Technically a town on the northern edge of the South Downs, between Steyning in the east and Pulborough to the west, Storrington is more fondly thought of as a village by those who live there. Either way, it has a long and proud history dating back to at least the time of the Domesday Book and is now the modern mid-point of the South Downs Way.


Great British Life: The village sign shows the village was known for storksThe village sign shows the village was known for storks (Image: Andrew Hasson)
The village can trace its history back at least as far as the Domesday Book, where it is registered as Estorchestone, which means a place well-known for its population of storks. Hence the village sign. There are plenty of road and place names containing the word warren which hark back to the days when rabbit-breeding was an important industry in the area.


Great British Life: The village gets clogged with traffic at certain times of the dayThe village gets clogged with traffic at certain times of the day (Image: Andrew Hasson)
Looking east along West Street to the point where it becomes the High Street, the A283 is both a blessing and a problem for Storrington. It allows easy access to everywhere in the county for locals, and also brings passing trade, but at certain times of day it delivers so much traffic that it can sometimes feel overwhelming to residents.


Great British Life: Close up of The Burmese GateClose up of The Burmese Gate (Image: Andrew Hasson)
In 1911, local resident Alfred Bethell installed what is commonly known as The Burmese Gate here on the corner of Church Street and Browns Lane. Bethell seems to have been a colourful character. Born in north Yorkshire, he studied at Eton and Sandhurst. He served the army in southern Africa for a couple of years before resigning his commission and returning to Doncaster. In 1907 he bought The Abbey in Storrington and settled here, erecting this gorgeously detailed gate. After standing unsuccessfully in Bath for the Labour Party in 1918, he sold The Abbey and moved to London.


Great British Life: The White Horse on the High Street in StorringtonThe White Horse on the High Street in Storrington (Image: Andrew Hasson)
The traditional coaching inn, The White Horse, on the High Street, sadly closed some months ago. No-one in the village seems to know what will happen to it but surely someone will rescue this Storrington icon. For twelve years, from 1941 until 1953, the prolific British composer and one-time Master of the King’s Music, Sir Arnold Bax lived here.


Great British Life: St Joseph’s AbbeySt Joseph’s Abbey (Image: Andrew Hasson)
Walking down Church Street really is a delight, with historical buildings and points of interest every few yards. Once past the church, the road becomes Greyfriars Lane and one of the first buildings you can see is the impressive St Joseph’s Abbey. This Victorian Gothic-style building was originally a clergy house dating from 1621, which was demolished and rebuilt in 1871 as a country house, which became a convent and then a school. It is now divided up into private apartments.


Great British Life: Our Lady of England Priory buildingOur Lady of England Priory building (Image: Andrew Hasson)
Stroll to the end of School Lane until you get to the junction of Monastery Lane where you cannot miss the imposing Our Lady of England Priory building, built on land granted by the 15th Duke of Norfolk and founded in 1880 by monks expelled from France. The building contains the church where Catholics of Storrington may worship. In 1888, the poet Francis Thompson spent two years here trying to beat his opium habit. The main part of the building is now used by a Catholic group called the Chemin Neuf Community. This view is from the graveyard of St Mary’s Church.


Great British Life: Parham House and GardensParham House and Gardens (Image: Andrew Hasson)
One of the country’s finest Elizabethan houses, Parham House and Gardens, lies just two miles outside of Storrington, on the road towards Pulborough. Construction began in 1577 on the 300-acre estate and, incredibly, it is still an actual family home - Lady Emma Barnard and her family live here. The deer park is populated by a herd of fallow deer who are the descendants of the original herd introduced in 1628. The house and grounds will be open for the summer, with special events throughout the season for the public to attend.


Great British Life: Chantry Lane waterfallChantry Lane waterfall (Image: Andrew Hasson)
One thing that our county of Sussex is definitely not known for is waterfalls, but Storrington has one. It’s only very small, just a few feet high, but it’s real. In the 18th century, the Chantry Lane waterfall powered a fulling mill, where South Downs wool was treated.


Great British Life: Marble effigy of a crusader in St Mary's in SullingtonMarble effigy of a crusader in St Mary's in Sullington (Image: Andrew Hasson)
A well-worn marble effigy of a crusader sits just inside the door of St Mary’s in Sullington. He is believed to represent a member of the De Covert family, local lords of the manor, who fought in the Siege of Acre (which lies in modern-day Israel) in 1291. The effigy is extraordinarily detailed but has been brutally defaced, quite literally. His face has actually been hacked off, presumably during the Reformation or some other historical religious controversy.


Great British Life: Local resident Jill AtkinsLocal resident Jill Atkins (Image: Andrew Hasson)

Storrington resident Jill Atkins says: ‘It’s small enough to be a large village where you meet people you know. There are lots of activities and clubs, particularly for the older people. It has a lovely school here that I have helped in sometimes. I’ve been a governor too from time to time. The traffic can get very busy in the High Street and we don’t have a train station. It’s only five miles to Pulborough station though and buses are every half hour. Many years ago, there was talk of a bypass, but because we’re now on the edge of the South Downs National Park, that’s no longer possible. There are open spaces, and Storrington is a lovely place to live.’