Our history

People have lived in Burpham & Wepham for hundreds of years, shaping the landscape and being shaped by it.

The village is now almost entirely residential, but in days gone, in more isolated times, there were a range of services to meet local needs.  In 1867, for example, there was a school, a veterinary surgeon, two shops, a wheelwright, a farmer, a shoemaker, a blacksmith, and, of course, the George and Dragon.  The combined store/post office and the blacksmith closed some twenty years ago, as did the bus service.

A detailed history of the village has yet to be written, but our previous webmaster, Marion Tucker, gathered together a range of interesting material, helped by others living in the village. There are some historic photographs (pdf, 9Mb), many from postcards of the village, some from family scrapbooks. And here are some articles (pdf, 5Mb) about the village, and some transcripts of notes about the village made by the village's nineteenth-century vicar, the Revd Foster.

The following are well worth looking at:

* Chris Hare, Good Old, Bad Old Days, the Sussex of Lawrence Graburn. This reprints a number of informative articles written in the local newspaper by a local man, and includes early twentieth-century illustrations. 

* Roger Coleman, Downland: a Farm and Village. Written about forty years ago, with evocative water colour illustrations of the village.

* Steve Penticost, Between Chalk and River: A Pictorial History of Burpham and Wepham. Published a couple of years ago, and richly illustrated with photographs.

* For a documentary history, see A History of the County of Sussex, volume 5 part 2, part of the Victoria County History series, edited by C. P. Lewis (Woodbridge, 2009), entry for 'Burpham'