Historically Felpham is mentioned in the Doomsday Book as Felcheham and has a 12th Century parish church, St. Mary the Virgin, located near the village centre. The village is also known as the former home of William Blake who started his epic poem 'Milton' during his three years here. This is best known as it contains those quintessentially English lines set to music by Parry and known as 'Jerusalem'. Blake was much taken by Felpham and wrote...
"Away to sweet Felpham for heaven is there: The Ladder of Angels descends through the air On the turrett its spiral does softly descend Through the village it winds, at my cot it does end."
Felpham has 21 listed buildings including Blake’s Cottage. The centre of the village has a Conservation Area which features many buildings built in typical West Sussex style with much use of flint in the stonework.
Felpham grew rapidly from the 1930s to the 1960s during which the 'private estates' were built on what had been open farmland. In the 1970s it was 'joined' to Middleton on the east by a new development. On the west Butlin’s was opened in July 1960.
Today Felpham is a popular seaside resort with a promenade, slipways and beach huts, a safe shingle and sand beach and seafront cafes. Other seafront amenities include tennis courts, putting green and thriving sailing and angling clubs. There is plenty of free car parking
In recent years, on the parish’s northern border, Felpham has seen the biggest single expansion of around 750 new houses through the addition of Blake’s Mead. At the same time, the northern relief road was built and has removed much of the traffic that otherwise would use the main road through Felpham.
Felpham strives to maintain its unique identity, separate from its neighbours of Bognor Regis on one side and Middleton-on-Sea on the other. It has a large population for a village of almost 10,000 (2011 census) and this will have risen significantly to probably nearer 12000 with the recent new Blake’s Mead development.
Felpham has a leisure centre; two primary schools and a secondary college; a village hall, church hall and new community hall; two post offices, a doctor’s surgery and a wealth of local shops and businesses. There are five pubs, several B&Bs, a local hotel and range of restaurants, take-aways and cafes. There are many local community clubs and groups including three WI's, an Art Group, photography society and horticultural society.