Famous faces, giant hailstones and acid bath murders - 10 interesting things about Horsham

Harry Enfield and Chums ENGPPP00120131004160109
Harry Enfield and Chums ENGPPP00120131004160109

Did you know?

1) It’s believed the first historical record of Horsham is from AD 947. The name may mean ‘horse home’ or ‘Horsa’s home’ after a Saxon warrior who had land in the area.

2) Horsham was known for horse trading in medieval times, iron and brick making until the 20th century, and brewing.

3) Horsham holds the UK record for the heaviest hailstone. It fell on September 5 1958 and was the size of a tennis ball and weighed 140g.

4) A water sculpture called the Rising Universe, locally known as The Shelley Fountain, used to be sited in the town centre. It was designed by Angela Conner and commemorated Percy Bysshe Shelley who was born in Broadbridge Heath.

5) The first illustrated history of Horsham was written by Howard Dudleyin 1836 when he was aged just 16. It includes descriptions of buildings along with lithographs and wood-cut images of the town.

6) Famous people who have lived in Horsham include: comedian Harry Enfield, co-creator of the band Gorillaz Jamie Hewlett, and novelist David Sedaris. Enfield’s Kevin the Teenager character lived in Merryfield Drive, Horsham.

7) A Channel 4 show, called The 10 best and worst places to live in the UK, said in October 2006 that Horsham was the second best place to live. It was beaten by Winchester.

8) Christ’s Hospital is one of the oldest schools in the country and was established in 1552 by Edward VI.

9) Shopping centre Swan Walk takes its name from the Swan Inn that once stood in West Street.

10) Acid bath murderer John George Haigh was held at the old town hall, in Market Square, which was home to sittings of the magistrates court in 1949.