SUSSEX has a rich and deep history dating all the way back to the medieval times. 

The historic county is dotted with castles, picturesque villages, stunning coastline and the rolling South Downs.

While many towns and villages have grown over the years, others have been left abandoned and lost in time. 

These forgotten villages have been deserted for various reasons or they were simply destroyed over the years. 

Here are some of Sussex's forgotten villages: 

Upper Barpham

The Argus:

Image - Streetmap

Upper Barpham sits on the South Downs, a few miles east of Burpham. 

The forgotten village failed to thrive and continue due to the Black Death in the 14th century. 

Described as a common failing of a Norman village, once the plague took hold it was unlikely a whole settlement could survive. 

A substantial church has been excavated in more recent history, showing that a community had built it hundreds of years before the Black Death overcame them. 


The Argus:

Google street view

The tiny ancient village of Binderton was home to around 20 people or so - supposedly because of heavy soils it became hard for settlers to remain. 

The decayed Binderton Church was mentioned in the Doomsday Book however it is ambiguous with the middle ages. 

People still live within the parish, however they no longer reside on the old site which is now home to Binderton House. 


The Argus:

Google Maps

The medieval village of Apuldram sits along a single road and is home to a 13th century church. 

The parish is home to Dell Quay which used to be a fairly major port serving Chichester, now it is used only by small yachts and dinghies. 

Apuldram village used to be a more substantial place largely as a result of its medieval port.

A survey in 1433 noted that there were three main streets in the village, two of which no longer exist other than as footpaths. These lost streets ran between Apuldram Church and what would then have been a relatively busy harbourside.


The Argus:

This lost Roman village, Fishbourne owes its name to a Roman Palace which was excavated in the 1960s. 

Much of the site runs below the A27 and the housing of Fishbourne which sadly means there is little hope of ever fully excavating the palace and surrounding settlements. 

Similarly to Dell Quay, Fishbourne used to be a port serving Chichester. However, as the harbour silted up and better roads were introduced it became impractical to use the port. 


The Argus:

Google maps

Only a handful of people ever lived in the medieval village of Perching.

The settlement sits high on the South Downs, above Southwick. 

Due to hundreds of years of hardship, living in this position on the South Downs and changes to agricultural practices, it became too difficult for the village to continue. 

As a result settlers moved away and the village is now lost in history. 


The Argus:

Google street view

Although we are lucky to have our stunning coastline, its constant encroachment on our shores has seen a sway of villages swallowed up. 

Isleham was a village near Clymping in West Sussex just west of Littlehampton. 

Large parts of Saxon Selsey, Cudlow, Charlton and old Bracklesham village have also been claimed by the sea. 


The Argus:

A water pumping station at Balsdean - Wikimedia Commons

This East Sussex village was once home to a thriving community with a manor house, farms and even an asylum. 

However, the village succumbed to the same fate as Tyneham  in Dorset and was taken over by the Ministry of Defence in 1939 for firing practice.

In 2012 the band Grasscut released the album 1 inch: ½ mile and conceived a walk around the ghost village of Balsdean to accompany the album.