Census Year, 2011

Census Day at St Margaret's Church, September 2011

To mark Census year, we decided to hold our very own 'Census Day' to introduce people to the rich source of information that the census returns provide in helping piece together stories of families and communities. As well as activities and trails based on census information, visitors were able to search through the tithe map and schedule and research on the monumental inscriptions in the churchyard.


Extract from the 1891 census recorded by Sampson Court, Census Enumerator and Headmaster of the Ditchling National School

More than 150 people attended from the village and farther afield. Local people discovered the history of their own houses while others were able to add to their family research. For many the event was simply an opportunity to spend time in the historic church building of St Margaret's and to make a connection with Ditchling’s past. The area in the side chapel where computers were set out, at times adopted an intense ‘library’ quiet, but there was also plenty of opportunity to chat and make family links, some for the first time, over a cup of tea and slice of cake.

This was such an immensely popular day, we are already planning to run a similar event next year. Click here if you wish to join our mailing list of events or have any suggestions for what you would find interesting and useful.