In the 2001 census the parish covered 12.46 km² and had 282 households with a total population of 690. 298 residents were economically active. The parish is a long thin strip running north to south, from the slopes of Blackdown in the north to Gallows Hill on the border with Graffham south of the River Rother. It includes the hamlet of Lickfold, with a pub beside the River Lod and a triangular green where the road to the top of Bexley Hill meets the Lodsworth to Haslemere road. South of the village there are more houses, a pub and a small factory at Halfway Bridge on the A272.
The spring near St Peters church was a place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, especially for people with eye problems, and a source of revenue for the village. The well is located a few metres along a footpath that joins the lower junction of Church Lane and Rectory Lane.
In 1119 Richard de Belmas, the Bishop of London, was given the manor by the Montgomerie family; and Lodsworth was made a Liberty by Royal Charter of King Henry I. This unusual status made the manor independent from the county and hundred legal system so that even the most serious crimes were tried at the manorial court held at the manor house. The manor was run by the Bishop of London’s representative the Sheriff who lived at the manor house. Villagers were exempt from tolls at markets and fairs in other parishes, and all income from the manor went straight to the bishop. The manor must has bee a valuable source of income to the bishop with revenue from pilgrims to St. Peter’s well and probably from stone quarrying, and the status of Liberty was vigorously defended and was reaffirmed by several kings, the last being Henry VI.
There is a large timberyard and sawmill at Lodsbridge, south of Halfway Bridge and a small factory at the old watermill site at Halfway Bridge.
The first transport other than pack horses or horse carts was in 1795 when the Rother Navigation was built from Pulborough to Midhurst, allowing canal barges to reach the wharf at Lodsbridge. This was used mainly to bring chalk and coal in and to export timber. The railway line from Pulborough to Petworth was extended to Midhurst in the 1860s with stations at Selham and Midhurst.
OUR LOCAL HERO; While More and More Rural Shops Are Closing, Villagers Are Fighting Back by Setting Up Community-Run Enterprises. Serena Allott Visits the New Lodsworth Larder in West Sussex, Which Has Put the Heart Back into Village Life
Feb 07, 2010; Byline: Serena Allott Lodsworth in West Sussex has just celebrated the revival of a great rural tradition - the village...