Place:Middleton on Sea, Sussex, England

NameMiddleton on Sea
Alt namesMiddletonsource: from redirect
Elmersource: hamlet in parish
Coordinates50.793°N 0.942°W
Located inSussex, England
Also located inWest Sussex, England     (1865 - )
See alsoArundel Rape, Sussex, Englandrape in which it was located
Avisford Hundred, Sussex, Englandhundred in which it was located
Westhampnett Rural, Sussex, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1933
Chichester Rural, Sussex, Englandrural district of which it was part 1933-1974
Arun District, West Sussex, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Middleton on Sea (often hyphenated) is a village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England, lying to the east of Bognor Regis and neighbouring Felpham. Middleton on Sea also contains the settlements of Elmer and Ancton. (Ancton was in Felpham until a boundary change at the end of the 19th century. The southern half (south of the A27 major road is urban and the northern rural.

In the 2001 UK census 5,105 people lived in 2,366 households. The 2011 population was 5,077. It is a seaside community with much of the population retired. The parish now covers 3.54 km2 (1.37 sq mi).

The ancient parish, called Middleton, had only 370 acres (150 hectares or 0.578 sq mi) in 1881, but had been reduced in area in previous centuries by sea erosion. (This refers to the area now south of the A27.) The configuration of the western and northern boundaries suggests that the parish was once part of Felpham, and the name Middleton may refer to the manor's central position between Felpham and either Elmer or Cudlow in Climping. Part of the eastern boundary was formed c. 1310 by a ditch and part by Elmer pool, while the northeastern boundary follows the Ryebank rife. The parish was enlarged in 1933 by the addition of Ancton from Felpham parish and in 1971 had 892 acres (361 ha); its name was extended to Middleton on Sea in 1934 to prevent confusion with other Middletons.

In 1801 there were only six houses in the parish; in 1841 there were nineteen, including the new manor house at Middleton and newly built coastguard cottages at Elmer. Most of the latter remained unoccupied until demolition after the departure of the coastguard between 1910 and 1932. Two larger houses were built during the same period: Middleton Field west of Yapton Road, home of the owner of the adjacent brickworks, and the half-timbered and pebbledashed Ancton Lodge.

At the junction of Middleton and Elmer roads with Yapton Road in 1606 were two or three dwellings; only one older building remained there in 1996, the one-storeyed, flint and thatched Rose Cottage, which is apparently 17th-century or earlier with 19th-century additions.

In 1910 the engineer Norman Thompson, attracted to the area by the large expanse of firm sand and the constant winds along the shore, founded an aircraft works which, after the removal of much of the sand in a storm in 1913, turned to making seaplanes. The firm was later called the Norman Thompson Flight Co. During the First World War it supplied aircraft to the navy, the workforce growing from ten at the beginning to between 700 and 900. About 250 aircraft in all were built, but with the cancellation of orders at the end of the war the firm went into liquidation.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Middleton-on-Sea.

Research Tips

  • The West Sussex Record Office is located in Chichester. Because it holds the records of the Church of England Diocese of Chichester, which covers the whole of Sussex, it has church records relating to both parts of Sussex.
  • An on-line catalogue for some of the collections held by the West Sussex Record Office is available under the Access to Archives (A2A) project (a nationwide facility housed at The National Archives, Kew).
  • West Sussex Past - database of 2 million records from West Sussex heritage organizations.
  • The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies' Sussex Collection (PDF). This is a 9-page PDF naming the files relating to Sussex in their collection-a possible first step in a course of research.
  • The National Library of Scotland has a website which provides maps taken from the Ordnance Survey England & Wales One-Inch to the Mile series of 1892-1908 as well as equivalent maps for Scotland itself. The immediate presentation is a "help" screen and a place selection screen prompting the entry of a location down to town, village or parish level. These screens can be removed by a click of the "X". The map is very clear and shows parish and county boundaries and many large buildings and estates that existed at the turn of the 20th century. Magnification can be adjusted and an "overlay feature" allows inspection of the area today along with that of 1900. The specific map from the series can be viewed as a whole ("View this map") and this allows the inspection of the map legend (found in the left hand bottom corner. Becoming familiar with the various facilities of these maps is well worth the trouble.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Middleton-on-Sea. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.