Thakeham is a village and civil parish nestling north of the South Downs, in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. The village is situated approximately 12 miles south-west of Horsham, and 18 miles (30 km) north-east from the county town of Chichester. Its nearest large village neighbour is Storrington (3 miles). The parish has a land area of 1170.6 hectares (2891 acres).
The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book, but human occupation goes back to Neolithic times. The name Thakeham means “thatched homestead” and the original village had just one main street (“The Street”) which is home to the village’s only pub, The White Lion, and St Mary’s church (12th century).
The Street is now a designated conservation area.
Other heritage assets in the parish include the 13th century Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Warminghurst, and Little Thakeham, a Grade I listed country house on Merrywood Lane, designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens in 1902.
Land use in the parish is predominantly agricultural, dominated by farming and wooded areas (with outstanding bluebell displays in the spring). As well as the original centre in The Street, the parish includes the hamlets of Abingworth and Goose Green.
The parish’s main population now groups south of The Street in the Abingworth area, and further south in a section of the north-eastern suburb of Storrington within the Thakeham boundary. In the 2011 census 1816 people lived in 707 households.
A major new housing development at Abingworth, and another significant development at Water Lane, are due to increase the number of households in the parish by over 220 (around a third) by 2018. The Abingworth development, which is mainly located on a large disused mushroom farm, is due to provide significant new community assets, including a new Village Hall, store, pre-school facility, football fields, cricket pitch and Pavilion, childrens’ playground and allotments. The Parish Council is working closely with the Abingworth developer to ensure that the outcome is good one for the Thakeham community.
The parish’s schools are Thakeham First School and Rydon Community College (see our Schools page for more information about their excellent provision).