East Preston History

Village History as a PDF (added April 2013)

A recent three page history was written by Margaret Gilbert for the East Preston Official Guide and Map (2013-2014). Click here to open the PDF (4Mb). You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file

You can view the full East Preston Guide at localauthoritypublishing.co.uk. You can also pick up a hard copy of the guide from many shops across the village, the Library, some surgeries and the Council Office.

Summary (added March 2010)

Once a very small village, East Preston now has a population of around 5500, having expanded rapidly after the Second World War, and in the housing boom of recent years.

The original Saxon settlers farmed the area and the sea was a great source for farming the salt, which was needed for preserving food. In the 19th century Reginald Augustus Warren began purchasing farms, buildings and land in East Preston, ultimately becoming squire. After his death in 1911 his estate was broken into smaller areas, some parts sold and some left to the village (Warren Recreation Ground).

The parish church, St Mary the Virgin is of Norman origin, about 12th century, and is built on the ancient Saxon burial ground. There are plenty of old cottages still standing, including Boxtree cottage which has a date of 1670 on the outer wall.

Sadly, some buildings have been demolished over the years, including the workhouse, (which stood opposite where the library is today). This housed the travellers and the poor and was the reason that when the southern end of the village was developed in the 1930’s, it was named Angmering On Sea, in order to disassociate this area with one that had a workhouse!

In 1991 a war memorial was built in the foreground of the library in memoriam to those who gave their lives in the wars. Many commonwealth troops were stationed in the village and surrounding areas during 1939-45, and the beach was closed to all but the military.

The village continues to expand, with many new houses being built as gardens are sold for development. The old and the new will continue to ensure that the village continues to be a pretty and charming place to live.