behind Marley Way Stores, was owned and run for many years by Mr. Jack Honisett. There were fuel pumps at the front beside the shop. Storrington Fire Brigade obtained its fuel from there, as did Chanctonbury Rural District Council. Marley Way Garage is still in existence, but the fuel pumps have long gone. 
Marley Way Stores was owned and run by Mr. Arnold and his wife. They lived a short distance away on Leather Bottle Hill in a house called Brow Top, which was built in 1935. Mr. Arnold was crippled in one foot, apparently having been dropped whilst he was a baby, and every year in his shop he ran a raffle, the proceeds of which went to a children’s hospital. At the time of each raffle a gigantic chocolate Easter Egg, which also went to the children’s hospital, stood on the counter in the shop. Ron and Edna Streeter later bought Marley Way Stores and totally transformed it, and from that day forward it has been self service. There has been a succession of new owners since then, and in recent years living accommodation was added to the top of the store.
Further east yet again was a private house owned by Mr. Atkinson. When the property was subsequently sold, the house was demolished, and the housing estate called Palmer Close was built there. The estate was named in honour of George Palmer and his son Henry, who between them were Rectors of Sullington Church for more than one hundred years. Henry Palmer was the Rector for sixty-nine years, and extracts from his diary are published monthly in the Three Heralds parish magazine covering Thakeham, Sullington and Storrington.
Slightly further east, on the other side of the path leading in to Sullington Warren, Mr. Skinner bought another parcel of land and had his house, Sem Nor, and his removals warehouse built there. Mr. Skinner’s removals lorry was immaculate, and it was kept inside the massive warehouse. At the rear of his house he also reared pigs and had a row of pigsties and a compound. When Mr. Skinner died his property was sold and transformed in to the housing estate called Heatherlands. 
Along Nightingale Lane, Nightingale Close and Nightingale Park, two more private housing estates, were built where private houses had once stood. 
At least three sand pits also cut in to the perimeter of Sullington Warren when the heath was put up for sale. The remains of one, full of pine trees, could until recent years be found at the rear of the bungalow called Sandhill a short distance to the east of the Trinity Methodist Church. But when Mr. Chris Tew, the owner, died, the property was sold and developed in to the housing estate called Warren Chase, and the sand pit and the wildlife it contained thus disappeared. 
Another disused sand pit lay at the rear of Marley Way, and for some years an old man pottered about in a shed there.
In the south-east corner of Sullington Warren was The Angel Sandpit. It was worked by Harrison Barton, later by Slaughter & Barton. When the pit was worked out it became home to a car body repair shop. Then, incredibly, sand excavation was resumed behind the old school, and the extremely high face there became very dangerous. It looked as though the old school and its neighbour might end up in the pit, but thankfully they didn’t. In recent years the pit was filled in with rubbish, and the process of restoring the surface to heathland is now well under way.
On the 31st. of January, 1934, The National Trust issued an appeal to save much of what remained of Sullington Warren. Miss Enid Clarke-Williams, who had strong connections with Storrington Primary School and Sullington Church, spearheaded the campaign to raise the £1,740 needed to purchase the prime acreage of the site. The money was eventually raised, and 28 acres of Sullington Warren were then placed in to the hands of The National Trust. Chanctonbury Rural District Council purchased the remaining 35 acres as a Public Open Space. With the demise of Chanctonbury Rural District Council on the 1st. of April, 1974, the Public Open Space passed in to the hands of Horsham District Council, which later handed the remainder over to The National Trust. 
During the 1950s The National Trust authorised the erection of a memorial seat on the summit of the tumulus on SullingMemorial Seat On Sullington Warrenton Warren known to local children as The Volcano. Erosion then rapidly assailed the tumulus, and decades later it was patched up with a sacrificial layer of alien materials. In 1978 a plaque honouring the efforts of Miss Clarke-Williams in helping to save 28 acres of Sullington Warren was set in to the side of the seat by Sandgate Preservation Society and unveiled in her presence. The seat was also subsequently revamped to make it more robust, and the memorial inscription, rendered unreadable by vandals, was renewed.
Sullington Warren is now classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, for it contains certain rare or unique flora and fauna, including our very own species of Cranefly, Nephrotoma Sullingtonensis.
Immediately east of Sullington Warren on the opposite side of Water Lane is Sandgate Park, which was originally part of the far larger Sandgate Estate. Sandgate Park was originally home to Sandgate House, which went through several transformations during its 150 year history. Its last occupant was Amy Ada Gaunt-Woelfl, who died on the 14th. of November, 1946, at the age of 73.
The grounds of Sandgate House were early laid out as an ornamental park planted with exotic trees and shrubs. At least two such trees remain in the park to the present day. One is a huge Monkey Puzzle Tree now standing in the housing estate called Badgers Holt along Hampers Lane. The other is an equally impressive Cedar Of Lebanon now standing in a field belonging to the new Sandgate House along Water Lane. 
With the departure of Ms. Gaunt-Woelfl, much of Sandgate Park was purchased by Hall & Co. and others for sand extraction, and the old Sandgate House was demolished. The remains of the stable block were still in use as store rooms and work shop until Cemex Aggregates became the owners of Sandgate Quarry. The old stables have now gone. 
Some of the fields in Sandgate Park were also farmed.
When Sandgate Park was abandoned, the ornamental Rhododendron Ponticum ran wild and turned much of the park in to a veritable jungle, and local people referred to it as The Jungle, sometimes also as Sandgate Woods. 
As with Sullington Warren, development of Sandgate Park started around the perimeter. Then in the late 1960s residents of Sandgate Park banded together to fight off the threat of further development, eventually becoming Sandgate Preservation Society. Due to their efforts, Chanctonbury Rural District Council interceded and coaxed RMC, the then owners of Sandgate Quarry, to part with some of its land for the creation of a nature reserve. Later still, Horsham District Council acquired yet more of Sandgate Park to add to the acreage already saved.
Sandgate Preservation Society, which later became Sandgate Conservation Society when its agenda changed, has Entrance Sign At Sandgate Park for decades maintained the woodland of Sandgate Park, under the auspices of Horsham District Council. Similarly it has also maintained Sullington Warren and Warren Hill in Washington, under the auspices of The National Trust.
Sandgate Quarry, owned first by Hall & Co., later by RMC, and now by Cemex Aggregates, was started in the south-west corner of Sandgate Park beside Water Lane. In the south-east corner of the park another quarry was started beside Hampers Lane, but subsequently the pit fell in to disuse and was abandoned for years. On one occasion in the late 1960s a fair, followed in the evening by a pop festival of sorts, was held on a field between the two quarries in Sandgate Park. The quarry by Hampers Lane was later re-opened by Amy Aggregates, with concrete mixer lorries working from the on-site plant until the pit was later closed again. RMC, or Ready Mixed Concrete, who then worked Sandgate Quarry, acquired the ground between the two quarries and perhaps also the again abandoned quarry, and since then Sandgate Quarry has become one vast sprawl stretching from Water Lane to Hampers Lane.
In the early decades of the 20th. century, Owen Aisher and his father started making hand-made roof tiles in a cow shed in Marley Lane in Harrietsham in Kent. Thus was born The Marley Tile Works, which later became The Marley Tile CompaMarley Sand Pitny. Business was good and expansion was rapid, and various other sites were acquired for tile production, which by 1928 included a site in Sullington along Chantry Lane. In the early days at the Chantry Lane site The Marley had a fleet of Foden and Garrett steam wagons. It took a week in a steam wagon to go to Chew Magna in Bristol for a load of red ochre for the tile making machines. Eventually the fleet of steam wagons was replaced by a fleet of Diesel Foden and Atkinson lorries, and that was later replaced by a smaller fleet of more modern Atkinson lorries. Also in the early days a Gardner Diesel engine was used to power an electricity generator, and a Blackstone oil engine was used to directly power some of the machinery. There were two tile making machines at the Chantry Lane site, a Broseley and an Anglia. The Marley dug sand from its own nearby quarry north and east of Chantry Mill.
Over the years The Marley diversified its product range at the Chantry Lane site, which included Marlith, The Marley’s brand name for roofing and walling slabs made from woodwool and cement. In 1969 tile production ceased at The Marley’s Sullington factory, and Marlith then became its main product line. Pickle was the brand name of the original woodwool machines in the Marlith plant, but they were later replaced by five German Canali machines and one Italian Fama, all six of which had sixty horsepower motors. Because of the powerful oscillating forces, the woodwool machines were set in to extremely hard foundations. At times, when two or more woodwool machines got in to phase with each other, the factory floor rocked back and forth. In 1982, with the British woodwool slabs market at an all time low, the local Marley factory site closed for good, but it was then leased out by Marley Properties as factory units to various businesses, and it is now known as The Chantry Estate.
The Marley also had its own sports ground in Sullington in the east of Sandgate Park along Hampers Lane, but nowadays that appears to be an equestrian property.
Just below The Marley’s old factory site is Chantry Mill, which is now a private residence. Chantry Mill used to be a part of Sullington Manor Farm, and when the mill was redundant as a corn mill, Bernard Hecks installed an electricity generating plant, which then supplied power to the farm, Sullington Church, and parts of neighbouring Storrington. In 1981 part of the bank of the old mill pond was washed away when heavy rains caused the pond to bursts its banks, and the nearby driveway in to the premises was also gouged out by the torrent of water. An old millstone stands by the gate of Chantry Mill as a reminder of the mill’s past. 
At the bottom of Leather Bottle Hill on the B2139 road in Sullington stands Leather Bottle Cottage. Hundreds of years ago the old cottage was an inn called The Leathern Bottle, and during the time of The English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell and his troops stopped off there to discuss their battle plans on their way to attack Arundel Castle. In later times the inn lost its licence, and it subsequently became a farm cottage known as Humphrey’s Cottage. For a time in the second half of the 20th. century the cottage stood empty, and vandals soon smashed all of the windows with stones. The cottage was subsequently bought by a woman who knew of its history, and it was then restored and extended to almost twice its original length. Leather Bottle Cottage has the distinction of being the only original thatched cottage in Sullington, although some modern buildings at East Wantley Farm also have thatched roofs.
When Sullington and neighbouring parishes came under Thakeham Rural District Council, the Council had its office in Sullington in an old tin shed opposite where Puttick Close now is. Thakeham Rural District Council’s demise came in 1933, when it was replaced by Chanctonbury Rural District Council, and the new Council office was then in a large house along Church Street in Storrington near the Parish Church. The old tin shed in Sullington then became a cafe, drawing at least some of its custom from the nearby Sawmill. The old shed disappeared at about the time that The Sawmill closed down. 
Opposite the north-east corner of Sullington Warren in the vicinity of Leather Bottle Cottage there used to be various areas of woodland. One part was called Warren Slip. Elsewhere in Sullington, possibly on The Downs, was another wood called Sullington Copse. 
In 1936, under Chanctonbury Rural District Council, Sullington’s first Council houses were built, resulting in the disappearance of parts of Warren Slip and nearby woodland. The new estate was called Warren Hamlet, often referred to as Warren Hill by local people. At the start, there was no electricity in Warren Hamlet, and houses were lit by gas. There was also initially no mains drainage. Sewage from the estate ran in to nearby cesspits. Immediately following World War II, some metal and asbestos Prefabs were built in the lower part of Warren Hamlet.
Mr. Jack Common, an author, lived in Warren Hamlet for a while. Amongst his writings were two autobiographical novels, one called Kiddar’s Luck, the other called The Ampersand.
In the 1950s the estate was further expanded by the construction of more modern houses, and they were given the name Warren Slip. The allotments for Warren Hamlet and more of The Copse beside the B2139 road disappeared to make way for the new houses.
The Prefabs were eventually pulled down, and a row of smart private houses and two blocks of Council flats were built where they had stood.
In the 1980s numbers 19 and 20 Warren Hamlet were demolished, and where they had stood a road was pushed through out in to The Back Field. New houses were built all around the new road. And yet more houses were built on part of The Green in Warren Hamlet. The estate names Warren Hamlet and Warren Slip were also scrapped. Their last day of life came on the 30th. of June, 1986. The following day, the 1st. of July, a flush of new names came in to effect, covering all of the old and the new houses: Oak Close, Oak End, Sullington Copse, Rowan Close, The Green, and Beech Grove. Later some more houses were built with access from Sullington Copse, and they were named Banks Croft, in honour of Doug Banks, a well respected local Councillor. Later still some more new houses were squeezed in at the end of Beech Grove. 
Windmill Copse, Sullington’s second Council estate, was built in the west of the Parish just north of the B2139 road, with access from Fryern Road via Wantley Lane. The estate was named in memory of the windmill which stood nearby in Storrington until it was destroyed by fire. Later still, more houses were built on the green in Windmill Copse, and they were given the name Sherston Close.
And later still, various flats were built in a field once owned by Mr. King, the farmer of Fryern in Storrington, with access from Wantley Lane, and they were named Kingsfield. Kingsfield was later also extended, and the new flats there were given the name Field End. 
Then in a field beyond the end of Wantley Lane, Sunley Homes built a new estate of private houses, with Downsview Avenue as the spine, and with various sideshoot estates built along its edges.
Near The Marley Tile Company’s old sand pit is Sussexdown, a large private house converted for use by the Royal Air Force Association. In the spacious grounds more accommodation was subsequently added in the form of four housing blocks named after famous aircraft: Vulcan House, Harrier House, Lysander House, and Nimrod House. Pilots from the Dutch Air Force used to annually put on an air display over Sussexdown and drop Dutch Cheese from the air in gratitude for what the Royal Air Force did for the Dutch in wartime Europe. Yet it would seem that the Cheese Drop days have at last come to an end, suggesting that the status of Sussexdown has now changed. 
Behind the original Warren Hamlet was a series of three interconnected fields, collectively known as The Back Field. Mr. Bill Riddell, of Clayton Farm nearby in Washington Parish, at times farmed the fields, and he used a German-made Claas combine harvester. At times the lower of the three fields was used as a dirt track for motorcycles and the like by local people, and it was known as The Track. But in the 1970s most of The Back Field disappeared when Water Lane Trading Estate was built there. The road in to the estate was for some reason or other given the name Robell Way. 
Just beyond The Back Field was the West Sussex County Council’s highways maintenance yard, and just beyond that was the Chanctonbury Rural District Council depot, where housing maintenance crews and cesspool tankers were based. By the late 1980s both yards had disappeared and were replaced by other factories and business premises.
Mr. Cotton, a local builder, had his house and business yard in the corner at the rear of the West Sussex County Council depot, with access via a rising narrow track between the depot and The Back Field. 
In the wood on the other side of the lane opposite The Back Field, before the coming of the factories, for a time Mr. Alfred Buckman reared pigs. At the far end of the wood it was very swampy, and it was known by local children as The Swamp. In later years hundreds of tons of spent mushroom compost were dumped in the vicinity of The Swamp. Much of the stream running in to The Swamp had by then been enclosed in large concrete pipes. Beyond the easterly end of the same wood, several fields disappeared under a sea of housing, both in Sullington and neighbouring Thakeham. Yet when changes were made to the Parish boundaries, overnight those who lived in the houses built in Sullington found themselves living in Thakeham, whilst the opposite was true of some of the occupants of houses in Hillside Road on the other side of Water Lane Crossroads. In quite recent years the crossroads by Leather Bottle Cottage was done away with, and a mini roundabout was installed in its place.
In the late 1950s, following the construction of Warren Slip, the wider end of what remained of The Copse was cleared by local men as the site of Sullington Parish Hall. Previously, meetings of Sullington Parish Council had been held in the Parish Room in the old school at the top of Water Lane. After the ground was cleared, wooden sections of a donated ramshackle old building were delivered and stacked against some of the remaining trees there. But it was clear to all and sundry that the rotting sections would never be assembled, or that if they were, the building would be a mess. And, thankfully, the sections were dumped and a brand new purpose-made hall was scheduled for construction. The new hall was eventually built by rescue volunteers returning from the Agadir earthquake disaster early in 1960. 
The new wooden hall was later extended. Access was via Warren Slip. Then after the Sullington Parish Hall hall had served the community well for nearly a quarter of a century, a new hall in the style of an old Sussex barn was built nearby, almost wholly in the top end of The Back Field. The old hall was then demolished. Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk, officially opened the new hall on the 26th. of October, 1984.
When the new houses of Sullington Copse arrived on the scene soon after the construction of the lofty new Sullington Parish Hall, more of The Back Field disappeared. Then later still yet more of the field vanished when a Scout Hall was built just to the side of Sullington Parish Hall. Access via Oak Close, formerly Warren Slip, was eventually terminated, and direct access to both new halls was provided by the construction of an entrance from the B2139 road diagonally opposite Palmer Close. 
Sullington as a named area has been in existence for well over a thousand years, and over the centuries the spelling of the name has gone through dozens of permutations. Semlintun is perhaps one of the nicest variations of the name. 
 In 2003, Sullington Parish Council, under the long-time chairmanship of Mr. Raymond Dawe, threw in its lot with Storrington Parish Council, thus bringing to an end centuries of Sullington’s proud independence. 
Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

A. E. Housman.


MJJ 2008-2013


* Previously incorrectly recorded as Eric Hecks.Corrected: 30.9.2010.
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