About Pease Pottage
Pease Pottage (sometimes spelt ‘Peas Pottage’) is a small, unspectacular village just south of Crawley in West Sussex.
It stands at the point where the M23 joins the A23, about halfway between London and Brighton, and is just a couple of miles from Nymans Garden, the well-known National Trust property in Handcross.
Traffic Congestion in Pease Pottage
Hundreds of people drive through Pease Pottage every day. Many of them use the village as an alternative to the A264, the bypass which was intended to link Horsham, Crawley and the M23, but which is often unable to cope with the amount of traffic generated by the large number of people who live in Crawley and work in Horsham, and vice versa.
Pease Pottage is blighted by road traffic, especially during the morning rush hour. It is often difficult for residents to get in or out of their own driveways, or even in or out of the village. A collision or roadworks on the A264 or the M23 close to the village invariably leads to a huge traffic jam along Horsham Road.
Expansion of the Village
The heavy everyday traffic is caused not only by commuters who use Horsham Road in Pease Pottage as an alternative to the overcrowded A264 bypass, but also by a substantial recent increase in the population of the village. Several new housing estates have been built in the last decade or so, and the limited amount of public transport means that almost every new house adds one or two cars to the roads.
Once one housing development gets planning permission, the floodgates seem to open. Pease Pottage is clearly an easy target. On the plus side, it is only a matter of time until everything between Croydon and Brighton is absorbed into Greater Pease Pottage. The glorious day will arrive!
A few years ago, an outfit called Thakeham Homes proposed the building of an unspecified number of houses on the farmland surrounding Woodhurst, the large house supposedly once owned by Margot Fonteyn to the south of the village. Permission was not granted for this, but the company did get permission to build just over 600 houses and other buildings on the site of the Pease Pottage Car Boot Sale, close to the busy M23/A23 roundabout. Work began late in 2018, and is expected to continue for several years. There are photographs of the building work in the picture gallery.
There were extensive roadworks linked to this project. It remains to be seen whether the expanded road system has much long-term effect on traffic congestion in Pease Pottage, since an extra 600 houses is likely to mean that an extra 1000 or so cars will be regularly travelling in and out of the village.
“ … CRAWLEY … go two miles along the road … to Brighton; then you turn to the right [at Pease Pottage] and go over six of the worst miles in England … in short, it is a most villanous track.”
— William Cobbett, Rural Rides
Pease Pottage contains, amongst other things:
- two pubs one pub (now that the Grapes is closed);
- a large car scrap yard;
- an internment camp;
- milk deliveries by Milk & More (formerly Dairy Crest, now owned by Müller);
- and a very short cycle lane.
There are plenty of things Pease Pottage doesn’t have.
- Pease Pottage is just under 500 feet above sea level.
- The annual London to Brighton veteran car run passes through the village on the first Sunday in November.
- During the First World War, there was an army camp in Pease Pottage.
- Queen Victoria came through the village in 1837 on her way to Brighton.
- The village has a very tenuous link to Marilyn Monroe.