Selsey Town in the 21st century has grown up around a thriving High Street. A convenient definition of the High Street is the road from St Peter’s Church south to the junction with West Street, the bulk of the shops and businesses are along this stretch.
The High Street was occupied by a mixture of private housing and retail premises from the mid nineteenth century. Rather surprisingly, there were also farms . In 1934 Sessions House was called Old Farm House and the stables still survive; Home Farm was approximately where the car wash is today (2021) and Foots Farm was on the junction of High Street and West Street. Going further back, the Woodland family’s farm house was next door to The Pavilion aka Selsey Hall. Throughout the 20th century, more and more retail businesses appeared. Comparing the offers across nearly 2 centuries we see the move from individual shops selling food and clothing and suppliers such as the coal yard and the gas company to the 21st century presence of 2 supermarkets and the absence of any Banks.
The rise of the motor car and the subsequent and inevitable decline of the horse for transport is seen across the 20th century with blacksmiths and farriers being replaced with bicycle shops and garages, which were themselves replaced when these services moved to bigger premises on the edge of the town.
Independent butchers, greengrocers, and bakeries have been a feature of the High Street over the centuries and are still present today. Cafes and restaurants have also figured large over the years and remain an important part of the activity in the High Street. Modern forms of banking have resulted in the closure of all the branches in the High Street, and the rise and fall of the Video shop over a period of 25 years demonstrates the march of Technology.
The character of the High Street with shops and dwellings has remained up to the present day, and Selsey is fortunate to have so many local businesses to choose from.