East Wittering

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East Wittering
East Wittering cottage.jpg
A thatched cottage in Bracklesham
East Wittering is located in West Sussex
East Wittering
East Wittering
 East Wittering shown within West Sussex
Population 4,658 (2011.Civil Parish)[1]
OS grid reference SZ795972
District Chichester
Shire county West Sussex
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district PO20
Police Sussex
Fire West Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Chichester
List of places
West Sussex

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East Wittering is a coastal village in the Chichester district of West Sussex, England. The eastern half of the village lies within the civil parish of East Wittering and Bracklesham, while the western half lies within the boundary of West Wittering civil parish. The village sits on the B2179 road seven miles (11.3 km) southwest of Chichester, on the Manhood Peninsula.


There has been a settlement at East Wittering for over a thousand years. The Witterings were included in a grant of land to Bishop Wilfrid in the late 7th century. The area is mentioned in the Domesday Book, as part of the Hundred of Westringes (later Manhood). The Witterings together with Sidlesham were rated as 36 hides at the time of Edward the Confessor.[2] For centuries the manor of East Wittering was in the hands of the Wystryng family, who took their name from the place.[3]

The former 12th century Anglican parish Church of the Assumption of St Mary the Virgin, has been replaced by the more modern St Anne's Church. St Anne's was built in the village centre during the 1950s, and the old church declared redundant in 1983.[4][5]

In Victorian times the RNLI raised enough subscriptions to launch a distress boat from the beach at East Wittering, a role now covered by the Fire Service.[6] Last century the area began to attract greater numbers of holiday makers[7] but in May 1944 it became the landing beach for the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division during a dummy run for D-Day,[8] code named Operation Fabius.[9]

Since then it has returned to a quiet area with a small primary school,[10] popular with week-end surfers.[11] Nikolaus Pevsner described the village as "a jumble of bungalows and chalets near the beach in an untidy half grown up state". St Anne's Anglican Church was designed by architect Harry Sherwood who was surveyor of the fabric of Chichester Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid on 6 June 1958 by the then Bishop of Chichester who consecrated the building on 14 May 1959. Within the Church there is a plaque inscribed "1914-1918 No lives were lost from this Parish. All returned safely. LAUS DEO" which testifies to the fact that East Wittering is one of the Thankful Villages - those very rare places that suffered no fatalities during the Great War of 1914-1918.

Surf culture

The village of East Wittering and the whole stretch of Bracklesham Bay is popular with many surfers.[12] With a low beach gradient and the lack of any obvious dangers such as rips or obstacles it is a great beach for learners and with one of the UK's longest running surf clubs, Shore Surf Club.[13]


An electoral ward of the same name exists. The ward includes surrounding areas. At the 2011 census it had a total ward population of 5,117.[14]


  1. "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 15 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Brandon, Peter (ed.). The South Saxons. Chichester: Phillimore. p. 203. ISBN 0-85033-240-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 'East Wittering', Victoria County century. Histories:A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 4: The Rape of Chichester (1953) pp215-217 Salzman, L
  4. The Church of England Statistics & Information: Lists (by diocese) of closed church buildings as at October 2012 Retrieved 21 August 2014
  5. St Annes, East Wittering retrieved 21 August 2014
  6. W.S.F.S. Support Vessel details
  7. 1937 Guide Book
  8. Vhs VideoD-Day: Eyewitness–1994 FranboroughDD Videos DD 872 Ref:X102116997 1994
  9. Details of exercise
  10. School details
  11. Surfers Description
  12. Cook, Samantha; Saunders, Claire. The Rough Guide to Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Rough Guides. p. 295. ISBN 1-4093-6270-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. http://www.shoresurfclub.co.uk/
  14. "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 15 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media related to East Wittering at Wikimedia Commons