Sussex Day

Last updated
Sussex Day
Chichester Cathedral and St Richard - - 229843.jpg
Also calledSt Richard's Day
Observed byFlag of Sussex.svg  Sussex
Date 16 June
Next time16 June 2020 (2020-06-16)
Related to St Richard of Chichester

Sussex Day is the county day for the historic county of Sussex in southern England and is celebrated on 16 June each year to celebrate the rich heritage [1] and culture of Sussex. [2]

Historic counties of England Geographical designations for areas of England, based on historical traditions

The historic counties of England are areas that were established for administration by the Normans, in many cases based on earlier kingdoms and shires created by the Anglo-Saxons and others. They are alternatively known as ancient counties, traditional counties, former counties or simply as counties. In the centuries that followed their establishment, as well as their administrative function, the counties also helped define local culture and identity. This role continued even after the counties ceased to be used for administration after the creation of administrative counties in 1889, which were themselves amended by further local government reforms in the years following.

Culture of Sussex

The culture of Sussex refers to the pattern of human activity and symbolism associated with Sussex and its people. It is informed by Sussex's history as an Anglo-Saxon kingdom, English county, diocese of the church and present-day cultural region.


The event takes place on St Richard's Day, the feast day of St Richard of Chichester, [1] Sussex's patron saint. The date marks the anniversary of the translation of St Richard's body from its original burial place in the nave of Chichester Cathedral to an elaborate shrine at the Cathedral on 16 June 1276. [3]

Patron saint saint regarded as the tutelary spirit or heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person

A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism or Eastern Orthodoxy, is regarded as the heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person.

Translation (relic) movement of a holy relic from one location to another

In Christianity, the translation of relics is the removal of holy objects from one locality to another ; usually only the movement of the remains of the saint's body would be treated so formally, with secondary relics such as items of clothing treated with less ceremony. Translations could be accompanied by many acts, including all-night vigils and processions, often involving entire communities.

Chichester Cathedral Church in West Sussex, United Kingdom

Chichester Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Chichester. It is located in Chichester, in Sussex, United Kingdom. It was founded as a cathedral in 1075, when the seat of the bishop was moved from Selsey.


The idea of Sussex Day came from Worthing resident Ian Steedman who in 2006 suggested the idea to politician Henry Smith, at the time leader of West Sussex County Council. Smith liked the idea and West Sussex County Council officially recognised the day in 2007. [1]

Henry Smith (British politician) British politician, born 1969

Henry Edward Millar Smith is an English Conservative Party politician. He was Leader of West Sussex County Council from 2003 to 2010. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Crawley, having been first elected in the 2010 general election.

West Sussex County Council British administrative authority

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is the authority that governs the non-metropolitan county of West Sussex. The county also contains 7 district and borough councils, and 159 town, parish and neighbourhood councils. The county council has 70 elected councillors. The Chief Executive and her/his team of Executive Directors are responsible for the day-to-day running of the council.


Since 2013, the Sussex Flag is flown in each of the six ancient Rapes, or sub-divisions of Sussex in the week running up to Sussex Day. [4] The Sussex Martlets flag was hoisted over the Council House in Chichester, from Maltravers Street in Arundel, from St Nicholas’ Church in Bramber, from Lewes Castle, from St Nicholas’ Church in Pevensey, and from Hastings Castle; each representing their respective historic division of Sussex.

Flag of Sussex

The Flag of Sussex is the flag of the English county of Sussex. The flag was registered by the Flag Institute on Friday 20 May 2011 as a 'traditional' county flag as a result of a campaign started in August 2010, by Sussex resident Brady Ells, with support from his father, David. The Flag was certified by Chief Vexillologist, Graham Bartram. It was first flown officially on Saturday 28 May 2011 at Lewes Castle. and was flown from the Department of Communities and Local Government at Eland House, London on Sussex Day, 16 June 2011.

Rape (county subdivision) county subdivision

A rape is a traditional territorial sub-division of the county of Sussex in England, formerly used for various administrative purposes. Their origin is unknown, but they appear to predate the Norman Conquest. Historically the rapes formed the basis of local government in Sussex.

Arundel town in West Sussex, England

Arundel is a market town and civil parish in a steep vale of the South Downs, West Sussex, England.

Several other towns and villages across the county raise the Sussex Flag on 16 June, including Seaford, Newhaven, [5] Shoreham and Worthing. [6] The West Sussex village of Slindon also flies the flag. At Newhaven and Petworth, the Sussex Charter is read out [5] [7] and "Sussex by the Sea", Sussex's unofficial county anthem, [8] is sung. [5] [7] In 2013, at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Singleton, an event took place celebrating Sussex culture including Sussex's buildings, stoolball, Sussex literature and history, as well as traditional Sussex music and food from Sussex. [9] Events to celebrate Sussex Day in 2013 were also held in the towns of Worthing [10] and Bexhill-on-Sea. [11]

"Sussex by the Sea" is a patriotic song written in 1907 by William Ward-Higgs, often considered to be the unofficial county anthem of Sussex. It became well known throughout Sussex and is regularly sung at celebrations throughout the county. It can be heard during many sporting events in the county, during the Sussex bonfire celebrations and it is played by marching bands and Morris dancers across Sussex. It is the adopted song of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club and Sussex County Cricket Club.

Singleton, West Sussex village in West Sussex, England

Singleton is a village, Anglican parish and civil parish in the Chichester district of West Sussex, England. It lies in the Lavant valley, north of Chichester on the A286 road to Midhurst.

Bexhill-on-Sea seaside town situated in the county of East Sussex in South East England

Bexhill-on-Sea is a seaside town situated in the county of East Sussex in South East England. An ancient town and part of the local-government district of Rother, Bexhill is home to a number of archaeological sites, a Manor House in the Old Town, an abundance of Edwardian and Victorian architecture, and the famous De La Warr Pavilion: today a centre for contemporary art – which has featured the work of Andy Warhol, Cerith Wyn Evans and Richard Wilson amongst others – and an auditorium, where Bob Marley had his first UK appearance and has since seen performances by Elvis Costello, Goldfrapp, Ray Davies, Years & Years, Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson.

In 2017, Sussex Day was officially celebrated in style at Beauport Park Golf Club, St Leonards with a full day of events. The event was organised jointly by The Beauport Park Golf Club and one of the Hastings Ambassadors, self-styled 'Lord' Brett McLean. McLean said, “Sussex Day is an important day of celebrations held on the birthday of St Richard the Patron Saint of Sussex,” he said. “The aim is to showcase all that’s positive about Sussex. It allows the opportunity to engage and link community organisations, businesses, entertainment and charities together helping to celebrate the achievements of these organisations that serve our county.” [12]

Sussex Charter

On Sussex Day, readings of the Sussex Charter have taken place at some towns in Sussex, including Crowborough, [13] Heathfield, [14] Newhaven [5] and Petworth. [7]

For all the people of the ancient kingdom of Sussex!
Let it be known: the 16 June of each and every year shall be known as Sussex Day.
Sussex day shall be celebrated according to the rites and traditions of Sussex.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for the maintenance of those boundaries that join to those of our neighbours.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for all the environs within those boundaries.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex shall recognise the inshore waters that lie inside a line drawn from Beachy Head, and extending to Selsey Bill as being, the Bay of Sussex.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex will undertake responsibility for the general well being of our neighbours.
Let it be known the people of Sussex shall be guardians of our wildlife.
Let it be known the people of Sussex will, through custom support all local business.
Finally, let it be known, as guardians of Sussex, we all know Sussex is Sussex … and Sussex won’t be druv!
In God we trust.
God Save the Queen!

See also

Related Research Articles

Crowborough town in the Wealden district of East Sussex, England

Crowborough is a town and civil parish in the Wealden district of East Sussex, England. It is situated in the Weald, at the edge of Ashdown Forest, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding National Beauty. It is 7 miles (11 km) south-west of Royal Tunbridge Wells and 35 miles (56 km) south of London. It has road and rail links and is served by a town council. It is the most populous inland village in East Sussex, with over 20,000 people.

A27 road major road in southern England

The A27 is a major road in England. It runs from its junction with the A36 at Whiteparish in the county of Wiltshire. It closely parallels the south coast in Hampshire, then passes through West Sussex and terminates at Pevensey in East Sussex.

Chichester District Non-metropolitan district in England

Chichester is a largely rural local government district in West Sussex, England. Its council is based in the city of Chichester.

Richard of Chichester 13th-century Bishop of Chichester and saint

Richard of Chichester, also known as Richard de Wych, is a saint who was Bishop of Chichester.

History of Sussex

Sussex, from the Old English 'Sūþsēaxe', is a historic county in South East England.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton Catholic diocese in England

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton is a Latin Church Roman Catholic diocese in southern England covering the counties of Sussex and Surrey. The diocese was erected on 28 May 1965 by Pope Paul VI, having previously been a part of the larger Diocese of Southwark, which was elevated to an archdiocese with a new ecclesiastical province on the same date.

St Richards Hospital Hospital in England

St Richard's Hospital is a medium-sized District General Hospital (DGH) located in Chichester, West Sussex, England. It is now part of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

John Edward Carew Irish sculptor

John Edward Carew was a notable Irish sculptor during the 19th century. His most prominent work is the Death of Nelson – one of the four bronze panels on the pedestal of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.

Compass Travel

Compass Travel is an independent bus and coach operator based in Durrington, West Sussex.

Midhurst Grammar School Voluntary controlled comprehensive secondary school in Midhurst, West Sussex, England

Midhurst Grammar School was a grammar school and later a comprehensive upper school in Midhurst, West Sussex. The school served pupils aged 11 to 18 who usually joined the school from one of the local intermediate schools. It was replaced in 2009 by Midhurst Rother College. Notable students included geologist Charles Lyell and H. G. Wells.

This is a timeline of Sussex history. To read about the background to these events, see History of Sussex. See also the list of monarchs of Sussex.

The history of Christianity in Sussex includes all aspects of the Christianity in the region that is now Sussex from its introduction to the present day.


  1. 1 2 3 "Sussex Day". West Sussex County Council. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  2. "Sussex Day". Sussex Living Magazine. June 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  3. "Chichester Cathedral - its history and its art". Chichester Cathedral. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  4. Garber, Michael (2 June 2013). "Sussex Flags Fly in the Run-up to Sussex Day, 16 June 2013". Association of British Counties. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Sussex Day to be celebrated in Newhaven". Sussex Express. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  6. "Flying the Flag on UK Government Buildings". Worthing Borough Council. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 "Sussex Day in Petworth". Midhurst and Petworth Observer. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  8. Weeks, Marcus (2008). Sussex Music. Alfriston: Snake River Press. ISBN   978-1-906022-10-5.
  9. "Welcome to Sussex Day 2013" (PDF) (PDF). Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  10. "Party on the prom day" (PDF). WSCC. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  11. "Sussex Day Celebrations at Egerton Park". 1066 Country. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  12. "Sussex Day will celebrate all that's positive about our fabulous county". Hastings Observer. WSCC. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  13. Harris, Mary (16 June 2013). "Video: Oyez, Oyez - it's Sussex Day in Crowborough". Kent and Sussex Courier. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  14. "Annual Sussex Day Charter". Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012.