Southwick Society’s next Heritage Talk goes back to Middle Ages at Widewater Lagoon in Lancing

Widewater Lagoon in Lancing is well known for its wildlife but it has a long and interesting history, too.

Delve into the past, right back to the Middle Ages, with Gary Purnell at the Southwick Society’s next Heritage Talk.

World of Widewater celebrated the 21st anniversary of the Lancing nature reserve last summer. Picture: Derek Martin DM1726365a

World of Widewater celebrated the 21st anniversary of the Lancing nature reserve last summer. Picture: Derek Martin DM1726365a

Gary is joint chairman of the community group World of Widewater and has lived by the lagoon for 11 years.

Nigel Divers, secretary of the Southwick Society, said: “Today, the Widewater is a long, landlocked lagoon between Lancing Beach and Brighton Road and is well-known for its birds and other wildlife but it has been ever-changing over its centuries of history.

“The Sussex coast hereabouts has changed a lot since Mediaeval times, when the area east and west of the mouth of the River Adur was one of salt marshes, creeks and sea inlets.

“The villages of Lancing and Sompting were once high ground well to the north. The small port of Pende stood west of Shoreham but has long since been lost to the sea and is marked today only by Lancing’s Penhill Road – Pende Hill – and the Shopsdam.

“Gary Purnell is an expert on the area and he will talk about its history from 1085.”

The Heritage Talk will be held in the Garden Room at Southwick Community Centre, in Southwick Street, on Monday, January 14, at 7.30pm. Admission is £4, £2 for Southwick Society members.

The society is a registered charity and runs Manor Cottage Heritage Centre, also in Southwick Street. The cottage is open every Saturday morning from mid-May to mid-September and entrance is free.

Heritage Talk meetings are held on the second Monday of the month from September to April.

Trevor Povey will give a talk on The Industrial Landscape between Brighton and Worthing on Monday, February 11.

He will look at what kind of jobs people did, what kind of goods the area produced and who made them.

Maps and Map Making in Sussex will be the talk by Caroline Adams on Monday, March 11.

This talk, with lots of lovely illustrations, tells the story of the maps of Sussex, including the published Saxton maps from the 16th century and the hand-drawn estate maps of the county.

Visit southwicksociety.btck.co.uk for more information.

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