Lying between the sea and the A259, Ferring is an attractive little Sussex village and retirement community. It is flanked to the East by Goring Gap and to the West by Kingston Gap, to the North is Highdown Hill and the Sussex Downs. The local area has a rich history and some interesting facts.
Here are a few of our favourites.
- The village itself was mentioned in the Domesday book. The name is Saxon. Today it is a small village of 2,500 properties and 4,500 residents. It benefits from a considerable amount of open space with the Sea to the South, Goring Gap to the East, Kingston Gap to the West and the South Downs national park to the North.
- To the North of the village, Highdown Hill has a long history. Settlement of the hill dates back to the bronze age and it later became an Iron Age fort and had a Roman bath house just over the border into neighbouring Angmering. The Hill was also home to a Saxon cemetery. The top of Highdown Hill was declared an ancient monument in 1930. Today it is owned by the National Trust and sits within the South Downs National Park.
- Highdown Hill is also the resting place of John Oliver, a local miller who ran a profitable sideline in smuggling. He died in 1793 and had a tomb built close to his mill on the hill which can still be visited today. Rumour has it that he was buried face down, because when the last judgment came the world would be turned upside down, and he would then be the right way up!
- Ferring's links with smuggling are also evident closer to the village. Smuggler's Cottage and Annex were both used for storage of smuggled goods, as was the building that is now The Tudor Close Restaurant.
- The Coat of Arms is the "Ferring Shield" which depicts that the village is located next to the sea, surrounded by countryside, with the sun shining in the sky, and with its church named after St Andrew.
- The current church of St Andrew's is only around 800 years old however the churchyard has many headstones from the 18th century and had been used for hundreds of years before that. In the churchyard are buried the ashes of Major John Bigelow Dodge (1894-1960), veteran of the Great Escape of 1944.
- Ilex way runs from Goring-by-Sea to Sea Lane in Ferring. It is one of the country's best know avenues of Holm Oaks, an evergreen broadleaf tree normally found in the Mediterranean. There were ornamental gates at both ends of the Way until 1940 when they were removed as part of the war effort to collect scrap metal. You can still see the original entrance at the existing lodge gate piers, at the end of Goring Street opposite the Bull Inn.
- The Bluebird, a popular sea front cafe, was originally opened in 1928 during a period when Ferring received many day visitors and holiday makers. The Canadian army used the building for a canteen during WWII. It has had various name changes, including Martin's Retreat and The Lemon Tree, before resorting to its original name,
- A restored but completely sealed Type 26 machine gun pillbox from 1941 can be found on the seafront promenade. The coastal path in this area was a minefield during the second world war.
- Ferring lies just a few miles from Bognor Regis, which with 1902 hours of sunshine per year, is officially the sunniest place in the United Kingdom.
For anyone wanting to learn more about the rich history of Ferring, we would recommend a visit to the Ferring History Group website which we found to contain great information about the village both past and present.
Want to know more?
If you're thinking of a move to the Ferring area and you want to learn more about house prices, schools, public transport and things to do in general, then why not check out our area guide.