Place:Westhampnett, Sussex, England

Alt namesWest Hampnettsource: alternate spelling
Goodwoodsource: estate/manor within the parish
Maudlinsource: village in parish
Waterbeechsource: settlement in parish
Westertonsource: settlement in parish
Woodcotesource: settlement in parish
Coordinates50.849°N 0.746°W
Located inSussex, England
Also located inWest Sussex, England     (1865 - )
See alsoChichester Rape, Sussex, Englandrape in which it was located
Box and Stockbridge 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
Chichester 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

Westhampnett (or West Hampnett) is a village and civil parish in the Chichester District of West Sussex, England, located 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of Chichester on the former A27 road, now by-passed. The village is pre-Norman and is home to many listed buildings, including the Saxon church of St. Peter, where three bishops of Chichester are buried. The parish of Westhampnett includes most of Goodwood estate, its golf course, motor-racing circuit and airfield.

The parish covers an area of 8.89 km2 (3.43 sq mi) and its population in the UK census of 2011 was 709.



Westhampnett was a Saxon settlement which like most passed into the hands of new overlords the Normans on the Norman Conquest of 1066. The present village is a scattering of houses around an Anglican parish church of Saxon origin, dedicated to St Peter.

Westhampnett was listed in the Domesday Book (1086) in the ancient hundred of Boxgrove (replaced in later centuries by Box and Stockbridge Hundred) as having 16 cottager households, woodland, land for pigs and a mill, and a value to the lord of the manor of £3.

Westhampnett Poor Law Union was established in 1835, encompassing many surrounding parishes. Westhampnett's own workhouse was in existence until a fire destroyed it in 1899. The building had existed since the 16th century, and was leased to the Guardians of the Union by the Duke of Richmond. The house had been rebuilt by Sir Hutchins Williams in about 1720. The Poor Law Union of parishes was also the local registration district used for the recording of births, marriages and deaths and for the censuses from 1837 until 1935.

Civil parish

The civil parish includes the hamlets of Maudlin (on the Roman road Stane Street, now the A285 road), Waterbeech to the northeast, and Westerton and Woodcote to the north. Maudlin derives its name from the former small hospital of St Mary Magdalen. To the north the parish extends just to Goodwood Racecourse high on the South Downs, including Goodwood House and most of Goodwood Airfield and motor racing circuit.


The parish church of St Peter, a Grade II* listed building, was a Saxon construction dating from before the Norman Conquest, and incorporates Roman bricks in the structure. The church is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was enlarged in the 13th century and added to in later centuries, the Roman brick chancel arch being replaced. The churchyard contains an unusually large number of elaborate headstones, including plain and Celtic crosses, indicating a wealthy congregation in past centuries.

RAF Westhampnett

The airfield began as a World War II fighter base, opened in 1940 during the Battle of Britain when it was home to two Spitfire squadrons. It was later used by the United States Air Force fighter squadrons, flying British Spitfires and Typhoons. (Main article: RAF Westhampnett)

Goodwood Estate

The Goodwood estate is the family seat of the Dukes of Richmond and occupies much of the parish of Westhampnett. A motor racing circuit was developed from the perimeter road of the former RAF airfield which is now, as Chichester/Goodwood Airport, used for recreational flying and pilot training; the track hosts the annual Goodwood Revival race meeting. The Goodwood Festival of Speed was developed around a hill climb in the grounds of Goodwood House. Goodwood Racecourse is in the north of the estate.

Other buildings of note

Between Westhampnett church and Maudlin is the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars assembly plant, producing and testing the finished cars. Towards Chichester is the former Westhampnett Mill, a watermill on the River Lavant, and a Grade-II listed building; it is constructed with red brick and is dated 1772. There are 46 other listed buildings in the parish, including three Grade I at Goodwood House.

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 Westhampnett. 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.