Main Births etc
Coordinates: 51°03′43″N 0°19′30″W / 51.062, -0.325
Horsham bandstand april 2009.JPG
Bandstand in the centre of Carfax

Horsham is located in West Sussex

 Horsham shown within West Sussex
Population 55,657 
OS grid reference TQ1730
District Horsham
Shire county West Sussex
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Horsham
Postcode district RH12, RH13
Dialling code 01403
Police Sussex
Fire West Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Horsham
Website Horsham District Council
List of places: UK • England • West Sussex

Horsham is a market town with a population of 55,657 (2008) on the upper reaches of the River Arun in the centre of the Weald, West Sussex, in the historic County of Sussex, England. The town is 31 miles (50 km) south south-west of London, 18.5 miles (30 km) north-west of Brighton and 26 miles (42 km) north-east of the county town of Chichester. Nearby towns include Crawley to the north-east and Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill to the south-east. It is the administrative and market centre of Horsham District Council area.



The "Horsham Point" - a Mesolithic arrowhead - is sometimes claimed as the birth of distinctly British culture since it is the earliest known artefact that postdates the separation (due to glacial meltwater filling the Channel) of Britain from the continent

Middle Ages[]

de Braose monument in St Mary's Church, Horsham, Samuel Hieronymus Grimm, 1781.

The first mention of Horsham was in King Eadred's land charter of AD 947. The town had connections to the sale of horses and the name is believed to be derived from "Horse Ham", a settlement where horses were kept.

An alternative explanation is that "Horsham" is a contraction of "Horsa's Ham" named after the Saxon warrior who was said to have been given lands in the area.

Despite having been in existence for some 140 years at the time of the survey, Horsham is not mentioned in the Domesday Book[1] either because it was never visited by inspectors, or was simply 'left out' of the final version. It lies within the ancient Norman administrative division of the Rape of Bramber and the Hundred of Singlecross.

In ancient times Horsham was controlled by the powerful de Braose family.[2] Later the Eversfield family, which had risen from Surrey County obscurity into a powerhouse of ironmasters and landowners, built Denne Park House, their seat.[3] The family later represented Horsham in Parliament, and controlled the Eversfield Estate in St. Leonards-on-Sea, where the seaside promenade is named for the family.[4]

Horsham had two weekly markets in the Middle Ages,[5] and was noted locally for its annual fairs.

Modern era[]

Despite a local iron industry which stayed until the 17th century and a prosperous brewing industry, Horsham remained primarily a market town serving the many farms in the area until the early 20th century, when other industry and residential development began to proliferate. One of the most important of these was the manufacture of bricks from the Wealden clay on which Horsham sits. Warnham and Wealden Brickworks still operate two miles north of Horsham and there are disused workings throughout the area, notably at Southwater which is now developed as an education centre and leisure park.

Register of birth from St. Mary's in Horsham. This records refers to Samuel Carpenter, born 1649, who emigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was a prominent citizen and leader.

Horsham prospered during the Victorian era and early 20th century. The town, along with others, has been well documented photographically by Francis Frith. The pictures record many of the landmarks that are still in place today, although some, such the war memorial, Jubilee Fountain and Carfax Bandstand, have been moved.

Horsham remained a prominent brewery town until 2000, when the King and Barnes Brewery was closed on merger with Hall & Woodhouse, brewers of Dorset. King & Barnes was formed in 1906 from the merger of King & Sons, maltsters existing from 1850 and G H Barnes & Co., brewers whose origins date back to 1800. The brewery remained in the King family hands until the merger in 2000 when production ceased permanently. Their most famous brews included: Sussex Ale, Wealden Ale, Broadwood, Festive and the seasonal Old and Christmas Ales. The last member of the King family involved in the company still brews in Horsham as W J King & Co (Brewers) and supplies real ales to local pubs. There are two other small brewers currently operating in Horsham: Hepworth's is run by a former head brewer at King & Barnes, and Welton's, a company who were formed in Capel, Surrey, about fifteen years ago, and have been in Horsham since 2004 (?).

The town has grown steadily over recent years to a population of over 50,000. This has been facilitated by the completion of both an inner and outer town bypass. The location of any new growth is the subject of intense debate. Certainly, the town will fight hard to retain the 'strategic housing gap' between itself and its large neighbour Crawley. However, the latest plans by the District Council include a large neighbourhood directly adjacent to Crawley, potentially eating into that gap.

Legal history[]

The last man to die by pressing in the whole of England was John Weekes of Horsham. He was charged with robbery and murder of a woman along with three accomplices, one of whom was a small boy used to sneak inside the woman's house and open access for the other three. When police found stolen property in the possession of the men, they easily persuaded the boy into turning King's evidence. Two of the other accomplices were convicted, but when John Weekes had his turn to plead, he refused to say anything. Once the judges brought in eight witnesses who swore Weekes could talk and was not dumb, they gave him time in the cells. When he refused further to say a single word, the judges were forced to find him not guilty of murder. Instead, he was convicted of 'standing mute through malice'. Weekes was placed under three hundredweight boards, and the sixteen stone gaoler jumped on top of him. Local folklore continues the story, extending it to include the death of his executioner days later, sometimes in the same spot where the execution was carried out. Some think that he was a mute.

Public executions generally took place at a place called North Heath, now a suburb of Horsham. The road to the execution site was known for many years as Gibbet's Road but was later renamed Giblet's Road with an extension now called Giblet's Way. The last man to be put to death for homosexuality in England was in Horsham in 1834.

Mid air collision[]

On the 8 June 1944, Two Dutch Navy, North American B-25 Mitchell registration FR150 and FR182 took off from RAF Swanton Morley on a bombing mission. The mission was to bomb railway lines in Vire in Normandy, France. But both aircraft collided in mid air and crashed near Horsham which all eight crew of both aircraft died.[6]


Horsham is the largest town in the Horsham District Council area. The second tier of local government is by West Sussex County Council, based in Chichester. In addition there are various Parish Councils.

The town is the centre of the parliamentary constituency of Horsham, recreated in 1983. Francis Maude has served as Member of Parliament for Horsham since 1997. Maude is also Minister for the Cabinet Office and HM Paymaster General.[7]



Horsham has an elevation of 50 metres (160 ft) above sea level,[8] it is situated in the centre of the Weald in the Low Weald, at the very western edge of the High Weald, with the Surrey Hills of the North Downs to the north and the Sussex Downs of the South Downs to the south.[9] The River Arun rises from ghylls (streams) in the St Leonard's Forest area, to the east of Horsham, cuts through the south of the town then makes its way through Broadbridge Heath.It is joined by a number of streams flowing down from the northern rising around Rusper.

Town centre[]

Horsham has grown up around the Carfax (see landmarks), which is a meeting area place of four roads. To the south of the Carfax is the Causeway. This tranquil street consists of houses erected in the 17th, 18th and early 19th century and is lined with ancient London Plane trees. The Horsham Museum is situated at the northerly end opposite to the recently developed former headquarters of the R.S.P.C.A.. At the south end of the Causeway is the Church of England parish church of St. Mary: Norman in origin, rebuilt in the 13th century and restored in 1864-65 by the Gothic revival architect S.S. Teulon.[10] The area immediately to the south of the parish church is known as Normandy. It was formerly an area of artisans cottages and an ancient well. Moving south for fifty metres and the River Arun is encountered. On the northern bank is Prewett's Mill and on the south side is the town's cricket field. A short walk along the banks of the Arun in a south easterly direction is Chesworth Farm, an area of open public access.

To the north of the Carfax is a large park, known locally as Horsham Park, the remnant of what was formerly the Hurst Park Estate. The park has numerous football pitches, a wildlife pond and tennis courts. Various leisure facilities, including a modern swimming complex and a purpose built gymnastic centre, have been built on land around the park.

To the east along Brighton Road is Iron Bridge named after the railway bridge that carries the railway from London Victoria to Littlehampton. The area consists of mainly Victorian and Edwardian houses to the north of Brighton Road, whilst to the south there are areas of inter- and post-war housing. This area is known as New Town.


Horsham has developed beyond the original boundaries to incorporate some of the smaller hamlets which now form part of the outer neighbourhoods.


An area of Horsham named after a feeder stream of the River Arun. It consists of residential housing, the majority of which is of late twentieth century origin. The suburb is substantial enough for two council wards. The hamlet around Old Holbrook House is immediately to the north of the A264 which abuts Holbrook. Holbrook House was previously the home of Sir William Vesey-Fitzgerald, Governor of Bombay and M.P. for Horsham (1852–1875). The Tithe Barn at Fivens Green is the most notable building in the district.


This hamlet dates back to the late 18th Century, when a small number of houses were in existence, with an inn opening in the early part of the 19th Century. A station opened in the area in 1907, originally called Rusper Road Crossing halt, but later renamed Littlehaven.[11]

Needles estate[]

South-west of the town the Needles estate was laid out from c. 1955, with a mixture of privately owned and council-built houses and bungalows. Land around Hills Farm nearby was sold for development in 1972 and further development took place in the 1980s[11] The Needles are named after a local farmhouse, called so as it was built using timbers from ships wrecked on The Needles formation.[12]

New Town[]

In keeping with many other towns, new developments to the east of the town centre were rapid in the early Victorian era, and that area of town became known, as it is today, as New Town. The area contains the Iron Bridge, a steel structure that carries the railway to the south of Horsham.[11]

North Heath[]

Originally used as a label to describe the northern part of the parish of Horsham (compared to Southwater to describe that part south of the River Arun), this area was developed as a neighbourhood in the latter part of the 20th Century.[11]


This area was originally known as Grub Street, and developed south of Depot Road in the 19th century.[11]


All Saints Church at Roffey

Roffey is north east of the centre of Horsham and as a hamlet dates back to at least the 13th Century, with taxation records of 1296 showing 18 liable people in the area.[11] Kelley's Post Office Directory for 1867 describes 'Roughey' as consisting 'of a few farmhouses and cottages. Here is an iron church, capable of accommodating 80 persons'.[13] Maps of the 1880s show Roffey Corner (still spelt Roughey), but appear to label the hamlet as Star Row, with Roffey in use again by the turn of the century.[11][14] A railway station opened as Roffey Road Halt in 1907, closing in 1937. The station is shown as being in the location now at Wimland Road.[14] Roffey is a separate ecclesiastical parish with its own parish churchAll Saints Church on Crawley Road, designed in 1878 by Arthur Blomfield. It replaced a temporary building which was licensed for worship in 1856.[15]

Tower Hill[]

Tower Hill is a hamlet that lies one mile south from Horsham on a ridge of land containing a sandstone known as Horsham Stone rising above the town. A quarry existed here from 1830 to 1876.[11] Tower Hill consists of housing dating from mid Victorian to late 20th Century. It has a public house called The Boar's Head, formerly The Fox and Hounds. The economic importance of quarrying Horsham Stone to Horsham in the 19th century has left a legacy of toponyms including Stone Pit Field, Stone Barn, Stonyhurst and Stone Pit Wood.


An area of late 19th and early 20th centuries development on land west of the London Road at North Parade it consists chiefly of semi detached houses with corner shops,most of which have closed. Until the mid 20th century it was known as 'The Common', after a piece of common land that survived inclosure in Trafalgar Road for many years.[11] Trafalgar forms one of the wards of Horsham Hurst (electoral division) of the Horsham District Council.


Horsham is a market town formerly trading in cattle, sheep and corn. Its former industries include brewing, brickmaking, iron-smelting and printing.[16] Nowadays the important industries are financial services, pharmaceuticals and technology. Horsham is also a commuter town serving London, Brighton and Crawley.[17]

St Mark's Court registered office of the RSA Insurance Group

RSA Insurance Group,[18] an insurance company, has its registered office in Horsham. The company first came to the town in 1965 as Sun Alliance, becoming the town's biggest employer, at its peak it employed 2,500 people. Since the peak the company has steadily been reducing its workforce in the town. In 1992 Sun Alliance demolished its 1960s tower block, Stocklund House and built St Leonard's House and St Mark's Court. The latter requiring the demolition of St Mark's Church except for the spire.[19] Sun Alliance merged with Royal Insurance in 1996 to form Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group, then renamed RSA Insurance Group in 2008. Another employer in the town is Novartis a Swiss based multinational pharmaceutical company formerly called Ciba-Geigy before a 1996 merger.The site houses the firm's gastro-intestinal research centre and respiratory research centre employing over 300 people.[20] The RSPCA,[18] an animal welfare charity, has a £16 million headquarters at Southwater near Horsham, built to replace its former headquarters in the centre of the town.[21]

Horsham's town centre has many national chain stores, and is suffering the loss of small and independent retailers.[22] In 1992 the town centre was redesigned to greatly reduce the flow of traffic through the town's main shopping streets. West Street was pedestrianised. Much of The Carfax was pedestrianised to create a town square. On the Northwest side of this square is Swan walk, a typical shopping centre.[23] A further shopping area and public square, the Forum, opened in 2003[24] to the south of West Street. There is a partially covered shopping area Piries Place and a shopping street still open to traffic, East Street.


In the commercial centre of Horsham is an open square known as the Carfax. This area contains the Town's Memorial to the dead of the two world wars, a substantial, well used bandstand and a Saturday market. The name Carfax is likely of Norman origin - a corruption of 'Quatre Voies'(four faces) or 'Carrefour', a place where four roads meet.[25] The only other place to share the name in England isCarfax, Oxford. The Carfax area of Pedestrianisation it provides a centre to the town and contains commercial shops and two public houses.

The Shelley fountain fenced off for repairs in April 2009

At the west end of the town centre stands a controversial water sculpture known as the 'Rising Universe' fountain, more commonly known locally as 'The Shelley Fountain'. It was designed by Angela Connor, and erected to commemorate the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley who was born at Field Place in Broadbridge Heath, near Warnham, not far from Horsham. The design is based on a fountain planned for the city of Cambridge which was rejected due to public protest. The County Times wrote "Its appearance and quality as a public work of art has attracted widespread derision and distress. Just how long it will survive is the burning question of the moment.". At its opening the mayor of Lerici, Horsham's twin town where the poet drowned, described the memorial as "very brave". The fountain is designed to release a torrent of six and a half tons of water periodically, it is 45 ft across at its base, standing 28 ft high.[26] It carries a plaque bearing one of his poems. The fountain was turned off in the spring of 2006 to save water. Despite recycling it used 180 gallons a day to cover evaporation and filtration losses. However, the council has made water saving efficiencies elsewhere and the fountain was turned on again on November 13, 2006, its tenth birthday but was turned off again after that Christmas. In May 2008 the fountain was turned off again due to the failure of its main hydraulic cylinder.[27] On 19 January 2009 the fountain was fenced off for repairs.[28] It was reopened without the fountain functioning. The fountain was due to be repaired at the start of March 2011 at a cost of more than £30,000. [29]

File:St Mary'sChurchHorhsamSussexEnglandcirca1910.jpg

St. Mary's Parish Church and the River Arun in Horsham circa 1910.

The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin is the oldest building in Horsham. It has been associated with the life and worship of the community and in continuous use for nearly eight centuries. It is located at the end of the Causeway in Normandy, the oldest extant part of Horsham. It has a peal of ten bells.The present structure is largely of Mid Victorian design[30]

The Town Hall

The Town Hall in the Market Square is a much adapted and restructured building dating from c 1648 when it was referred to as a 'Market House'.[31] In 1721 a new construction of Portland Stone was built containing a poultry and butter market. The building fell into disrepair and was substantially rebuilt around 1812.It was only as late as 1888 that it became the property of Horsham Council.The building was again largely rebuilt and is essentially of late Victorian origin with a Norman facade preserving some aspects of the older buildings.It has been used as council offices and as a magistrates court in the proceeding years, and more recently housed the Horsham Registry Office on the upper floor. The ground floor was still used as an occasional market place until the Town Hall was closed by the Council to be let as a restaurant.



Horsham lies at the junction of three routes:


Horsham's recently developed bus station.

The town has one main railway station, Horsham railway station, on the Arun Valley Line from Chichester to Crawley, Gatwick and London Victoria. Normally trains on this line depart from Bognor Regis and alternately from Portsmouth or Southampton Central and are joined at Horsham. Likewise southbound ("down") trains divide here. Other services ("stopping" during the off-peak period) leave Horsham for London Bridge. Sutton & Mole Valley line services go north to Dorking, Epsom, Sutton and London Victoria. There is also Littlehaven Station (previously named Littlehaven Halt), in the north east of the town on the Crawley line. There is also Christ's Hospital railway station serving the west of Horsham.


Horsham is 20 km (12 miles) from Gatwick Airport and 65 km (41 miles) from London Heathrow Airport.


Cyclists, pedestrians and horseriders can reach Guildford and Shoreham via the Downs Link, a long distance bridleway and cycle route which follows the now disused Horsham-Guildford, and Horsham-Shoreham railway lines and passes through Southwater, just to the south of Horsham. Most bus services are run by Metrobus, with other routes operated by Arriva, Compass Bus and Stagecoach. [18] See List of bus routes in West Sussex.


The West Sussex County Times is a paid-for newspaper that has served the town since 1869. It contains a free newspaper called the Horsham Advertiser. Another free newspaper, The Resident, was set up in 2008.


The entrance to The Forest School.

The main secondary schools in Horsham are:

  • Tanbridge House School (mixed comprehensive),
  • Millais School (girls' comprehensive),
  • Forest School (boys' comprehensive).

Horsham is also home to the well-known:

  • College of Richard Collyer, (sixth form) founded in 1532, and known more commonly as "Collyer's", on Hurst Road. This road also has on it the Arun House adult education centre (a constituent institution of the Central Sussex College).
  • Christ's Hospital, To the south of the town is the 'Bluecoat School', a public school founded in 1552, with strong links to the City of London. It moved to the area in 1902.
  • Farlington School for Girls, An independent girls school at Strood Green about three miles from Horsham travelling towards Rudgwick
  • Horsham YMCA provides programmes of training for young people entering the workforce. This is supported by accommodation for up to 44 homeless young people


Horsham Cricket Club play their home matches at Cricketfield which is used twice a season by Sussex CCC for matches. Although cricket was played in Horsham before 1768, the first recorded game of a town side was on 8 August 1771, which is when Horsham Cricket Club was created. The Club has played various locations over the years, before settling at the present ground in 1851. Horsham Cricket Club were national champions in 2005.

Horsham F.C. are the town's senior football club and currently (2009–10) play in the Isthmian League Premier Division. This is currently the highest division the club have ever played in. They have had some success in recent seasons, reaching the final of the Sussex Senior Cup in 2007. They reached the 2nd round of the F A Cup in 07-08, losing in a replay to Swansea City. The team currently play at the Horsham YMCA ground (see below) whilst they seek a new ground in Horsham. The dedicated followers of the team are known as the 'Lardy Boys'.

Horsham YMCA FC, founded in 1898, are playing their 2009/10 season in the Isthmian League Division One South. They are nicknamed 'The YMs', and play their home games at Gorings Mead in the Iron Bridge part of Horsham. [1]

Forest F.C. were established in 1958 as the Old Boys team of Forest School and joined the Sussex County League in 1988. For the 2009-10 season, they are members of the Sussex County League Division Three.

Horsham RUFC who play at the Coolhurst Ground, are the town's premier Rugby Union team. They were founded in 1928 with their first headquarters at the Station Hotel opposite Horsham Station. Initially the team played on farmland adjacent to the Warnham Park Estate but from 1930 until 1968 they were settled at Horsham Cricket Club. The club grew considerably after the war with further pitches rented in Horsham Park. In 1972 they moved to their present home. At present Horsham 1st XV are in London 4 South East. The club runs teams at every level starting with u7s [2]

Holbrook RUFC are a smaller rugby club, based at The Holbrook Club in north Horsham. It was originally formed in 1971 as Sunallon RFC, which was the name of the then Sun Alliance Sports & Social Club. This then developed into Sun Alliance RFC and following a merger with the Liverpool based Royal Insurance in 1996 into Royal & Sun Alliance RFC (RSA). Holbrook RFC now have two teams as of the 2008/09 season, with the 1sts in Sussex League 1 following promotion, and 2nds in Sussex League 3. [3]

Horsham Gymnastic Club have a national reputation for producing top female gymnasts[32] a number of whom have progressed to the England and Great Britain national squads.

Public services[]

Horsham Community Hospital, is open weekdays, and is located on Hurst Road. The town also has its own law courts, ambulance station, fire station and police station also located on Hurst Road. The Statutory emergency fire and rescue service is provided by the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. Home Office policing in Horsham is provided by the Sussex Police.[33]

The Registry of births, deaths and marriages is located in Park House, North Street in central Horsham.

Community facilities[]

Pavilions In The Park

Horsham Park immediately to the north of central Horsham is 24 hectares of open space for the use of the people of Horsham. It contains an 18th century country house used in part by the Horsham District Council and contains formal gardens and a maze. At the eastern side is The Pavilions In The Park leisure centre with a gym and a 25m swimming pool run by a private company for Horsham District Council.[34] A BMX and Skate park is located on the Hurst Road side of Horsham Park.[35] The remaining space is used extensively for leisure pursuits such as tennis, football and rugby.

Horsham Museum is located on the picturesque Causeway in a half timbered medieval house. It has local history objects displayed in twenty-six galleries.[36] Situated on North Street is 'The Capitol',[37] the venue (formally Horsham Arts Centre) features a theatre, 2 full-time cinema screens, a studio and gallery. On Lower Tanbridge Way is two storey modernised library run by West Sussex Libraries.[38]

Cultural references[]

The first illustrated history of Horsham was written in 1836 by Howard Dudley at the age of 16. It includes descriptions of St Mary's Church and other buildings along with lithographs and wood-cut images of the town. The book entitled The History and Antiquities of Horsham has been reproduced in full to enable research on line.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had the fictitious Openshaw family, in the Sherlock Holmes story The Five Orange Pips, residing in the town.

Douglas Maddon's book The English Department's Whores,[39] is a thinly-veiled satire of life in Horsham.

Notable deceased residents[]

  • John Roland Abbey (1894–1969), book collector.[40]
  • George Bax Holmes (1803–1887), palaeontologist[41]
  • Robert Blatchford (1851–1943), author and socialist.[42]
  • Wilfred Brown (1922–1971), singer[43]
  • Henry Burstow (1826–1916), singer and bell-ringer, important to the early twentieth-century folk-song revival, and for his 'Reminiscences of Horsham', published in 1911.[44]
  • Samuel Carpenter (1649–1714), First Treasurer and Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania. Born in 1649 in Horsham. His father was John Carpenter, the Sheriff of Horsham, who was murdered while attending his duties in Horsham on August 9, 1671.[45]
  • Edward Bainbridge Copnall (1903–1973), artist and president of the Royal Society of British Sculptors lived in Horsham from an early age. One of his works, a sculpture titled 'The Astronomer' was presented to the College of Richard Collyer in the town, by his sister Phyllis Millar and is on display in the upper quadrangle. Other examples of his work are kept by Horsham Museum.[46]
  • John Copnall (1928–2007), artist and teacher, a leading English abstract painter and teacher at the London Central School of Art and Design.[47]
  • Walter Crane (1845–1915) artist and book illustrator died at Horsham[48]
  • Howard Dudley (1820–1864),wrote the first illustrated history of Horsham in 1836[49]
  • Walter Dendy Sadler (1854–1923) artist and painter, was brought up in Horsham.[50]
  • Frederick Gough MC TD (1901–1977), an army major at the Battle of Arnhem, served as Horsham's Member of Parliament from 1951 to 1964.[51]
  • Catherine Howard (c.1520-1542), one of King Henry VIII's wives, lived in Horsham.
  • Hammond Innes (1913–1998), author, was born in Clarence Road.
  • Thomas Medwin (1788–1869), poet and biographer of Lord Byron and his cousin Percy Bysshe Shelley.[52]
  • John Guille Millais (1865–1931), painter, naturalist and author, son of the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais,.[53]
  • Raoul Millais (1901–1999), artist, son of John Guille Millais.[54]
  • Edward Mote (1797–1874), Writer of the hymn 'My hope is built on nothing less' and was minister of Rehoboth Baptist Church in New Street for 26 years where he is buried.[55]
  • John Pilford (1769–1834), Royal Navy officer most noted for his command of the HMS Ajax at the battle of Trafalgar.[56]
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) was born at Field Place,Warnham two miles from Horsham,.[57]
  • Lt.-Col. George Styles GC (1928–2006), army bomb-disposal expert, was educated at Collyer's School.[58]
  • Eric Thompson (1929–1982), narrator of the British version of The Magic Roundabout, was educated at Collyer's School.[59]
  • William Vesey-Fitzgerald (1818–1885), Governor of Bombay, M.P. for Horsham lived at Holbrook.[60]
  • Howard Vincent (1849–1908), Conservative Party Member of Parliament, barrister and police official who was born at Slinfold[61]

Notable living residents[]

  • William Beer - Sussex CCC cricketer
  • Junior Campbell (born William Campbell) (lead guitarist, singer and songwriter with the sixties band The Marmalade), Also known for co-writing the music for the original Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends television series' and films.
  • Harry Enfield - English comedian attended Collyer's sixth form college. His famous Kevin the Teenager character made mention of living on Merryfield Drive in Horsham. He currently plays Jim Stonem in the E4 drama, Skins. Also Stavros the kebab shop owner is allegedly based upon the owner of the Greek Fish & Chip Shop near the station in the mid-1970s.
  • Robin Goodridge - Drummer in rock band Bush attended Tanbridge House School.
  • Jamie Hewlett - Artist/cartoonist and creator of the comic strip Tank Girl (made into a film in 1995) and co-creator of the band Gorillaz (nominated for five Grammy Awards in December 2005). He attended both Tanbridge House School and the former Northbrook Art College.
  • Douglas Maddon - Novelist and former lecturer at Collyer's Sixth Form College
  • Alan Mullery- Former footballer with Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur,former manager of Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion.
  • Chris Nash - Sussex CCC cricketer
  • Simon Nye - Writer of Men Behaving Badly, attended Collyer's when it was still a Grammar School
  • Paul Parker - England and Sussex CCC cricketer (captain); attended Collyer's School
  • Chris Simms (author) - Crime thriller writer who was born in Horsham
  • Jamie Taylor - Footballer for Dagenham and Redbridge FC in Football League Two
  • Michael Thornely - Sussex CCC cricketer
  • Faye White - Footballer captain of England and player for Ottawa Fury, formerly of Arsenal
  • Roy Whiting - Convicted child killer of 7 year old Sarah Payne .
  • Holly Willoughby - TV presenter and model attended Collyer's Sixth Form College.
  • The Feeling - a pop band

Recent comments[]

An emblem on the side of an Arriva bus celebrating Horsham's win of the Britain in Bloom contest.

In October 2006, Horsham was pronounced the second best place to live in the UK, beating off the likes of Epsom and Tunbridge Wells and only beaten by Winchester. This was claimed by a Channel 4 show, The 10 best and worst places to live in the UK. The programme mentioned that:

  • Horsham was in the top 15% for low crime;
  • about 70% of students gained 5 A* _ C grades at GCSE;
  • over 85% of the workforce is economically active;
  • Horsham has a high life expectancy of 76 years for men and 83 for women;
  • there are no official homeless people living in Horsham.

In 2007, a Reader's Digest poll put Horsham as the 25th best place in mainland Britain to bring up a family.[62]

On 27 September 2007, Horsham was awarded as the overall winner of Britain in Bloom in the Large town / small city category in the whole of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with a Gold Award. It also has the honour of being presented with the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Bloomin' Wild' award which reflected the theme for year's national judging.

Horsham is placed number 27 in the book 'Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places To Live In The UK'. The satirical book describes Horsham as "a No Fun Zone run by old conservatives for old conservatives."[63] This award was given because of the Horsham Council refused to build a Night Club in the town, then carried on to say said that "the weekly disco at the Roffey youth centre would be enough".


Horsham District twinnings:

Horsham Town twinnings:


  1. ^ Albery, W. (1947) A Millennium of Facts in the History of Horsham and Sussex. 947-1947., Horsham, Horsham Museum Society
  2. ^ A Compendious History of Sussex, Vol. I, Mark Antony Lower, George P. Bacon, Lewes, 1870
  3. ^ A Handbook for Travellers in Sussex and Kent, R.J. King, John Murray, London, 1858
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