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Thakeham St Mary.jpg
Church of St Mary
Grid reference: TQ109172
Location: 50°56’38"N, 0°25’20"W
Population: 1,794  (2001)
Post town: Pulborough
Postcode: RH20
Dialling code: 01798
Local Government
Council: Horsham
Arundel and South Downs

Thakeham is a village in the middle parts of Sussex; north of the South Downs, about twelve miles south-west of Horsham and eleven miles north of the sea-side town of Worthing. Its nearest large village is Storrington, three miles away. The wider civil parish includes the hamlets of Abingworth and Goose Green.


The village appears in the Domesday Book as Taceham). The name Thakeham means “thatched homestead".[1] The original village had just one main street (“The Street”) which is home to the village's only pub, The White Lion, and St Mary's church (12th century).

Towards the end of the First World War, from February 1917 until February 1918, there was a Royal Flying Corps Home Defence day and night landing ground [2] in the north of Thakeham Parish abutting Shipley Parish south/east of Sincox Lane and east of Ingrams Furze. Initially used by BE2c and BE12 aeroplanes operated by the Hove-based 78 Squadron until a tactical rearrangement in September 1917 saw 39 Squadron take over with Bristol F2b Fighters. Both squadrons were tasked with defending south coast targets from attacks by German Gotha bombers. The same location was used post-war for an unknown period by the Royal Air Force as a temporary flying ground and, according to the Worthing Herald of 8 September 1928, large crowds used to spend hours watching the flying and local dances were planned for RAF personnel stationed there. From 1933-35, 'Thakeham Old Aerodrome' was the venue for annual air displays by Alan Cobham's Flying Circus. Local newspapers also promoted further air displays by C W A Scott and Tom Campbell Black in April and June 1936 but these may well have been cancelled as neither event was reported afterwards.

Mushroom industry

The mushroom factory originally existed on two sites - the main remaining site sits between the original village and the edge of Abingworth. A secondary location further south was sold for housing in the early noughties. From the profits of the sale, Sussex Mushrooms modernised and consolidated the going concern at the remaining site.

By 2018, houses had been built around a cricket pitch. In addition, the developers built a village hall, a veterinary surgery and shop/café.

About the village

Heritage assets in the parish include the 13th century Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Warminghurst, and Little Thakeham,[3] a Grade I listed country house on Merrywood Lane, designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens in 1902.

Further south are two schools Thakeham Primary and Steyning Grammar Rock Road and Thakeham Tiles, the other industry in the village, all situated on Rock Road.


  • Cricket: West Chiltington and Thakeham Cricket Club
  • Football: Thakeham Village F.C.

An earlier cricket team in the village were 'Linfield Mushrooms', which folded in the 1970s and was revived following a merger with neighbours, West Chiltington, at the end of the 20th century to form the current club. As part of the developer's proposals at Abingworth, a new cricket pitch and pavilion was created as well as football pitches.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Thakeham)


  1. Mills, Anthony David: 'A Dictionary of British Place-Names' (Oxford University Press, 2003) ISBN 978-0-19-852758-9
  2. Chorlton, Martyn (2014) 'Forgotten Aerodromes of World War I (Crecy Publishing Ltd, Manchester, ISBN 9780859 791816)
  3. National Heritage List 1001214: Little Thakeham (Grade I listing)