A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1980.
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The former civil parish of Heene, (fn. 1) now part of Worthing borough, lay on the sea coast 1 mile west of Worthing hamlet. Like Durrington, it was a medieval chapelry of West Tarring; the layout of its boundaries in the 19th century shows that its area had been carved out of Tarring parish. (fn. 2) Though it remained part of West Tarring ecclesiastical parish until the 19th century, it was separate for civil purposes from the 16th. In 1881 it contained 426 a. excluding foreshore and including the district or township of West Worthing of c. 300 a. (fn. 3) In 1890 the whole parish was included in Worthing borough at its incorporation. (fn. 4) The present article deals with the history of the parish up to c. 1900, though certain topics, including the history of institutions originating before that date, are treated here up to 1978.
The parish was almost square in shape, the entire northern and western boundaries being formed by the Teville stream and by roads, the modern Tarring Road, Elm Grove, and Wallace Avenue, formerly Sea Lane. (fn. 5) Most of the parish lay on the brickearth, with a small area of Coombe deposits in the north-east corner. (fn. 6) A low east-west ridge provided the site for the village, and earlier for a Roman villa to the west, (fn. 7) the land sloping gently northwards to the Teville stream and southwards to the sea.
The coastline of Heene has fluctuated greatly in historic times. Arable land worth 6s. 8d. a year was destroyed by the sea between 1291 and 1341, (fn. 8) and the Domesday assessment of Heene at 5 hides may indicate that the parish had been larger still in the late 11th century. (fn. 9) By the late 16th century on the other hand a shingle beach had grown up off shore, forming enclosed lagoons between it and the mainland. (fn. 10) Erosion had begun again by c. 1700. A watch-house was built on the coast near the boundary between Heene and Tarring manors about that date, but by 1724 its site was covered by beach. (fn. 11) In 1755 a local man remembered the sea at Heene having once been much further away than it then was. (fn. 12) Six perches of land were estimated to have been lost during the 18th century, (fn. 13) and the sea is thought to have encroached 55 yards between c. 1780 and 1875. (fn. 14) In the early 19th century the land along the coast, called Heene common, was rough pasture, intersected by watercourses, and covered with gorse. (fn. 15) Some groynes had been built by 1805, (fn. 16) and more were apparently added after 1865. (fn. 17) A signal post was built by 1805 as part of the chain between Beachy Head and Portsmouth; in 1814 it also served to telegraph to ships at sea. (fn. 18)
In 1616 the lords of the two manors of the parish were alleged by the vicar of West Tarring to be systematically depopulating the village by imposing heavy fines on succession to tenements and by omitting to hold courts so that heirs were prevented from establishing their right to their property. About 30 of the village's 60 houses were said to have been pulled down and their gardens grubbed up during the previous 6 years. (fn. 19) Twenty houses were listed in 1664, (fn. 20) and in the 1670s mention was made of East, High, and West streets, (fn. 21) High Street presumably being the modern Heene Road. Whatever the truth of the allegations of 1616, for which the defendants alleged ulterior motives, the village had certainly declined by 1795, when it contained only a few houses, chiefly along the modern Heene Road. (fn. 22) Some of those houses apparently survived in 1978.
During the first 20 years of the 19th century, however, there was much building development, inspired by the growth of Worthing. Between 1801 and 1811 the number of houses in the parish trebled, though at the latter date a third of the total were unoccupied. (fn. 23) Some new buildings at least were lodging-houses, and with one bathing-machine in 1805, and more by 1814, Heene became a small resort, like South Lancing at the same period. (fn. 24) There were two areas of development. A small settlement called Little Heene comprised a row of c. 15 houses in Brunswick Road in the south-east part of the parish. (fn. 25) Heene Road, which by c. 1800 had declined virtually to a farm track, (fn. 26) meanwhile acquired several villas and terraced houses on its east side. (fn. 27) In 1835 Heene was said to be to Worthing what Rottingdean was to Brighton. (fn. 28) It continued to be a place for residence or retirement, 4 'gentry' being listed among the inhabitants in 1852, and 8 in 1862. (fn. 29) There was an inn called the King and Queen at Little Heene by c. 1839; (fn. 30) by 1874 it had become the Brunswick hotel, (fn. 31) which it remained in 1978.
In 1863 most of the parish was bought by the Heene Estate Land Co., which in the following year sold the south part to the West Worthing Investment Co. (fn. 32) for development as what was intended to be a first-class watering-place. (fn. 33) The original promoters were chiefly Londoners, but some of them later moved to West Worthing. (fn. 34) In 1865 the property of the two companies became the district or township of West Worthing, with its own improvement commissioners. (fn. 35) Sea defences and an esplanade were under construction in 1864, and by 1865 (fn. 36) Heene Terrace, comprising 18 four-storeyed houses of yellow brick with stucco dressings, had been built together with the adjacent Heene (later West Worthing, afterwards Burlington) hotel. (fn. 37) By 1866 there were Venetian Gothic swimming baths with an assembly room north of Heene Terrace, and by the following year another terrace east of the hotel. The baths and assembly room were demolished in 1973. Some detached and semidetached houses were also built in Heene Road before 1875. (fn. 38) By 1874 the resort was being patronized by winter as well as summer visitors. (fn. 39) A roller-skating rink next to the baths was opened in 1875, (fn. 40) and by 1881 there were pleasure grounds and a tennis lawn in front, (fn. 41) but a pier planned in 1882 was not built. (fn. 42)
Meanwhile West Worthing was also promoted as a residential area, (fn. 43) and by 1870 had begun to acquire the character of a fashionable suburb. (fn. 44) The number of houses in the parish increased from 40 in 1861 to 100 in 1871, though one third were then uninhabited, and after a slower increase in the 1870s, again at least doubled in each of the last two decades of the century. (fn. 45) The area within the township, however, failed to develop as fast as was hoped, partly because the West Worthing Waterworks Co. could only supply water during the daytime, in the absence of a reservoir. (fn. 46) A number of roads, including the wide, tree-lined Grand Avenue, had been laid out west of Heene Road by 1867, and land along them sold or let on building leases, (fn. 47) but virtually no houses had appeared there by 1875. (fn. 48) In 1896 those roads still remained almost entirely unbuilt on, much of the surrounding area being occupied by market-gardens. (fn. 49) Meanwhile a proposed square east of Little Heene was never built, its site being developed piecemeal instead over a number of years. (fn. 50) The slow development of those two areas for building is expressed in their patchwork architectural appearance with houses of many different dates. On the other hand land east of Heene Road comprising the former East field, which lay outside the area of the township, was largely built over within c. 12 years of its sale in 1884, forming a western extension to the select Gratwicke estate in Worthing, and with the same mixture of large detached and semi-detached houses. (fn. 51) A new impulse to residential development was given by the opening of West Worthing station in West Tarring parish in 1889, a club-house near by being built by 1890. (fn. 52) and a hotel by 1895. (fn. 53) By 1896 several roads had been laid out north and west of Heene church. (fn. 54) In 1894 West Worthing was described as chiefly a good class residential area, (fn. 55) with much the same relation to Worthing as that of Hove to Brighton. (fn. 56)
Meanwhile the resort facilities of West Worthing had developed little during the 1880s, though by 1890 there were c. 25 apartment-houses, lodginghouses and boarding-houses. (fn. 57) The opening of the railway station prompted an abortive attempt to develop the resort, with new plans for a pier in 1895, (fn. 58) and the commencement by 1900 of a large hotel at the south end of Grand Avenue, (fn. 59) which remained a shell until 1922 when it was completed for use as residential flats. (fn. 60)
Fourteen persons were enumerated at Heene in 1086, (fn. 61) and the same number were assessed to the subsidy in 1296. (fn. 62) Thirty inhabitants were assessed in 1524, (fn. 63) and 42 years later there were reckoned to be 32 households. (fn. 64) In 1676 21 adults were listed. (fn. 65) Between 1801 and 1821 the population increased from 101 to 178. All 185 inhabitants in 1841 were natives of the county. Thereafter, apart from a drop during the 1850s, the population increased steadily to 427 in 1871, 845 in 1881, 1,691 in 1891, and 3,019 in 1901. The population of West Worthing township was 276 in 1871, and 689 in 1881. During the second half of the century, as single female residents and female servants grew in numbers, the proportion of women to men in the parish rose sharply. There were nearly equal numbers of women and men in 1851; in 1881 the proportion was 3 to 2, in 1891 nearly 2 to 1, and in 1901 over 2 to 1. (fn. 66)
The modern Worthing-Goring road follows the general line of the former footpath through the parish, (fn. 67) with a diversion north of Heene village; a plan for a turnpike road along the same line made between 1830 and 1834 was not carried out. (fn. 68) A coast road planned at the same period also remained unbuilt; (fn. 69) the east part of the modern coast road was constructed c. 1865-7, and extended westwards as the land was developed for building. (fn. 70)
West Worthing was affected by the second outbreak of typhoid fever in Worthing in 1893, with 58 recorded cases and 15 deaths. (fn. 71)
An estate at Heene which was held of Earl Godwin (d. 1053) by Levret as 2½ hides was held of William de Braose in 1086 by one Ralph. Another estate, also comprising 2½ hides, was retained in 1086 by its pre-Conquest owner Alward, though it too was held at the later date of William de Braose. (fn. 72) Those two estates were perhaps identical with the two later manors in the parish, which may be described from the names of their late-13th-century owners as the Falconer and the Bavent manors. The Bavent manor was always held of Bramber honor, (fn. 73) but the Falconer manor, though so held at first, (fn. 74) was described in the 16th century as held in chief. (fn. 75)
Robert Falconer was dealing with HEENE FALCONER in the 1190S, (fn. 76) and it descended thereafter until the early 14th century with Michelgrove in Clapham. (fn. 77) In 1248 Godfrey Falconer granted it to his father Robert's widow Sabina and her husband Robert de Beaumes as her dower. (fn. 78) In 1303 John Falconer sold it to William de la Felde. (fn. 79) In 1329 or 1330 it was settled for life on William's daughter Rose with remainder to Henry Romyn, (fn. 80) who died in 1349 seised of lands in Heene held as ¾ fee. (fn. 81) In 1360 Henry son of Henry de la Felde quitclaimed the manor to William of Singleton and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 82) After c. 1380 the manor was part of the FitzAlan estate in Sussex, having been acquired presumably by Richard FitzAlan, earl of Arundel (d. 1376), or possibly by his son Richard. On the latter's execution in 1397, (fn. 83) it was resumed by the Crown, and granted to John Holand, duke of Exeter, (fn. 84) who was beheaded in 1400, when Richard FitzAlan's son Thomas, earl of Arundel (d. 1415) was restored to his father's titles and estates. (fn. 85) He granted the manor to Holy Trinity hospital, Arundel, (fn. 86) which held it until the Dissolution. (fn. 87) In 1546 it was granted by the Crown to Sir Richard Lee, who in the same year was licensed to alienate it to Sir Thomas Palmer. (fn. 88) Sir Thomas quitclaimed the manor in 1557 to Thomas and John Cooke, (fn. 89) members of whose family had been tenants of the hospital. (fn. 90) Thomas died in 1573, leaving as his heir his infant grandson William Cooke. (fn. 91) William died in 1598, his infant son of the same forename (fn. 92) becoming a ward of the Crown. In 1618 or 1619 he took possession, (fn. 93) and in 1643 apparently still held the manor. (fn. 94) It later passed successively to his son Edward, (fn. 95) and Edward's son Edward (d. 1672). The younger Edward's widow Elizabeth, who had married Richard Creswell, and his surviving sister Anne, who had married John Arnold, (fn. 96) in 1676 mortgaged, and in 1683 sold, the estate to James Butler. (fn. 97)
HEENE BAVENT descended with Wiston between the mid 12th century and 1602. (fn. 98) Adam de Bavent (d. by 1292) was confirmed in free warren there in 1279 and 1285, but his claim to right of wreck was refused. (fn. 99) After his death Gervasia, widow of William of Wiston, held Heene in dower. (fn. 100) Roger de Bavent was apparently taking wreck illegally in the manor in 1304 and 1333, but in 1357 the Crown granted right of wreck to Peter de Braose. (fn. 101) John de Braose (d. 1426) had both right of wreck and free warren there. (fn. 102) In 1602 Sir Thomas Shirley sold Heene Bavent, with free chase and right of wreck, to the tenant James Graves. (fn. 103) He was succeeded in 1608 by his son John (d. 1612), whose brother and heir James died in 1626. James's son Sackville (fn. 104) was dealing with it in 1659, (fn. 105) and after his death in 1686 his son James (fn. 106) sold it in 1688 to James Butler. (fn. 107)
The combined manor of Heene thereafter descended with Rowdell in Washington until Patty Clough sold it in 1789 or 1790 to Thomas Richardson. (fn. 108) Thomas was succeeded between 1795 and 1797 by his widow Frances, (fn. 109) (d. after 1806), (fn. 110) and in 1824 their son William Westbrook Richardson apparently held the manor jointly with Thomas and John Richardson. (fn. 111) By that date it comprised more than three-quarters of the parish. (fn. 112) By 1830 William held it alone, (fn. 113) and in 1863 he sold it to the Heene Estate Land Co. (fn. 114)
A manor-house of Heene Bavent was recorded in 1357 and 1427, (fn. 115) and one of Heene Falconer in 1279, 1397, and 1616. (fn. 116) Heene Farmhouse near the chapel, apparently the same as or a successor to one of them, was demolished in 1973. (fn. 117)
In 1086 the demesne of Ralph's manor at Heene was worked by one team, and one servus was recorded there; meanwhile 3 villani and 2 bordars had another team. One team worked the demesne of the 2½ hides which Alward held, and 3 villani and 5 bordars had another there. (fn. 118) In 1279 Heene Falconer had a demesne farm comprising 115 a. of arable land, 9 a. of meadow, and pasture worth 4s., and the fixed rents of tenants were worth 7s. 3d. (fn. 119) At the same period there were 5 free tenants of Heene Bavent, owing money rents, 3 tenants apparently free who held 1 a. each and owed occasional labour services besides paying money rents, and 11 customary tenants who held either 1 a., ½ yardland (7 a.), or a 'ferling' of land (3½ a.). All but one of the customary tenants owed extensive labour services. (fn. 120) Other land in Heene was presumably held then, as later, of Tarring rectory manor. (fn. 121) Some labour services continued to be owed during the 14th century by tenants of Heene Bavent, where the fixed rents of free and bond tenants were worth £2 9s. in 1357, (fn. 122) and £5 11s. in 1427. (fn. 123) At the end of the 14th century Heene Falconer had 16 free and 6 copyhold tenants, many holding 2 a. or less, whose rents were valued at £2 15s. (fn. 124) The demesnes of Heene Bavent in 1357 comprised 156 a., (fn. 125) and those of Heene Falconer at the end of the 14th century over 100 a., (fn. 126) Heene Bavent in the late 14th century, as earlier, apparently being managed virtually as a subordinate part of Wiston manor. (fn. 127)
Between the mid 15th century and at least the late 17th there were free and copyhold tenants of both manors; copyhold tenements could be sub-let in the 15th century, and presumably later. (fn. 128) The demesne lands of Heene Bavent were at farm in the 1480s, and those of both manors in 1535. (fn. 129) Later the two farms coalesced to make a single farm which engrossed the smaller holdings of the parish. By 1758 it comprised 438 a. in Heene and elsewhere, including most of the area of the parish. (fn. 130) In 1789 c. 13 a. of copyhold land in Heene belonging to Tarring rectory manor were held with it. (fn. 131) The farm was occupied by members of the Mitchell family between that date and 1845. (fn. 132) About 1839 it comprised 344 a. (fn. 133) There were two farmers at Heene in 1855, (fn. 134) and despite the development of West Worthing in the late 19th century there was apparently still at least one farm in the parish in 1896. (fn. 135)
Several open fields were named at Heene c. 1400; (fn. 136) in later times there were only 2 fields, East field, mentioned from 1671, (fn. 137) and West field, mentioned from 1480, (fn. 138) and by 1806 known as Mill field. (fn. 139) Crops recorded in the Middle Ages were wheat, barley, oats, rye, flax, peas and beans, and vetches. (fn. 140)
By 1806 Mill field, west of the church, of 120 a., had been completely inclosed except for two strips in the middle, and belonged to Heene farm. East field on the other hand, (fn. 141) though it had apparently included at least one pasture close in 1671, (fn. 142) remained largely uninclosed. Heene farm had 17 strips there, mostly of less than 1 a. in area, and the rest belonged to c. 6 other tenants. Two several closes called Upper and Lower Mollsholes field north of Mill field (fn. 143) probably represented the open field called Moreleshole c. 1400. (fn. 144) In 1839 East field was still divided between 8 owners, (fn. 145) and it remained in small strips in 1875, chiefly as marketgardens. (fn. 146)
Heene common, on the sea shore, perhaps identical with land at Heene commonable by cattle and pigs in 1397, (fn. 147) was divided in 1535 between the two manors. At that date part was called the Green, and part the Ham, and cattle, sheep, and horses were kept there. (fn. 148) What was apparently the Bavent share was still being commoned in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, when by-laws were made in the manor court about it. (fn. 149) Commoning, however, had apparently ceased by the early 19th century. (fn. 150) About 1839 the common comprised 64 a. of rough sheep pasture, (fn. 151) but soon afterwards it was improved and turned over to arable. (fn. 152) At the same date there were 335 a. of arable land and 13 a. of other meadow and pasture. (fn. 153) The soil of the parish was described in 1835 as singularly productive. (fn. 154)
There was a market-gardener at Heene in 1855 and two in 1874, and a fruit grower and nurseryman in 1882. (fn. 155) The former East field, comprising c. 60 a., had been almost entirely given over to marketgardening by 1875. By 1896 that area had been largely built over, but meanwhile market-gardens had greatly expanded further west, (fn. 156) and were said to be one cause of the rise in Heene's population in the 1890s. (fn. 157) One market-gardener and 3 nurserymen were listed in 1890. (fn. 158) Market-gardens and glasshouses still occupied much land in West Worthing well into the 20th century.
A windmill belonging to Heene Falconer was recorded from 1279. (fn. 159) There was a windmill in the open field later called Mill field, west of the church, by 1650, (fn. 160) and perhaps by 1587. (fn. 161) A mill survived on that site, beside Mill Road, till 1903, (fn. 162) but was disused by 1896. (fn. 163)
The surname basket-maker (lipar) was recorded at Heene c. 1300, (fn. 164) and a brewer was mentioned in 1501. (fn. 165) In the 16th and 17th centuries the villagers supplemented their livelihood by fishing, and apparently coastal trading, both at home and abroad. (fn. 166) In the 1670s 6 seamen were listed in West Tarring and Heene, (fn. 167) and in 1770 one fisherman in Heene. (fn. 168) In 1798 there was a shopkeeper in the village. (fn. 169) In the early 19th century the growth of the resort brought new trades and services; in 1821 11 families were supported chiefly by trade or manufacture as against 20 chiefly by agriculture. (fn. 170) Retailing expanded still further after the foundation of West Worthing. There were a tailor, a grocer, and a surgeon by 1867, and in 1874 a dress-maker and four laundresses. Eight years later there were a bath-chair proprietor and a boat-builder, and in 1887 a riding master, a builder, and a chemist. (fn. 171) Meanwhile building activity gave employment to a short-lived brick-works in Grand Avenue in 1875. (fn. 172)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICES.
A reeve of Heene Bavent occurs c. 1300 (fn. 173) and in 1383, and a serjeant in 1371. (fn. 174) There are court rolls or draft court rolls for various years between 1480 and 1548, (fn. 175) and court records apparently of Heene Bavent for various years between 1525 and 1628 survived c. 1800. (fn. 176) In 1529 the court was held at Wiston. (fn. 177) Besides the usual jurisdiction over agriculture and changes in tenancies the court dealt with the lord's right to wreck and heard cases of assault. (fn. 178) In the late 15th and early 16th century it elected an officer called the curimannus, of unknown function. (fn. 179) There are draft court rolls for Heene Falconer for 1450 and 1452, when the court regulated tenancies. (fn. 180) It was alleged in 1616 that courts had ceased to be held at both manors. (fn. 181) Courts were still held for Heene Falconer at least in the late 17th century, only business concerning tenancies being recorded. (fn. 182) The lord of the manor still exercised right of wreck in the 18th century. (fn. 183) There was a headborough for the combined manor in 1822. (fn. 184)
Two churchwardens, or chapelwardens, were elected for Heene from 1544 or earlier, but for most of the period 1663-1868 there was only one. (fn. 185) The office never seems to have been held with that of churchwarden for West Tarring or Durrington. Similarly there were two separate overseers for Heene from 1642 and perhaps earlier, (fn. 186) but a separate waywarden and constables were not recorded before 1854. (fn. 187) Heene was apparently added to East Preston united parishes in 1803, as part of West Tarring, but it was allotted separate guardians only in 1869. (fn. 188) The parish remained a separate local government unit after its incorporation in Worthing until 1902 when a new civil parish of Worthing, co-extensive with the enlarged borough, was formed. (fn. 189)
Improvement commissioners were appointed in 1865 for the district or township of West Worthing, comprising most of Heene parish; their area of jurisdiction was enlarged in 1883. They had powers to pave, light, drain, and cleanse the streets, erect and maintain sea defences, contract for the supply of gas and water, and levy general, sewer, and highway rates; by 1881 they were specifically described as an urban sanitary authority. Three commissioners were elected from the beginning by property owners, and six by ratepayers. (fn. 190) In 1869 there was a special constable, (fn. 191) and in 1878 a clerk, a collector, a medical officer, and an inspector of nuisances, the two latter holding the same posts under the Worthing local board. (fn. 192) By 1882 there was also a surveyor. (fn. 193) The commissioners first met at the Heene, later West Worthing, hotel. (fn. 194) Later they built a brick and stone building of Italianate design in Rowlands Road for their offices. It was demolished in 1974. (fn. 195)
A water-works was opened on the north side of the swimming baths by 1867. (fn. 196) The new town was then said to be well drained and lighted with gas, (fn. 197) evidently from the Worthing gas-works. The waterworks was enlarged after 1884 to supply the rest of Heene parish, West Tarring, and part of Broadwater. (fn. 198) A second well was sunk in 1887, (fn. 199) and a reservoir built at Durrington in 1894. (fn. 200) During the typhoid outbreak in 1893 the supply was used to replace temporarily Worthing's polluted supply. (fn. 201) West Worthing's sewerage system was then still separate from that of Worthing, (fn. 202) but after 1894 it was linked to it. (fn. 203) The West Worthing water-works was taken over and closed by Worthing corporation in 1896, the reservoir, however, being retained. (fn. 204)
The second church mentioned as at West Tarring in 1086 (fn. 205) seems to have been at Heene, and may have been a chapel of Tarring church, for in the Middle Ages and later Heene was a chapelry of Tarring. In 1200 the lord of Heene Bavent apparently claimed the right to present to the chapel, (fn. 206) and in 1239 the lords of both manors unsuccessfully claimed the same right, saying that Heene was a parish church independent of West Tarring. (fn. 207) Some support for that contention is perhaps provided by the discovery of human remains in the churchyard in the late 18th century, suggesting that at one time burials were performed there. (fn. 208) There is no record, however, of any incumbent of Heene before the 19th century. On the opening of a new church in 1873 Heene was made a perpetual curacy the incumbent being at first entitled vicar. (fn. 209) In 1875 a district chapelry was formed, its boundaries being those of the civil parish, (fn. 210) and the living was endowed with the rectorial tithe-rent-charge of that area, (fn. 211) the incumbent thereafter being called a rector. (fn. 212) The advowson of Heene belonged to the archbishop of Canterbury until 1930 when it was given in exchange to the dean and chapter of Chichester, which still held it in 1977. (fn. 213)
In the Middle Ages and later the revenues of Heene belonged to West Tarring rectory and vicarage. The new benefice was endowed in 1875 with all the tithe-rent-charge arising from the area of the ancient chapelry, which for many years was supplemented only from the offertory. (fn. 214) In addition the Ecclesiastical Commissioners made a grant towards the erection of a rectory house (fn. 215) which was built in 1875 (fn. 216) on a site given by the West Worthing Investment Co. (fn. 217) A new rectory was built in 1958. (fn. 218)
A chantry chapel which belonged to Heene Falconer in the late 14th century, when its endowment comprised 15 a. of land and £1 10s. rent, (fn. 219) was apparently the same as that founded in 1330 by John de Montgomery. (fn. 220) By the 16th century the lands had passed to Holy Trinity hospital at Arundel. About 1548, when the hospital was leasing them out, there was no chaplain, and no masses had been said for 10 years. (fn. 221)
In the Middle Ages Heene was presumably served by chaplains, as stipulated in the ordination of West Tarring vicarage in 1287. (fn. 222) In 1239 neither baptisms nor burials were performed there, though it was said that baptisms had been until c. 1200. (fn. 223) In the early 16th century services were still held at Heene, (fn. 224) but testators there were buried at West Tarring. (fn. 225) In the late 16th century the chapel was served by curates. (fn. 226) A church ale at Heene was mentioned in 1561. (fn. 227) In 1616 the cure was said to be served by a poor shoemaker of West Tarring, (fn. 228) but in 1634, in response to an ultimatum apparently from the lord of Heene Falconer, the vicar agreed in future to read services and administer the sacraments either himself or through a curate. (fn. 229) The next vicar, William Stanley, however, served Heene only intermittently. (fn. 230) Meanwhile in 1622 the inhabitants had petitioned, apparently successfully, to take down an aisle of their chapel. (fn. 231) The vicar of West Tarring apparently still preached at Heene once a month according to agreement in 1684, (fn. 232) but in 1766, since no services had been held there in living memory, and since the chapel had become very ruinous, a faculty was obtained to pull it down and re-use its materials in the repair of West Tarring church. (fn. 233) The chancel had been taken down by 1770, (fn. 234) and the rest, except for some walling, by 1778. (fn. 235)
In the early 19th century some parishioners attended Worthing chapel of ease. (fn. 236) A new church was built by subscription between 1873 and 1879 on a site given by the Heene Estate Land Co. (fn. 237) The services at the church were High Church in character, the first to be seen in the Worthing area. (fn. 238) In the 1870s weekly cottage lectures and penny readings were held, and there were blanket and other clubs and a village library. (fn. 239) A temporary iron church hall, in existence by c. 1879, was replaced in 1898 by a permanent building in Heene Road. (fn. 240) In 1884 three Sunday services were held and the church, which seated 750, was said to be always full, communicants including many nonparishioners. (fn. 241) The church has since retained its High Church character. (fn. 242)
The old chapel of ST. BOTOLPH, of which the dedication is recorded in 1534, (fn. 243) consisted of a nave, chancel, aisle, and steeple (fn. 244) of unknown date. The old font survived in 1892. (fn. 245) The new church, of the same dedication, consisted as first built of a nave, chancel, north and south aisles, and south transept, with west tower and spire, all in brick and flint. The architect was E. Scott of Brighton. The south aisle and transept were enlarged between 1903 and 1905. (fn. 246)
The church of ST. JOHN, Elm Grove, was built in 1937 of brick and flint, to the designs of N. Cachemaille-Day, incorporated in its structure a mission room which had been built in 1901. (fn. 247) There was a priest-in-charge in 1940, (fn. 248) and a parish was formed from Heene and West Tarring parishes in 1955. (fn. 249) The bishop was patron in 1969. By then there was a vicarage house. (fn. 250) St. John's has shared the Anglo-Catholic tradition of its mother church. (fn. 251)
There are registers for Heene from 1594 to 1751, (fn. 252) and from 1813, (fn. 253) though from the late 18th century at least to the late 19th baptisms, marriages, and burials were evidently performed at West Tarring. Between 1751 and 1813 Heene entries were made in the West Tarring registers, sometimes being listed separately. (fn. 254)
Two popish recusants were listed at Heene in 1676. (fn. 255) No dissenting chapel was founded there until after the parish was included in Worthing.
In 1871 the children of Heene attended school in Worthing. (fn. 256) Various private schools were recorded in the parish in the 1870s and 1880s, (fn. 257) among them the Holt Middle Class Girls' School in Heene Road, founded by Henrietta, wife of Sir Percy Burrell, Bt. (d. 1880). (fn. 258)
Heene National school in Heene Road was opened in 1886, succeeding a small class held in a private house. There were then two classrooms besides the schoolroom, and 44 children attended, paying fees of 2d. to 4d. (fn. 259) Average attendance was 118 in 1893, rising to 159 in 1899, (fn. 260) and fluctuating in the early 20th century as other school provision was made near by. In 1906 there were 48 infants. (fn. 261) By 1974 the school had become Heene First and Middle (C.E. Aided) school, which had an average attendance in 1976 of 313. (fn. 262)