A Little History
Before World War II, Funtington Church, several large houses and farms with cottages formed much of the village together with a garage, a blackmith, a saddler and a small shop.
During the war, the winding road to the west was requisitioned and became Funtington airfield, serving the Allied cause between 1942 and 1945 and augmenting the work of Tangmere and Westhampnett (Goodwood) airfields.
There has been a church on the St Mary’s site since the 13th century but not until 1856 was there a Vicar of Funtington. The present bell tower was added in the 16th century and now contains three bells which were cast in 1897. The church was extensively renovated and enlarged in 1859: the tower at the west end, the chancel, the small chapels to the southeast and northeast (which now houses the organ) and the three arches on each side of the nave are all that remain of the old building. Although Pevsner describes the 1859 restoration of St Mary’s as “senseless”, the church still has plenty to commend it and is worth a visit.
The Parish of Funtington, a History for the Millennium, records that “a thousand years ago the parish consisted of small Saxon farming communites – Fungington, the Ashlings and West Stoke – located near springs and streams emerging from the chalk and on the sheltered side of the Downs. Funtington is the settlement of the dwellers by the Funta or spring.”