Heritage Lottery Fund grant helps raise profile of history in Littlehampton, thanks to heritage group project

Volunteers are raising the profile of heritage in Littlehampton as they record valuable information about the many historic buildings in the town.

Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Littlehampton Heritage Group has been able to spend the past 15 months recording information about the physical features and stories behind many buildings.

Littlehampton Heritage Group volunteers, from left, Marian Francis, Elisabeth Alder and Chris Bird outside Littlehampton Library

Littlehampton Heritage Group volunteers, from left, Marian Francis, Elisabeth Alder and Chris Bird outside Littlehampton Library

Working in partnership with Littlehampton Town Council and with the support of Martyn White, Arun District Council’s conservation officer, the group has been exploring the town’s rich history.

Chris Blanchard-Cooper, chairman of planning and transportation, said: “The funding for the project concludes in January 2020 but there are still many buildings left to discover.

“The heritage group is keen to recruit volunteers to continue the wonderful work beyond January. If you are interested in helping, even if just by sharing something you know or suggesting a building you would like to see researched, please get in touch.”

According to the council, perhaps the most important aspect of the group’s work has been raising the profile of heritage within the town.

The property at 41 Beach Road, built around 1893 as the offices of Littlehampton Urban District Council

The property at 41 Beach Road, built around 1893 as the offices of Littlehampton Urban District Council

One example of the lesser-known buildings is 41 Beach Road, on the corner of Beach Road and Maltravers Road, which was built around 1893 as the offices of Littlehampton Urban District Council. Ornate features like the clock and the stone window surrounds can still be seen to this day.

After the council moved to Manor House, in Church Street, in 1933, the building became known as the Old Council Offices.

It was frequently used by the community, as depicted in a 1937 edition of the Littlehampton Gazette, with an advertisement for a meeting of Littlehampton Chamber of Commerce.

Littlehampton Library, in Maltravers Road, was built a few years later and was officially opened on May 30, 1906, at the start of the Edwardian era.

One of the Carnegie libraries, it was built using money donated by the businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and there have been efforts in the past to have the building listed.

The work of the group can also be found on the Littlehampton Heritage Group Facebook page

Contact Jonathan Parrett, heritage project officer, on 01903 732063 or email heritageofficer@littlehampton-tc.gov.uk for more information.