Southwick is an attractive small town situated in the Adur district of West Sussex, 5 miles west of the city of Brighton and Hove and just east of Shoreham. Recorded in the Domesday Book as Suthewicke in 1309, it is steeped in a rich history. In 1840 its railway arrived and the town grew as the coast became a popular holiday destination, initially comprising properties specifically built for tourists.
Southwick was once home to a first century AD Roman villa, an extensive and lavish residence which was one of the most important not only in the county but in Britain. Unfortunately the site was not conserved and following redevelopment in the 1960's its archaeological remains now lie below Southwick Methodist church and the surrounding area, giving rise to road names such as Roman Road and Roman Crescent. Another of the town’s gems is Manor Cottage, classed as Southwick’s hidden treasure, this mid-15th century cottage is thought to have been linked to a larger manor and continues to be of historic interest. It is also reputed that Charles II took refuge overnight in a cottage on Southwick Green before escaping to France from Brighton, hence the cottages on the Green being christened King’s cottages!
The river Adur flows out to sea at the boundary between Southwick and Shoreham-By-Sea and its estuary has become Shoreham harbour. Shoreham Port gives access to the beach by foot and is enjoyed by locals all year round.
Southwick retains a charming village atmosphere and the Green, central to community life, is a focal point for much activity. Once common ground used for grazing, Southwick Green is now used for many varied functions from summer cricket matches through to autumn fairs in addition to year-round general recreation. Orchard Close is a fantastic tourist attraction renowned for transforming itself into a winter wonderland each Christmas. The whole close takes part in the fun, lavishly decorating their homes in Christmas lights, a welcome sight in winter darkness and all for a good cause as the money raised is distributed to various charities and is testament to Southwick’s great community spirit.
The town’s busy open-air shopping centre, Southwick Square, houses both traditional and local businesses alongside some larger popular chains, a thriving area central to the town. There is a good selection of family friendly pubs, a multi-purpose leisure centre, floodlit football pitch, public library and several churches, all of which contribute to Southwick’s family oriented, inclusive environment and the feeling of pride amongst its local community. Furthermore and unusually for a small town, Southwick boasts its own theatre. The Barn is a beautiful 18th century building which was converted into a theatre in 1951 and completely refurbished in 1998. It houses three permanent theatre groups who stage regular productions along with a variety of other concerts, shows, fairs and exhibitions and is an extremely popular venue for locals and outsiders alike.
There are three primary/middle schools in Southwick including a community special school. There is a wide range and choice of secondary schools in the catchment area of Shoreham-By-Sea, with popular Shoreham College and Lancing College nearby. Alternatives in neighbouring Portslade, Worthing and Hove are easily accessible and outstanding. Set in a picturesque location the town has many prestigious residential properties dating from the mid-nineteenth century to more recently developed homes and purpose-built apartments. Southwick is more expensive than nearby Lancing but cheaper than Shoreham-by-sea. Proving popular with both families and professionals there is high demand for semi-detached properties and Southwick is increasingly become a desirable place to live. Detached housing in Roman Road and Roman Crescent, just off the Green, are stunning and sought-after. Loosely divided into three sections: the harbour with its associated industries and businesses sits south of the Brighton Road; north of the Brighton Road up to Old Shoreham Road is mainly residential with properties dating from the middle of the nineteenth century to the 1950s; and the area between Old Shoreham Road and the South Downs, being the most recent to be developed, is also largely residential comprising more modern buildings.
Communication links are excellent, Southwick being served by its own railway station and having the A259 coast road passing through it, linking to Brighton and Hove and towns to the east and west. The A27 bypasses the town to the north and is a rapid route out to Lewes and east to Brighton. Public transport via bus is also efficient and convenient. Located 2 miles east of Shoreham, Southwick is perfectly placed to take advantage of the town’s excellent transport links to Worthing, Brighton, London and Gatwick, both via Southwick's mainline station and by excellent road links and bus routes. Shoreham airport is also located in the Adur district and is a growing centre for private aviation whilst also offering scheduled flights to northern France and the Channel Islands.
Southwick is becoming an extremely popular town mainly due to its picturesque location, proximity to the city of Brighton and Hove and its affordable housing.
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