Modern Horsham can trace its ancestry back to Saxon
times when a settlement was built at an important
north-south east-west crossroads in what was then a
much forested part of the Weald.
Horsham Town with its population of some 51000 is
still at a junction of five main roads linking it to
Worthing, Guildford, Dorking, Crawley
Although now bypassed to its west and north by modern
dual carriageways, the town centre still
celebrates this meeting of five routes in its name
“Carfax” (only two others exist at Oxford and
The Town is also a junction for two railway routes from
London to the coast and has fast and frequent
electrified services to the capital from its stations
in North Street and at Littlehaven.
Around the Carfax and the immediate connecting streets are
some of the oldest houses and shops in Horsham. Much
archaeological research has revealed sixteenth century
timber frame buildings nestling behind their more
recent facades. In particular, mention must be made of
the Causeway, a tree-lined road leading to the 900
year old Parish Church of St Mary’s.
Other Churches abound and together meet the spiritual
needs of the population in a
variety of architectural styles.
The Town boasts a reassuring mix of individual retail
units and major stores and shopping mall. Additionally
it offers a wide range of restaurants and public
houses to suit all tastes and pockets.
Horsham has a rich tradition as a market town and this is
reflected in the number of weekly open air markets
which complement the adjoining outlets and add colour
to the shopping experience.
Located in the northern part of the district, Horsham
Town is the administrative centre of the 206 square
miles of this largely rural area of West Sussex. The
Horsham District Council is organised on the cabinet
system of local government and provides environmental,
leisure and waste services to the whole district.
The Council’s offices are situated at the edge of Horsham
Park, a large area of parkland near the town centre
and host to a new swimming and leisure complex, night
club and within a short distance of the refurbished
Capitol arts theatre.
Whilst a significant number of its citizens commute to
London or work at nearby Gatwick Airport, Horsham
itself does have major employers in Novartis
(pharmaceuticals) and Royal & Sun Alliance (insurance)
as well as modern industrial and factory units.
Development pressures on the Town are intense and the
challenge for the foreseeable future is to balance the
housing needs of an increasing population with the
understandable desire to maintain the ambience of this
old town which makes it so popular with its own
citizens and visitors alike.