Ancient Goring 2500BC-1066AD


Three thousand years before the birth of Christ, New Stone-Age people were already living in
the area we today call Goring. Confirmation of this came with
the discovery of polished Stone-Age axe heads during 20th century
excavations at the west end of The
Strand, in Ardingly Drive,
Thakeham Drive and on Highdown
Hill. But Worthing did not came
into existence until two-and-a-half
millenniums later.

By 2500BC, in the Old Bronze-Age, Highdown, had become the
fortified hub of local settlement
and, 1,600 years later, was still the
centre of the local community.
Many late Bronze-Age household
objects, circa 900BC, have been
uncovered on and around the hill
and all the evidence indicates that,
by then, people were living in circular wattle-and-daub huts.

Roman occupation dominated
this part of the world in the early
part of the new millennium and
they built a villa and bathhouse on
the western flank of Highdown Hill
around 43AD. At that time a Roman road or
coastal footpath went right
through the centre of Goring and
there is evidence of another
Roman villa built close to what is
today the centre of Worthing. Further evidence of local Roman
influence has included the discovery of a bust of a Roman boy’s
head, a hoard of Roman coins
unearthed in Mill Road, and a mile-stone found in Grand Avenue, just south of the junction with Mill
Road and marked in the period of
Constantine the Great (circa AD337).

The name of Worthing or anything
resembling it was still centuries
away, but, by 450AD, Ferring was
already a Saxon settlement, owing
its name to their chieftan named
Fere. From that moment, the
development of this part of the
world gathered apace……

Cissbury Neolithic hill fort established.

New Stone-Age people were living
where Goring is today, confirmation coming when polished Stone-Age axe heads were found during
20th century excavations at the
west end of The Strand, in Ardingly
Drive, Thakeham Drive and on
Highdown Hill.

Highdown Hill became a fortified
Bronze Age settlement and
remained the hub of local life for
1,600 years.

People were living at Highdown in
circular wattle-and-daub huts.

Highdown Iron-Age hill fort established. Later used by Saxons as a burial ground.

Roman villa and bath built on western slope of Highdown Hill.

Saxon settlement begins.

Circa 680AD
Bishop Wilfred of Selsey established a mission among the pagan
Saxons. The name Sussex derives
from Sudsexe, i.e. South Saxons.

Circa 700AD
The people of Gara (Gara-inges)
Settled in the plain between
Highdown and the sea (inga or
homestead – of Gara’s people).
Hence Goring. The people of Fere
lived at Ferring and those of
Teorra at Tarring.

Grant of land made by Osmund,
King of the South Saxons, to his
thane Walhere, for the building of
a monastery in Ferring.

Charter recording existence of
church dedicated to St Andrew at Ferring.

King Athelstan gave his thane
Aelfwald a small parcel of land in a
place which local peasants named

Aelfwald bequeathed land at
Braden watere to his brother.
Later it became Broadwater.

Forfeited lands in what today is the
Worthing area were restored to
the thane Wulfric in a charter
signed by King Edgar.

The Saran Wigot of Wallingford
now owned tbe Manor of
Broadwater, about 2,500 acres in
area. It is believed that the sea
(the ‘Broad Water’) came in to
where east Broadwater is today.


From the Worthing Herald 7 March 2002


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