Crawley is a town and local government district with borough status in West Sussex, and is 28 miles south of London, 18 miles north of Brighton and Hove, and 32 miles north-east of the county town of Chichester. It covers an area of 17.36 square miles and has a population of over 100,000.
In 1947 Crawley was one of a number towns selected to provide homes and employment away from the ever increasing population of the capital. The idea was to develop a series of neighbourhoods, each with its own shopping centre as well as a main industrial area. The new town would offer employment, decent housing, a green environment and an end to daily commuting. The three communities Crawley New Town were based around were Three Bridges, Crawley and Ifield, each chosen for its excellent transport links and availability of undeveloped farmland. In 1962 Crawley was a thriving community of 60,000. The growth of Gatwick Airport to the north caused the expansion of the town to be faster than originally anticipated and in 1983 the New Town’s boundaries were extended by eighteen hundred acres, stretching to the M23 in the east and the new Ifield West development in the west. Today, Crawley is the largest inland town in West Sussex.
Around 40 years ago, during the building of Southgate West, developers stumbled across an entire Roman town of at least fifty houses. A team of archaeologists brought in to investigate found glass and pottery imported from Greece and other countries in Europe which showed the town to have been extremely wealthy. Despite not being able to excavated further due to development of the area there were still a number of artefacts found, many of which are now in the Crawley museum. Finds included a bronze-age sword and a lot of iron slag found in Bewbush where one of the largest Roman Iron works in the country was discovered.
Crawley offers great leisure facilities for all ages, with the number of parks and open spaces making it an exceptionally green town. Tilgate Park has 400 acres of lakes, gardens and woodland, a par 72 golf course as well as a nature centre and draws visitors from all over the south-east. The Hawth Theatre, set in woodland with an outside amphitheatre, along with Crawley Leisure Park ensures top entertainment. There are three nightclubs in the town centre, and a great choice of pubs and restaurants for a perfect night out.
Planned to reflect the green and wooded nature of the beautiful countryside that surrounds the town, Crawley offers a splendid environment in which to live and work. The town is divided into a series of residential neighbourhoods around the town centre, which with County Mall shopping centre, the historic High Street and great transport & parking, draws shoppers from all over the area. The town is not only home to Greater London’s second largest airport but a host of multinational businesses who benefit from Crawley’s excellent air, rail and road links.