About the Parish
Hurstpierpoint (or Hurst) a large Parish extending from the South Downs to the Weald, is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Situated just off the A23 London to Brighton Road, the Parish contains the large village of Hurstpierpoint itself and also the smaller settlements of Sayers Common and Goddards Green.
The name comes from ‘Hurst’, the Saxon name for a wood, and ‘Pierpoint’ after the de Pierpoint family who arrived with William the Conquerer in 1066. Many of the houses in the village date from 18th century or earlier, and their variety and character are so attractive that the centre of the village and surrounding area is designated as a Conservation Area. The Parish itself has over 90 listed buildings.
In Hurst, friendly shops, restaurants, pubs and tearooms are clustered along a ridge overlooked by Wolstonbury Hill, an iron-age hill fort and haven for wildlife.
Holy Trinity Church was built in the middle of the 19th century on the site of a much older building. With its 130 ft spire, a landmark visible for miles around, the church was designed by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament, and contains an altar tomb to a knight, believed to be Simon de Pierpoint, whose icon is represented in the village sign.
One mile from the village is Hurstpierpoint College founded in the last century and with one of the finest chapels in Sussex.
In 2000 the Millennium Garden was created when a team of volunteers got together to preserve the original garden of St George’s House. It provides a delightful walk for members of the public between the west and east sides of the village.
The southern part of the Parish is within the Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and potentially, the proposed National Park, and within it stands Danny, an Elizabethan brick mansion built in 1595. The War Cabinet met here during World War I.
The village has a flourishing community life with its Village Centre (recently completed refurbishment), Scout & Guide HQs, Library, School and Health Centre. There are several sports and recreation grounds throughout the Parish, and a well supported amateur theatre group in the High Street.
Sayers Common has become a popular residential area, having been partially bypassed by the new A23 road. It has some very old cottages at its heart, and also contains the Priory of Our Lady, a residential retreat, and a small industrial/business park. The Hickstead International Showground is situated on the northern edge of the Parish where Sayers Common merges with Twineham.
Goddards Green boasts The Sportsman public house. Formerly The Magpie, this establishment dates from about 1800, when it was recorded as a ‘beer house’. The Green Crescent – an informal public open space in linear form starts here and runs alongside the A273, providing a natural ‘buffer zone’ between Hurstpierpoint and Burgess Hill.