Felpham Village

Felpham is a village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex, England. Although sometimes considered part of the greater Bognor Regis habitation it is a village and civil parish in its own right, having an area of 4.26 km² with a population of 9611 people and still growing.

The A259 coastal road passes through the village, this road runs along the south coast from Havant in Hampshire to Folkestone in Kent.
The 12th-century Anglican parish church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. There is also a Methodist church close to the three-way junction of Felpham Way, Flansham Lane and Middleton Road to the east of the village

History of Felpham Village

Felpham was in existence long before Bognor Regis, having been mentioned in the Domesday Book of the 11th Century.

William Blake, introduced to the village by his friend William Hayley, lived in Felpham for three years, writing his epic poem Milton in Felpham. The poem contains his famous words about “England’s green and pleasant land”, today known as the anthem “Jerusalem”, which were inspired by Blake’s “evident pleasure” in the Felpham countryside. The cottage where he lived is depicted in the illustrations for the poem. It lies within the original village, close to “The Fox” public house. Of the village he wrote;

Away to sweet Felpham for heaven is there:
The Ladder of Angels descends through the air
On the turrett its spiral does softly descend
Through the village it winds, at my cot it does end.

The “turrett” in the verse is Hayley’s house, east of the church, which he built around 1800. It was in Felpham that Blake had his altercation with the drunken soldier John Scofield, who was trespassing in his garden. This led to Blake’s trial for sedition because of Scofield’s allegation that he had cursed the king. Blake has a road named after him, Blakes Road, the road on which his former residence is sited, and a memorial window dedicated to him in St Mary’s Church.

Felpham Beach Huts

Blake had been invited to Felpham by local resident William Hayley, also a noted writer. Hayley was so famous in his day that he was offered the position of poet laureate in 1790, but turned it down.

The village has both a village hall, called the Memorial Hall, built in remembrance to the fallen from World War I and a church community hall called St Mary’s Centre.
Great expansion of the village took place between 1930 and 1960 when three (nominally) gated housing estates were developed and again in the 1970s when two (public) housing developments took place on farmland between Felpham and its neighbouring village of Middleton-on-Sea. In December 2006 planning permission was granted for further development, this time on farmland to the north.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia