Introducing Tangmere

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum Photo © Stephen McKay (cc-by-sa/2.0)

This is a village resting in the Chichester district, based 3 miles away from the City. Starting out as a quiet, attractive village in the shadows of the Downs, Tangmere was originally a peaceful quiet place. Then the RAF decided it was a perfect place to build an airfield, and now the village is cemented in history, as it was vital to the defence of the South Coast during the Second World War.

The origin of it’s name is not too clear; ‘Tang’ is thought to meant ‘tongs’ or ‘serpents tongue’ and ‘mere’ means ‘pool’. It is thought the village was once a pool at the fork of two ancient paths. So the village green in the centre of Tangmere used to be a pool, but got filled up.

Tangmere Graveyard Photo © nick macneill (cc-by-sa/2.0)
Tangmere Airfield Photo © Colin Smith (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Key Landmarks of Tangmere

The most known attraction in Tangmere is the Military Aviation Museum, which is on the old RAF Tangmere airfield. This airfield played a pivotal role in the Second World War, especially during the Battle of Britain. The museum was founded by a group of veterans, and is well worth a visit, especially if you are an aviation enthusiast, or you just think seeing aeroplanes up close is interesting!

After the airfield stopped being active, some of it’s land was returned to farming. Tangmere Airfield Nursery’s now grow aubergines and peppers in massive glasshouses there.

The village is a pleasant place to visit outside of the Museum though, with a the lovely St Andrews Church resting in Tangmere. Next to the church is a large yew tree, suggesting the church is an ancient, sacred site. Being close to the RAF airfield, many people who were killed there, were buried in St Andrew’s graveyard. There are many war graves there, and a window in the Church dedicated to all the people who gave their lives in the war.


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