Parish History

Albourne lies on the west side of the A23, the London to Brlghton road, two miles (3.2km) north of the South Downs. The parish was in West Sussex from 1889, then transferred to East Sussex in 1908, but returned to West Sussex in 1974. It lies in the Hundred of Tipnoak in the Rape of Bramber, the County Electoral Division of Mid-Sussex, the County Court District of Haywards Heath, the Rural Deanery of Hurstpierpoint, the Archdeaconry of Horsham and the Diocese of Chichester.

Roughly rectangular in shape, the ancient parish was about 2.5 miles (4km) from north to south and 1.25 miles (2km) from east to west. The present size is 796.8 hectares (1969 acres), following slight recent boundary changes.                                 

Two ridges of Lower Greensand and Gault clay cross the parish , separated by the' alder stream' which gives the parish its name. The land drains northward and westward to the river Adur, the stream being tidal although so far inland. In 1984 farmed land was nearly equally divided between pasture and arable.

The St Bartholomew's Church stands in the centre of the parish, at some distance from most of the houses. This is because there were originally two adjacent manors, running north-south, that of Albourne to the west and Bishopshurst to the east, beside the 'road from New timber to Sayers Common, later the London to Brighton road. Bishopshurst manor consisted in 1681 of about 13 houses in the Street and three or four more 300 yards north at Albourne Green. The occupants of these houses rented fields surrounding the village. The manor house stood south of the Street, but was gone by 1840; beyond it, stood the later manor house, Bishops Place and its farm, the rest being tenanted farmland. Albourne manor had only the manor house, Albourne Place, surrounded by parkland, its farm, the church, the Rectory with the Glebe land, two small houses by the church and Gardenland farm, now Priestfield, and Reeds farm to the north and Holland, now demolished, to the south , together with tenanted farmland. 

Thirty-five people were taxed in Albourne in 1327 and 33 in 1524. There were 25 families in 1724. There was a gradual rise in population to 395 1841, falling to 277 in 1901; 319 in 1921 rose to 637 in 1971. The estimated number for the 2011 census is some 650.

Albourne Place. According to local legend, this house helped to save the life of the priest that accompanied Charles 1st  to the scaffold. After the beheading, the priest sought sanctuary in his brother's house, Albourne Place. He disguised himself as a builder and constructed chimneys, while the Roundheads searched for him.

James Starley - an inventor, lived in the Village, and was known as the father of the cycle industry. He invented the differential bicycle gear.

Places to visit: 

Local Pubs in the area.
The Church
The School (by permission)
Sidney Hole . . .