Old Rectory Gardens is a peaceful park set in the residential area of Felpham. It covers approximately two acres and consists of open parkland and ornamental borders flanked by mature trees.
The Park was first opened to the public in the 1950s following a period of dereliction, and sets a high horticultural bench mark for public parks and open spaces. Shrub and herbaceous borders together with informal natural planting provide colour and interest throughout the year.
A formal pond is surrounded by Yew topiary, a unique feature in Arun District’s public open spaces, and small woodland lies on the western perimeter of the park.
There is an east-west path that spans the park with seating, and picnic benches.
A story tellers chair was installed in recent years to encourage young families into the park.
There is a positive sense of community in the park, supported by the Friends of Old Rectory Gardens and Felpham Conservation Society. There is further engagement with the wider community too including Felpham Parish Council, local schools and youth organisations.
There is a small claim to fame for the gardens as William Blake (English poet, painter, and printmaker) was a neighbour during the years of 1800-1803. An interpretation is located at the western entrance of the gardens explaining Blake’s relationship with the local area.
The park is located with the Felpham Conservation Area providing significant protection for the gardens heritage, and protection is further enhanced by a Tree Preservation Order.