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Copthorne, West Sussex

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Title: Copthorne, West Sussex  
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Subject: Mid Sussex, Crawley, List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, Copthorne, WikiProject Anglicanism/Participants
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Copthorne, West Sussex

Copthorne is located in West Sussex
 Copthorne shown within West Sussex
Population Approx. 5,000[1]
OS grid reference
Civil parish Worth
District Mid Sussex
Shire county West Sussex
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Crawley
Postcode district RH10
Dialling code 01342
Police Sussex
Fire West Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Horsham
List of places
West Sussex

Copthorne is a village in the Mid Sussex district of West Sussex, England. It lies close to Gatwick Airport, 25.5 miles (41 km) south of London, 21.5 miles (35 km) north of Brighton, and 36 miles (58 km) northeast of the county town of Chichester. Nearby towns include Crawley to the southwest and East Grinstead to the east. It is the most northerly ecclesiastical parish in the Diocese of Chichester in the Church of England, and together with Crawley Down makes up the civil parish of Worth.[2]


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
  • St. John the Evangelist church 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The name Copthorne probably comes from copped or coppiced thorn, meaning a cut thorn tree.[3]


Lying on the borders between the counties West Sussex and Surrey, has contributed to Copthorne's history. There are stories of smugglers from the south coast stashing their goods in the woods around the village, conscious that it was easy to step across the county boundary, and escape any pursuing constabulary.[1]

Similarly, a number of significant boxing prize fights took place in Copthorne Common in the early 19th century. A significant one was the English championship in 1810, between Tom Cribb of Bristol and Tom Molineaux from Virginia, USA.

A Copthorner is traditionally known as a Yellowbelly, and there are a number of stories told as to why this might be.[4] Some talk of villagers wearing their gold strapped around their bellies, but the most likely reason is probably tied to the traditional local trade of charcoal burning, where some of those working stripped to the waist found their skin turned yellow with the smoke. Another possibility has it that the smugglers had to crawl through the mud to avoid detection and thus acquiring muddy yellow bellies.[3]

As part of a village Millennium project, a history of the village Copthorne - The Story So Far was published by the community in 1999/2000.[3]

St. John the Evangelist church

This church is located next to the Copthorne Church of England School in the west of the village.


  1. ^ a b "Mid Sussex District Council article on Copthorne" (Website). Mid Sussex District Council. 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  2. ^ "The Diocese of Chichester: St John the Evangelist, Copthorne" (Website). The Diocese of Chichester. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c "History of Copthorne village". Copthorne village website. 2007. Archived from the original (Website) on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  4. ^ "BBC Southern Counties: Glossary of local terms" (Website). BBC. 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 

External links

  • Worth Parish Council
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