Many people think of Worthing as a sleepy little retirement enclave. However, the town has a rich history, has schooled and been the home to a number of celebrities, has a number of important architectural buildings and as of 2019, boasts Britain best pier. So, impress friends and family with your knowledge of Worthing buy taking a look at our top 20 fast facts about the town.
- The name “Worthing” derives from the old English name “Worth” which meant “valiant one or one that is noble” and “ingas” which means “people of” and is reduced to “ing” in modern language. So, there you have it – people who are valiant and noble!
- Worthing’s Latin motto ‘Ex terra copiam e mari salutem’ translates as ‘from the land plenty and from the sea health’.
- Another village with a similar name can be found near Emmen in the Northeastern part of the Netherlands. The village is called Weerdinge.
- The area around Worthing has been populated for at least 6,000 years and contains Britain's greatest concentration of Stone Age flint mines, which are some of the earliest mines in Europe. The Iron Age hill fort of Cissbury Ring is one of Britain's largest.
- For many centuries Worthing was a small mackerel fishing hamlet until in the late 18th century when it developed into an elegant Georgian seaside resort. In the 19th and 20th centuries the area was one of Britain's chief market gardening centres.
- Lying some three miles off the coast of Worthing, the "Worthing Lumps" are a series of underwater chalk cliff faces, up to three metres high. The site has been declared a Site of Nature Conservation Importance by West Sussex County Council.
- Worthing lies just 15 miles from Bognor Regis, which with 1902 hours of sunshine per year, is officially the sunniest place in the United Kingdom.
- Oscar Wilde holidayed in the town in 1893 and 1894, writing the "Importance of Being Earnest" during his second visit.
- Jane Austen's unfinished final novel “Sanditon” is thought to have been significantly based on experiences from her stay in Worthing in 1805.
- In the 1960s, playwright Harold Pinterlived wrote The "Homecoming" at his home in Ambrose Place.
- During the Second World War, Worthing was home to several allied military divisions in preparation for D-Day.
- There are over 200 listed buildings in the borough of Worthing. Three of these, Castle Goring, St Mary's Church at Broadwater and the Archbishop's Palace at West Tarring are classified at Grade I, which is used denote buildings "of exceptional interest".
- Worthing Pier was designed by Sir Robert Rawlinson and was opened on April 12, 1862. The Pier has survived several disasters. In 1913 strong gales caused the decking between the pier and shore to be washed away. In 1933 a fire destroyed the South Pavilion. In 1940, during World War II, a hole was blown in the pier’s decking to stop it being used as a landing point for an enemy attack.
- Worthing Pier became famous among indie fans in the 1990's when it featured on the front cover of indie band Gene’s album “To See the Lights”.
- After taking second or third place for the past four years, Worthing Pier has been voted "Pier of the year 2019" by the members of the National Piers Society.
- Several world records have been set in Worthing including the heaviest fig grown (295g), the longest football marathon and the most consecutive rounds of kickboxing.
- Home to Bowls England, Worthing is, with Johannesburg, one of only two locations in the world to have hosted the men's World Bowls Championships twice. The events were held in 1972 and 1992, both at Beach House Park, which is sometimes known as the spiritual home of bowls, and is also the venue for the annual National Championships each August.
- Worthing has schooled a number of celebrities including Simon Mayo (radio presenter), Dame Anita Roddick (founder of the Body Shop) and Billy Idol (musician).
- Many films and television programmes have been filmed using Worthing as the backdrop including: Pinter's The Birthday Party (1968), Dance with a Stranger (1985) and Wish You Were Here (1987). Episodes of the Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin and Men Behaving Badly have also been filmed in the town.
- Worthing’s twin towns are Elzach, Germany; Gutach im Breisgau, Germany; Les Sables-d’Olonne, France; Simonswald, Germany; Waldkirch, Germany; and Patos de Minas, Brasil.
Want to know more?
If you're thinking about a move to the area, here are 5 great reasons why Worthing might be a great choice. Also, our area guides provide a wealth of information about house prices, schools, transport and things to do.