Welcome to Binsted Village Home Page
Binsted Village's weathercock logo has flown in, as you can see in the photo, and in the new video above by www.droneswork.co.uk, from the tower of our 12th-century church. He's there to show website visitors which way the wind blows in Binsted.
Our village landscape inspires and continually renews the community of residents and friends of Binsted. We also welcome the many friendly visitors who come for a walk through Binsted into our National Park woodland, a meal in the Black Horse, or a stay in the B&B, or to the Church, the Binsted Strawberry Fair, Arts Weekend...
Binsted's red rooster crows to make people aware, and to help
them enjoy, this once ordinary, now extraordinary, lovely place.Binsted - an inspiration to poets and artists
Renowned writer and journalist Valerie Grove says of our village:
"Binsted is a wonderful, mystical place, a little gem held in the past, vitally important in the life story of Laurie Lee, most of whose poems were inspired here.
"Here is an extraordinary example of a parish unblemished by the modern world, with woodlands and wildflower meadows, and the exquisite little Norman church whose timeless quietness and beauty must surely be left undisturbed in the 21st century."
Binsted - a rare, well-loved survival
In a sea of change, Binsted, near Arundel in West Sussex, is now a small island of continuity. Here you can experience something of what much of the area might have been like, centuries or a thousand years ago - with its historic landscape patterns of scattered houses, ancient broadleaved woods and hedgerows, farm fields, trees, valley, streams, grazing marsh, 12th-century church, pub...
Binsted never moved its farmhouses into an expanding village centre, as happened at Walberton in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nucleation of villages (the process of small scattered settlements becoming villages) took place in the 7th and 8th centuries. This means that Binsted’s non-nucleated settlement, linked to its land form, harks back beyond the mediaeval period to middle Saxon times or earlier. This is a very ancient landscape.
In the north of Binsted, south of the A27, a Roman Road was discovered by new LiDAR technology in 2016, and Romano-British to mediaeval pottery and tile kilns abound; there was a large Roman villa in south-west Binsted. Looking even further back, the small fields almost wholly enclosed in woodland recall the clearings which formed the first human settlements in this and other wooded areas, including the Downs.
By keeping continuity with earlier, slower times, Binsted has acquired a new preciousness as a refuge – for people and wildlife. Walking here gives the mind a rest from the pace and demands of modern life, and many people do walk here, from Arundel and the surrounding villages. You can look back through the landscape at a way of life (very harsh in some ways) in which the land was people’s job, their home and their life, everyone knew everyone else, and there was a much greater unity between people and their environment.
The 1880 Ordnance Survey map (right) shows the old Parish of Binsted. The boundaries are marked by streams. Today, roads are more widely recognized as a boundary feature, so that in practice the Binsted landscape and community is generally now seen as extending to Yapton Lane in the west and the railway line in the south.
"The Bald Explorer", Richard Vobes, is one of those who have chanced across Binsted and you will enjoy here the way he shares his first impressions:
One of the things that has intrigued Binsted visitor Richard Vobes is our carved oak Waymarker, beside a winterbourne stream at a junction of old ways in the central fields of this scattered-settlement parish, and celebrating Binsted's folklore and nature. He speaks of Binsted's "ancient waymarkers" but of course this was more recently carved by a local artist; our truly ancient waymarkers are the centuries-old pollarded oaks and beeches in key locations including on Parish Boundary Banks. Richard is a traveller whose response to what he sees is always both engaging and revealing.