The Worthing Society, originally the Worthing Civic Society (founded in 1973) was formed in 1982. Our main aims are to conserve and preserve the architectural amenities of Worthing and the surrounding area.
Many buildings of historical and architectural value to the town had been demolished before the foundation of the Worthing Civic Society by Mrs Pat Baring ,the pioneer conservationist, often referred to as the ‘battle-axe’! We regard it as vitally important to carry on Pat Baring’s work to preserve buildings of architectural significance, particularly the remaining examples of Victorian, Regency and the later Art Deco period. Since its foundation the Society has been responsible for saving many of the historic buildings you enjoy today: The Dome, Beach House, the Burlington and Pizza Express (Stanford’s Cottage) with its links to Jane Austen.
We also operate within broader terms to enhance the character of the town and to act as a watchdog for future developments. The Society believes it is its duty, so far as it lies within its power, to ensure the design of new buildings should enhance existing surroundings. Worthing is at a crossroads with many large sites coming forward for development . Good design we feel should be a necessary requirement of any planning approval and we aim to make constructive suggestions. The Society also supported the establishment of the South Downs National Park and secured the inclusion of Castle Goring.
The Worthing Society plays a key role in donating Blue Plaques to commemorate notable people, buildings or events in the town’s history. The Blue Plaque Heritage Trail helps to encourage interest and research into Worthing’s unique social history. We have donated plaques in honour of Jane Austen, Dr Frederick Dixon, founder of Worthing Hospital, and Sir Frederick and Lady Stern, creators of Highdown Gardens. Details of the Heritage Trail and all the plaques can be found further on in the website.
Our built heritage and green infrastructure form an irreplaceable resource and therefore a legacy to future generations. The work of the ‘Conservationist’ has never been more needed. We welcome new members of all ages. By increasing our membership we can increase our presence and voice in the town.
Worthing Society Chairman.