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Local Area Guide to Living in Hassocks
Hassocks is a typically quaint English village situated in the heart of the South Downs of West Sussex. It is surrounded by outstanding natural and man-made beauty, even deriving its name from a native grass. This makes the village a hot spot for walking tours and cycling expeditions. It is no wonder then that the area has been the site of human settlement as far back as the Bronze Age, with an enduring Iron Age fort still standing stalwart atop nearby Wolstonbury Hill.
During the Roman invasion of Britain, the region acted as a crossroad between ancient London and the south coast and this function has endured throughout the ages as Hassocks sits within easy access of the City and Brighton. The vestiges of Roman rule are still visible to this day, with a Legionnaire cemetery having been excavated by archaeologists at the nearby Stonepound Crossroads. Furthermore, remnants of Anglo-Saxon culture are evident in the neighbouring St. John the Baptist church which is believed to have been built in the 11th Century.
In more recent history, the village as we know it sprung up around the creation of the local railway station in 1841, giving the surrounding areas a direct link to London and the south coast ports. The 19th Century also saw the building of the ‘Jack & Jill’ Windmills which still stand today, with the former being a local tourist attraction. With the onset of World War II, the village of Hassock played its part in the evacuation of children from major cities by sheltering 1250 people over the course of the war.
Hassock has a population of 7,667 people as of the 2011 National Census with the average age of residents being just below 45, slightly above the UK average. Around 81% of all residents in the area own their property outright or are currently paying off a mortgage or loan on their household. This correlates with nearly 13% of the populous being retired and 54% of adults in full or part time employment. There are approximately 1.3% unemployed people within the Hassocks area; being divided into students, those with a disability and those who are not currently working, which is well below the national average of adult unemployment.
The village has a significantly high number of people with level 4 qualifications and above, boasting 36.8%. Additionally, the number of adults with no formal qualifications sits at 13%, which is well below the national average of 22.5%.
Like the majority of rural settlements, Hassocks has a relatively low immigrant population with as little as 3.1% recorded since 2011. However, that does not mean there is no diversity. Only 64% of the populous identify themselves as English, whilst nearly 2% identify as either Welsh, Scottish or Irish (NI & Rep.). Overall, 95.8% of individuals regarded themselves as a combination of ethnic backgrounds, with 97.4% of Hassocks’ residents having English as their household language.
Sources: 2011 Census, Department for Work and Pensions
Hassocks offers three play groups and nursery schools for parents to leave their children in safe hands. The Hassocks Infants School and Windmills Junior School are the village’s main source of education for a majority of the local children, serving Key Stage 1 & 2 respectively. For secondary education there is Downlands Community School, which offers state of the art IT facilities and a range of sporting activities, including a new astro-turf football pitch. For sixth form and college, Hassocks is commutable distance from a variety of Brighton & Hove based campuses.
The local train station received an upgrade in 2013 and now runs regular services to Brighton, London and Bedford via Thameslink Rail Services. Furthermore, the cultural city of the south coast is a short 20-minute drive away and Gatwick, one of the UK’s biggest airports, is half an hour away by car.
Amenities and Shopping
The High Street is a convenient mix of independent shops and high-street names, making for an all-round shopping experience. There are a variety of take-away shops available as well as the highly rated Hassock Hotel Pub, which offers a function suite and live sports. In addition, Hassocks also has its very own golf course and membership club.
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