First Recorded: 722AD as Suth Seaxe (Over 150 years before the first documented use of England, as Englaland in around 890AD)
Area: 3,805km² (1,469miles²)
Population: 1,613, 230
County Town: Lewes
Major Towns: Arundel, Bexhill-on-Sea, Brighton, Crawley, Eastbourne, Hastings, Horsham, Hove, Worthing
Motto: We Wunt be Druv
County Anthem: Sussex by the Sea
County Flower: Round-Headed Rampion
County Patron Saint: St Richard of Chichester
County Day: 16th June
The county of Sussex showing the historic county boundary
Round-headed Rampion, Sussex’s county flower
Sussex is a traditional county in South East England; which borders Hampshire in the west, Surrey in the north, and Kent in the east. The origins of the county are from the Kingdom of the South Saxons, where in the 5th and 6th centuries, the area was settled in by a tribe from Saxony. Sussex retains a strong identity with the county’s anthem of Sussex by the Sea. The county’s motto, We wunt be druv, reflects the strong-willed nature of its people, Sussaxons. The county flower is the Round-headed Rampion, also known as the Pride of Sussex. June 16th, the feast day of the county’s patron saint, St Richard, has been declared Sussex Day, which has been celebrated since 2007.
The Seven Sisters, between Eastbourne and Seaford
In the South of the county, land slopes from the coastal plain gradually up to the ridge of the South Downs. The steep slopes of the north side fall down to the weald, an irregular plain broken by long, deep valleys. Further north is the forest ridge starting east of Horsham and reaching its end in the centre of St Leonard’s Forest. The features of the ridge are pine, birch and larch trees, which includes Ashdown Forest. The county’s highest point is Blackdown Hill. The main rivers of Sussex are the Arun, Cuckmere, Ouse, and Rother. The Seven Sisters, at the mouth of the River Cuckmere is a major Sussaxon landmark.
Chichester Cathedral in the Capital of Sussex
There are many monuments within the county. Bodiam Castle is the most “castle-looking” castle in England. Battle Abbey was built by William the Conqueror, who said he would build a church on the site if God gave him victory in the Battle of Hastings of 1066. Pevensey Castle features Roman defences used to prevent Saxon invasion. The Georgian Royal Pavilion in Brighton was originally entirely out of keeping with the Prince Regent’s enthusiasm for architectural fireworks, and therefore was decorated in an oriental mode. Chichester Cathedral, in the county’s Capital, is famous for its artistic treasures which span from Norman times to the present day. Sussex is well known for its unique bonfire traditions. Lewes, the county town, hosts the largest of the bonfire celebrations each November 5th.
The American Express Community Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Albion FC
Sussex has a centuries-long tradition of Sport. Sussex has played a key role in the arly development of both cricket and stoolball. Cricket is recognised as having been formed in the Weald, and Sussex County Cricket Club is England’s oldest county cricket club, established in 1839. The club have won the County Championship on three separate occasions, in 2003, 2006 and 2007. In 2009 Sussex Sharks won the Twenty20 Cup. The sport of Stoolball is also associated with Sussex, which is where the sport originated. Sussex is represented in the Premier League by Brighton & Hove Albion FC, and in the Football League by Crawley Town FC. The Albion play at the 30,750 all-seater American Express Community Stadium, the largest sports arena in the county, which opened in 2011 on the outskirts of Brighton, near Falmer. In horse racing, Sussex is home to Goodwood, Fontwell Park, Brighton and Plumpton racecourses. The All England Jumping Course show jumping facility is in Hickstead.