Welcome to the website of the Southwick (Sussex) Society

The Society is active in the following fields:

  • Running the Manor Cottage Heritage Centre
  • Campaigning on local issues
  • Commenting upon planning matters affecting the local area
  • Running talks, exhibitions and meetings on matters of interest to those living or working in the Southwick area
  • Publishing local history books and "Wickerwork" - a regular newsletter updating members on activities and local matters of interest

The Manor Cottage is located at 16/18 Southwick Street, BN42 4TE, just north of Southwick Square on the eastern side of the road and is open every Saturday morning from May to September. Exhibitions are frequently held in the Cottage and entrance is free. The Cottage has a shop selling local history books, pamphlets and souvenir items.

Talks are held on the second Monday of every month from September to April at the Southwick Community Centre starting at 7.30pm. 





Upcoming events
  • Guided Walk of Southwick

    Cat Eaters, Romans, cricketers, soldiers and a fugitive king
    Saturday 6 June 2015 starting at 2.30pm from Manor Cottage Heritage Centre, Southwick Street.


    The Southwick Society invite local people to explore some of Southwick’s rich heritage.

    Walk leader Nigel Divers said "This will be a gentle walk exploring some of Southwick’s rich history.  We will find the site of a Roman Palace and an old brewery, discover how Southwick people gained the nickname of “Cat eaters” and hear the story of how King Charles II may have visited Southwick when he was fleeing from Cromwell’s soldiers. The Green has been central to the story of Southwick for 1000 years or more.  It was used by farmers and we will find the forge and wheelwright’s work shop. Cricket has been played for over 200 years once provoking national controversy and a labourer with one eye and the school master’s son played for Southwick and Sussex.  Soldiers drilled here and in 1918 it became a camp for Royal Marine Engineers employed in one the Great War’s most secret but visible projects.  This is the second guided walk we have arranged this year.  Our first, “Beating the Bounds” was very successful and explored Southwick’s country and sea side now we will look at the town centre and its rich story.”

    This gentle circular walk of central Southwick is open to everybody and will be on fairly level public paths and roads and the Green.  It will finish by 4.30pm depending on the composition of the group.
    Donations will be requested towards the cost of maintaining the Manor Cottage. 


  • Manor Cottage Exhibitions 2015

    The Manor Cottage Heritage Centre will be open every Saturday morning between May 30th and September 26th.


  • Opening Times

    All exhibitions are open on Saturday morning 10.30 to 12.30 (until 4.30pm on May 30th, June 6th, June 13th,July 18th and September 12th).


  • The History of Albion Street

    Saturday 30th May to Saturday July 4th

    Until the bulldozers moved in 50 years ago Southwick’s Albion Street was a busy, vibrant, changing and mixed community. It was the town’s commercial heart, shopping centre and a densely populated residential district. There was a shipyard, sail-lofts, horse drawn trams, houses for labourers, ship’ captains and shop keepers, busy wharves, a coast guard station, the town hall, butchers and bakers, grocers, chemists and printers, a cinema and yacht club, two chapels and nine pubs! Almost all of these have been swept away


  • Sixties Southwick

    Saturday July 11th to Saturday August 15th



    The 1960’s were a time of great change in Southwick and Fishersgate. Almost all the buildings, houses and shops in Albion Street, Grange Road, Butts Road, Lock, Rock and Station Roads and in Fishersgate south of the rail-way were demolished. Modern flats replaced the old substandard houses and a smart new shopping centre, Southwick Square, was built on the Egg Field. The Green School closed, a new Methodist church was built and the last residents moved out of South-wick’s oldest house, the Manor Cottage.


  • Southwick Churches

    Saturday August 22nd to Saturday September 26th


  • Southwick's Great War





    This exhibition shows what happened to Southwick and its people through the Great War illustrating events in the town and the experiences of the men in the army navy and merchant navy.  It will roll out month by month with frequent changes reflecting events as they happened.

    The story of Southwick and its people in the Great War will continue on Saturday 6th December. It will follow the experiences of some local soldiers and sailors in 1914 and the arrival in Southwick of the men of the 7th Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment. The Northamptons were volunteers in training and found great kindness whilst they were billeted here.


  • Heritage Talks


    RAF Truleigh Hill Radar Station 1940 to 1960


    Monday 14th September 2015

    by Roy Taylor

    RAF Truleigh Hill was a radar station that operated above Shoreham from June 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain. It continued through the early stages of the Cold War in the 1950s, finally ceasing operations in November 1957. At the height of the wartime operations, 180 staff served the station, mostly billeted with families in Shoreham. The officers were housed in a large property in Upper Beeding. In the 1950s a purpose built camp between Stoney Lane and Buci Crescent was home to approximately 120 personnel.

    Roy was a Radar Operator at Truleigh Hill in the latter part of 1956 and all of 1957, based at the camp in Stoney Lane.


Southwick (Sussex) Society