County of southern England, created in 1974, formerly part of Sussex.
Area 1,990 sq km/768 sq mi
Towns and citiesChichester (administrative headquarters), Crawley, Horsham, Haywards Heath, Shoreham (port); Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Worthing (resorts)
Physical the Weald; South Downs; rivers Adur, Arun, and West Rother
Features Arundel and Bramber castles; Chichester cathedral; Goodwood House and racecourse; Petworth House (17th century); Wakehurst Place, where the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have additional grounds; Uppark House (1685–90); the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton; Fishbourne villa (important Roman site near Chichester); Selsey (reputed landing place of the South Saxons in 447); Gatwick Airport
Agriculture cereals (wheat and barley); fruit; market gardening (mainly on the coastal plain); dairy produce; forestry
Industries electronics; light engineering
Population (2001) 753,600
Famous people Richard Cobden (parliamentary reformer), William Collins (artist), Percy Bysshe Shelley (poet)
Topography West Sussex is bounded on the north by Surrey; on the east by East Sussex and Brighton and Hove; on the west by Hampshire; and on the south by the English Channel. Part of the Weald lies in West Sussex, and there are large tracts of lower greensand (a type of sandstone) country. The county contains part of the Downs, which are more wooded than in East Sussex, with beeches predominating in the Goodwood-Charlton area. Parts of the county are marshy, and there is a wide and fertile coastal plain stretching westwards from Worthing. Along the coast there are beaches, as at Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, and shallow inlets, such as those at Pagham Harbour and Chichester Harbour, with its intricate channels. There is a port at Shoreham.