Happy Sussex Day

June 16, 2024

Happy Sussex Day to everyone based in Sussex or connected with this wonderful part of the country. Celebrated on 16 June each year.

Sussex takes its name from the old English Supseaxe (South Saxons) and was once its own independent kingdom. While no longer independent, Sussex people still have a strong sense of identity and a deep ingrained pride and loyalty to their county, summarised in the unofficial county motto 'We wunt be druv' - a phrase in the old Sussex dialect meaning 'we will not be driven'.

The spirit can still be found in the Bonfire Societies of Sussex. There is no other county in the country where the old tradition of bonfire is kept alive in this way.

The Kingdom of Sussex was one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the Heptarchy of Anglo Saxon England, ruled by the Kings of Sussex until the country was annexed circa 827 and remains one of the least known of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, with no surviving king-list.

At that time, large parts of Sussex were covered by the Forest of Andred, known today as the Weald and according to Anglo-Saxon chronicles, was 120 miles wide and 30 miles deep and was the largest remaining area of woodland and heath in the territories that became England.

The ancient droveways of Sussex linked coastal and The South Downs communities in the south with pasture and forest land in the Weald. The droveways originated before the Roman occupation of Britain and formed the basis of our county road network today.

These days, in Sussex we pride ourselves on our culture and produce. From quaint and traditional villages and market towns to vibrant and cosmopolitan cities like Brighton; our outstanding countryside and the South Downs national park, to our coastal paths and famous beaches; and not forgetting our premier league football club, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, and Sussex CCC (England's oldest county cricket club), 

Sussex is also home to some of the UK’s finest restaurants, cafes and pubs focusing on using seasonal, local produce. We are in the heart of England’s wine region with award-winning vineyards, and home to many covered breweries and distilleries.

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