Lancing is really two villages that have grown together, combining to make the largest village in Sussex, and quite a desirable place to live.

With the Downs to the north and the sea to the south, good transport links to Worthing and Brighton, good schools and leisure facilities, it is easy to see why it has become popular with families.

The history goes back to pre Roman times when it was home to Neolithic people.

The source of the name of the village has changed in recent years from being named after the son of a Saxon chief to being derived from a Saxon word meaning the people of Wlanc, meaning proud.

Although the oldest buildings in the village are the church of St James the Less in Manor Road and the nearby picture postcard pretty Old Cottage, there is evidence of a Roman temple on the Downs near the top of Mill Road, but you’ll have to look hard to find it.

The Old Cottage is reputed to have timbers from a wrecked ship of the Spanish Armada used in its construction and King Charles II is said to have stayed there on his way to Shoreham, and subsequent escape to France, following his defeat at the battle of Worcester.

Lancing, along with Shoreham, has a history of smuggling, and it became such a problem for the authorities that coastguard cottages were built there in 1820.

In 1845 the railway came through the heart of the village, making it easily accessible to Brighton and London. Market gardens became an important part of the local economy at this time because of the speed at which it was now possible to get fresh produce to London and Brighton.

Gradually development started to link North and South Lancing, but it really started to grow when the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway located its carriage works there providing considerable local employment.

Probably the most identifiable building in the area is the chapel at the internationally famous Lancing College. This local landmark was built by Canon Woodard to complement the school’s building. The foundations were laid in 1871 and it took more than 100 years before the project was completed.

Famous old boys include lyricist and writer Sir Tim Rice, composer Benjamin Britten, and writers Tom Sharpe and |Evelyn Waugh.

The village centre is in South Street and North Road where there are supermarkets and many specialist shops and with the mainline railway station right in the middle.

Sport and leisure is not neglected here as there are many parks and open spaces. Lancing Football Club has its ground at Culver Road and the Manor Leisure Centre, which has just undergone a major refurbishment, is equipped for many indoor sports.

Among the famous people to have lived there are Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty; music hall artist Charles Austin, who headed the Grand Order of Water Rats six times; and Lord Alfred Douglas, poet and friend of Oscar Wilde.