Message from the Editor

Welcome to the Horsham District Heritage Forum Message Board.

This is an area where members can post notices and messages that they think will be of interest to other organisations in the forum.

They can be notices of upcoming events, suggestions for forum-wide collaborative projects or requests for help on existing or planned projects within your own society/group.

All you need to do is to email Mike Burt at:

with the notice/message, together with any images, so that they can be uploaded to the site.

Topic: Forum Publications page

Originator: Mike Burt

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 22 February 2018

A Publications page has now been added to the Forum web pages. This enables Forum members to post details of books or other published material that have been produced, for the information and benefit of other members. Where appropriate details are provided of the cost of the book or other publication and from where this can be purchased. At the moment the page carries publications by  the Cowfold Village History Society,  the Rudgwick Preservation Society, the Rusper History Group, the Steyning History Society, the Southwater Local History Group and the Bramber and Beeding Local History Society.

Please send me by e-mail at: any publications that you would like to advertise on the Publications page including a narrative about the subject of the publication, and where relevant, the cost  and from where the publication can be obtained.

Topic: New Forum member

Originator: Mike Burt

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 22 March 2018

I am delighted to welcome Thakeham History Group  as the newest member of the Forum. The contact is Roger Taylor at

The Forum’s membership now stands at 21 organisations and covers most of the Horsham District geographical area and most of its heritage interests.

Topic: Upcoming Talks and Events for February 2019






Topic: Collaborative Projects

Originator: Mike Burt

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 30 October 2018

Horsham Year of Culture 2019- “Horsham District Heritage in 100 objects”

The project board comprising: Jeremy Knight, Laura Kidner (Chris’s Hospital Museum); Roger Nash (Rudgwick Preservation Society), Claire Searle (Shipley History Society); Robert Gordon (Friends of Henfield Museum); and me, met for the fourth time on 21 September.

It agreed the synopses of the themes and sub-themes that will be used to draft the book, and the vast majority of the objects that will make up the total of 100, whittled down from the initial number of just under 170. Some changes were made to the titles of the themes which are now: Ancient heritage; Warfare; Religion and religious life; Politics and political unrest; Local Government and Justice; Education; Agricultural life; Industry; Retail trade; Domestic life; Play; Local services;  and Transport and Travel.

Drafting will now start and will be undertaken primarily by Jeremy Knight; I will act as editor. Horsham District Council resources are expected to be used for book design, printing and publication, and publicity and Horsham Photographic Society are being approached to help with photography. The project board met again on 14 December, reviewed progress and discussed the structure and design and printing issues for the book. The project board will meet again on 8 March 2019.

The project is still currently well on track to complete by end May next year following which the illustrated book will be published and a public exhibition held between July and September as part of the Horsham Year of Culture 2019 celebrations.


Topic: Exhibitions

Originator: Christ’s Hospital Museum

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 3 April 2018

 Christ’s Hospital in the 20th Century

29 April 2017 – 29 March 2018 -extended by popular demand until 29 March 2019.

The 20th Century saw dramatic change for Christ’s Hospital as it moved from its small London site of some 350 years to its current extensive grounds in Sussex. This exhibition explores the art, artefacts and stories behind the school, reflecting the huge social, economic and cultural changes that went on in this period.

While such a display cannot be considered a definitive guide to Christ’s Hospital in the 20th Century, it serves to highlight a modern take on the collections it holds. With so much history around us, and such rich collections, the last 100 years can easily be overlooked. The exhibition showcases recent acquisitions from this transformative era including fine art, social history, costume, photos, ephemera and personal artefacts reflecting the everyday life of pupils and staff.

While acknowledging the impact on Christ’s Hospital of two World Wars, the focus is more on the remarkable historic collections that illustrate the school’s key developments and on-going Old Blue achievements.

What was valued by the staff and pupils at Christ’s Hospital in the 1920’s? How were the school’s main events documented in the 1960’s? Why do we collect a loud hailer and which famous celebrities are associated with Christ’s Hospital in this century? The exhibition celebrates and commemorates the scope and diversity of a truly unique, and at times quirky collection, that boasts some 40,000 objects.

Christ’s Hospital in the 20th Century invites us to consider art works by two of the most significant Modern British artists of that era: Keith Vaughan (1912–77; pupil here 1921-29) and Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956; commissioned to paint the Chapel murals 1912-23) beside the work of lesser known artists Donald Towner (1903-85; art teacher here during WWII) and Nell Todd (1909-76; Head of Art here 1950-69). Equally accomplished drawings by Philip Youngman Carter (1904-69; pupil here 1916-21) of the First World War poet Edmund Blunden (1896-1974; pupil here 1909-14) make an insightful comparison with the battlefield pen and ink sketches by Second World War poet Keith Douglas (1920-44; pupil here 1931-38).
This exhibition offers a rare and intriguing opportunity to enjoy a range of objects across varied disciplines – what is often not seen and in storage – is revealed and not to be missed in this remarkable gathering!

Contact Christ’s Hospital Museum for more information:        01403 247444

Topic: Exhibitions

Originator: Henfield Community Partnership

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 14 January 2019


Topic: Exhibitions                                                    

Originator: Steyning Museum

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 24 November 2017

Special Exhibits

Coming Soon!

“Pox and Pest”

The leper colony and the former Pest House in Newham Lane will be under investigation by the Exhibition Team.

Topic: Exhibitions                                                                         

Originator: Horsham Museum and Art Gallery

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 23 November 2018


Home from Home: Life at Roffey Camp in WW1

To mark the centenary of the signing of the Armistice on 11th November 1918, Horsham Museum & Art Gallery have chosen to highlight the story of Roffey Camp. Using contemporary photography, film footage, the camp newspaper, and locally-produced posters, the display aims to highlight the life of the camp and its relationship to the local area.

The outbreak of war saw around 1,500 young soldiers from London arriving in Horsham. The population of Horsham in 1914 was a mere 11,500, and therefore the addition of 1,500 young men would have been a major event. By early March 1915, work was completed at the new Roffey Camp and the battalion were moved into new, purpose-built accommodation. Roffey Camp stretched from the Norfolk Arms to Forest Road, with the main entrance on Crawley Road. The camp was home to numerous groups of soldiers and remained in use until 1919.

The human cost of the First World War was enormous, and is still felt to this day. The photographs and ephemera in the exhibition demonstrate the duality of the war. Lively, active young men signed up to do their bit for King and Country, with the support of the nation. Gradually, as the reality of the brutal conflict became clear, the joy and national pride so visible in these images began to fade. The First World War serves as a reminder of the devastating impact of war, and the tragedy of these young lives cut short in their prime.

This event runs from 6th November 2018 to 19th January 2019

Stunning Lines: Vincent Lines

This is an exhibition based on a recent major donation of art work by the family of Vincent Lines, a leading 20th century British artist, The skilful pen and ink drawings portray the places and people of the Horsham area in the 1930s when Vincent was the popular head of Horsham Art School.

Marking the 50th anniversary of his death, the family of Vincent Lines have made the generous decision to gift Horsham Museum some 20 works of art, including 10 drawings of Horsham and its area. Featuring key local landmarks such as St Mary’s Church, Chesworth Farm, Park House, and Market Square illustrate Horsham in a bygone era. The generous donation has inspired Horsham Museum’s 2019 calendar Stunning Lines which features all of his district images given to the Museum, which is now available to purchase at £4.50.

The exhibition Stunning Lines is on display in the Museum’s Watercolour Gallery, a fitting place to display one of the leading watercolour artists of the 20th century, who later became Vice President of The Royal Watercolour Society. The family have also given the museum two oils including a brilliant self-portrait with paint pallet in hand and two watercolours of Le Havre, a medium for which he had national recognition. Reflecting his other career as an illustrator of books, the Museum have also been given a rare lithographic stone.

Vincent Lines came to Horsham in his 20s to take up the position of Principal at the Horsham School of Art and under his leadership, the school flourished throughout the 1930s. It was Vincent who appointed the renowned stone letter carver and typeface designer and artist David Kindersley to teach at the school.

During World War Two Vincent, who was living in Horsham at the time, was asked by Sir Kenneth Clark to join the team of 97 watercolour artists to record Britain that was most likely to be destroyed by bombing and then by progress. So starting in the South East, they moved across the country using watercolours because Clark hoped that the scheme would help preserve this characteristic medium. Over 1,500 watercolours were produced with Vincent painting local scenes including The Causeway. After the war, Vincent moved to Hastings where he became principal of the Hastings School of Art inspiring other pupils. He also continued to draw and illustrate books including The English Windmill published in the 1950s.

This event runs from 9th November 2018 to 9th February 2019


Voyages to the Pacific

Horsham Museum & Art Gallery is proud to have a wide selection of ethnographic material in its collections. These items have been given to the museum throughout its 125 year history and represent the travels and curiosity of several generations of Horsham’s residents. To reflect the 250th anniversary of the departure of Captain James Cook’s first voyage, Horsham Museum & Art Gallery will be drawing together a display of objects that originated from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

This event runs from 30th November 2018 to 26th January 2019

Picturing the District

Over 200 years artists have flocked to Horsham district inspired by the peoples and places to create a varied canvas that portrays a district of great personality and colour. Picturing the district is a masterpiece created out of local scenes that has many surprises. From George Robertson to Roxby Bott artists have revealed the district to be an amazing place.

This event runs from 5th January 2019 to 25th March 2019

The Beautiful Game: A History of Football in Horsham District

Culture is more than just art, music and theatre, it includes sport as well. To mark the start of Horsham District’s Year of Culture the Museum is producing an exhibition looking at the history of football across Horsham District. The exhibition will include objects and images from the Museum’s collections, along with a range of writing, stories, footage, images and objects contributed by some of Horsham District’s own football clubs.

This event runs from 12th January 2019 to 30th March 2019

Brangwyn in Horsham

Sir Frank Brangwyn RA, one of the leading 20th century artists, came to Christ’s Hospital School in 1913 to design and paint 16 wall murals depicting incidents in the history of the Christian church. Due to World War One they took 10 years to complete. Brangwyn gave the school 7 cartoons, or preparatory designs for the murals which carry signs of their use. For the first time ever some of the cartoons will be on display in Horsham Museum & Art Gallery along with other Brangwyn items including two sketches for an abandoned Houses of Parliament decorative scheme proposed after World War One. They will then return to Christ’s Hospital and feature in a larger exhibition on the chapel paintings.

This event runs from 9th February 2019 to 23rd March 2019

The Written Word: a Literary Life of Horsham District

Shelley, Conan Doyle, Belloc, Hornung, Brown, Pope, Lintott – this area of West Sussex has proved to be birthplace, host and inspiration (as well as tomb) of many writers spanning the last 400 years. This exhibition tells the brief stories of these and many others, illustrated with examples of their work to celebrate the literature of the district along with objects and photographs to provide a sense of place. Look out in your local Horsham district library for displays about Horsham writers produced in conjunction with Horsham Writers Circle.

This event runs from 30th March 2019 to 22nd June 2019

Accents on the Landscape – Ancient Churches of West Sussex by Gordon Rushmer

Gordon described this exhibition as: “A painter’s rural rides in search of the hidden delights and details”. After 18 months of cycling across West Sussex capturing the essence of the ancient churches that populate the Sussex countryside, Gordon has created an artistic monument and record. Harking back 200 years when, in search of the picturesque, artists would tour the countryside recording and illustrating unknown churches, Gordon has achieved the same for the 21st century, creating ethereal, romantic, highly detailed but also majestic watercolours of churches hidden in plain sight, buildings that require the artist eye of Gordon Rushmer to uncover them in all their glory.

This event runs from 30th March 2019 to 1st June 2019

Horsham District Captured by Light: A Photographic Record of the District’s Cultural Life in 2018

With Horsham Photographic Society and Steyning Camera Club.

Working together for the first time, these two organisations have photographed amazing and beautiful scenes of the culture and place that makes Horsham district what it is. Starting on 1 January 2018 they have spent 11 months capturing the essence that makes the district. Each photograph is an individual’s response to that inspiration; cumulatively the photographs on show awaken the sense and awareness of what an amazing place Horsham District is. You will not take the district for granted again.

This event runs from 6th April 2019 to 6th July 2019

Adventures in Art – 90 Years of Changing Tastes

Founded in Horsham by Mr J T McGaw in 1928, this exhibition for the first time traces the history of the Association through the art of former members, alongside outstanding work by its current leading members.

Over those 90 years, the art world has changed with new movements shocking the establishment, only to become the establishment itself. This exhibition reveals how the artists residing in Sussex who were members of this leading County Association reacted to the changes.

This event runs from 8th June 2019 to 20th July 2019

A Garden of Botanical Art: Celebrating Original Works by Horsham District’s Leading Botanical Artists

For summer 2019 the Museum is bringing the garden indoors as it celebrates the artistic talents of some of this country’s leading botanical artist. All of the nine artist live and work in the district, but their art has in some cases travelled the globe, finding root in world famous collections.

Botanical art is part of the DNA of the garden as the art form that becomes science as exact colour rendition and description enabled the flora of the world to inspire and excite professional nurserymen, so populate the garden. Now that flora is inspiring a new generation of botanical artists to create a stunning visual record of the fleeting beauty of the plant.

This event runs from 6th July 2019 to 31st August 2019



Topic: Information request   

Originator: Mark  Scott

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 27 January 2018

Have you any stories about Wiggonholt Common?

The Heathlands Reunited team, at the South Downs National Park Authority, is looking for interesting stories about how our ancestors used the heathland, what life was like in the past and any events and happenings that took place there.

As well as Wiggonholt, the team is also focusing on Black Down, Woolbeding, Iping and Stedham, Lavington, Graffham and Shortheath.

If you have a story, from any era, or know where one can be found, please contact Mark Scott on 07780 991913 or at and he will feed back to the project for all the focus areas.