Tangmere Village History Project

Welcome to the Tangmere History website.

In 2015 Tangmere Local History Group were lucky enough to obtain a grant from the Heritage Lottery fund in order to create this website.

The village of Tangmere, in West Sussex, has a long history. It has a 12th Century church and several listed houses in its conservation area. The village is well known outside the local area due to its association with the RAF who had an airfield in the village from the 1920s to 1970s,which was of immense importance particularly during the second world war. The influence of the airfield is still felt in the village in the naming of many roads and the presence of the popular Military Aviation Museum amongst other things.

Tangmere Local History Group was formed in 2000 and now arranges talks and visits for local residents on subjects of interest about the surrounding area.

The group has a small archive of photographs, maps and documents relating to the village which deserves to be more widely shared. Other local people also have interesting memories and memorabilia to share and we hope to capture many of these on this website. Tangmere is due to expand rapidly over the next few years so we hope to save these memories before the village expands so that residents present and future and others with an interest in the village can enjoy them.

If you have any documents or memories which you would like to see included on this website please contact us at barbara@tangmere-history.org.uk.

If you wish to find out more about RAF Tangmere, please visit the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum web site.


Tangmere Local History Group would like to thank the following for their assistance in setting up this website:

Our Committee:

Alison Coote Chairman
Richard Roberts Treasurer
Ros Priestley Secretary
Paul Neary
Barbara Maw Website Coordinator
Jerry Maw Webmaster
Jan Spencer Ellis
Anna Hutchings

Traverss and Rosemary Johnson for the loan of Chronicles of Tangmere

Dr Caroline Adams for advice and support, and help with articles

Gillian Edom for training in oral history taking

Graham Wilkinson for support in sound editing

Graham Claydon for work on the Parish Records

Other members of TLHG for help at open days and in taking oral histories

Oral history participants – Phyl Norrell, Briar Price, Julia Janiec, Rosemary and Nick Moon, John and Judy Simnett, Marjorie Thompson

Hilary Barclay for the design for the Village sign and our Website logo

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum for their collaboration and support

All who have loaned us documents for scanning

Tangmere Parish Council for supporting and encouraging the project

The Heritage Lottery Fund for financial support

Know your village a month by month series of facts about our village compiled by Paul Neary

The Parish of Tangmere
The parish has been in existence since Anglo-Saxon times, St Andrews Church in church Lane dates from the early 12 Century and is a grade 1 listed building. Beside the ‘very simple decent church’ is a large Yew tree, said to have been planted when the church was built and despite much natural decay and damage is held in place with steel chains and has a spread of more than 25 meters. The airfield was created as a base for the Royal Flying Corps in early 1917 and was later to become a base for American bomber planes. A full history is in the museum and worth a visit. Many of the roads in the village have names, which are named after RAF officers and men who were decorated with Victoria Cross medals in both WW1 and WW2. Other roads are named after aircraft models some of which flew from RAF Tangmere.

Road​ ​names​ ​based​ ​on​ ​holders​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Victoria​ ​Cross:
Bishops Road:           Captain William Avery “Billy” Bishop VC
Campbell Road:         Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell VC
Cheshire Crescent:    Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire VC
Edwards Avenue:      Wing Commander Hughie Idwal Edwards VC
Garland Square:        Flying Officer Donald Edward Garland VC
Gibson Road:             Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC
Jerrard Road:             Flight Lieutenant Alan Jerrard VC
Malcolm Road:          Wing Commander Hugh Gordon Malcolm VC
Middleton Gardens:  Pilot Officer Rawdon Hume Middleton VC
Nettleton Avenue:     Sqdr Leader John Dering Nettleton VC
Nicolson Close:          Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC

Road​ ​names​ ​based​ ​on​ ​military​ ​aeroplanes:
Blenheim Park:         Bristol Blenheim, light bomber aircraft
Canberra Place:         English Electric Canberra bomber
Fulmar Way:             Fairey Fulmar, fighter aircraft
Gamecock Terrace:   Gloster Gamecock
Hampden Place:       Handley Page Hampden
Hawker Close:          Hawker Hurricane
Lysander Way:         Westland Lysander
Merlin Close:           Rolls Royce Merlin, aircraft engine
Spitfire Court:         Supermarine Spitfire
Sunderland Close:   Short Sunderland, flying boat
Wellington Place:   Vickers Wellington, long-range bomber
Wyvern Close:        Westland Wyvern

Old​ ​road​ ​names​ ​and​ ​other​ ​miscellania
Caedwalla Drive:     King of Wessex in AD680, who gave 1200 acres of land at Tangmere to the church of St. Andrew at Pagham.
Neville Duke Way:   Squadron Leader Neville Frederick Duke DSO, OBE, DFC**, AFC, FRAeS
Bayley Road:            John Bayley was a farmer and landowner in Tangmere

Suggestions​ ​for​ ​new​ ​road​ ​names​:
Osborn Drive:           Tenant farmer on Duke of Richmond’s land
Filkins Close:            Gravel pit north of the parish adjacent to A27 road
Broom Hills:             Fields owned by Duke of Richmond
Richmond Close:      Land owner of Tangmere parish
Bader Lane:              Douglas Bader, airman
Dukes Meadows:      Old fields
Gordon Close:          Goodwood connection
March Close:            Goodwood connection
Gaisford Drive:        Rector of Tangmere
Travers Close:         Travers Johnson chair of TPC
Meyer Close:           Joyce Meyer chair TPC
Scrivener Drive:     Dr Scrivener 1st chair TPC

The village shop has been on the same site since 1935. Originally a wooden construction it was later rebuilt in brick and enlarged sometime after 1982. The October 1987 hurricane resulted in most of the large mature trees being blown down or damaged beyond redemption. Notable as Chestnut walk which lost many of its chestnut trees, and the centre of the village, which lost many beech, elm and oak trees. The combined parish of Tangmere and Boxgrove separated into two separate parishes when the RAF base closed and a new arrangement was made which combined Tangmere with Oving Parish. St Andrews Church has been extended with a modern kitchen and toilet in keeping with the existing structure. The graveyard contains graves of service personnel who worked at RAF Tangmere, as well as a few German airmen and soldiers killed in the WW2 conflicts. St Andrews Church spire was hit by a lightening strike in October 2003. Extensive external and internal damage was sustained
and a major rebuild programme was instigated. This gave us the opportunity to upgrade the seating and install under floor heating and create a small vestry area. The west window is a memorial to all service personnel from RAF Tangmere.

In 2009 Simon Payne and Joan Whibley carried out some investigative journalism and as a result they unearthed some interesting stories concerning the history of the village. A track across the old airfield links Oving parish to the south border of Tangmere. Here it joins a road passing through the village past a pond [where the road forks] and continues onward to Boxgrove by the Priory farm. The route leads to common grazing on Levin Down. This entire route was locally referred to as The Street. The name still pertains in Boxgrove Parish, but has been dropped in Tangmere Parish being subsequently renamed as Tangmere Road. [around 1966]

The village pond was once a large watering point used by animals that were moved from farmland to the south [Woodhorn Farm and others] to market in Chichester or the woodland grazing on Levin Down. Pigs [hoggets] were the main farm crop.

When pigs were destined for market they were herded to the village pond and moved along Hogg[ets] Lane [renamed Chestnut Walk around 1974] to a temporary holding area called Hill Farm, Mrs Hancock’s property, which was sold on her death. [The thatched Cottage at the end of the lane] . Since 1972 Seaward Properties has built over 1,600 new homes, many of which have been in the Chichester district. One of the earliest developments was land known as Hill Farm. This was developed into five houses all situated at the end of Chestnut Walk. The name change thought to be around 1974 was said to be a marketing ploy by the developer designed to improve sales prospects. The name Tangmere is said to be derived from the fork in  the highway at the village pond Tang being Fork and Mere being a small lake or pond. The maps produced by Yeakel and Gardner [very early date] held by Goodwood estates show the routes but do not identify the road or track names.

The track from Hoggets Lane follows a route through an area of fields known as Leap Mares onward to Strettington and then up to Levin Down; or turns left to go past St James and the St Pancras Churches to the market in Chichester. Anecdotal evidence claims the street names in Tangmere came about in three stages, the old village street names were formally
established shortly after the Tangmere Parish council was formed in 1966. The second stage was a massive house building programme including Meadow Way, Hayleybridge Road and the development of old barrack buildings along the Tangmere road after 1976 once again by Seawards. About this time the Tangmere Community Association was formed and took over the running of the Spitfire Club and the property/grounds of Spitfire Court. This village based association proposed all the new road name changes that were eventually adopted by the district council. [parish clerk was Douglas Hammond at the time his papers have been lost].
The third stage was the District Councils purchase of the old run down MOD houses for social housing. Most of the roads had no name so another plan was developed to name them using RAF pilots with a VC medal and some aircraft model names.

Places​ ​of​ ​interest​ ​and​ ​worthy​ ​of​ ​a​ ​visit.
St Andrews Church Church Lane, a very simple decent church with war grave cemetery
Chestnut Walk old cottages and a Thatched cottage timber framed dated to C14
Saxon Meadow original farm buildings now a house development
Duchess Cottages built 1880 Tangmere road
Tangmere House Church Lane
Tangmere Cottage SOE operations base in WW2 in Tangmere Road
Old Bakery Old Cottage in Tangmere road
Bader Arms now the Co-operative Store
H Block buildings on the airfield
Control Tower derelict on the airfield
Hunters Gate main entrance to RAF Tangmere Meadow Way / Tangmere Road.

Tangmere parish has been in existence since Anglo-Saxon times, St Andrews Church in Church Lane dates from the early 12 Century, is the only grade 1 listed building in the village, has three bells (Andrew,​ ​Simon​ ​&​ ​Peter​), and several interesting features both past and present.

Bishops​ ​Road​: named after Captain William Avery Bishop VC
Air Marshal William Avery “Billy” Bishop VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED (8 February 1894 – 11 September 1956) was a Canadian flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War. He was officially credited with 72 victories, making him the top Canadian ace of the war. During the Second World War, Bishop was instrumental in setting up and promoting the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

Blenheim​ ​Park: named after Bristol Blenheim aircraft
The Bristol Blenheim a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company was used extensively in the first two years of the Second World War. Developed as the civil aircraft to produce the fastest commercial aircraft in Europe. First flying in April 1935, it later went into service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a bomber as the newly named Blenheim.

Beside St Andrews Church a ‘very simple decent church’ is a large Yew tree, said to have been planted, when the church was built; despite much natural decay and damage it is held in place with steel chains with a spread of more than 25 meters.

Campbell​ ​Road: named after Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell VC
Was mobilised In September 1939 for RAF service. He joined No. 22 Squadron RAF in September 1940, piloting the Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber. He torpedoed a merchant vessel near Borkum [North sea island] in March 1941, avoiding two Me 110 fighters, despite extensive damage to his aircraft. The Germans buried Campbell and his three crew, [Sgts J. P. Scott DFM RCAF (navigator), R. W. Hillman (wireless operator) and W. C. Mulliss (air gunner)], with full military honours. His valour was recognised when the French Resistance sent news of his brave deeds to England.

Canberra​ ​Place​: named after English Electric Canberra bomber
Canberra is a British first-generation jet-powered medium bomber that was manufactured during the 1950s. Developed by English Electric during the mid-to-late 1940s as a successor to the wartime de Havilland Mosquito fast-bomber; the performance requirements were for an outstanding high altitude bombing capability whilst flying at high speeds. All made possible using newly developed jet propulsion technology.

Tangmere airfield, the large green open space at the South end of the village, was originally created as a base for the Royal Flying Corps in early 1917. A few years later it was used as a base for American bomber planes. In 1925 the station re-opened to serve the RAF’s Fleet Air Arm, and went operational in 1926 with No. 43 Squadron equipped with biplane Gloster Gamecocks (there is still a row of houses near​ ​the​ ​museum​ ​entrance​ ​called​ ​Gamecock​ ​Terrace​).

Cheshire​ ​Crescent​: named after Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire VC
As he was nearing the end of his fourth tour of duty in July 1944, having completed a total of 102 missions, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. In four years of fighting against the bitterest opposition he maintained a standard of outstanding personal achievement, his successful operations being the result of careful planning, brilliant execution and supreme contempt for danger. On one occasion he flew his Mustang in slow ‘figures of eight’ above a target obscured by low cloud, to act as a bomb-aiming mark for his squadron. In the summer months a Mustang P1 Shark is often seen flying over the village. It is flown by Boultbee Flight Academy from Goodwood Airfield.

Fulmar​ ​Way: named after Fairey Fulmar, fighter aircraft
The Fulmer, named after the long living gull like sea bird, is a naval carrier-based aircraft. It was in service with RAF No 273 squadron during Battle of Britain. This aircraft was not used in the fighting in which took place during July-October. Later on they were used on HMS Illustrious for Battles in Italy and on HMS Ark Royal & HMS Formidable. In 1942 Fulmer aircraft were sent to the far east to defend forces under threat from Japan.

After the RAF station closed the then newly formed parish council decided to commemorate the names taken from aircraft models some of which flew from RAF Tangmere. Later it was decided that many of the roads in the village should be named after RAF officers and men who were decorated with Victoria Cross medals in both WW1 and WW2. Some of these persons served at RAF Tangmere on operational sorties.

Edwards​ ​Avenue​: Wing Commander Hughie Idwal Edwards VC
On 4 July 1941 a group of twelve Blenheims led by Wing Commander Edwards made a daylight attack on the German city of Bremen. His bombers had to fly under high-tension wires, through a balloon barrage and into intense anti-aircraft fire. The surviving aircraft were riddled with holes. Four, of the attacking force, were shot down and Edwards’ own Blenheim aircraft returned with a wounded gunner, a smashed radio rack, and a large part of the port wing shot away. For this gallant action Edwards was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Gamecock​ ​Terrace​: Gloster Gamecock
No 43 (Fighter) Squadron was equipped with Gloster Gamecocks based at RAF Tangmere during the period 1926-28. These planes provided the inspiration for the Squadron’s badge and renowned nickname “The Fighting Cocks” (there is a row of houses near the museum entrance called Gamecock Terrace​). Do pay a visit the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and enjoy their extensive displays.

Our village once had a small brewery, a hotel and a shop now has two general stores. The brewery became a hotel which was demolished at the start of WW2 to allow the airfield to be expanded. The ‘One Shop’ has been on the same site since 1935. Originally a wooden construction, it was rebuilt in brick after the WW2 and then enlarged sometime after 1982. A new village inn was built in the 70’s called The Bader Arms as a tribute to superhuman fighter ace Sir Douglas Bader who flew sorties from RAF Tangmere. It was closed in May 2012 and has now become the Co-op General Store.

Garland​ ​Square: Flying Officer Donald Edward Garland VC
On 12 May 1940, two river crossings in Belgium, were essential crossing points for German forces, the the invading army, which were heavily protected from allied fighter aircraft, by large anti-aircraft and machine-guns. The RAF was ordered to demolish one of these vital bridges, and five Fairey Battle bombers were despatched with Flying Officer Garland leading the attack. They met heavy anti-aircraft fire, and the bridge was damaged but not destroyed. FO Garland and his navigator, Sergeant Thomas Gray, returned to destroy the bridges. They died either after crashing in the village of Lanaken, later in the hospital in Maastricht, Netherlands

Hampden​ ​Place​: Handley Page Hampden
“I did my first flight and first tour on Hampdens. A beautiful aeroplane to fly, terrible to fly in! Cramped, no heat, no facilities where you could relieve yourself. You got in there and you were stuck there. The aeroplane was like a fighter. It was only 3 feet wide on the outside of the fuselage and the pilot was a very busy person. “— Wilfred John ‘Mike’ Lewis

There were more than 100 separate gauges and switches that enabled a pilot to look after to fly this original aircraft. Quite apart from looking after the flight instruments [no computers in those days] and checking to see if the readouts were OK the pilot had to listen to the engine sounds and then sort out the bomb release switches.

The weather has had major impact on Tangmere village over the years. In past years flooding was a regular feature on the Tangmere road by the village green. The October 1987 hurricane resulted in most of the large mature trees being blown down or damaged beyond redemption. Many of the large chestnut trees in Chestnut Walk were damaged and had to be cut down. The centre of the village was impassable for a time as several beech and elm trees fell. Oak trees round the pond were felled but the poplars survived and the pond was filled in. St Andrews Church spire was hit by a lightning strike in October 2003. Extensive external and internal damage was sustained and a major rebuild programmewas instigated. This gave us the opportunity to upgrade the seating and install under floor heating and
create a small vestry area. Many of the photographs taken at the time which show the extent of the damage have been loaded on the TLHG web site.

Gibson​ ​Road: Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC
Wing Commander Gibson led the Dambusters raid in 1943 from his base at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, just hours after his black Labrador dog was run over and killed. Before taking off for the Ruhr Dams, Wing Commander Gibson left instructions for his faithful companion to be buried outside his office Gibson returned and was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross but was later killed on a raid against Germany in September 1944, when his Mosquito plane crashed in Holland.

Hawker​ ​Close​: Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s-1940s that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the RAF. Although overshadowed by the Spitfire, the aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF’s air victories in the battle, and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War. The Hurricane with the highest number of kills during the Battle of Britain was P3308, a Mk1. The only Hurricane from the Battle of Britain still airborne today, and often seen flying over the village on Goodwood Festival days, is Hawker Hurricane Mk1 R4118. This plane is widely regarded as the most historic British aircraft to survive in flying condition from the Second World War. R4118 is now on public display at Old Warden, Bedfordshire.

St Andrews Church in Church Lane originally built in Norman times, has been extended over the years. Most recently it has been fitted with a modern kitchen and toilet carefully constructed to be in keeping with the existing structure. The graveyard contains graves of service personnel who died in the WW2 conflict and others who worked at RAF Tangmere. Of special note is the small section, which contains graves of German servicemen killed in the WW2 conflicts. These graves are maintained by the War Graves Commission as is the memorial stone around which the annual memorial sevice is held.

Jerrard Road: Flight Lieutenant Alan Jerrard VC
Flight Lieutenant Alan Jerrard VC (3 December 1897 – 14 May 1968) was
an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was 20 years old, and a lieutenant in No. 66 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War when he performed an act of bravery for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was shot down by the ace Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg and became a prisoner of war. Although the RFC credited Jerrard with 3 claims on this date, he did not claim to destroy any planes in that skirmish. He was the only Camel pilot to be awarded a VC. He remained a prisoner until the end of 1918, when he managed to escape and reach Allied lines. He later served in Russia in 1919 and achieved the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Lysander Way: Westland Lysander
Lysanders flew from secret airfields and used regular RAF stations to fuel-up for the actual crossing, particularly RAF Tangmere. Flying without any navigation equipment other than a map and compass, Lysanders would land on short strips of land, such as fields, marked out by four or five torches. Sometimes the agent, wearing a special padded suit, stepped off at very low altitude and rolled to a stop on the field. They were originally designed to carry one passenger in the rear cockpit, but for SOE use the rear cockpit was modified to carry two passengers in extreme discomfort in case of urgent necessity.

An extract from a research paper prepared by students from Chichester University and later published as a short pamphlet.

“A livestock track crossing the airfield links Oving parish to the south border of Tangmere Parish. Here it joins a road passing through the village past a pond where it forks; one limb runs to Hill Farm’s livestock holding pens, the other limb continues through Boxgrove alongside the Priory farm. Thereafter the route leads to common grazing on Levin Down. This livestock-track was locally referred to as ‘The Street​’. The name still pertains in Boxgrove Parish, but has been dropped in Tangmere Parish; it was subsequently renamed as Tangmere​ ​Road​ sometime in 1966.“

Malcolm Road: Wing Commander Hugh Gordon Malcolm VC
Malcolm was a 25-year-old Wing Commander commanding 18 Squadron, Royal Air Force when he was awarded the VC. On 4 December 1942, he led an attack on an enemy fighter airfield near Chougui, Tunisia. On reaching the target, an overwhelming force of enemy fighters intercepted the squadron. All his bombers were shot down, and he was shot down in flames the aircraft crashed west of the target. An infantry officer and two other men retrieved the body of navigator Pilot Officer James Robb. Malcolm, with Robb and gunner Pilot Officer James Grant DFC, were buried in the Beja War Cemetery in a collective grave. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross on 27 April 1943. His was the first Royal Air Force Victoria Cross to be won in North Africa.

Merlin Close: Rolls Royce Merlin
The most successful of the World War II era aircraft engines, the Merlin continues to be used in many restored World War II vintage aircraft all over the world. The Fairey Battle, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire were operational aircraft using the Merlin. Merlins were made for the Avro Lancaster heavy bomber; however, the engine is most closely associated with the Spitfire, starting with the Spitfire’s maiden flight in 1936. The Packard V-1650 was a version of the Merlin built in the United States, and was the principal engine used in the North American P-51 Mustang. This aircraft is often seen flying over Tangmere, and has a distinct engine sound. Merlin engines remain in Royal Air Force service today with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and power many restored aircraft in private ownership worldwide.

An extract from a research paper prepared by students from Chichester University and later published as a short pamphlet. Hogget [name for sheep, pig or small cattle] farming took place in most Sussex villages. Prior to use of artificial fertilisers this was economic form of agriculture. “The village pond was once a large watering point for animals that were moved from farmland south of the village of Tangmere; hoggets were driven from Woodhorn Farm and other hundreds, either to be sold at Chichester market, or driven for fattening at the woodland grazing on Levin Down. Hoggets were an economic farm crop. When hoggets were destined for market they were herded and gathered at the village pond then moved along Hogg[et] Lane to a hogget-sty at Hill Farm owned by Mrs Hancock. This track was renamed Chestnut Walk in 1974 by developers who bought the land for housing on Mrs Hancock’s death. Hill Farm is the thatched Cottage at the end of the Chestnut Walk.

Middleton Gardens: Pilot Officer Rawdon Hume Middleton VC
“Ron”​ ​Middleton​, VC (22 July 1916 – 29 November 1942) was a great-nephew of the colonial explorer, Hamilton Hume; an athletic young man, he excelled in cricket and Rugby football and worked as a jackaroo in Australia. “I’ll make the English Coast. I’ll get you home”. Seriously wounded after a bomb run in Italy, hours of agony, damaged by flak over France, Ron reached the coast of England with low fuel. He turned the aircraft parallel to the coast and ordered his crew to bail out. Five of his crew landed safely; his front gunner and flight engineer stayed to talk him into a forced landing on the coast.

Spitfire Court: Supermarine Spitfire
Alex Henshaw, chief test pilot, writes: ”After a thorough pre-flight check I would take of and, once at circuit height, I would trim the aircraft and try to get her to fly straight and level with hands of the stick … Once the trim was satisfactory I would take the Spitfire up in a full-throttle climb at 2,850 rpm to the rated altitude of one or both supercharger blowers. Then I would make a careful check of the power output from the engine, calibrated for height and temperature … If all appeared satisfactory I would then put her into a dive at full power and 3,000 rpm, and trim her to fly hands and feet of at 460 mph (740 km/h). Personally, I never cleared a Spitfire unless I had carried out a few aerobatic tests to determine how good or bad she was”.
Another pilot writes: “I loved the Spitfire in all of her many versions. But I have to admit that the later marks, although they were faster than the earlier ones, were also much heavier and so did not handle so well. You did not have such positive control over them. One test of manoeuvrability was to throw her into a flick-roll. With the Mark II or the Mark V you got two-and-a-half flick-rolls but the heavier Mark IX you got only one-and-a-half. All aircraft design is compromise, improvement in performance is rarely achieved without loss elsewhere”

Boultbee Flight Academy at ​Goodwood airfield is approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to fly passengers in vintage warbirds. Strap into the aircraft, experience the Rolls-Royce Merlin start, and then taxi out for pre-flight checks and take-off. This experience will see you flying one of the Academy’s Spitfire TR9’s around the local area and over the English Channel.

The Archbishop of Canterbury once owned the Manor of Tangmere. Eventually the manor became part of the Halnaker estate, which was later acquired by the 3rd Duke of Richmond. Goodwood Estates owned Tangmere until 1930. One of the earliest developments in Tangmere was land known as Hill Farm. This site developed as five houses all situated at the end of Hogg[et]​ ​Lane;​ when the name was changed to Chestnut​ ​Walk​ . Later developments include the Chichester Business Park, which include Carte Blanche Greetings Cards and Philips Respironics. The name Tangmere is derived from the fork in the road at the village pond [Tang​ an old name for a fork handle] and Mere​ [old Anglo-Saxon name for a shallow lake or pond].

Nettleton Avenue: John​ ​Dering​ ​Nettleton​ VC
John​ ​Dering​ ​Nettleton​ VC (28 June 1917 – 13 July 1943) was a South African recipient of the Victoria Cross. John died on 13 July 1943, returning from a raid on Turin Italy. He took off from a base near Lincoln and was shot down by a fighter off the Brest peninsula. His body and those of his crew were never recovered.

Sunderland Close: Short Sunderland – flying boat
The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) obtained six Sunderlands, for service as mail carriers to Nigeria and India, with accommodation for either 22 passengers with 2 tons of freight using very crude seats. BOAC obtained more planes with seating for 24 passengers and sleeping berths for 16. The first of these flew 35,313 miles from Poole to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo in 206 flying hours. BOAC became British Airways; the same journey now takes about 50 hours!

Old maps made by Yeakel and Gardner, are held by Goodwood Estates; they show several track or farm trails all without names. The trail from Hoggets Lane crosses fields known as Leap Mares [in Boxgrove] then onward to Strettington up to Levin Down. Another trail heads towards St James and the St Pancras Churches, to the market in Chichester. Anecdotal evidence claims the street names in Tangmere came about in stages. Most village street names were formally established shortly after the Tangmere Parish council was formed in 1966. Later on a house building programme created Meadow Way and Hayleybridge Walk. Tangmere Community Association ran the Spitfire club located in Spitfire Court and proposed all the new road names. When the District Council purchased MOD houses for social housing few roads had any name so they were named after RAF VC medals and old aircraft.

Nicolson Close: Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC
During an engagement with the enemy near Southampton on 16th August, 1940, F/L James Nicolson’s aircraft was hit by four cannon shells, two of which wounded him whilst another set fire to the gravity tank. When about to abandon his aircraft owing to flames in the cockpit he sighted an enemy fighter. This he attacked and shot down, although as a result of staying in his burning aircraft he sustained serious burns to his hands, face, neck and legs. Flight Lieutenant Nicolson has always displayed great enthusiasm for air fighting and this incident shows his courage and determination of a high order. By continuing to engage the enemy after he had been wounded and his aircraft set on fire, he displayed exceptional gallantry and disregard for the safety of his own life. He was the only Battle of Britain pilot and the only pilot of RAF Fighter Command to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the Second World War. An exhibit in the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum commemorates this airman.

Wellington Place: Vickers Wellington, long-range bomber
The Wellington was named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington; aside from its operational duties the Wellington also played its part in the testing for the Bouncing Bomb used by the Dambusters in May 1943. R for Robert is one two surviving Wellingtons to have seen active service first flown by Mutt Summers, Vickers’ chief test pilot who was the first to fly the Spitfire.

Enjoy​ ​modern​ ​rural​ ​living​ ​at​ ​Dukes​ ​Meadow​ ​and​ ​Bader​ ​Heights
These are fantastic new developments in a beautiful rural location and a choice of two, three, four and five bedroom homes. When you leave the car at home and explore the local area by foot or bicycle, you get to know it so much better. And by using local shops and services, you’ll help to keep the neighborhood vibrant and prosperous. Every place has its own personality, and once you move in you’ll soon find your favorite walks, and the shops you like best. The village is handily placed to take advantage of the nearby bustling cathedral city of Chichester and wider West Sussex with its areas of outstanding natural beauty, acres of green countryside, miles of fabulous coastline and some of the finest walking in the country.

Neville Duke Way: Squadron Leader Neville Frederick Duke DSO, OBE, DFC**, AFC, FRAeS
Known as the Flying​ ​Duke,​ Neville was acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost test pilots. In 1953, he became holder of the world air speed record when he flew a Hawker Hunter at 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h) over Littlehampton. He became a well-known celebrity in the Coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II, and became one of the vice presidents of the Eagle Club, formed by the Eagle magazine, in 1950. All schoolboys from that era came to know of Duke as “Dan​ ​Dare,​ ​Pilot​ ​of​ ​the Future”​. He was honorary president of Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, where his record-breaking Hunter is displayed

Wyvern Close: Westland Wyvern
The Westland Wyvern was a British single-seat carrier-based strike aircraft seeing active service in the 1956 Suez Crisis. A turboprop engine driving large and distinctive contra-rotating propellers powered Wyverns. This plane often suffered loss of power on launch by catapault; several were lost off HMS Albion’s bows. A total of 127 planes were built, 39 were lost, and 13 pilots killed during its 5 years’ service. A single survivor is on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton.

Caroline Adams: Tangmere Related Archives in the WSCC Record Office


West Sussex Record Office has a list of 784 documents about or relating to Tangmere on the online catalogue! This is a very small selection of the most interesting archives. For maps, see article – I have not repeated the map information here. I have excluded the Airfield, which has as many documents again.

Historic photos and images

See PH catalogue for photos and SLIDE catalogue for slides. Particularly interesting are:

PH 16618

Revd Alfred Glennie and family sitting in rectory garden


Par 192/7/10

Photographs of Revd.
Mr. Glennie and family, Tangmere rectory and pond

c.1880- before 1930

Kevis 1/W584

Miss Wrixen

Sep 1899

PH 18889

Photograph album of
Marjorie Hussey of Boxgrove


PH 17297

James and Harriet
Jupp outside Pear Tree Cottage


PH 16619-21

Rectory, rectory garden, Tangmere hotel


Garland N10952

Tangmere football team

March 1935

APH 118

Aerial photo of

May 1971

, 10215

Tangmere: Airfield.
Disposal point for fallen trees, after Great Storm



Tangmere: Cottages

14 Sep 1949

159 and another copy at 225

Focus on Tangmere


People through the centuries

Mss 2706

An index of persons,
with occupations, living in Chichester, Pagham, Westbourne,
Tangmere and other places: probably an index to entries in the
manor court books belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury

w.m. 1840

MP 5370

of probate inventories (lists of deceased peoples’ goods to
go with their wills). The transcripts were made in 2006 and cover


Add Mss


Deeds of the Bayley
family of Tangmere, including Charlotte, George, James and Jane


Add Mss


Deeds of the Osborn
family of Tangmere, including William and George


Add Ms 37838

Bennett family of


NC/XI/2/1 and 2

Registers of births
from Providence Chapel, Chichester – these contain entries
of people from Tangmere


Mss 48413

book of Thomas Osborn of Tangmere, yeoman


Add Mss 37823-37837

Transcript of
Memorandum Book of Thomas Osborn of Tangmere (WSRO Ref: Add Mss
48413), with a separate list of names

c. 2010

Mss 52532-52535

Women’s Institute: two record books, 1971-79 and 1979-86; and two
minute books 1971-79 and 1979-85



Oral history

Many of the people
interviewed for the Oving Memories Project in 2007-07 had memories
of Tangmere too.

OMP 2/1/7

Peter and Susanne
Hague with Di Pitts recorded by Susan Millard, with transcript OMP

4 Oct 2007


Alf Keates (Tape 1) recorded by Susan Millard

30 Sep, 23 Oct 2006


Transcript of Alf
Keates oral history recording (OMP/2/1/3)



Transcript of Alf
Keates oral history recording (OMP/2/1/4)



Transcript of Percy
Belcher oral history recording – the war years (OMP2/1/5B)



Transcript of Audrey
Moulding oral history recording (OMP/2/1/6)



Tangmere, c. 1900

Sep 2006


Percy Belcher – the war years recorded by Susan

Sep 2006

St Andrew’s Church

The church archives
contain registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, registers of
preachers and services, documents on the church building and
contents, and the churchyard, tithe information, minutes and
accounts of the PCC, railway plans, the school, the overseers of
the poor and surveyor of the highways. See catalogue for details
under Par 192


Transcripts of
monumental inscriptions in the church. A record of inscriptions
on the grave-stones, kerbs, floor slabs, and tablets, 1731-1987.
Compiled by C.E.C. Townsend, Tangmere in 1990.


PD 2013/40A; PD 2343/83B and PD 2568/23

Engravings of the church: the exterior, a plan
and the parsonage

Late 18th and early 19th centuries

PH series

Photos of the
church. 1985 ones by P. Stanford-Gale

1931- c.1985

Par 192/7/12

Parish magazines


Par 27/7/11

Parish magazines



item on St Andrews Church, Tangmere, struck by lightning

22 Oct 2003

Lib 17991

St Andrew transcript of parish registers 1538-1902



Slides 10020-31, and one photo: PH 23327

Tangmere Primary School

Summer 1967

and 2

Primary School H.M.I. School Reports (from 1982), later OFSTED



Tangmere County
Primary School prospectus


War time in the village (excluding the airfield)

MP 4480

Order of Service for
Tangmere War Memorial Unveiling and Dedication

23 April 1992

MP 4479

List of Tangmere men
who served in the Great War, 1914-1918

20th century

MP 3730

D-Day West Sussex –
recollections of the build-up to the Normandy Landings, 6 June
1944 [not only Tangmere]


Local Government and Utilities


section and book of reference for Tangmere section of the Portsea
to Horsham railway


section and book of reference of Tangmere section of the
Chichester to Shoreham railway

also Quarter Sessions plans and drawings for proposed railways


Add Mss 50536-38

Water supply
drawings from Bognor Regis Urban District Council for Boxgrove and


Par 145/54/3

papers and plans relating to the stopping up and closure of
highways at Tangmere RAF Station



Sets of General and
Water Rate Books – rate books can be useful for checking
names and addresses. Volume B in each set contains Tangmere, as
well as the Parishes of Marden, North Mundham, Oving, Selsey,
Sidlesham, Singleton, Upwaltham, West Dean, Westhampnett, West
Itchenor, West Thorney and West Wittering

April 1935 – March 1957.

Par 145/54/4

orders, with plan; 3 docs on the public footpath running east of
Woodfield House, Oving via Copse Farm to St. Andrews Church,


Par 192/54/1

Tangmere News – parish council


Property, and Tangmere Manor

Tangmere has a rich seam of archives for its past, showing how the land was farmed and under whose authority. The archives at the record office
come from different places, but together show a comprehensive picture.

During the time Tangmere was part of the Goodwood estate (in 1765,
Charles, Duke of Richmond had purchased the Halnaker estate off Sir
Thomas Acland, after the death of Mary Morley, Countess Dowager of
Derby) record-keeping intensified, and this table only shows a small
part of the records held by Tangmere. If you want to research a
particular property, one of the best ways to start (besides the
survey volumes mentioned under Maps on this website) is to look under
Tangmere in the index of Volume 1 of the Goodwood hard copy
catalogues. Over fifty plots are given, besides the common fields
and the manor itself. As a consequence this table only shows the
documents for the whole manor.

PHA 6677

roll, showing Tangmere Manor amongst others held at that time by
the Earls of Northumberland


Mss E5137

Terrier [inventory]
of lands and tenements in the common fields and elsewhere,
freehold as well as copyhold, Belonging to the heirs of Edmund
Lewkenor, taken by Richard Stoughton, William Marckwyke, John
Barnard, Nicholas Andrewe, Roger Barnard, John Bennet and William
Barnham, copyholders, in the presence of William Stapleton, Edward
Bartlot, John Carpenter and Thomas Bett

24 Dec 1547

Mss 28803-28884

collection was deposited by GO Rusbridger on behalf of himself and
the descendants of George Bayley of Tangmere. It is a big
collection of title deeds, plans, and surveys principally relating
to property at Tangmere, including the manor of Tangmere (and some
documents, not related here, for other places). Best bits are:

  • Deeds,
    1580-1780 (28803-65)

  • Plans
    and surveys, including information on individual holdings in the
    manor, and on enclosure, 1674-1822 (28866-74)

  • Miscellaneous papers
    (correspondence, notes etc) 1674-1903 (28875-84)


Add Mss 37734 – 37812

deeds for Tangmere [and other places not related here] relating
to the Bayley, Bennett and Osborn families, deposited by GO
Rusbridge in 1986. They include:

for a messuage, barn and property, 1674-1747 (37734-43)

manorial property, 1677-1866 (37744-82)

called ‘Wiltshires’, 1780-1860 (37783-806)

and garden, part of manor of Tangmere, 1856-60 (37811-12) [see
also Add Mss 29543-68; and also documents under
through the centuries



by Sir Edward Bishop of his estate in Sussex, including Tangmere

27 Sep 1627

Add Ms 12100

Terrier of the Goodwood estate belonging to His Grace the Duke of


Add Mss 29543-29568

[see also Add Mss 37811-12]

Title deeds for
property in Tangmere which was once part of the site of the
airfield. They include:

Title deeds for
North Garden in the manor of Tangmere, 1749-1901 (29543-53)

Title deeds for
Java’s and Taylors with other land in the manor, 1807-1856

Title deeds for
property in East Field, Upper Gaston and Lower Gaston, all awarded
under the Enclosure Act, 1841-1871 (29558-65)

Survey of Tangmere
by E Fuller, surveyor and estate agent of Chichester 1821 (29566)

Act for enclosure,
1821 (29567)

Abstract [summary]
of the Act, 1821 (29568)


Add Ms 37862

Terrier [survey] for the common fields


Add Ms 37863

Land tax assessment for the parish


Add Ms 37864

Census of population [also on microform MF1196]



MP 5380

Transcripts of all
the probate inventories for Tangmere houses that were enrolled in
the church courts for 1645-1799

Transcripts made 2006

Add Mss 6343-44

Deeds of Ham Farm (91a)



Sale Particulars: Tangmere


SP series

Sale Particulars
give lots of information on the size, layout ans age of the

1924 (SP 1895 and

1950 (SP 980)

c.1987 (SP 1988)

1988 (SP 2059)

1997 (SP 2712-2715)

2001 (SP 2914-2922)

2003 (SP 4216)

2005 (SP 3161-64, 3306)

Raper Mss 43,44

Sales Particulars



MP 7290

Tangmere: newspaper


MP 7819

Newspaper cuttings
including general history, crashed wartime ME 109, Tangmere
Military Aviation Museum, Hawker Hurricane pilot Karel
Kuttelwascher, the Fighting Cocks, Battle of Britain, RAF
Tangmere, Tangmere Community Association, 1963-1994. Tangmere and
Oving Parish Magazine, 1995. Military Aviation Museum brochure,
1984. Sales Particulars for Pilgrims Cottage, 22 Saxon Meadows and
12 Saxon Meadow, 1994-1995.


Par 192/7/21

Bundle of documents on 50th Anniversary of
D-Day Commemoration 1944-1994, and Commemoration of 50 Years of
Peace, 1945-1995



Old Maps of Tangmere

Old maps are an indispensable source for understanding the history of our village. They give us a different view of a familiar landscape – all of these are available to study at West Sussex Record Office in Chichester. Tangmere is fortunate in having plenty of maps of the village from all ages, because it was part of a larger estate, whose owners were interested in their property.

1 Printed maps showing Tangmere
The earliest printed maps of the county date from the sixteenth century, when an interest in surveying began to grow, and English surveyors led the field in new methods of regional mapping. Nearly all of these show Tangmere, which was an important manor in its own right:

Christopher Saxton [1]
The first survey of England and Wales was carried out by Christopher Saxton between 1570 and 1578, and his atlas of 34 county maps was published in 1579. Sussex is grouped with Surrey, Kent and Middlesex, so it is small-scale, but it clearly shows Tangmere.

John Norden (PM 24)[2]
Towards the end of the 16th century, John Norden, an attorney practising law in Middlesex, produced county maps based on original surveys. Some of these were intended for his Speculum Britanniae, which was to be descriptive text on each county, illustrated with the maps. Only Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Sussex and Surrey were published. Unlike Saxton’s maps, they showed roads, gave more information on settlements, and gave a rudimentary key to the features on the maps. Again Tangmere is marked.

The researcher has to be careful: Saxton’s and Norden’s small-scale county maps from the end of Elizabeth I’s reign have some (rather limited) value for illustrating what Sussex was like; but they were reprinted over and over again without revision (or acknowledgement) and so they are unreliable for the later versions.

John Speed [3] used Norden’s map in the Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine in 1611-12. Because the copper-plates used for the maps were valuable in themselves, some of the information on them remained basically unchanged, and Speed’s maps went on giving a date of 1610 until it was removed by Henry Overton in 1743.
[Pic too low resolution]

John Ogilby [4]
Later in the 17th century, John Ogilby published the Britannia, the first road atlas, in 1675. The maps are drawn as if on scrolls of paper, which follow the route prescribed by the map. Sussex is included in several routes: WSRO has copies of London to Chichester, London to Arundel, Guildford to Chichester and Midhurst to Winchester. Tangmere can be seen on the far right scroll, on the south of the route to Chichester. The church tower could evidently be seen from the road.

Richard Budgen [5]
The best-known map of 18th-century Sussex is that of Richard Budgen, published in 1724, including a wealth of detail previously omitted. It includes names of deaneries and of hundreds, and it shows roads, larger houses and parklands, churches and windmills. This revision of 1779 (PM 47) showing the area around Tangmere has a wealth of detail (despite the scruffiness of the map).

Yeakell and Gardner (PM 46) [6]
Then Gough announced a new venture: a “Great Survey” of Sussex at a scale of 2″ to the mile.
The two professional surveyors were Thomas Yeakell and William Gardner, both in the employ of Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, who was Master of the Ordnance. Tangmere was on the Goodwood estates, and so a natural candidate for all sorts of maps. Only four of the proposed eight sheets were published, between 1778 and 1783, which cover the south of the county. Yeakell died in 1789, but the Duke of Richmond continued to employ Gardner on private surveys of the county. In 1795 Gardner and Gream published the first one-inch survey of Sussex. C.B. Glot also worked on plans of the Goodwood estate, and WSRO has several examples of his work. Eventually the national survey was established.

2 Manuscript maps for Tangmere
These maps, which were being made at the same time as printed ones, were created to meet the demand by landowners for estate surveys in map as well as written form and reflect the increasing improvement in surveying techniques. A map was a more convenient aid to the identification of property than the bundle of title deeds needed to establish ownership. Tangmere was extraordinarily lucky in that well over a hundred maps have been drawn of it as a whole and of different properties within it, and for all sorts of reasons. West Sussex Record Office holds the Goodwood estate archives and the maps vary in quality and detail. Just some are illustrated here, but anyone can view the rest at the record office.

Goodwood map of Tangmere, 1630 (E4984) [7]
A Plott of Certaine Free Land belonging to Sr. William Morleye Knight Within the Mannor of Tangmore Taken by Tho Kington.
Many Estate Maps (particularly the earlier ones) have highly pictorial qualities, and this map is delightful, created for the local landowner, Sir William Morley. The manor of Tangmere was then part of the holdings of the Halnaker estate, which was hugely important at the time. The map covers 127 acres in three unidentified parcels; and it lacks any indication of compass direction or recognizable landmark. The barn, and palings or post and rail fences are shown in perspective view. Maps like these were created to meet the demand by landowners for estate surveys in map as well as written form and they were more convenient as an aid to identification of property than a bundle of title deeds, and more attractive to display.

Property surveys [8] and [9]
Later in the 17th century, George Bayley of Church Farm must have been involved in a survey of tenants, and elaborate workings out survive as well as early plans (add Mss 28868-73). These show the way in which common fields were divided up amongst the villagers. Mr Bayly must have known the other villagers well, and one can imagine any disputes were settled in the local pub.

In the closing years of the eighteenth century and down to about 1850, came an explosion of mapmaking, and the surveyors working for the Duke of Richmond were involved on a local as well as national level. By now the manor of Tangmere was part of the Goodwood estate by the end of the 18th century – in 1765, Charles, Duke of Richmond had purchased the Halnaker estate off Sir Thomas Acland, after the death of Mary Morley, Countess Dowager of Derby.
At the Record Office are three volumes of maps from the Goodwood estate, which relate directly to Tangmere (Goodwood E135, E136 and E137). A complete list of the maps in them appears at the end of this introduction but some examples are shown here:

Tangmere, late 18th century (Goodwood E135) [10]
Tangmere, c.1790, slightly smaller scale, (Goodwood E136) [11]
Tangmere, c.1800, plan drawn onto a printed copy of a Yeakell and Gardner (Add Ms 47646) [12]
All these maps name fields and, roads etc. Buildings are shown in block plan, and the fields are often illustrated to show the state of their cultivation. Fields and strips can be coloured and numbered to correspond with tables of reference – unfortunately for Add Ms 47646, this is no longer in existence.

Private enclosure plans 1817 (Goodwood E5182) [13]
At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries, landowners began to close down common land, and re-arrange tenancies to make bigger fields. Sometimes this was done by an Act of Parliament, but on the Goodwood estate it was done privately and piecemeal. This draft plan shows the old strip field tenancies in black, and the new ‘allotments’ with their new tenants in red.

Tangmere tithe map (TD/W 124)
Tithe maps and apportionments, which were the result of the surveys following the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836, are an important source for many types of study and research including family and local history as well as historical and geographical academic studies, hedgerow and archaeological site enquiries, and boundary and rights of way disputes.
As a result of the Act, tithe surveys were set up to cover the whole of England and Wales. The apportionments are the legal instruments that laid down the agreements made between the tithe owners and land owners, or an award made by the Commissioners where an agreement could not be reached. The maps provide a visual record of the tithe areas, on which the numbers correspond to those recorded in the apportionment.

The maps show roads, buildings, rivers, and lakes and often many other features – 2 classes. Often colour coded. 26.6 or 13.3” to mile. Apportionments give names of landowners, occupiers, property description (field names),acreage, state of cultivation, and rent charge.

The Tangmere Local History Society has an electronic copy of the tithe map, with the apportionment (the reference table of owners) attached.

Deposited Plans (QDP/W 73) [14]
If people wanted to construct, or improve, a road, canal, railway, tramway, harbour, pier, or a public facility such as gas, water and electricity systems, then other people’s property or lifestyle might well be affected. For example they may have needed to acquire land owned by others or the scheme might involve the diversion of rivers, it may have been necessary to build a bridge, cross a public highway, or simply run their scheme close to houses. These activities therefore had to be authorised by an Act of Parliament, and the person promoting the project was required to deposit a copy of the plan of the proposed works, together with a book of reference, with the Clerk of the Peace. The plans had to list owners and occupiers of land affected by the proposals and be available for public inspection.

Because Tangmere was on a large estate, anything like this would have to have the permission of the landowner, and on the whole this meant that Tangmere was not affected by big industrial projects. However, there are some plans which affected the village, and maybe seen in the Quarter Sessions records at the record office. They include the proposed line of the railway from London to Portsmouth (QDP/W 73). The existence of a plan does not mean that permission to go ahead with the project was given. There are many plans held for which the scheme did not go ahead, and this was one of them. However, it shows adjacent occupiers to the proposed line, and obstacles which would have to be overcome. With the plans were calculations for inclines that the trains might have to climb.

Parts of the south of the village belonged to the Woodhorn Prebend estate, owned by the cathedral, and those farms are shown in plans of 1859 (Cap I/29/40). It has to be said that these plans are not very informative, but if you are interested in these properties, other kinds of records amongst the cathedral archives are worth pursuing.

3 Ordnance Survey Maps
The second half of the nineteenth century belongs to the large-scale Ordnance Survey maps, covering all of the country at 6 inches and at 25 inches to the mile. The development of Tangmere can be traced through the different versions and revisions, and the Record Office holds them all.

OS Drafts, 1805-1806 (PM 280) [15]
On June 21 1791 Charles, 3rd Duke of Richmond (then Master of Ordnance) allocated public funds to buy a new state-of- the-art theodolite This is generally regarded as the foundation date of the Ordnance Survey. The threat of French invasion following the declaration of war in 1793, hastened surveying activity and by the end of the war in 1815, most of Southern England and Wales had been mapped accurately for the first time. Early surveying at 2 or 3” to mile and published at 1”.

Old series OS for Tangmere, carried out about 1813 [16]

The County series of Ordnance survey maps was begun in the 1850s, for both 6″ and 25″, but Sussex was one of the last counties to be done, and most of it was published in the 1870s.
1st edition OS LXII 6″ for Tangmere, c.1874 [17]
1st edit 25″ for Tangmere [18]

The Ordnance Survey’s large-scale maps made private mapping by independent surveyors completely redundant. Estate maps could instead be produced simply by marking up an OS map. From late Victorian times, printed particulars for the sale of land could include cheaply produced maps based on the OS and coloured up to show the different lots being offered.

The National Grid system was introduced after the Second World War, and continuous revision replaced the 20-year cycle. This meant that some places had several revisions and others very few, depending on the development of the landscape.

A change to metrication in 1969 resulted in slight changes to the scales. All these maps were produced through survey work, but now publication is based on digital mapping, and maps produced as the need arises.

Wartime Memories

One of the joys of this project has been talking to people who remember what life was like in the village during the second world war. At our first Open Day we met John Chappell who lived in what is now Chestnut Walk as a child. It was fascinating to hear his stories of life with the airmen about the village and he brought his childhood sketchbook to share with us and we reproduce some of his pictures here.

Phyl Norrell lived near what is now the roundabout on the A27 and has also told us tales of what it was like in what was then a very rural village. Some of Phyl’s memories will be added to the website as audio files shortly.










































Buildings We Have Lost

Tangmere Hotel
Tangmere Hotel
Three hangars on the airfield
Three hangars on the airfield
The hangars being removed
The hangars being removed
RAF Tangmere Main Gate - Hunters Gate is now on this site
RAF Tangmere Main Gate – Hunters Gate is now on this site
RAF Tangmere control tower
RAF Tangmere control tower – not gone, but not in a good state.
Inside the control tower
Inside the control tower
RAF theatre and gym
RAF theatre and gym, Chichester Drive on the left.
The old nursing home
The old nursing home – Duxford Close is now on this site.

When The Church Was Struck By Lightning

Damaged Spire Closeup
On Wednesday 15th October, 2003 at around midday, the church spire was struck by a lightning bolt. The lightning destroyed the tiles on the spire, passed into the church and a fireball exploded, which could be heard for some distance around.

Four fire engines attended the scene and discovered that all but one of the ancient windows had been blown out. They quickly dealt with a small fire in the spire and a number of hotspots within the roof space.

The church rector, Canon Colin Fowler, said that “it was not the fire that caused the damage, it was the explosion in the church itself that blew out the stained glass windows. Fortunately nobody was in the church, as they definitely would not have survived.”

The one remaining window was laid out on the grass outside – but the next morning it had been stolen.

Church Interior

Damaged Spire