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Lurgashall Village Green
Grid reference: SU936271
Location: 51°2’10"N, 0°39’59"W
Population: 609  (2011)
Post town: Petworth
Postcode: GU28
Dialling code: 01428
Local Government
Council: Chichester

Lurgashall is a village in Sussex, four miles north-west of Petworth, just inside the South Downs National Park boundary. The population at the 2011 Census was 609.

The parish church has had many additions over the years, it still retains some evidence of the original Saxon structure.


The village had become almost extinct in 1100, and finds no mention in the Domesday Book of 1086. 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. The coming of the Manor revived the village's fortunes and it grew in importance throughout the feudal period.

An account of what it was like to live in the village in the early part of the 20th century is given in the book A view of Edwardian Lurgashall by H. S. Roots. It was re-published in 2000[1] and is based on the memories of a child called Harold who came to the village aged four in 1899. His father was the headmaster of the village school for 10 years and the book is an account of Harold's time growing up in the village and giving accounts of rural life as it was then in what was a fairly isolated village on the northern outskirts of Petworth.

There was at one time a mill which has been transferred to a museum, leaving just the mill pond.

Public house

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 since records began in about 1700, it has been known as The Noah's Ark. It is said to have acquired this 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. The truth may never be known.

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 jingle

For well-baked bread and home-brewed ale, you must come to Lurgashale

The inn became the centre of village life – local meetings were held there, it provided refreshments for the Midsummer Fair held each year, it was the local headquarters of the Swing Riots of 1830, and it has refreshed cricket and football teams after their matches.

For over thirty years, the inn has played host to a summer theatrical production. Started in 1967, this venture received a boost when the late Tad Swannell took over the inn in 1970. His participation resulted in an extension of the run from the original one night to three, which has been continued by his successors.

The Rev A. A. 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.

Sports and leisure

Lurgashall CC v Harting CC, 2014
  • Cricket: Lurgashall Cricket Club, which plays on the village green
The team is often the guest team at the Ebernoe Horn Fair. Some of the sheep's horn trophies won by highest scoring batsmen used to be displayed in the inn.

There is a village hall for indoor activities such as bingo, parties and receptions.[2] There is a football pitch to the south-east of the green.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Lurgashall)


  1. A view of Edwardian Lurgashall, H S Roots, Window Press, Petworth. 2000
  2. Village Hall

Further reading

  • Oakland, Michael A Richer Dust 2007[1]
  • Mystery of name on Lurgashall war memorial is finally solved